Petworth 1 Lavant 1 (6-5 penalties after extra time)
Centenary Cup

Petworth progressed with only nine men to the next round of the Centenary Cup after a penalty shoot out.

Matt Stevens Player Photo 030911 webpic

Lavant Captain Matt Stevens scorer of Lavant’s goal

Lavant deserved their 1-0 lead at half-time. The visitors’ captain Matt Stevens headed the visitors into this lead on 18 minutes from a Matt Hine corner. Ryan Seacombe added a second but was ruled offside.

But Lavant dropped their work-rate in the second half and Petworth increased theirs and so deserved their equaliser when Lavant ‘keeper, Neil Sanson beat out a Dan Warren cross into the path of Rob Levett who volleyed home in the  67 minute.

Then came the first Petworth sending off, when Paul Jefford got his marching orders for swearing at the referee, but the homeside held out until full time despite Lavant pressure.

In the 17 minute of extra-time, Seacombe rounded the Petworth ‘keeper but was pulled down by him.   The ‘keeper got a red card and Petworth were now down to 9 men. Lavant would have preferred the goal.

At the end of extra-time and after 14 penalties, Petworth went through by six penalties to five.

Lavant: N.Sanson, M.Hine, B.Purgavie, M.Lyttle, C.Coe, L.Weller, M.Stevens, J.Brooks, M.Price, R.Seacombe, M.Bartley. Subs: D.Payne, N.Richards

Petworth: Fumagell, Carter, Nadrett, Torode, Well, Pafford, Levett, Warren Jefford. Subs:Kitch.

Lavant Reserves 2 Wittering Utd 3
Sussex Junior Cup

This was the second time within a fortnight these two teams have met as Lavant hosted Wittering at home in the Sussex Junior Cup.

Both teams kicked off the match on a record breaking exceptionally hot afternoon in October, with Lavant starting the game at a frantic pace, pushing forward and testing the Wittering keeper early on.  The early pressure soon paid off as the home side capitalized on winning an early corner, which the Wittering defence failed to clear, as full-back Greg Ockwell quickest to react latched onto the loose ball and scored from distance giving Lavant a one-nil lead, 1-0.

This was only the first game so far this season that Lavant had taken the initial lead in and it really inspired the team as they produced a good spell of football, creating a number of chances to further increase their lead, but with the Wittering keeper pulling off a number saves the scores remained unchanged on the half hour.

Slowly Wittering started to get a foothold into the game and it was now the visitors turn to make most of a corner kick, as Lavant failed to clear their area and a frantic goal mouth scramble ensued with Wittering getting the final touch, prodding the ball across the line, 1-1.

The remainder of the first half was very evenly contested as both sides searched for their next goal and Wittering nearly edged it, if it were not for this time Lavant keeper Craig Seacombe pulling off a number of saves.

The second half started brightly as both teams were determined to get the upper hand early on, but it took another 20 minutes before the deadlock was finally broken with the visitors taking the lead in a somewhat dubious manner.  A long ball over the top saw the towering Wittering striker seemingly control the ball with his arm. Then as Lavant stopped to frantically appealed for hand ball, the ref waved play on, allowing the striker time to calmly score past the stranded keeper, 1-2.

Lavant upset that such critical decision had gone against them they re-started the game with real intention to get back into the match, forging chance after chance but to no avail. That was until with 10 minutes remaining Ross Lines went on a mazy run taking on the entire Wittering defence only to be harshly brought down in the box, with the ref awarding a penalty.  Lines made no mistake as he calmly stepped up and duly dispatched the spot kick levelling the scores at two all, 2-2.

With neither team really fancying extra time they now both went for the winner despite the very hot weather. And it was sadly a mix up between the Lavant defence and keeper under pressure from the Wittering’s front line which provided the winning goal three minutes from time, as the homeside conceded an agonisingly harsh home-goal.

With minutes remaining Lavant gave it all they had left, but the visitors were happy to sit back and see out the final seconds of the game to record another 3-2 win over their local rivals.

Manager’s Cliff Massey and Mel Milburn were disappointed with the result, but very proud with their players. Milburn commented “They had displayed great attitude and fighting spirit throughout ensuring Lavant played their part in a very entertaining game and surely it is now only a matter of time before these fine margins of defeat are reversed and results will go our way in future matches”.

Lavant: C.Seacombe, G.Ockwell, J.Wright, A.Berry, D.Maclean, S.Wiggins, D.Knight, S.Massey, M.Grace, R.Lines, M.Fegus. Subs: M.Milburn.