Another incentive for Wittering to do well was the news that player-manager Gary Jefkins would be out for 6 months following a cartilage operation.
The game started at a fast pace, both teams looking to stamp their authority on the game, a couple of heavy challenges being administered by both teams early on.
Not known for their fast starts, Wittering Utd found the back of the net inside the first 10 minutes. A great flick on by Tom Kelly
was chased by the in-form Darran Cox
and he made no mistake, slotting easily past the keeper and giving Wittering the lead.
Wittering were firmly in control of proceedings and very nearly doubled the lead, Kelly again providing the opening, Hugh Howden firing over from close range after a good squared ball.
Inside 15 minutes, Wittering made their dominance pay, the outstanding Kelly outpacing the Fittleworth defence and cutting back for Simon Oakes who made no mistake firing the ball home from 10 yards.
More good possession followed, another chance falling to Howden who was again unable to convert.
Wittering’s injury curse then struck again, influential midfielder Jimmy Kewell hobbling off after just 20 minutes to be replaced by Jay Smith.
Fittleworth were nearly handed a lifeline their performance didn’t merit when their strikers firm header was pushed onto the bar by Ash Rochester.
Once again the Warriors pushed forward and Tom (JLS) Jefkins neat through ball was gathered by Oakes who took it round the keeper and slid it into the empty net for his second and Wittering’s third goal of the game.
HT – Fittleworth 0 – 3 Wittering
Wittering appeared for the second half determined to keep the pressure on Fittleworth. Every Wittering player was fighting for every ball from front to back. Some more impressive Wittering inter-play led to Cox bringing the ball down and firing a volley just wide of the right hand post.
Just a few minutes later and Wittering did effectively wrap up the tie, some excellent play from Cox who stole the ball from the full back, powered towards goal and unselfishly laid the ball on for Howden who made no mistake this time, firing past the hapless goalkeeper to make it 4-0.
Wittering were looking unstoppable and Cox very nearly added a fifth, producing a lovely piece of skill and unleashing a left footed thunderbolt which was saved in tremendous fashion by Fittleworth’s number one.
Jefkins was next to try his luck, his firm effort again being beaten away by the keeper. Dave Kennard
then almost got his name on the scoresheet, venturing upfield he fired just wide from the edge of the area.
Fittleworth did pull a goal back however, their midfielder turning the Wittering defence on a muddy surface and firing in an unstoppable shot off Rochester’s right hand post.
With 15 minutes to go and with the game sewn up, Wittering made a couple of substitutions, Joe Jefkins
replacing two goal Simon Oakes and Pete Cairns coming on in place of the hardworking Sid Green..
Another great result to go with an excellent performance, Wittering were able to make it 12 wins on the bounce, some comfort hopefully for the unfortunate Gary Jefkins who has best wishes from all at the club.
Wittering’s next game is a home league game against promotion hopefuls Lodsworth.
Wittering team: Rochester, Green (Cairns), McCoy, O’Brennan, Kennard, Oakes (J.Jefkins), T Jefkins, Kewell (Smith), Kelly, Howden, Cox.
MOM: Darran Cox
– Another superb display from the forward, tireless running, a goal, an assist and endless problems caused to the Fittleworth defence.