FORMER Worcester City striker Mark Owen is hoping James Lemon's call-up to the club's senior squad will bring out the best in the player.

The 18-year-old, part of Owen's academy at Worcester College of Technology, burst on to the scene for the Blue and Whites with the fourth goal in City's 4-0 FA Cup thrashing of Coventry Sphinx last September.

That appearance, on his birthday, has so far been his only outing for Carl Heeley's team but that is set to change in the coming weeks.

Lemon, who has also been on loan at Stourport Swifts, is in the squad for today's Skrill North trip to North Ferriby United (3pm) and will remain with the senior set-up until the end of the campaign.

Owen said: "He's been outstanding all season but with the situation in the first team you can understand why he hasn't had chances.

"Carl needed experience in games and thankfully it looks to have paid off and with another win or two they will be home and dry.

"Then James will get some minutes under his belt in terms of getting a squad place for next season."

He continued: "We tried to do the right thing with him by bridging the gap from youth team to senior football.

"I am not saying he's going to pull up any trees in Conference North but it's about getting him experience for next season."

Lemon was part of the academy side that reached the FA Youth Cup second round against Sheffield United and last Saturday bagged a hat-trick as they defeated Solihull Moors 4-1 to reach the Midland Combination Challenge Bowl final.

Along with several of his academy team-mates, including keeper Sam Hawker, he could also be involved at Redditch United in Tuesday's Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final.

"He's scored goals at Stourport and for us," Owen added. "I had a good chat with Carl and he was more than happy to give him as much experience as possible."