Barnham Reserves 3 Lavant 3

Dave Knight’s 84 min goal salvaged a point for Lavant in a game they needed to win in their bid to secure promotion.

The game was a very physical affair  but the visitors had 70% of possession throughout the game but made two errors in the first half. The whole team were only playing at half pace and their back three failed to organise properly against Liam Baldwin and Sean Lintergreen up front. As a result , they conceded two counterattack goals from Lintergreen on 14 mins and Brad Nixon 7 mins from half-time.

After a blistering from their coach , the Chichester side emerged in the second half, having rectified both faults.The homeside looked unlikely to score even from breakaways and Lavant played some good football with added effort and grit. They deserved their reward when the talented and hard-working Stuart Loversidge latched onto a through ball to beat the Barnham ‘keeper,Mark Duffield, and see co-striker , Ross Lines, run the ball into the empty net on 64 minutes.

Loversidge and Dave Kennard had already gone close. Loversidge himself hit the 22 yd equaliser 11 mins later and as Barnham tired, the winner looked inevitable.The moment came and went when Mike Neville teed up Ben Evans  in the 81st min only for the midfielder to clear the bar.

Then came the heartbreak moment when  Lavant’s goal-kick fell short and Barnham’s Nixon beat Greg Ockwell to the ball to hit his second and give the homeside what looked like the 3 points.

Then during another extended period of Lavant camping in Barnham’s half, defender Dave Payne was penalised for a high foot in the penalty area but an indirect free-kick was awarded.  The resulting shot was blocked but 17 year old Knight drilled home the rebound.

Loversidge nearly won it for the visitors 2 minutes from time but his effort rolled tantilisingly wide.

Coach David Parker commented:” We needed to win here and though we can give all the excuses there aren’t any. You can’t play for only 45 minutes, give the opposition a 2-0 lead and expect to pick up 3 points.  It’s inexcusable”.

Team: M.Pullen, S.Gooding, T.Parker, M.Hine, G.Ockwell, M.Neville, B.Evans, D.Kennard, J.Houghton, R.Lines, S.Loversidge. Sub: D.Knight, B.Thomas, D.Knight.

Stedham Reserves 6 Lavant Reserves 6

Lavant this week travelled away to Stedham on a very pleasant early spring day.  And the weather looked to have effected the visitors right from the kick-off as they started the game at a very lack lustre pace as Stedham immediately pinned them back in their own half.

To make matters worse with only 5 minutes gone Lavant conceded a very dubious soft penalty as Robbie Pinder headed the ball onto his uplifted hand, as he cleared the ball in front of the near post. Stedham duly converted the spot kick, 1-0.

Ten minutes later Lavant with their first real probing attack into the home-sides half were rewarded as Jon Strange’s lofted forward pass found Joe Hepworth who neatly squared the ball to Chris Withall who hit a ferocious shot into the top corner of the goal, drawing the teams level, 1-1.

Within a minute from the restart Lavant were caught napping as Stedham with their route one approach retook the lead as their striker broke free and rounded the keeper to score, 2-1.

Lavant were now on the back foot and could have gone even further behind if it were not for a fine one handed save from Pete Czajka in the Lavant goal. A Lavant counter attack involving Christian Swain and Justin Walsh in midfield saw the ball fall to unmarked Hepworth on the six yard line but his shot was somehow kept out by keeper Martyn Weightman.

With ten minutes of the half remaining Stedham conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Hepworth’s kick was driven hard and low into the crowded box as Tom Sheppard latched onto the ball forcing a reaction save by the keeper, the ball rebounded kindly back out to Sheppard who made no mistake second time around burying the ball from close range, 2-2.

Stedham’s reaction again was almost immediate as 5 minutes later Lavant’s sloppy marking gifted the homeside a goal allowing them to retake the lead, 3-2.

Then with only minute remaining Lavant almost drew level once more as Walsh’s cross was met by Hepworth who should have scored, but somehow Stedham cleared the ball out of the goalmouth lofting the ball down field, as their striker then got the better of Pinder and ran through unchallenged to score, surprisingly extending the home side’s
lead right on half time, 4-2.

Tom Sheppard 210209

Two goals from Tom Sheppard

During the interval Lavant were forced to make some changes due to injury as Simon Blackman and Stuart Eastwood came into the game. Blackman had an immediate effect as his long throw down the right flank was met by Sheppard, as he sweetly connected onto to the ball, scoring with only 3 minutes of the second half gone, 4-3.

Two minutes later Lavant were again level as straight from the restart they quickly moved the ball up into Stedham’s half and pressed forward with Withall winning the ball and braking free on the left flank, then unselfishly cutting the ball back across the box to the unmarked Hepworth who seemed take forever before drilling the ball past the stranded keeper, 4-4.

It was now all Lavant and six minutes later Hepworth’s lofted corner was headed in by Guy Pinder to the delight of whole team and especially his manager who he duly went over to celebrate with, 5-4.

This roller coaster game was far from over, as 4 minutes later Lavant suffered another set back as they defended valiantly as Stedham peppered the visitor’s goal, only for the ball to spill free and agonisingly cross the line as they conceding the softest of goals, 5-5.

With only 3 minutes remaining Lavant once more pressed forward, winning a series of corners.  Then up steps Guy Pinder to head home his second of the match, this time from a Swain corner, giving the visitor the lead once more and what surely must be the winning goal, 5-6.

Guy Pinder 210209


Man of the Match Guy Pinder and scorer of two goals

Stedham however were not having any of it and with one last attack again levelled the score with only seconds before the final whistle.

Lavant manager Dave Kent was proud of his side’s performance and their determination never to give up and it was even more a result as Stedham were forced to field a number of their first team squad.

Team: Paul.Czajka, T.Sheppard, R.Pinder, N.Watts, G.Weller, G.Pinder, C.Swain, J.Walsh, J.Strange, J.Hepworth, C.Withall. Subs: S.Blackman, S.Eastwood, Pete.Czajka.

More action from Saturdays game against Petworth Reserves

LFCResvsPetworthRes140209 ChrisWithall beats the keeper

Chris beats the keeper to the ball 

LFCResvsPetworthRes140209 the ball spills to Yax

The ball spills free

Yax and the Petworth defender both chase after the ball, as the empty goal beckons

LFCResvsPetworthRes140209 yax falls to the floor as the ball spills clear of the goal

The defenders timely tackle clears the ball to safety, whilst grounding Yax