After strengthening the squad during the summer and completing a busy and successful per-season build-up to the new season everyone at Lavant F.C. were full of optimism for the first game of the season against Worthing BCOB.

And after a robust first 45 minutes anyone with a penchant for betting would have put their money at half time on the visitors winning the game. This especially so after concerted Lavant pressure on the home goal in the last 15 minutes of the first half. Half time ended level, 0-0.

In the second half, against the run of play and following a mix-up between Dan Johnson and Justin Smith, Worthing’s centre forward stole the ball and ran clear to slot expertly past Martin Pullen to break the deadlock on 57 minutes and take a surprised lead, 1-0.

Within sixty seconds of the restart Martin Ayers levelled the score for Lavant after winning the ball just inside the Worthing half and unleashing a 35-yard shot catching the Worthing goalkeeper off- guard, 1-1.

You would have thought the visitors would have learnt from Worthing’s own lack of concentration but Lavant themselves switched off and paid the penalty within a minute of the restart when Worthing restored their lead. This was the turning point in the game.

Lavant were now really struggling to deal with Worthing route one approach to the game and on 66 minutes conceded another goal, 3-1.

Robbie Pinder’s tireless work for Lavant up front was nearly rewarded 7 minutes from time but his was shot was just wide of the Worthing post. Worthing saw out the remaining minutes of the game to end eventual comfortable winners 3-1.

Worthing will be pleased with the 3 points achieved through consistent hard work throughout the entire game. Lavant will have to improve their concentration and act more professionally at key points in their future games if they are to avoid a repetition of this first league match.

Next week Lavant are at home to Clymping Reserves in the Div II League. Kick-Off 3.00pm.

Team: Martin Pullen, Justin Smith, Martin Ayers, Guy Pinder, Giles Weller, Dan Johnson, Andy Strange, David Kent, Matt Hine, Robbie Pinder, Ben Thomas. Subs: Mark Richardson, Chris Bowles, Mike Martin. Manager: Dave Parker