Category: News 2014 / 2015

Runners Up Medals

Paul Barrett from the West Sussex League unfortunately turned just after most of the players had left following our Charity Cricket match on the 6th June, to present the players with their runners up medals. May have had something to do with the Champions League final being on the tv that evening

Thankfully Jon Wright, James Brooks and Neil Sanson were still around to receive their medals, but most of the players and manager Stuart Eastwood will now have to wait now until the new season to receive their medals.

Runners Up Medals James Brooks,Jon Wright & Neil Sanson

Left to right: Jon Wright, Paul Barrett, James Brooks and Neil Sanson

Runners up in the Premier League 2014-15

9th May – Lavant vs Faygate

As the final game of the season approached, the runners-up spot in the Premier League was now in Lavant’s hands as they were home to Faygate in the last game of the season. A win would ensure that unless Cowfold could beat West Chiltington by more than thirteen goals, Lavant would be runners up in the league.

Lavant prepared well for the game and had a strong side on paper for the final match, but on the morning of the game Faygate pulled out of the fixture, gifting the three points to Lavant.

West Chiltington then went on to win their final game one-nil against Cowfold and so after a long hard season Lavant claimed the runners-up spot, matching the football clubs highest ever league position, achieve some thirty-eight years previously.

Lavant 1st team (2)

Lavant Saturday First Team runners-up in the West Sussex Premier League 2014-15 Season

Back row: left to right: Stuart Eastwood (Manager), Ben Purgavie, James Batten, Richard Gabb, Matthew Lyttle, Neil Sanson, Paul Jones, James Brooks, Jon Wright.
Front row: Ollie Haggar, Aaron Hancock, Dave Knight, Dan Baker, James Sandford (Captain), Mike Neville, Pete Caveney, David Kent

The majority of the team for the for the 1976-77 season which also got runners up in the West Sussex Premier League that season is pictured below apart from Roy Pettingale and Brian Court who were missing for the cup final


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9th April 1977 Lavant picture before the final of the Sussex Intermediate Cup at Horsham’s Queen’s Street Ground.  Lavant unfortunately lost the game 4-2 to Burgress Hill Reserves

The team consisted of:
(left hand side back row) Alan Reeves, Dick Massey, Dave Glue, Tony Edney, Pete Lovegrove, Trevor Worsfold, Steve Lewis.
(left hand side front row) Mick Sands, Richard Sims, Gordon Simpson, (team mascot) Mick Andrews son, Mick Andrews, Malcolm Bell, Derek Miles.



Match Report 6th May

Caveney Strike Seals Victory

West Chiltington 0 Lavant 1

Lavant faced their third game in just five days away to West Chiltington tonight in a game they had to win if they were to at least come runners up spot in the Premier League, after narrowly losing out on the league title challenge on Monday to Ockley.

The team before kick-off were joined by Richard Sims, now a Lavant spectator, who watches most games, but once was part of the most successful Lavant team ever in the hundred and five year history of the club, in the seventies.

He told the team that thirty-eight years ago in the 1977-78 Season, Lavant came runners up in the Premier League, the highest position to date for any Lavant team, and he hoped that this team would at least this season match that feat and perhaps next season go even one better and win the West Sussex Premier league.

The team in good spirits went about the game with the purpose of securing another three league points. But this game was going to prove harder work for the visitors than expected, as West Chiltington although fielding a slightly weaker side than the previous weeks encounter, they were still determined to make amends for the league defeat.

The game started well for the visitors as they pegged the homeside back into their half and so were rewarded for their efforts with fifteen minutes gone as Pete Caveney drove home a low shot from the left flank to give Lavant a one-nil lead.

At that point you would have thought Lavant would have kicked on and made it two. Unfortunately the reverse happened as West Chiltington started to get back into the game and during the remaining thirty minutes of the half they forged out a number of really good opportunities to draw level. Then a nasty injury to their striker forced the home side to make a change and this allowed Lavant to settle and see out the final minutes of the half, holding onto their slim one-nil lead.

