Bustleholme 0-10 Saltmen
By Ben Lloyd
Spa break club record to start 2019 in style
The Saltmen put in an excellent all-round performance at York Road and ran riot over lowly Bustleholme to create a club record win and get 2019 off to the best possible start.
Bustleholme were on a good run of form winning their last 3 games, however from the first minute Spa had the pedal to the metal as the hosts fragile looking defence struggled to contain a lively Droitwich front-line and foray's forward from the wing backs.
Before the scoring started, stopper Ben Holden had to be alert to save from Brad Burgess & Ben Tilbury and saw a Jack Davies effort fly wide of the target.
Spa took the lead on 9 minutes after Matty Hunt's cross-shot fell kindly for Brad Burgess who tucked the ball home from close range.
Ben Tilbury caused major problems all afternoon for the home defence, and a neat interchange with Haydn Morris saw him dart to the byline and put in a teasing cross which the unfortunate James Hawthorne diverted into his own net.
There were welcome returns to action for wingers Brad Burgess and Haydn Morris - the latter soon forced a superb save from Holden who tipped Morris's fierce drive onto the cross-bar as Spa applied more pressure.
Bustleholme showed little attacking prowess in the first half - their biggest threat coming from Chris Brown who fired a shot wide, whilst a well positioned free-kick was hit harmlessly wide by James Thompson as Matty Oliver remained untroubled in the visiting goal.
Spa added to their lead as excellent work from Haydn Morris down the left flank set up Brad Burgess who stepped inside and finished well from 10 yards out.
Morris came close once more as a strike from an angle flew narrowly over, but he eventually got the goal which his performance deserved 10 minutes before half time after more excellent work from Ben Tilbury to make it 4-0 to the Saltmen.
James Lemon entered the fray at half time, and it took the leagues leading scorer just 4 minutes to open his account as Ben Tilbury provided the vision and accuracy to set the front-man away to finish clinically.
Just 1 minute later, a dreadful error from home stopper Holden; a weak touch gave Lemon the opportunity to get his second of the afternoon as he rolled the ball into an empty net.
There was then a twenty minute break in the scoring as Bustleholme started to play some football and created a couple of half chances for Brown and Nettleford, but Olivers clean sheet was never seriously threatened.
Max Crisp and Curtis Townley replaced the impressive Cory Rudd and Brad Burgess, and soon after Lemon netted his hat-trick from close range thanks to some sloppy home defending and then added a fourth just moments later thanks once again to Ben Tilbury to make it 0-8.
Spa were then awarded a penalty which Curtis Townley dispatched professionally, and were awarded a 2nd penalty after a trip on James Lemon 7 minutes later.
Townley picked the same side of the goal but saw his spot-kick come back off the post as Bustleholme then cleared their lines.
The scoring wasn't over however as James Lemon scored his 5th of the afternoon and the Saltmen's 10th with a few minutes remaining to wrap up an excellent start to 2019.