In Motson’s phrase, this truly was a game of two halves.  Lavant started brightly again.  Strong tackling may have given away several free kicks in the early minutes but when in possession their passing game was excellent.  Ayers breaking from midfield and strikers Yaxley and Loversidge were adjudged offside by narrow margins when the homeside’s defence was opened up and the offenders would have been one on one with the keeper.

Chichester were also playing the ball around forcing a corner on 17 minutes from which central defender Richard Larty bullet headed the home-side into the lead.  After a lovely interplay from Lavant’s Loversidge and Ayers, which forced a corner, Chichester settled down to a great 5 minute spell of pressure.  Cox brushed past Thomas and forced an excellent stop from Lavant keeper Martin Pullen.

Then Lavant began to win most of the midfield balls and playing short passes began to ease back into the game.  Ayers broke through again from midfield on 31 minutes only to be brought down on the edge of the penalty area.  Matt Hine’s excellent free kick rebounded off Hospitals keeper Smith and Robbie Pinder was first to pounce and draw the visitors level.

The rest of the half was evenly balanced but uncharacteristically for their recent games the visitors conceded a soft goal 6 minutes from the half-time whistle when Jamie Watts stabled a loose ball home from 8 yards.

The second half was unrecognisable.  Lavant failed to press in midfield and also defended deep again which is proving an habitual fault.

The inevitable consequences soon flowed.  Polish star Figas dribbled past two Lavant defenders and forced a great stop from Pullen on 53 minutes and from the ensuing corner, a comedy of errors in missed clearances by Lavant gave Duncan Terry another soft tap in.

Apart from an excellent passing combination of Hine, Pinder and Loversidge ending with Yaxley slicing his shot, Hospitals took advantage of Lavant’s deep defending and lack of pressing to camp in the visitors half.  Goals by Cox on 69 minutes and Figas on 88 minutes inevitably came sinking Lavant deep in relegation trouble.

Lavant have a tough fixture home to second in the table Lancing on Sat 23rdDecember where a defeat may sentence them to relegation.

Team: M.Pullen, S.Blackman, B.Thomas, J.Strange, N.Farrer, M.Ayers, M.Hine, R.Pinder, M.Richardson, A.Yaxley, S.Loversidge.  Subs: D.Hall, M.Keane, D.Bowden.