For the second half Lavant knew they had to up their game and they started better for a time, but there were lots of uncharacteristic mistakes which constantly forced them on the back-foot as they had to robustly defend their goal on numerous occasions, as once more West Chiltington using the high crosses for left and right flanks forced Lavant back.

The three games in five days were taking its toll on the team, but this group of players dug in and fought all the way. At times the football was not pretty, but minute by minute Lavant held on to their lead and eventually were grateful to hear referee’s Chris Stubbs final whistle, as they bagged another precious three league points and as a result moved into second place in the league for the first time this season.

Now it is all in Lavant’s hands as they are home this Saturday to Faygate in the last game of the season. A win would ensure that unless Cowfold could beat West Chiltington by more than thirteen goals, Lavant would be runners up in the league.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Jason Houghton, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, Pete Caveney, James Brooks (c), James Batten, Mike Neville, Aaron Hancock, Dan Baker. Subs: Adam Yaxley, Alan Sheppard, Ben Purgavie.

Match Report 4th May

Ockley 0 Lavant 0

Lavant took the long May Bank Holiday journey to Surrey boarder’s side Ockley knowing that they must win today to keep their slim title hopes alive.

Manager Stuart Eastwood again made wholesale changes to the team that faced Predators on Saturday as more of the regular first players were available for the fixture. However with four of the first team still unavailable this was going to be a challenge to the assembled squad facing the league leaders at their home ground.

The pitch also perhaps the worst in the league was going to make playing football hard due to it being very bumpy and uneven, but both teams had to work around this problem.

The first half started very cautiously as neither side wanted to made a mistake and concede an early goal. Both sides had chances on goal but both Ockley and Lavant’s defensive units were hard to break down. Lavant however slowly got into the game and eventually scored the opener to the delight of their team and spectators. However the joy was short lived as scorer Dan Baker was deemed off-side by the lineman.

Half time came, with the score still nil-nil, but Lavant sensed that they were beginning to get into this match and certainly they still had everything to play for.

The second half saw Lavant immediately take the front foot and press forward as Ockley started to show gaps in their play and produced a below par second half performance, probably brought about by nerves. The chances for Lavant kept coming and going, as Ollie Haggar’s shot goal-bound into the left hand corner of goal was somehow turned-around the post by the Ockley keeper.

Both James Batten and Jason Houghton had great opportunities to score just heading over, as Lavant were well and truly winning the aerial battle.

But the minutes ticked away and it was again just not going to be Lavant’s day, as referee Mark Waller blew the final whistle to the joy of the Ockley players and spectators as the draw and the one point secured them the Premiership title.

Lavant were downhearted, but should be proud as they forced the champions all the way and considering where the team started at the beginning of the season and their expectations of finishing just above the relegation spots, this team has developed and come such a long way to be chasing for the title in the last week of the season.

With two games remaining if they win them they will become runners up in the league, a position anyone at the club would have not expected at the start of this long season.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Jason Houghton, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, Pete Caveney, James Brooks (c), James Batten, Mike Neville, Ollie Haggar, Dan Baker. Subs: Matt Stevens, Adam Yaxley.

Match Report 2nd May

Predators 0 Lavant 2

Lavant faced this crucial league game with a much weakened side due to player’s availability over the May Bank Holiday weekend. However with the support of the Reserve player Manager Stuart Eastwood was able to draft in Dave Maclean, Craig Spann and Matt Grace to bolster his side.

The fixture had to be played at the 4g pitch at the Arun Leisure Centre and it certainly looked a good surface to play on especially for Lavant whose game is all about getting the ball on the ground and playing football.

As Lavant lined up for kick-off it was apparent that Predators were resting a number key first team players as they had approaching in the week two cup finals and so manager Paul Harris had obviously turned his focus on concentrating on the cups finals rather than the league title.

The surface was great to play on, but with a high wind and both clubs fielding teams with so many changes, the usual game play of getting the ball on the ground and passing football somewhat went out the window at times, with both sides reverting to a more direct approach of the route one game.

