Lavant Reserves 5 Ambassadors 2

Lavant returned to winning ways on Saturday with a well-deserved victory over Bognor side Amdassadors.

Last season’s top scorer Lee Smith finally got off the mark with a bang, scoring four against Div 3 South’s bottom side as Lavant kept up the pressure on leaders Whyke.

Starting out with a bold 4-3-3 formation, the hosts were in front within 3 minutes as Smith rose from 10 yards to head home Greg Ayling’s corner.

Ten minutes later they were two up, as Smith ran on to a ball in the left channel before opening his body up and slotting into the far corner.

However, Ambassadors struck back within seconds of the restart. A long ball down the centre was called belatedly by keeper Ash Court and Tom Parker couldn’t duck out in time, his header looping over the stranded stopper and being poked home by the grateful forward.

Lavant nearly restored their lead immediately, but John Langridge’s long range volley dipped narrowly over the bar. Smith did re-establish the two goal cushion though, again finishing coolly to wrap up his hat-trick, and it could have been even worse for the visitors as a defender thundered a header against their own goal frame from a Lavant corner.

The hosts were playing some attractive, incisive football, with the industrious Charlie McLaren dictating the game but to Ambassador’s credit, they never stopped working without really threatening the Lavant goal and it was 4-1 on the hour mark with a clinical breakaway goal.

Langridge met the goal kick, heading over the full back and in to the path of James Sandford on the right flank. He took one touch before delivering a wicked, dipping ball across the box for the onrushing Smith. The big striker still had a lot to do as the ball skidded up but executed a fantastic diving header from 8 yards to give the keeper no chance.

Lavant continued to press and a series of near misses followed before Sandford made it 5, timing his run perfectly before dinking the ball over the  advancing keeper.

There was a late consolation for Amabassadors, as their skipper found the top corner with a powerful curling free kick from 25 yards with the last action of an entertaining game, but it was three more points for Lavant as they continue their impressive start to the season.

Lavant: Ash Court, Matt Grace, Tom Parker, Neil Latham (c), Matt Hine, Scott Yaxley, Charlie McLaren, Greg Ayling, Leon Mears, Lee Smith, John Langridge. Subs: Martin Smith, Mickey Earle, Alex Holmes, Will Cieszynski, James Sandford.