Petworth 1 Lavant 4
Cententary Cup

This weekend the first team travelled the short journey to face Petworth in the Centenary Cup.

Petworth are currently top of Division I so this was on paper going to  be a hard cup tie.

The weather was clear and sunny and it felt like the first day of spring, the pitch had been cut and looked in great condition, ready for the cup tie.

Lavant started the game lively chasing down and hounding the home side right from kick-off, not giving them a chance to settle. Two minutes in and a great passing move between Dan Baker, Aaron Hancock and James Sandford, finished off with James Brooks shooting agonisingly wide.

Five minutes later Lavant’s early pressure paid off as they took a deservedly lead, after again chased down and winning the ball in midfield and an exquisite through ball to Sandford, allowing him to beat the defence and shooting past the out-coming keeper, o-1.

Lavant continued to exert pressure from the restart and almost straight away extended their lead further, but a neat Brook’s overhead kick was well saved by the busy Petworth keeper.

With twenty minutes gone Lavant’s free flowing football reaped further dividend, as Hancock broke down the left flank before crossing in on goal, as Sandford met the cross with a deft flick to score his second of the game, 0-2.

Two minutes later Lavant added another as Ollie Haggar’s through ball was met by Sandford who rounded the outcoming keeper and put into the back of an empty net, 0-3.

Petworth’s cup hopes were in tatters as they struggled to get a foothold in the game. Ten minutes before half time, things got worse, as a long through ball from Paul Jones was skilfully controlled by man of the match Dan Baker, who ran through to score Lavant’s fourth goal and give the visitors a commanding lead going into half time, 0-4.

At half time the team talk was around keeping the concentration and focus as we have had recent experience of a cup game where our opposition game back form a four-nil half time lead.

Bearing this in mind the focus was on not conceding in the first fifteen minutes. So the second half somewhat changed as Petworth expectedly worked hard to get back onto the game and so had more of the ball, whilst Lavant were less urgent in their paly as they knew Petworth had to chase the game.

As a result both teams had chance to score but neither side could make the breakthrough. A one point the play got a little bit scrappy as both sides made substitutions and changes.

To their credit Petworth battled right to the final whistle and with five minutes remaining only a great outstretched save from Lavant keeper Neil Sanson denied the homeside a goal.

Two minutes later Petworth did break their duck and get that conciliation goal, 1-4, but it was all too late as there was only three minutes of the match remaining and no time to reduce the deficit further.

At the final whistle Lavant had convincingly won the cup tie, effectively due to the great first half performance. They now face Beaumont Park in the Quarter Finals at Lavant village green on the 28th March.

Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Paul Jones, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, Ollie Haggar, James Brooks, Dave Knight, Aaron Hancock, Dan Baker, James Sandford (c). Subs: Ben Purgavie, Adam Yaxley.