Whyke 0 Lavant Reserves 0
Lavant reserves started their Division 3 campaign with a scrappy draw at local rivals Whyke.
A lack of defensive options meant a back 3 for the visitors, with new manager Sanson standing in between the posts for the absent Rob Baylis, and debuts for John Langridge and Mickey Earle.
After a nervy start, the game settled, with Whyke looking for their tall lone striker at every opportunity, who was superbly marshalled by skipper Chris Coe. However, Lavant were struggling to keep possession on a greasy surface, and a forgettable first half came and went with barely a shot on target from either side.
Lavant improved after the break, with the tigerish Scott Yaxley influencing the midfield, but were still struggling to create clear chances. Langridge’s first-time volley forced a stop from the home keeper, whilst a header just cleared the corner of post and bar, and Adam Yaxley’s free kick was turned over the bar by the Whyke stopper.
With 15 minutes to go an excellent leap from Tom Parker was inexplicably punished by the left touchline, and from the resulting free kick Whyke thought they had scored. As the defence stood still, the forward chested the ball down and rifled into the net. However the flag was raised and, after consulting the linesman, the goal was chalked off by referee Michelle Watkins.
Lavant looked the only team that would go on and win the game, but just lacked the craft in the final third to match the effort they had shown. As the final whistle sounded, the visitors had to settle for the point, but were satisfied with a strong defensive display and a clean sheet from their first outing.
Team: Neil Sanson, Martin Smith, Chris Coe (C), Tom Parker, Mike Earle, Will Cieszynski, Louis Weller, Greg Ayling, Adam Yaxley, John Langridge, Sam Cole. Subs: Don Polack, Scott Yaxley.