Wittering Premiair defeat Ketton in new Peterborough League cup competition
Jack Travers bagged a brace to fire Wittering Premiair to victory in Saturday's cup clash at Ketton as the Peterborough League returned to action at the weekend.
Travers struck either side of Connor Breakell's penalty for Ketton to decide the outcome of the opening match of their Senior Cup campaigns.
Harriers boss Sam Cayley - who was forced to play in goal after regular number one Paul Greenhalgh was called into work just 30 minutes before kick-off - was thrilled for his charges to claim a Premier Division scalp after seeing their league campaign curtailed with Wittering in a very strong position for promotion.
Cayley said: "It's been a hard four months without football for the boys but what a game to come back to against higher leagued local rivals.
"The boys have been excellent since we have been back despite the obvious frustration about the league being curtailed when we were sitting top of the table at the time.
"We knew it was going to be a tough one with some of the signings that Ketton had made but we stuck to the task and it paid dividends.
"The day started very manic with our keeper having to pull out 30 minutes before kick off after being called to a job as a firefighter meaning I had to step in between the sticks.
"However, we started well and looked very solid and comfortable with and without the ball.
"We got into half-time at 0-0 which was important and then we pushed on from there as we changed things slightly and began to look more composed on the ball and played some cracking stuff.
"Travers took his goals well and the team fully deserved the win. I felt that the penalty we conceded was harsh but can see why it was given by the referee.
"Overall it was a fantastic team performance which shows our intent and what we are able to do against teams in a higher league. The boys are already looking forward to the next game."
Ketton boss Darren Moody aims to use the new cup competition as an opportunity to make early plans for next season.
Although frustrated at losing their first competitive match since returning to action, Moody aims to make the most of his side’s matches.
He said: “They are glorified friendlies at the moment and it's a bit weird so it's all about looking ahead to next season really.
"It was nice to be back out there. It wasn't the same though, but it's better than being in lockdown.
"The result is kind of irrelevant because it is all about looking ahead, but it is still frustrating because everyone wants to win. It's gone now though and we must learn from it.”
Ketton had the majority of the possession in the opening period and Alfie Webb went close to breaking the deadlock only to see his effort cleared off the line while recent recruit Cameron Brookes forced an excellent save out of Harriers goalkeeper Cayley.
Andrew Moss went close with a header for the visitors who then took the lead around the hour mark.
They cleared their lines from a Ketton free-kick to break forward and a tidy pass set Moss free to get his shot away.
Ketton goalkeeper Dan Swan saved the first effort and then blocked Lee Croft's rebound but the supporting run from Travers was rewarded as the ball fell kindly in his path and he duly slotted home.
The hosts then had Lewis Benton sin-binned for dissent but, while down to 10 men, they got back on level terms when Giuliano Staffieri’s shot struck the arm of Will Harris and Breakell confidently converted the resultant spot kick.
Ketton had another flurry of attacks but Wittering Premiair weathered the pressure and then broke again down the left-hand side.
Moss set Travers on his way into the penalty area where he sealed Wittering's win with an excellently struck left-footed strike.
Harriers then sat back and invited Ketton on but, despite Breakell hitting the post, they were unable to get back on level terms for a second time.
Boss Moody added: “It was a game where I didn't feel we were under any real threat and it was a bit of a smash and grab.
"They caught us on the break a couple of times after we had hit the post on several occasions while their goalkeeper made four or five really good saves.
"We were a little wasteful but there were positives. We were not dominant by any stretch of the imagination but it was one of those days. We were the better side in what was a scrappy old game.
"It was a harsh reality though that if you don't put your chances away then you risk losing games.
"It is all about us planning ahead for next season though so that we know our squad when it comes to June time so we can kick on.”