With Lavant sitting on the bottom of Division 2 and Lancing holding the second from the top spot, this match had all the hallmarks of a home defeat.

But Lavant ran this game for 90 minutes.  They battled with a spirit not seen since last season and pressed the top table team into their own half.  Only breakaways by the two Lancing strikes on counter attacks posed any real threat with Courton going close on 11 minutes.

Eventually Lavant deservedly went ahead when the hardworking striker Pinder won the ball and fed the ball to Matt Hine whose pin point pass found advanced midfielder Thomas who drilled the ball under the body of Lancing keeper Danny Bombrick into the net on 19 minutes.

A single mistake unhinged an otherwise solid Lavant defence when Ayers uncharacteristically lost the ball in midfield and sweeper parker was drawn into cover leaving the two on two situation for the Lancing strikers on the home-side defenders, resulting in Courton levelling the score on the half hour.

This was certainly against the run of play as the home-side had forced a series of corners which on 16, 36 and 37 minutes saw the ball scrambled miraculously off the line and a further corner on 38 minutes saw Pinder’s header bounce off the post into Bombrick’s hands.

In the second half, Parker was adjudged to have brought down the speedy Grant but Lancing hit the penalty kick against the bar.  Lavant keeper Pullen, pulled off two further good saves but apart from this it was one way traffic.

Hine shot wide from a Smith, Thomas, Hall combination.  Pinder missed the chance of the match from 4 yards out on 83 minutes and substitute matt Price was just over from a 25 yard rocket  3 minutes later.

The wider pitch at Lancing might give Lancing a greater advantage when these sides meet again.  But today one could be forgiven for thinking it was Lavant in the number 2 spot and Lancing at the bottom.  The visitors must have thought Father Christmas really exists to come away with a point from this game.

Team: M.Pullen, J.Strange, T.Parker, S.Blackman, J.Smith, B.Thomas, M.Hine, D.Hall, S.Loversidge, R.Pinder.   Subs: M.Martin, M.Keane, M.Price.