After a busy pre-season, Lavant Reserves kicked off with their first home league fixture against Newtown Villa at Raughmere Park.

With several new players in the side Lavant started the game with much optimism, but with only 5 minutes gone and some very poor defending, Mike Woolston broke clear rounding the keeper and crossing into the six yard box where Spencer Chapman was somehow allowed to scramble the ball across the line, 0-1.

Lavant still in shock from conceding such a tame goal, were again caught out two minutes later gifting Mike Woolston a second goal for Newtown, 0-2.

With 15 minutes gone Lavant finally woke up and began to press Newtown’s goal.  Dave Knight battling hard in midfield with Dave Morris, won the ball and broke free on the right flank before cutting the ball back across the box just short of the waiting Joe Hepworth. Lavant still admiring the teenagers nifty foot work were caught napping as the ball was cleared hastily up field and over the static defence allowing Chapman to run through and score his second, further increasing Newtown’s lead, somewhat against the run of play, 0-3.

To cap off a poor first half performance, with 7 minutes remaining Newtown broke down the right flank, crossing the ball into the box where Woolston surrounded by yellow shirts was totally unmarked and given time to head the ball into the top of corner of the goal past the stranded keeper Chris Bowles, 0-4.

Lavant made two changes second half bring on Andy Strange and Alex Waters and for the first 7 minutes it was all Lavant, as they pressed Newtown’s goal.

The second half was a much more even contest and with 20 minutes gone Knight’s one two with Hepworth allowed him to cross into the box, but Robbie Pinder’s headed went agonisingly just over the bar.  Minutes later Waters came close with another effort as he won the ball in the Newtown box but his shoot went inches wide of the post.

With 20 minutes remaining the injured Adam Yaxley was replaced by Paul Czajka who made an immediate impact up front, as Newtown keeper John Wiffin could only parry Knight’s thunderous low level shot, allowing Czajka reacting quickest to bury the ball into the back net from close range, 1-4.

On 85 minutes, Lavant conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box, after right back Simon Blackman lost possession forcing Bowles to race out off his line and commit a clumsily foul on the Newtown striker, earning him a booking for his efforts. The resultant free-kick was struck well beating the wall and the static keeper, but thankfully for the home side the ball smashed against the post and rebounding out to safety.

For much of the second half Lavant battled and fought hard in an effort to gain some pride from a below par performance, but again in the dying seconds of the game they were caught napping in defence as they failed to clear a cross allowing Newtown to score a close range tap-in, making it five one to the visitors.

The only real plus Lavant that can be taken from the game was the individual performances of the 17 year old Dave Knight and 16 year old Alex Waters who were both making their league debuts for the home side and whom put in very creditable performances, indicating there is hope for the future.

Team: C.Bowles, M.Martin, S.Blackman, S.Eastwood, J.Strange, A.Yaxley, D.Morris, D.Knight, Pete Czajka, J.Hepworth, R.Pinder. Subs: A.Strange, A.Waters, Paul.Czajka.