Oakham United defeat Wittering Premiair in Peterborough League Premier Division match
Oakham United recorded a fifth successive victory to move into fourth spot in the Peterborough League Premier Division table on Saturday.
Michael Nelson and Jacob Joyce both netted goal doubles in the 4-2 success against Wittering Premiair at Lands' End Meadow.
But Seb Hayes' side were pushed all the way by the Harriers who hit back from a two-goal deficit to level the contest with a rousing finish to the first period before Oakham regained control after the break.
Hayes said: "It was a good win but Wittering were so much better than us in the first half.
"We went 2-0 up against the run of play and, although they hadn't created loads of clear-cut chances, they had more of the ball and did more with it.
"They got back level and up until half-time it was all Wittering. They were sharper with the ball and pressed better than us.
"We were making unforced errors and Wittering had more energy to out-run and out-work us and not many sides have done that to us this season.
"It is something that we pride ourselves on and, other than Uppingham, no-one else had worked so hard against us.
"Half-time came at the right time for us and the wrong time for them and I totally tore into the players at the break.
"We worked much harder in the second half and got straight in their faces and played like that for the rest of the game.
"Although they were always in it, we created the better chances and were the better team in the second half.
"Our dominance in the second half though wasn't at the level of Wittering's in the first half but we scored our goals at the right time."
Oakham were without last week's two-goal marksman Sven Hart while the absence of Phil Andre, Kieran Pledger and Alex McNally forced a reshuffle in their ranks.
But they hit the front through Nelson with Joyce then doubling the lead before Wittering hit back strongly.
Goals from Will Chamberlain and Andrew Moss got them back on level terms as they finished the first half strongly.
However, Oakham had regained the lead within 10 minutes of the restart as Nelson drilled home a superb finish from a tight angle with Wittering's appeals for offside being over-ruled by the referee.
Nelson then turned provider to set up Joyce for their fourth goal as Oakham sealed a quick-fire double over the Harriers following the 2-0 away win last month.
Wittering had gone into the contest after an epic 6-5 victory over Crowland last weekend and manager Sam Cayley was disappointed that his side hadn't secured back-to-back league wins.
He said: "It was a tough one to take.
"The weather conditions were awful but we really turned up and in the first half we played probably some of the best football all season.
"Annoyingly we were too soft at the back and let in two cheap goals which at this level Oakham punished.
"I was very pleased with the performance overall though.
"There are a few things that we need to improve but most importantly we can't expect to concede two goals and come back into it and win a game of football and also we can’t concede the type of goals we are at the moment.
"We’ll pick ourselves up after Christmas and look to push on from what we have achieved this year."