Saltmen 4-1 Gornal Athletic
By Ben Lloyd
Spa work hard for victory
The Saltmen won heavily for their 3rd consecutive win, however they were made to work extremely hard for all three points and the final score was harsh on the visitors.
Droitwich started the game the stronger, with some intricate passing moves going forward as Gornal looked dis-organised at the back.
It took only 7 minutes for the Saltmen to open the scoring - a pin-point through ball from Graeme Pardoe found new signing Ben Tilbury who announced his arrival with a wonderful finish into the bottom corner from inside the box.
Indeed, Tilbury was the lynch-pin for Spa going forward and linked up the play well; James Lemon, Haydn Morris and Jack Allerton all had half chances but could not find the back of the net.
Gornal grew into the game and were in control for 20 minutes - Adam Gwilliam and Mike Bridges caused problems down both flanks while the physical Ben Store was a thorn in the side for Mike Seeley & Mark Burrows. All too often though, the final ball let the Peacocks down.
An exquisite back-heel from Andy Burgess set Store through, but his finish missed the target as Spa looked shaky, but the visitors relied on a defensive mix-up between Andy Crowther and Mike Seeley who were unable to clear the danger between them, and Ben Store won the ball and finished clinically to equalise after 25 minutes.
The play was pretty even from that point on, but Tilbury was fouled in the box on 32 minutes and Referee Pete Durnall pointed to the spot.
The usually reliable Curtis Townley stepped up but blazed his penalty over the bar.
Droitwich kept pressing and good work down the right hand side from Brad Burgess and a drilled cross was crashed onto the post by Joe Kirkby who narrowly avoided an own goal.
Spa did go into the break in front however when Tilbury, with his back to goal, flicked a through ball with the outside of his boot to Brad Burgess whose low shot beat Peacocks 'keeper Ashley Green and found the bottom corner.
Droitwich started the 2nd half strongly, and Brad Burgess was also denied by the wood-work, however the majority of possession belonged to the visitors as Spa struggled to find any rhythm.
The Peacock's couldn't turn their possession into another equaliser though - their best chance falling to Bert Kashala who couldn't get his shot on target when well positioned after desperate home defending.
A lack of pace up front and a poor final ball was Gornal's demise, and Droitwich made them pay as they extend their lead on 89 minutes when a determined run and low cross from Burgess found Lemon well positioned to stroke home Spa's third.
In injury time the home side added some gloss to the score-line with the goal of the game after more good work from Burgess found Haydn Morris on the edge of the box. He stopped the ball dead and hit a powerful drive into the bottom corner to wrap up the points.