Lavant Reserves 5 AFC Roffey 2
Sussex Junior Cup

A.F.C Roffey left Raughmere Park empty handed Saturday exiting the Sussex Junior Cup, as Lavant Reserves ran out convincing 5-2 winners.

With the homeside starting as the underdogs against the established Division II side, this was going to be a real challenge for the new look Reserves to see if their good start to the season would stand up to a much stiffer test.

Lavant therefore started the game entrenched in their own half content initially to sit back and defend, patiently waiting to see what the visitors had to offer.  The game was however still played at a quick tempo and after a cautious start Lavant finally started to press forward.

The homeside were soon rewarded for their much more attacking play as for the second week running Dan Cowell opened the scoring, after tapping home from close range after the ball had hit the post twice before kindly dropping to his path, 1-0.

Roffey had no plans to lose this game and right from the restart they piled on the pressure as they chased the equalizer, constantly challenging the homeside’s defence, which held fast with Simon Green pressing and breaking down the Roffey attacks at every opportunity.

Lavant then ensured they took the upper hand going into half time as James Brooks ran with the ball into the 18 yard box and unleashed an unstoppable shot straight past the stranded keeper into the top corner, 2-0.

The second half saw manager Cliff Massey make some early changes bringing on fresh legs and this tactic soon paid off as Lavant further extended their lead with Brooks scoring his second of the game with a fine 30 yard free kick, following a foul on fellow midfielder Matt Hine.

Three nil down and the cup tie should have been over for the visitors, but the Div II side never gave up chasing the game and their determination was rewarded with a quick brace of goals, which suddenly put the cup tie back in the balance as the visitors capitalised on Lavant’s crazy five minutes of lack of concentration.

With the watching crowd urging the homeside to raise their game once more, Lavant suddenly went up a gear. They defended steadfastly as well as proving devastating on the counter attack, as they played some lovely one touch football cutting through the visitors defence, which eventually ended up with Cowell grabbing his second of the game and restoring Lavant’s two goal lead.

The final ten minutes was end to end stuff as Roffey tried to get back into the cup tie once more, but also Lavant now playing some lovely one touch flowing football, looked to further increase their lead.

With seconds remaining Lavant capped of a resounding performance with a fifth goal when Rhys Watling swerved passed his man on the right hand side and shot from the edge off the box, from a near impossible angle, scoring the goal of the game and sealing Roffey’s cup exit, 5-2.

Man of the match James Brooks said “This is a fantastic team to play in and everyone is creating chances for each other”.

Lavant: A.Houghton, S.Green, M.Ayers, J.Wright, D.Ranjbar, D.Maclean, M.Hine, J.Brooks, D.Cowell, R.Lines, L.Weller. Subs K.Fogden, R.Watling, S.Wiggins.