Lavant Reserves travelled away to Littlehampton side Highdown Hornets Saturday and struggled to match their previous week performance, making hard work of the win.
Both teams started slowly with a cautious approach, as this was their first encounter against each other in a league game. Then after ten minutes the first chance fell to Lavant as Ross Lines latched onto Carl Drinkwater’s neat flick and raced past the stranded full back, clean through on goal, but the Hornets keeper closed the angle and pulled off a good save to deny Lavant the opening goal.
Minutes later a mix up in the Lavant defence allowed the homeside’s striker to also break clear and go one on one with the goalkeeper, but Stuart Eastwood pulled off a superb one handed save to then deny the Hornets the lead.
With 20 minutes gone Lavant opened the scoring with their best move of the game, Guy Pinder played the ball out from defence to Scott Yaxley on the right flank, who passed to Lines, who threaded the ball through to Andy Strange who ran on and blasted the ball in the back of net, making it one nil to the visitors.
Hornets were quick to reply and went level 10 minutes later. The Lavant defence stopped still, when the referee waved on a blatant offside to allow a Hornets player to run in on goal un-apposed and score past the stranded Eastwood.
Lavant rallied and Guy Pinder and Yaxley both almost restored the lead but their efforts were agonisingly just inch’s wide. Then the Hornets failed to deal with Daryl Hall’s corner, as the keeper could only defect the ball onto the cross bar and Lines was waiting to pounce and head into the top corner to restore Lavant’s lead.
With 35 minutes gone Lavant were forced into a change as Dave Kent replaced Giles Weller who limped off with a bad ankle injury, which is likely to keep him sidelined for a good few weeks.
The second half saw both sides have good chances to score but both keepers helped keep the score unchanged. Hall hit the post with another corner kick and Kent put Drinkwater through on goal, but he was unable to lift his shot over the out coming Hornets keeper who saved at close range.
As the game went on both teams cancelled each other out. With both sets of players now showing signs of tiredness and the poor condition of the pitch causing the ball to bounce unevenly all over the place, this all contributed to a uncoordinated last quarter of the game and without Lavant scoring from their numerous chances, they were unable to kill the game off and so made hard work of the remaining minutes, but they hung on for the win and take all three points.
Team: S.Eastwood, N.Farrer, J.Strange, G.Weller, S.Yaxley, A.Strange, D.Morris, G.Pinder, D.Hall, R.Lines, C.Drinkwater. Subs: T.Sheppard, D.Morris.