Lavant however were the stronger of the sides and eventually went two-nil up at half time, with firstly a headed goal from Pete Caveney and second from Ollie Haggar. Predators were hampered by their efforts to get back into the game as they suffered a number of injury setbacks and player changes.

The second half was not the best to watch as the game resulted again in the long ball attack, frequently at both end. The game was then stopped for a nasty head injury both thankfully both the Predators player and Lavant’s Dave Maclean were able to continue.

Both sides had chances to score more goals, especially Lavant with Pete Caveney having several one-on-ones with the keeper, but he failed to extend Lavant’s lead.

At the final whistle the second half ended honours even and Lavant holding onto their half time lead to bag the three precious league points.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Jason Houghton, Matt Lyttle (c), Jon Wright, Craig Spann, Dave Maclean, James Batten, Mike Neville, Ollie Haggar, Pete Caveney. Subs: Matt Grace, James Brooks, Ben Purgavie.

Charity Cup Winners


Lavant 2 The Claremont 1

Lavant FC  Sundays P1000955

Lavant Sunday Side 

Lavant won the Charity Cup at Arundel Football Club Thursday Evening. In a final where all three goals were headers.

The Claremont took an early lead with Chris Williams heading the opener. Then later in the half Barry McCoy headed the equaliser, as it remained all level at one-one going into half time.

Barry heads the equaliser P1010018

Barry McCoy headers the equaliser

The second half saw both sides struggle to make their chances count and break the deadlock. But with seven minutes remaining Gary Jefkins, on his birthday met a Paul Cooper corner kick, heading into the corner of the Claremont goal, giving Lavant the lead for the first time in the match.

The Claremont’s urgent response eventually came to nothing as Lavant saw out the final minutes of the game to win the Charity Cup.

Match Report 29th April

Lavant 2 West Chiltington 1

A great performance from Lavant tonight saw them battle the whole ninety minutes against a very strong West Chiltington team.

Lavant matched West Chiltington first half, with both sides playing some well organised football.  The deadlock was however eventually broken just before half time after another well organised attack saw Aaron Hancock break free of the West Chiltington back line to cut in from the right hand side and score to Lavant the lead, 1-0.

The second half was much like the first with both sides pressing forward at every opportunity, but after numerous corners and a Dan Baker effort bouncing off the cross bar, it just did not seem like Lavant could further extend their lead.

Then as Lavant were seeing out the final minutes of the game, disaster struck as a back header by James Batten just did not have enough power on it to reach goal-keeper Neil Sanson, as the West Chiltington striker made it first and poked the ball into the net, 1-1.

With six minutes remaining both sides pushed for the winner and it was Lavant who once more took the lead when striker Dan Baker controlled the ball just outside the box and turn and hit a thunderous unstoppable shot right into the right corner past the stranded keeper, 2-1.

This time Lavant held their nerve to see out the last minutes of the game to bag another three valuable league points.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, James Batten, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, James Brooks (c), Dave Knight, Aaron Hancock, Pete Caveney, Ollie Haggar, Dan Baker. Subs: Ben Burgavie, Dave Maclean

Charity Cup Final this Thursday

Lavant vs The Claremont

Thursday 30th April Lavant face Bognor side the Claremont in the Chichester & West Sussex Sunday Football League, Charity Cup Final at Arundel Football Club. Kick-Off 7.30pm.

So please come along and support your village football team.

Match Report 25th April

Lavant 2 Holbrook 1

Matt Lyttle aerial attack, LFC vs Holbrook 25-04-15

Matt Lyttle leads the aerial attack of Holbrook’s goal (Picture provided by kind permission of Chichester Observer)

After back to back defeats Lavant were looking to get back to winning ways and retain any slim hope of a title challenge against Horsham side Holbrook for whom was their final game of the season.

Lavant flew out of the blocks with great passing tempo and a tenacity to their pressing game which had been absent in recent weeks. After a plethora of early chances, Lavant broke the deadlock through Dan Baker, another good delivery by Hancock, adding to his assist tally, found Baker at the far post to glance home and a deserved lead for the home side.

