Wittering lose out in close fought affair.

by Gary Jefkins

Wittering went into their first final of the season in high spirits coming off the back of a fine win against Billingshurst.

The Warriors went into the game at full strength and were able to name skipper Barry McCoy in the starting line up for the first time in a month, Richard Lartey was also recalled to the starting XI and Hugh Howden returned to take up a spot on the bench.

Wittering in their away colours started slowly and were unable to get the ball down to play their usual passing football however the first chance did fall their way when a through ball from Tom Kelly found it's way to Darran Cox who ran onto it and fired it just past the keepers post.

Wittering gradually grew into the game and seemed to be getting joy in behind the Ore defence with James Kewell and Alan Sheppard both running on to through balls but both were denied the opener.

Ore Athletic throughout the game were very organised and worked extremely hard for each other and although they had lots off the ball they never once got in behind the Warriors defence. Ore could have taken the lead when a header from a corner just went over the bar. Ore also had a few speculative long shots but Rochester was not needed as the shots flew over the crossbar.

The best chance of the first half fell to Alan Sheppard 5 minutes before the break. An excellent run and cut back from Darrran Cox found its way to Alan Sheppard who was unmarked 10 yards from goal. However the cut back just eluded Sheppard and the chance had gone.

Half Time - Ore Athletic 0 v 0 Wittering Utd

Wittering did however find joy from set pieces and Lartey, Cox and Kelly all went close from corners and long throws but the Warriors could not muster up a decent chance to really test the Ore keeper.

It was the same for Ore Athletic with them only having long range efforts.

Full Time - Ore Athletic 0 v 0 Wittering Utd

Extra time was again a close fought affair with few and far chances for both teams.

Ore Athletic eventually broke the deadlock on 113 minutes when a long deep cross found its way to their winger who outjumped Green to loop in a header over Rochester. It was harsh on Wittering and they immediately changed formation to try and get themselves back into the game.

With 4 minutes to go a cross into the box found an unmarked Hugh Howden 15 yards from but his shot was mistimed and the chance went away.

With Wittering committing players forward Ore should have wrapped the tie up on more than one occasion but like the rest of the match they were unable to find the target.

Their was to be one more chance for the Warriors and again it was to fall to Hugh Howden. He picked the ball up 18 yards out from goal and drove at their defence, his shot was on target but the Ore keeper kept it out and Wittering were to be denied victory.

Full Time AET - Ore Athletic 0 v 0 Wittering Utd

The game was one step to far for Wittering Utd and it was the first time this season that the Warriors did not register a goal. Manager Gary Jefkins said after the defeat that "the boys put in everything throughout the game and deserved great credit for reaching the final. The effort the team showed in their previous game against Billingshurst was certainly a factor in this game with some of the players looking fatigued but that was to take nothing away from Ore's victory".

MOM - Dave Kennard
An all action display from the full back. Was solid at the back and impressive breaking from defence.

The Warriors now get back to league action against Lodsworth this Saturday where 3 points will guarantee them the league title.


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