Lavant Reserves 1 Harting 3
Lavant this week hosted Harting at the start of a crucial month of home games which would define the outcome of their season long relegation battle. Both sides started cautiously, in an organised fashion. Lavant were playing some good controlled football, however they never really threatened Harting’s keeper Steve Baldwin.
Greg Ockwell and Chris Bowles battles for the ball
Harting sat back and defended well and at every opportunity went for route one football, clearing the ball straight up to forwards Terry Cance and Dean Jones. With 15 minutes gone Hartings approach to the game paid dividends as they made easy work of cutting through the Lavant defence and rounding the stranded Lavant keeper Paul Czajka, 0-1. It took until the 17th minute for Lavant to actually have a shot on target a long range effort from Justin Walsh.
Joe Hepworth’s aerial battle with Harting’s Keeper
Again Harting continued to be quick on the counter attack and for large parts of the first half this proved a handful for Lavant’s defence.
With half an hour gone another move involving the two Harting strikers almost paid off, but the final shot hit the post and bounced clear of the goal.
Minutes later a Harting corner was headed into the bottom corner of the goal but mistake by Lavant’s Guy Pinder and somehow Czajka pulled off a great save to stop Harting taking a further lead.
Then with only minutes of the half remaining Harting struck a killer blow as yet again a route one ball found both their strikers up front two on two with Lavant’s defenders, as they neatly combined passing through the home defence and scoring, increasing the visitors lead right on half time, 0-2.
Lavant started the second half with renewed determination as it was clear they had to get something from the game and with fifteen minutes gone substitute Dave Knight showed them the way, dribbling the ball on the right flank and cutting in and smashing the ball into the top left hand corner.
The game now had taken a different complexion as Lavant chased the equaliser and for the next ten minutes they put the visitors under renewed pressure.
Simon Blackman clearing the ball from defence
But with 15 minutes remaining Lavant lost concentration as they seemed to stop playing to dispute the ball going off for a throw-in. Referee William Ottoway waved play on and Harting took full advantage crossing the ball into the box and despatching their third goal, re-establishing their two goal advantage.
Lavant tried in vain to get back into the game in the last 15 minutes but Harting managed to play out the remainder of the match and ensure they took all three points.
Spot the ball.
Lavant attacking Hartings goal fron a corner in the closing minutes of the game. Chris Withal and Chris Bowles centre with
Robbie Pinder with his back to goal.
This result now makes the last three home games of the season even more crucial as mathematically Lavant are still not relegated and will fight on next week, when they host second place Rustington Park Seniors.
Team: Paul.Czajka, S.Blackman, R.Pinder, S.Eastwood, G.Weller, J.Strange, G.Pinder, J.Walsh, G.Ockwell, J.Hepworth, C.Withall. Subs: C.Bowles, M.Neville, D.Knight.