Lavant first team game called off again, as the waether put stop to their home fixture for the third week in a row.

Missed chances cost Lavant dearly

Tangmere 2 Lavant Reserves 1

Lavant this week travelled away to local rivals Tangmere in a game that both teams just had to win in order to stave off relegation.

Both teams made a tentative start to the match, but with ten minutes gone, Simon Blackman put Chris Withall through on the right flank, who’s low cross travelled right across Tangmere’s six yard line, but somehow the incoming Chris Bowles was unable to connect with the ball and score in the open goal.

Tangmere’s direct ball approach to the game was proving hard for Lavant to defend and one such ball lofted down the middle of the park was almost converted minutes later but the effort went inches wide.

With thirty minutes gone Lavant beat the home-sides offside trap as Dave Knight rifled a shot at close range at the far post, but Mark Longman was quick to react pulling off a great save to again deny Lavant.

Minutes later Chris Withall was through on goal but again he failed to convert his shot.

Finally, with five minutes of the first half remaining, a long throw by Simon Blackman deep into the home-sides box fell to Justin Walsh who ran through and drilled the ball home past the outcoming keeper, finally giving Lavant the lead going into the interval, 0-1.

With a one-goal lead and the advantage of the wind in the second half, Lavant were in a great position to build on their fine first half performance.  But unfortunately they hardly resembled the same team, as they looked very nervous from the re-start, sitting back and invited Tangmere to attack.  So when they failed to pick up Tangmere’s man of the match Jake Williams, he made them pay as he slotted the ball home past the out-coming keeper Paul Czajka on 55 minutes, 1-1.

Tangmere with half an hour remaining sensed Lavant’s heads were down and pressed hard for the winner.  But as the second half progressed neither side seemed to be able to break the deadlock.

Then with only three minutes remaining on the clock, a lofted ball deep into Lavant’s half was intercepted by the unmarked Rick Hunt on the edge of the box, who had time to pick his spot and convert his shot, into the corner of the goal past the outstretched Czajka, to the delight of Tangmere and their supporters.

Lavant tried in vein to get something out of the game in the final moments of the match, but it was Tangmere who bagged all three valuable points, ensuring they kept their survival hopes alive, whilst also possibly sealing Lavant’s fate as they remained firmly lodged at the foot of the league table and having to face up to the humiliation of possibility finishing in bottom place and being relegated after only one season in Division IV South.

Team: P.Czajka, S.Blackman, D.Hall, T.Sheppard, J.Strange, D.Morris, J.Walsh, C.Swain, D.Knight, C.Bowles, C.Withall. Subs: A.Waters, A.Yaxley, M.Ayers.

West Sussex League Results – 17th January

Division 2 South:

Barnham Res 2, Lodsworth 4; Hunston CC 4, General Henry 2; Yapton 5, Worthing BCOB 2.

Division 4 South:

Boxgrove 6, Harting 4; Coal Exchange 2, Rustington Park Seniors 4; Petworth Res 2, Liss Ath III 1; Stedham Utd Res 2, Newtown Villa III 2; Tangmere 2, Lavant Res 1.