Lavant 3 Newtown Villa Reserves 3
Lavant started this game with verve and delightful passing,overrunning their opponents. When Dan Cowell was released on the left ,his first time cross was converted by striker, Ryan Seacombe, with 12 minutes on the clock.
Seacombe hit the post 3 minutes later and soon after defender Jon Wright put the homeside 2-0 in front.
It looked like a landslide was about to happen. Then for some inexplicable reason the Chichester team stopped their passing game and resorted to long ball. It was their downfall.
These tactics let Newtown back in the game. The goal that for long looked like coming came from the boot of Callum Miller in the 33rd minute, cutting inside from the left and driving the ball into the far corner.
Then, courtesy of a soft penalty award Liam Jones converted from the spot kick 4 minutes before half-time to draw both teams level. Newtown were now a resurrected side and took the lead 3 minutes into the second-half when Steve Jenkins 20yd drive ripped in the bottom corner.
The match was full of commitment and very even. The visitors though were put under pressure when Lavant reverted to shorter passing.
Under this pressure, Newtown’s Gary Clack got his marching orders with 10mins left to play.
Then with neater passing and having now numerical advantage, a seven man sequence ended with Seacombe converting a Sam Cole cross to give Lavant the equaliser.
Team: A.Rochester, C.Coe, M.Steven J.Wright, K.Fogden, L.Weller, D.Kennard, J.Brooks, D.Cowell, R.Seacombe, S.Cole. Subs: J.Walsh, S.Eastwood.
Girl Power Rules
Sue Massey – Manager for a Day
Photograph by Chichester Observer
The Ship 1 Lavant Reserves 4
This week’s away game for Lavant at Aldwick in Bognor was a memorable one in relation to girl power.
The referee for the game was Samantha Leo and owing to work and social commitments, the management team of Cliff Massey and Mel Milburn were unavailable and so Cliff’s wife Sue stepped up to the plate and took over as manager of the reserves, leading her team to a fine away victory.
Lavant started the game well and even with a muddy pitch to content with they still managed to play some good passing and possession football. The early pressure from the visitors soon paid off as captain Martin Ayers raced down the right flank, before cutting inside and drilling in a hard low cross, which totally deceived the keeper, as the ball snuck in across the line at the near post, 0-1.
Lavant’s early goal worked like a real tonic for the team as they now pushed forward at every chance, attacking down the flanks. The Ship were constantly on the back foot struggled to deal with the pressure and a cross from Shay Wiggins caused havoc in the goal mouth, with the ball eventually falling kindly at the feet of Lavant striker Ross Lines in the six yard box, who buried the gift, giving Lavant a clear lead, 0-2.
The good first half display was rounded off by a fine individual goal from Dave Knight. This was Knight’s first full game since suffering a bad injury in mid October and he picked the ball up on the half way line and ran towards goal beating two players before shooting and scoring from the edge of the box, 0-3.
A few terse words were exchanged at half time by the homeside and this seemed to do the trick as they started the second with more determined manner, immediately attacking Lavant’s goal and soon their pressure paid dividends as they quickly reduced the deficit, 1-3.
The Ship were now back in the game, but Sue Massey was having none of it as she shouted from the touchline for her team to raise their game. At this point the league fixture could have gone either way but Lavant responded favourably once more taking control.
They defended well and were quick on the counter attack. Shaun Massey should have put the game beyond the homeside’s reach, but his effort went agonising wide, before that man Knight was again causing havoc and was fouled in the box, with the referee awarding a penalty.
Darren Cox calmly stepped up and drove the ball home, giving the visitors a commanding three goal lead, which ended The Ship’s comeback plans and ensured Lavant were able to see out the ninety minutes and bag the three valuable points.
Manager Sue Massey commented “Im really proud of my teams performance today, this result has put us right back in the title race. And perhaps I should manage the team a little more often if today’s result is anything to go by.”
Lavant: T. Turner, D. Ranjbar, B.Evans, P.Cairns, S.Wiggins, D.Maclean, S.Massey, M.Ayers, D.Knight, D.Cox, R.Lines. Subs: S.Green, R.Pinder.
