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Lavant from left to right: Dave Parker (Manager), Justin Smith, Dan Johnson, Tom Mason, Robby Clackett, Mark Richardson, Martin Pullen, Simon Blackman, Martin Ayers, Andy Strange, Alan Sheppard, Tom Parker, Jon Strange, Giles Weller, Chris Bowles, Dave Kent

After the absence of nearly two seasons Lavant of West Sussex Division 2, returned to playing their home games on a new pitch.

On the village green and in front of a crowd of more than 50 they hosted Shipley Reserves in the Division II Cup.

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Tom Mason and Giles Weller attacking TD Shipley’s goal

The first half was a closely-fought battle with Andy Strange and Tom Parker working hard in midfield for Lavant. Both teams had chances to score with Robby Clackett and Alan Sheppard coming close to breaking the deadlock for the home team on a number of occasions.  However, the first half ended 0-0.

Lavant increased the pressure at the start of the second half, with Mark Richardson and Dan Johnson pressing down the wings.  After 25 minutes, the breakthrough  came with Jon Strange scoring from a well-taken corner by Giles Weller.

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View of Lavant’s newly laid out pitch on the village green, whatched by a big local crowd celebrating Lavant’s return

Shortly afterwards Lavant went 2-0 up following a goalmouth scramble which resulted in the ball deflecting off a Shipley defender and looping into the back of the net.

Shipley replied by scoring from a long-range drive, which could only be parried into the top corner of the goal by Lavant keeper martin Pullen.

For the remainder of the half the Lavant defence, led by Martin Ayers and Justin Smith, were put under immense pressure.  And with five minutes remaining Lavant conceded a silly free-kick on the edge of the box.  The ball was not cleared and Shipley scored from close range, levelling the game at 2-2.

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Balls out of play. Lavant from left to right Chris Bowles, Andy Strange, Martin Ayers, Tom Mason, Tom Parker, Jon Strange and Giles Weller all wait for the game to resume.

Lavant dominated in extra-time but were unable to finsh of the cup tie and so the game ended 2-2.

Team:  Martin Pullen, Justin Smith, Martin Ayers, Jon Strange, Giles Weller, Mark Richardson, Andy Strange, Tom Parker, Dan Johnson, Alan Sheppard, Robby Clackett.  Subs: Chris Bowles, Simon Blackman, Tom Mason.   Manager: Dave Parker.