WAYNE OLIVER and Mark Owen admit Droitwich Spa’s elevation to the top of the table has come quicker than expected.
Saturday’s 4-1 home win over Feckenham extended the Saltmen’s winning run to seven games, making it 17 matches unbeaten and propelling them to first place in Midland League Division Two for the first time in their history.
They now have a two-point lead over Chelmsley Town, who have two games in hand.
Joint-bosses Oliver and Owen, who arrived 14 months ago, stress they are still very much building for the future but they hope this is a sign of things to come.
The key, they say, is to start the new year by continuing to push forward.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to be a top five side,” said Oliver. “That would be a progression from last season. Anything else above that would be a bonus.
“Of course we go into every game wanting to win but we’re realistic about what we need to do off the pitch as well as on it to take the club forward.
“We came here with a five-year project. We are probably ahead of where we thought we would be in football terms. There’s a lot of work to be done. We need to improve the facilities to keep progressing.
“At the moment it’s a work in progress. We’re pleased with how we have done so far but we need to make sure this is just the start.”
Droitwich now have a break from league games until January 16, but they ended 2015 in impressive form against neighbours Feckenham.
It was not quite as straightforward as a 4-1 scoreline suggests as the Millers looked a far better team than one in the bottom two.
Droitwich keeper Matt Oliver made a couple of early saves but once the hosts got the first goal they seized control and led 4-0 at half time.
James Lennon netted the first goal from a penalty, sending Feckenham keeper Marc Wright the wrong way after Macauley Finch was brought down on 25 minutes.
Finch doubled the led with a smart volley from Nick Seabourne’s cross before good work by Pardoe set up Lemon for a cool finish on 40 minutes.
Seabourne added a fourth, slamming home at the second attempt after his first effort from a Lemon cross hit the post.
Feckenham had more of the ball in the second half as Droitwich eased off and the visitors got their reward with a consolation goal after some sloppy defending.
After the Christmas/new year break, the Saltmen return to action on January 9 with a Les James Challenge Cup tie away to Chelmsley Town before the two sides meet in a crucial league game the following week.