Lavant Youth 3 Pagham Youth 4
Last 16 of the Sussex Youth Cup
Chris Colwell races to the ball as Lavant attack the Pagham Goal
Lavant Youth played host to County League Pagham on Sunday, a place in the last eight of the County Cup at stake.
The fixture was in doubt right up until kick off and only went ahead due to the tireless efforts of Geoff Creswell and his small band of helpers.
The form book suggested that Pagham should win comfortably, however, as one of their supporters remarked, “Lavant haven’t read the script.”
The early exchanges did run true to form, with Pagham dominating. Despite enjoying most of the possession they failed to pose any real threat. When they did manage to penetrate the defence after 20 minutes Tom Cowell was on hand to save bravely at the feet of an onrushing forward.
Pagham continued to press forward but the back four of Finch, Gilbert, Cotton and House stood firm. After twenty five minutes of constant pressure Pagham made the breakthrough.
Having broken down another attack a Lavant defender carried the ball forward. His attempted pass was intercepted and Pagham moved the ball swiftly to Tyler Hope on the right. He quickly contolled the ball and hit and unstoppable shot across the face of goal and into the far corner.
Recognizing the fact that something had to change, Manager, Karl Gaffney altered the formation of the team. The effect was immediate. Lavant now began to dominate the midfield exchanges and pushed forward in search of an equalizer.
Following a swift exchange of passes Lavant worked an opportunity for Chris Colwell, his shot was palmed onto the post and scrambled clear. Lavant were now beginning to believe that they might be able to get something out of the game and began to press forward in numbers.
On the half hour mark they were rewarded for their efforts. A superb long ball from Kieron Gilbert found the head of Chris Webb. He outjumped his marker and nodded the ball foward. Rob Speed pounced on the opportunity and just managed to get a toe to the ball to beat the despairing dive of the Pagham keeper.
Full of belief, Lavant now began to take the game to their opponents. Having looked comfortable for half an hour Pagham were now rocking. Chris Webb picked the ball up on the halfway line and went on a surging run. Twenty five yards from goal he let fly, the keeper was unable to hold his fierce attempt.
Speed reacted quickest of all and steered the ball home to put Lavant in front, 2-1. Lavant continued to pile on the pressure but were unable to score another before half-time. Credit to Pagham, they came out for the second half and began as they started the first half.
In the 50th minute they scored an excellent goal. With his back to goal, Ryan Champion took a high ball on his chest, turned and hit it past Tom Cowell. Five minutes on and Pagham once again took the lead.
For the first time in the entire match the Lavant defence got themselves into an awful mess. The two central defenders went awol allowing Champion to score his second virtually unchallenged. Initially stunned by the dramatic turn around, Lavant once again picked themselves up. Amazingly, just five minutes later they were back on level terms. Following some excellent interplay between the hardworking trio of Parfoot, Hanson and Cook-Jones, Chris Webb found himself free to fire home a thoroughly deserved equalizer, 3-3.
The game swung from end to end with both sides pushing for what they hoped would be the decisive goal. If anything, it looked as though Lavant would eventually come out on top. Pagham were beginning to lose their discipline and picked up a couple of yellow cards.
With just five minutes remaining Lavant had a golden opportunity to seal the tie. Rob Speed went in for a challenge with the goalkeeper and a defender. Fortune favours the brave, and following a hefty collision which left both keeper and defender spread-eagled, Speed emerged with the ball at his feet. With the empty goal at his mercy, the forward somehow managed to stroke the ball agonizingly wide of the upright.
With three minutes left on the clock, Lavant conceded a free-kick just inside their own half. From the resultant kick, Ryan Champion rose above the Lavant defence to send a looping header over the stranded keeper.
The jubilant Pagham celebrations that followed the goal served as an indication of their collective relief.
Lavant threw everyone forward in search of a well-deserved equalizer, but the Pagham rearguard stood firm to book their place in the quarter final.
Congratulations to both teams for serving up a thrilling cup tie, played in an excellent spirit. Full marks to referee David Huggett, his handling of the game contributed to a pulsating game of football.
Lavant: T.Cowell, L.Finch, K.Gilbert, L.Cotton, N.House, R.Parfoot, L.Cook-Jones, R. Hanson, R. Speed, C.Webb, C.Collwell. Subs: J.White, C.Young, J. Brockhurst.