Newtown Villa 2 Lavant 3

Man-of-the-Match, James Brooks, 57th minute header was the goal that gave Lavant the full 3 points in their opening game of 2013 at Chalcroft Lane. But, two subsequent controversial refereeing decisions might have led to a different outcome.

For the opening 10 minutes the two sides were evenly matched. Villa’s Matt Russell came close from his side’s early free-kick, whilst Mike Bartley forced a stop from ‘keeper Keelan Belcher at the other end. Then, Lavant gradually took the ascendancy but failed to convert their chances into goals; with Belcher’s save from Brooks and Jodey Rowlands block from Bartley’s mid-air volley, being the highlights of several attempts at goal.

Lavant manager, David Parker, was just feeling his side might rue these failures to score, when captain Matt Stevens, ended a slick Brooks-Gabb-Seacombe move with a stunning 20 yard strike into the top corner on 25 minutes. The homeside, who had not looked like scoring, were then awarded a free-kick just outside the “D” and Dan Hendrie sweetly struck home the equaliser 11 minutes from the interval.

But, after the restart, the visitors struck twice through Bartley 51 minutes and Brooks six minutes later and seemed set for a comfortable win.

Then, came the two momentous decisions. Ben Purgavie was adjudged to have fouled Russell in the box and the “Blues” striker converted the spot-kick in the 69th minute to put Villa back in contention. Before the restart, Lavant’s Jon Wright, was shown a second yellow card and sent from the field of play for arguing the decision. But 10 man Lavant held out the last 20 minutes to earn their win.

Lavant: N.Sanson, C.Coe, B.Purgavie, M.Lyttle, M.Neville, J.Brooks, M.Stevens, R.Gabb, M.Bartley, R.Seacombe. Subs: J.Sandford, D.Knight

Weekends League Results

February 9th &10th          

Premier Division
Newtown Villa 2 Lavant 3
Hunston 4 Holbrook 1
Lancing 3 Barnham Reserves 2
Upper Beeding 3 Faygate 0
Watersfield 3 Bosham 0

Sussex Senior Cup
Wittering 2 Cowfold 1

Division III South
Lavant Reserves 1 Wittering Reserves 1
Harting 2 Nytimber Pirates 1
Stedham 6 Rustington Park Seniors 1
Yapton Reserves 1 The Vardar VIP 3

Division I Sunday League
Lavant vs Wittering Postponed