Lavant continued to flood forward, chances were a plenty with Holbrook riding their luck on numerous occasions and nearly finding their own net on no less than 2 occasions. Lavant had corner after corner with the delivery of Neville and Hancock causing the visitors no end of trouble and with the likes of Lyttle, Wright and Batten on the receiving end, were unlucky not to extend their lead before the break.

Dan Baker first to the ball, LFC vs Holbrook 25-04-15

Goal scorer Dan Baker first to the ball (Picture provided by kind permission of Chichester Observer)

The second half was a much more even affair, Holbrook although offering little at the Lavant goal were slowly starting to get a foothold in the game and perhaps the excursions of the tempo in the 1st half was starting to show.

Lavant persevered to put the game beyond doubt and decided to freshen things up by introducing Ayling and Yaxley into the fold. Minutes later it was substitute Yaxley making it 2-0 after good work from Baker in the opposition box and laying across to Yaxley to steal in at the back post to stab home.

James Brooks on the ball (1), LFC vs Holbrook 25-04-15

Captain James Brook’s on the ball (Picture provided by kind permission of Chichester Observer) 

The scoring wasn’t finished there, Holbrook managed to net with 5 minutes remaining after good work down their left hand side, with a cross and headed finish out of the top draw and leaving Sanson clawing at thin air. This made it a nervous finish for Lavant but managed to see the game out to take all 3 points.

Aaron Hancock battles for the ball, LFC vs Holbrook 25-04-15

Aaron Hancock battles to win the ball (Picture provided by kind permission of Chichester Observer)

Team: Neil Sanson, James Batten, Ben Purgavie, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, James Brooks (c), Dave Knight, Aaron Hancock, Mike Neville, Pete Caveney, Dan Baker. Subs: Matt Grace, Greg Ayling, Adam Yaxley

Match Report 18th April

Predators 4 Lavant 1
Centenary Cup Semi Final

Lavant made the journey to Bognor side Predators for their second semi final of the season and a much welcomed break from league duty following the midweek defeat to table toppers Ockley.

Lavant started the slightly better side, with Caveney working the left hand side with good effect and with the extra man in midfield saw that battle being won too. However, as the half wore on, despite having the lion’s share of possession, Lavant were unable to fashion any clear cut chances with lone front man Baker finding himself isolated.

Lavant decided to change shape and move Sandford up alongside Baker but with an injury coming shortly after the change to the Predators centre half and forcing the home side to a back 3, it was now Predators with the extra man in midfield and very much in the ascendancy.

Lavant struggled cope with the Predators shape and with 10 minutes of the half left to play they broke the deadlock, somehow their striker found in acres of space and calmly finished across the stranded Sanson. It was Predators first clear chance and credit to them, they took it.

Halftime came and Lavant decided to revert to their starting shape on 4-3-3 with a view of going man for man on the Predators back 3. This seemed to work but left Lavant open to the counter with the Predators wing backs having the freedom of the park, it was important that Lavant were next to score.

20 minutes into the half and Lavant found the back of the net, a deep corner by Hancock found Wright at the back post who unleashed a vicious volley into the net, his first of the season and now 1-1.

Lavant were buzzing and went in hunt of the second but it was Predators who struck just minutes later. Both Lavant centre backs were found pressing the same player with the Predators front man still getting the better of them to get his shot away and into the back of the net by a deflection in a cruel fashion, but none the less it was poor defending.

As Lavant pressed for an equaliser and found them being caught twice on the break resulting in the 4-1 score line and yet another semi-final defeat. The cup exit was further marred but the news that captain and top scorer James Sandford will now miss the last 6 games of the season with a torn calf.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Ben Purgavie, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, James Brooks, Dave Knight, Aaron Hancock, Pete Caveney, Dan Baker, James Sandford (c). Subs: Matt Grace, Alex Holmes, Mike Neville