This Div II game was a great one for a neutral to watch but frustrating for the Lavant coaching staff.

After two earlier games with solid defending, the outing last week and this tie exposed a lack of self-discipline and concentration at the back.

Starting with all the early pressure the visitors looked most likely to win this game but conceded a breakaway goal on 8 mins when Dave Rogers unmarked put Worthing in the lead.

The visitors replied with some excellent football in atrocious conditions ending with Robbie Pinder firing wide on 11 mins.  Parker came close five minutes later and then Loversidge almost levelled the score from an excellent 6 man passing move.

Worthing battled hard and won the second ball spillages; hitting route-one balls behind the defence.  From one such break a cross from the left found Leon Bunn unmarked 6 yards out whose half-hit lobbed into the top corner on 17 mins.

The central defenders failure to mark close and the error in the sweeper’s positioning had led to a 2-0 deficit.  Lavant keeper, Martin Pullen, saved bravely at the feet of 2 Worthing strikers who again had eluded their markers.

Despite half-time giving the opportunity to point out these failures, little improved and Worthing went further ahead on 53 mins when Dave Rogers again in a central position found the Lavant sweeper’s absence a gift he did not spurn.  With 25 mins left Lavant’s sweeper made way for midfielder Tom Parker to take on the role and Dave McClean filled the midfield space.  Later Thomas came off and Richardson sat in front of the defence to make way for Mike Keane as wing-back.

From that moment, Worthing never looked like scoring and were forced onto the back foot.

Loversidge, Pinder and McClean came close for the visitors but it was hard-working Lavant striker Daemon Leach who forced the ball over the line for the visitors consolation goal 4 mins from time.

One had the feeling that if Lavant’s defensive discipline had been in place at the start as it was at the end they would have taken the three points.  Let’s hope they learn the lesson for future games for their passing game is a joy to watch.

Team: M.Pullen, J.Strange, M.Ayers, S.Blackman, N.Farrer, T.Parker, B.Thomas, R.Pinder, S.Loversidge, D.Leach:  Subs M.Keane, D.McClean.