Lavant into the Charity Cup Final
Unicorn 1 Lavant 4

Lavant booked themselves into the Charity Cup Final after an impressive team win.

Lavant were up for this game and started much stronger and faster than previous weeks. The early pressure created chances. A Lavant corner from Cooper saw the keeper flapping and captain, Gary Jefkins took full advantage of this and headed the ball into the goal after just 5minutes, 0-1.

Lavant chances kept on being made. A cross goal ball from Loversidge, a Sheppard attack and cross couldn’t be met by the Lavant forwards. A 30 yard strike was only inches wide when Haggar saw the opening.  The Lions should have been taking their chances, especially Loversidge who’s shot from 6yards out resulted in a throw in for the Unicorn!

The home side started to find form and applied some pressure, only for the in form defence to soak it up.
With 5 minutes of the half remaining Lavant had a throw in high up the field. Evans found Loversidge who turned two defenders and powered the ball into the top far corner from 20 yards out, 0-2.

Half time was full of cheer from The Lions, yet they knew the job was far from done.
As expected the Unicorn came at Lavant from the start of the second half. Once again, disciplined defending didn’t allow the attacks to amount to much. It was only a poor clearance that dropped to a Unicorn midfielder who hit a powerful shot on target that let the home side in. Baylis took the sting off of the shot but not the spin as it rolled into the goal, 1-2.

Lavant had their work cut out but were up to the job. A quick break from midfield to Haggar, a two on two, a ‘neat’ pass and Sheppard was in. He dropped his shoulder and the keeper committed, allowing the pacy forward to slot the ball under the Unicorn shot stopper, 1-3.

Lavant were looking comfortable and focused. A ball back to the Unicorn keeper saw him handle outside his area. Only a yellow card but a chance for Lavant to wrap things up from 19 yards out. Cooper and McCoy stood over the ball. Cooper fired the ball around the 10 man wall. The ‘ping’ of the inside of the post sounded, then the rustle of the net. Lavant had extended their lead with 10 minutes to go, 1-4.

There was a swagger about The Lions now as they all found a second wind.
Unicorn threw everything at Lavant but the team worked harder than ever to hold onto their 3 goal lead.

Substitutes, Weller, Eccles and Fargher came on and carried on in the same manner, running hard and stopping Unicorn from creating.  The full time whistle blew and Lavant and their deserved win.
Fantastic performances from all the Lavant players.

Team: Rob Baylis, Ben Evans, Gary Jefkins (c), Barry McCoy, Carl Drinkwater, Darren Pannell, Dave Maclean, Ollie Haggar, Paul Cooper, Alan Sheppard, Stuart Loversidge.  Subs: Graham Fargagr, Nick Eccles, Louis Weller, Daryl Hayward-Hall. Manager: Mel Milburn

ScissorShed Sponsored Player Ratings:

Baylis:
The young keeper was vocal, organising his defence and commanding his area. Not the busiest of games for him but did his job well when called upon. Unlucky with the goal. 8/10
Evans:
Stepped into right back and looked comfortable. Managed to get forward to support Sheppard on occasions, too. Certainly a player that is capable in a number of positions. 8/10
Jefkins:
The captain was once again the stalwart of the team. His experience and ability make it look easy. Put the fire in the teams belly and organised well for the full 90. Opened the scoring to get the game off to a good start. 9/10
McCoy:
A late-comer to the squad and certainly didn’t disappoint. Spraying pin point balls all over the pitch and calmly dealing with everything the home side threw at him. MoM. STARMAN 9.5/10
Drinkwater:
Mr Consistant. Calm in possession and never looks flustered. Has come on well under the captains influence. Found Haggar well and dealt with the opposition too. 8/10.
Pannell:
A joy to see him back in action for The Lions. Has never looked fitter and more in control. A full on committed player that gives everything to the cause. Yellow card. 9/10
Maclean:
Like Pannell, he gives his all every game and this was no exception. Battled for everything and managed get forward with the ball. Lost himself for 5mins in the second half but showed his character when he settled straight back into the task in hand. 8/10
Sheppard:
Although it took him 15mins to find his feet he still gave Unicorn problems. Defensively sound and his burst of pace in attack worried his marker. Deserved his goal and unlucky not to get more. 8/10
Cooper:
A captain without the band. His ability on the ball inspires and encourages those around him. The opposition didn’t know who should be marking him. Goal of the game with an awesome free kick. 8/10
Haggar:
Always a problem for defenders. He showed hunger and was the leader of most of the attacks. One assist and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. 8/10
Loversidge:
Had his work cut out today as a lone striker but held the ball up well. Worked hard for the team and deserved his reward. Beauty of a goal. 8/10
Weller:
A great attitude from the most chilled man in Sussex. Got straight into the pace of the game and tracked back well to help his team mates. 6/10
Eccles:
Limited minutes made it hard for the youngster but he still put himself about and didn’t let their defence play out easily. 5/10
Fargagr:
Another with limited minutes. However, he still went out there with grit and determination. 5/10
Referee: 70/10

MoM: Barry McCoy

Lavant will be in the final at Arundel Football Club on Thursday 30th April v Claremont, 7.30pm kick off.

Lavant play FNKUtd at home on the 5th April.