Dan came back to the Mac from Wealdstone just before the start of the 2018/9 season, the first for the Club in the Southern Premier. He had previously been with the Whites in their “City” days, but his return saw him make 54 appearances, finding the net 19 times.
His experience was invaluable at the highest level the new Club had achieved, but in this curtailed season made 20 fewer appearances. We’ll never know what his final total would have been, but there was potential as he was joint second, with Bay Downing, having scored 9 goals.
Six of these came away from home, and although he fully played his part in the 3-2 FA Cup victory at Thatcham Town in September, a goal eluded him, although that was not for lack of trying! He was forgiven though, as he had already netted twice in visits to Swindon Supermarine and Tiverton.
Seven days later, not even his experience could prevent a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Met Police who continued to keep the “Indian sign” over the Whites with a comfortable win. He made up for that though, getting a 36th minute goal in the high-scoring 3-3 draw at Weston Super Mare, another 3-3 away result in short order after Tivvy.
Back at home, against Hartley Wintney on 28 September, he can be here seen trying his luck from a tight angle, but although he didn’t succeed, the Whites did, running out 2-0 winners.
The FA Cup came round again in early October with a home tie against Ishmian Premier League Margate Town, and was no more a happy occasion for him than the rest of us as the Whites exited the competition by 2-4. To make his day complete, Dan was substituted by Leroy Lita with 17 minutes remaining in a desperate attempt to retrieve the situation.
No luck, once more, against Margate!…
…..but his fortunes changed with the 54th minute opener at home to Dorchester Town in the FA Trophy three weeks later. Yet another 3-3 draw, which surprised many, including the majority of those present from the Dorset club! However, the correct outcome was obtained in the replay as Salisbury eased their way to a 3-0 win.
A bruising (in more ways than one!) encounter followed at home to Blackfield & Langley in early December, and Dan’s clash with the visitors’ Harry Medway saw them both take an early bath late on in a poor game which ended all square at 1-1. Apart from the goals, there was not much else to remember about the match! That red card was to prove costly, not in that game but later in the season when a four game suspension followed another straight dismissal.
Just after the Xmas festivities Dan helped his side avenge their opening day defeat at the hands of the Generals, with Salisbury edging a 3-2 win…….
……and three days later added to his scoring tally with a late killer winner in the much-delayed Trophy replay against Eastbourne, his goal being enough to secure a next round tie at Chelmsford. Because of that delay, the game in Essex was only four days later – at that point the fixtures were coming thick and fast.
He didn’t get on the scoresheet though in that game, and neither did anyone else, the Whites suffering a 4-0 defeat against Conference hosts Chelmsford City on 11 January.
Another very late strike saw Fitch complete the scoring in the 5-0 rout at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium a fortnight later.
Ollie Knowles and Toby Holmes seem to regard the Dorset side as favourite opposition, and Dan’s contribution in joining them in the Magpies’ maulings duly arrived with two minutes remaining. He had only been on the pitch for not a lot longer and how wrong were Dorchester to be relieved when he replaced Toby!
Celebrating the fifth goal. All in a day’s work!
The game at home to Tiverton on 1 February will have mixed memories for Fitch, as in another physical encounter he and River Allen were both dismissed after a scuffle, with, in the opinion of many, the Salisbury man having been the victim of a poor refereeing decision. Unfortunately the FA did not share that opinion on appeal and Dan had to sit out a four match ban, but at least he could savour his opening first half goal that day, with a 2-2 draw resulting. He was still eligible to play at Melksham against Swindon Town in the Semi-Final of the Wilts Professional Shield, but his consolation strike was not enough to avoid a 3-2 loss against a very strong Town side.
After his enforced lay-off, he returned to action on 7 March in a narrow 2-1 win over the Martyrs – Merthyr Town – who martyred themselves to some extent by handing the Whites an own goal starter for a lead which was made more comfortable by Tom Leak’s last goal for the Club on 80 minutes.
It would have been even more comfortable had our man succeeded from the penalty spot, and the picture shows the effort being despatched – but luckily does NOT show where the ball ended up!
The season came to an end at Harrow on 10 March, in a game in which all four goals came from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw. Question – now who was it who didn’t get their go at a spot kick to make amends? Sorry Dan, but you’ll surely get another chance when everything starts up again!
All images are reproduced by kind permission of our photographers,
Michael Berkeley and Roger Elliott and are copyright, so they should not be reproduced. Please seek agreement should you wish to do so, by contacting our Press Officer Alec Hayter on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07884 477168 when any requests can be forwarded. The Club would like to thank Michael and Roger for the images, Alec for some of the words, and Ian Pearson for his website expertise, as part of the effort to alleviate football withdrawal symptoms! Roll on next kick off!