Tipton Town 0-4 Saltmen
By Ben Lloyd
10-man Spa victorious over stubborn Tipton
Tipton Town proved tough opposition for Droitwich Spa, and the eventual score-line flattered the visitors a bit.
Throughout the game chances were at a premium, and whilst Droitwich did merit the victory, they were more clinical in front of goal than their hosts in a game which will not live too long in the memory.
The Saltmen took the lead after a 20-minute midfield battle with the first piece of real quality in the game. A wonderful cross from deep by winger Brad Burgess found James Lemon, whose looping header beat Chris Thomas in the home goal into the top corner.
Tipton then created several chances for Connor Garrett and Captain Terrence Davies, but their efforts were straight at Spa 'keeper Matty Oliver as Spa defended well.
For the visitors, Haydn Morris, Brad Burgess, Ben Tilbury and James Lemon had further half chances in the first half, but missed the target.
Spa came out on top in the second half and looked more dangerous going forward, albeit without creating a great deal of chances.
Ben Tilbury doubled the advantage just before the hour, as Tipton didn't convincingly clear their lines and the forward hit a low drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The introduction of Jack Davies gave left-back Luke Johnson more problems as the game wore on, and he created opportunities for both Tilbury and Rudd who fired wide, whilst Morris's long range effort also missed the target.
Tipton then introduced Ross Harris who rustled the feathers of the Spa defence. With 15 minutes left on the clock, he raced clear one-on-one with matt oliver, and the Droitwich number one brought him down on the edge of the area with Jonny Brookes in close attention, and the referee deemed the challenge a straight red card to give the hosts a great chance to take something from the game.
Droitwich stalwart Andy Crowther donned the goalkeeper shirt & gloves for the remainder of the game, however he wasn't troubled as much as the hosts would have liked. Crowther has now played in every position for Droitwich Spa!
Instead of Tipton making their extra man advantage pay off, the Saltmen further added to their lead in the last quarter of an hour.
Jack Davies made an excellent run down the right hand side, cut inside and finished well to make it 0-3 on 81 minutes, and more good work from him and low drive went under Chris Thomas for James Lemon to tap home on the goal-line, despite the best efforts of Harry Reuben to keep it out as Droitwich rounded off another good win.