Lavant Reserves 5 The Ship 0
Going in to April, Lavant Reserves remained top of Division III South.
But with teams under them in the league having games in hand, they had to ensure they kept their slim title hopes alive by winning there last game of the season at home against The Ship.
Lavant fielding a strong side started the game impressively and immediately hemmed the visitors back in their own half for much of the opening 30 minutes.
As a result The Ship were getting frustrated at their lack of possession and inability to get a foothold into the game, as Lavant played some great possession football, passing the ball all over the pitch and forging numerous opportunities on to score.
Then as the half progressed the frustration switched to the Lavant players, as no matter how hard they tried they could not convert their chances, with Rhys Watling, Louis Cook-Jones, Dan Cowell, Sam Cole and Shaun Massey all going close to opening the scoring.
With The Ship’s goalkeeper in brilliant form and the frustrations of the homeside becoming evident the team somewhat lost its shape as everyone pushed forward in the search of the opening goal, so the free flowing football diminished and the visitors suddenly were given the opportunity to get back into the game with their more direct route one approach.
To everyone’s amazement, referee Alex Anderson blew his whistle for half time as somehow the score was drawn level at nil-nil and both teams still had everything to play for in the second half.
During the break Lavant manager Cliff Massey seized his opportunity to reassure the players that goals would come as long as they carried on with the same level of commitment, but more importantly kept their shape and played together as a team.
The half time talk seemed to work wonders, as Lavant once more took control of the game playing some lovely possession football, which paid off minutes later as Shay Wiggins cross was met by a lovely glancing headed by Dan Cowell, beating the keeper and scoring into the corner of the goal, 1-0.
The Ships morale was somewhat deflated and so Lavant took advantage swiftly adding another as this time the provider turned goal-scorer as Wiggins score Lavant’s second of the game, 2-0.
Now sensing a big score Lavant once more lost the discipline as they pushed forward, but The Ship who were still battling on were lively on the counterattack and they should have pulled one back, but for a great one handed save from keeper Robbie Pinder denied them.
This was a real wake up call for the homeside who once more upped their game and Rhys Watling added another to the Lavant’s tally, effectively killing off the visitors hopes of getting back into the game, 3-0.
With The Ship suffering a late injury to a player and with no spare substitutes they were forced to play out the remainder of the game with only 10 men and Lavant were quick to take advantage, as they added two more before the final whistle with substitute’s James Brooks and Darren Cox both getting onto the score sheet, 5-0.
Lavant: R.Pinder, B.Evans, S.Green, M.Ayers, D.Kennard, S.Wiggins, D.Cowell, S.Massey, L.Cook-Jones, R.Watling, S.Cole. Subs: J.Brooks, D.Cox.