Wittering Premiair are through to the next stage of the Peterborough Senior Cup after drawing with Cardea
Wittering Premiair battled back from two goals down to salvage a point at Cardea on Saturday which secured their qualification to the next stage of the Peterborough Senior Cup competition.
Lee Croft and Lee Booker netted for the Harriers who were indebted to a string of fine saves from goalkeeper Paul Greenhalgh to earn the draw which keeps them top of the Group B standings after four matches.
They started the game slowly while Cardea came out strongly, got the ball down and played some tasty football.
The hosts threatened early on and struck the woodwork twice in quick succession while also forcing some outstanding saves from the in-form Greenhalgh.
Harriers were caught on the 20-minute mark by a ball over the top that gave space to Cardea striker Thomas Klinkovics who collected possession and drove to the goalline before squaring to Charlie Bosett who guided his shot home.
Wittering were taking time to get used to the large pitch but started to adapt and in spells showed just how strong a side they can be with some solid keep ball but they just struggled to capitalise in the final third.
The first half was then brought to a halt after a serious injury to Cardea's centre back Michael Williams, but fortunately Wittering's own front line operator Greenhalgh was on hand to administer essential first aid and ensure no further damage was caused.
Wittering were sluggish into the second half and after 10 minutes were two behind due to a mix-up at the back which left Bosett to round Greenhalgh and slide the ball into an empty net.
This seemed to be the wake up call that Wittering needed as the energy and passion that they have showed throughout this season got them back on track and playing the standard of football they are known for.
Croft clipped the far post with a free-kick from distance as he and Andrew Moss started to string some good passes between them but they just couldn't nestle the ball in the net.
Jack Travers started to get the ball down and made a number of advancing runs but there was still no end product for Harriers.
However, a darting run from Moss saw him slip the formidable goal machine of Croft in with a reverse pass and he rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home.
Wittering then launched wave after wave of attack and following an Ash Middleton corner the home goalkeeper fumbled the collection and Booker was on hand to rifle the ball home and draw Harriers level.
Neither side seemed content to settle for a draw and Greenhalgh was yet again called into action by pulling off a fantastic save to tip the ball onto the crossbar to ensure the match finished all square.
It was a real smash and grab raid by the Harriers with only the excellence of Greenhalgh preventing Cardea from running out convincing winners.
Manager Sam Cayley said: "Over the past few seasons Cardea have always given us a tough test and Saturday was no different.
"The boys failed to click and we really struggled to put anything together. We found ourselves 1-0 down at half-time because of a long ball which was not dealt with, however, it could have been a lot more if it wasn't for Paul.
"We changed a couple of things in the second half but found ourselves 2-0 down after a mix-up and Cardea capitalising.
"The boys showed some spirit to get the draw and the point but we never really looked ourselves.
"It shows how far we have come though to be disappointed with a draw away from home to a Premier Division side.
"We would like to wish the Cardea centre-back all the best after a horrid injury just before half-time.
"We travel again on Saturday to another tough side in Eye United where we will look to put things right from this week.”