Newport Town 1-2 Saltmen
By Ben Lloyd
Spa edge close encounter
Droitwich came away from Staffordshire with all 3 points thanks to an excellent comeback win.
It was the first time this season that the Saltmen had found themselves in a position of being a goal down, and their first half performance was distinctly below-par.
Newport enjoyed the lions share of possession as the visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game. In truth Spa 'keeper matt oliver had little to do in the way of saves as Town's early efforts were wayward of the target, but the influential Neil Brasenell & Tom Fallon were causing plenty of problems for the back-line and Newport seemed to be winning the midfield battle.
The breakthrough came on 25 minutes when Mike Seeley's poor header allowed Tom Fallon in to finish well passed the on-rushing Oliver.
Newport had a further excellent opportunity when a good build up down the right culminated in Kyan Hickman's shot flying just the wrong side of the post.
The Saltmen still maintained a threat going forward throughout - Jack Allerton & Cory Rudd had strikes from the edge of the area that went over the bar and James Lemon's header from a set piece went narrowly wide.
A decisive moment in the game came with just a few minutes of the first half remaining - an almighty goal-mouth scramble where Newport hit the frame of the goal twice, Oliver saved superbly and Mike Seeley cleared off the line as Spa frantically were able to clear their lines.
Moments later at the other end there was a big penalty appeal as Haydn Morris was brought down in the box by Tom Daley but the referee waved away the appeals of the Droitwich players and supporters and the half ended 1-0 to the hosts.
Spa had evidently had a severe talking-to at the half time interval, as their second half performance was completely changed to the first and they were well and truly on the front foot.
Both Matty Hunt and Cory Rudd had excellent chances to draw level where it looked easier to score - but both mis-directed their efforts and Droitwich kept plugging away.
Their persistence did however pay off just before the hour mark as Haydn Morris flew down the right hand side, cut inside and fired a low cross in to James Lemon.
However, in an attempt to clear, the unfortunate Newport Captain George Hill could only turn the ball into his own net with Lemon awaiting a simple tap-in and Droitwich had a deserved equaliser.
The visitors kept on pressing and put together some intricate passing moves which the home defence struggled to cope with - Bradley Burgess raced on to a through ball just ahead of home 'keeper Ryan Asson who brought down the winger in the area and the referee this time pointed to the spot.
Curtis Townley stepped up to confidently dispatch the penalty to put Spa into the lead and give the right back his 3rd goal of the season!
The visitors had further chances and Asson denied Lemon's shot on the turn from close range, Rudd and Morris fired wide and Brad Burgess's superb curling shot had beaten Asson but went just the wrong side of the post.
Newport then had a good spell late on forcing a string of corners, but Droitwich defended well and matt oliver wasn't really called in to action.
A very important away win against classy opposition and in the end Spa can be happy with their performance which made it three wins from 4 away games.