Saltmen 1-1 Pelsall Villa
By Ben Lloyd
Saltmen escape with a point
Droitwich Spa kicked their league season off with a 1-1 draw at home to newly relegated Pelsall Villa.
Last season also began with a 1-1 draw at home to Coton Green, so the Spa will be hoping for a final position similar to that of 2016-17 come May.
However, they struggled for large parts of this game as Pelsall enjoyed a lot of possession and the better of the goal-scoring opportunities.
The forward line of Jones, Green and Stone were giving the Droitwich defence all kinds of problems - particularly in the first period and the hosts had matt oliver on numerous occasions for keeping the score at 0-0.
The turning point of the game as far as Droitwich were concerned was when Nick Seabourne landed awkwardly just 10 minutes in. Last season's top scorer was rushed to A&E and it is now confirmed that he has suffered a broken ankle and will miss the majority of the first half of the season.
Without this outlet, Spa seemed to lose some confidence and looked rather toothless going forward. They did however take the lead against the run of play - good work from the impressive Chris Glover sent James Lemon away down the left flank - his powerful low cross was met by Macauley Finch whose low drive went in off the post for 1-0 with 25 minutes on the clock.
Pelsall kept in control of the game however, and Oliver made a tremendous double save from Nathan Stone before Mike Seeley hacked the ball off the line when Villa looked certain to level.
From Seeley's clearance, Spa broke up the other end and Ryan Woolridge in the Villa goal made a couple of equally impressive saves before Finch's shot was deflected onto the post and out for a corner.
Curtis Townley's powerful volley also clipped the woodwork before the break.
Another blow for Spa at half time when influential midfielder Jack Allerton had to be replaced with an injury, but the second half was an anti climax in comparison to the end to end first half with chances at both ends few and far between.
Spa defended stoically as Pelsall generally controlled the play, but Droitwich failed to really make any inroads into their back-line.
Townley, now playing on the right wing was providing a good outlet, but the youngster also looked as if he had picked up an injury late on.
Pelsall hit the woodwork in the 2nd period, and finally got a deserved equalizer on 71minutes when Nathan Stone was put through and finished well into the bottom corner.
Spa can count themselves lucky to have come away with a point, and the two injuries sustained to key players will be a worry to Mark Owen & Wayne Oliver over the coming weeks.