Upper Beeding 0 Lavant 3
Lavant travelled to Upper Beeding returning to league action and looking to get back on track after the disappointment of their Malcolm Simmonds Cup exit the previous week.
With the pitch just playable, it was never going to be a game of fancy football and Lavant decided to adopt a more direct approach which also bypassed the Beedings extra man in midfield. Beeding started well, using their flanks effectively and making Lavants midfield quartet work extremely hard. The physicality of their front man Garnham was also posing a threat but Lyttle and Jones were equal to the task.
Lavant eventually settled and stuck to their game plan, getting the ball in behind the fullbacks with both front men willing runners into the channels and preying on the lack of pace of the Beeding skipper Geard, who played so well at Lavant.
This approach soon paid dividends, with the impressive Haggar being set free to superbly finish from an acute angle. Beeding responded and persevered with neat build up play between Knowles and Parsons in the middle but Lavant continued to graft in order to snuff out any threats.
On the half hour mark, Lavant were awarded a penalty following a blatant shove from the Beeding keeper following a Lavant corner. Brooks confidently stepped up a dispatched to but behind him that crucial penalty miss at home.
Lavant still weren’t done for the half, Haggar picking the ball up deep and driving at the Beeding defence with an intelligent run by Sandford taking 2 of the defenders away allowed Haggar to run free and clip the ball over the stranded Beeding stopper on the stroke of halftime.
With a valuable lesson learnt from the previous week, Lavant were out early and raring to go, they were not going to let this lead slip. Beeding were almost gifted an opportunity in the opening minutes, Lyttle being caught in possession but recovering well.
Beeding continued to press and were virtually camped out in Lavants half, probing away but the defence stuck to their duties with great desire and tenacity. Lavant still looked dangerous on the break and on another day Haggar could have come away with his hattrick. Instead Lavant played out the game holding onto their 1st half lead with some last ditch blocks, tackles and ultimately deserved the clean sheet.
Next week sees Lavant take on West Chiltington at home in the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup in what promises to be a fantastic tie with a team from the WSPL guaranteed a spot in the Semi Finals.
Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Matt Lyttle, Paul Jones, Jon Wright, Mike Neville, Aaron Hancock, James Brooks, Paul Taylor, Ollie Haggar, James Sandford (c). Subs: Adam Yaxley