Division II Charity Cup
Lavant 6 West Wittering Res 1

After three league wins, Lavant made it four on the trot as they advanced into the second round of the Cup in their first home game of the season.

Striker, Stuart Loversidge, gave the homeside the lead on 8 mins.

But 10 mins later, Wittering were level when Jamie Clayton took advantage of an uncharacteristic error by veteran sweeper, Matt Court, to finish well.

Tom Parker restored Lavant’s lead on 20 mins and wing-back, Martin Ayers played an inch perfect ball into the path of his colleague, Mike Neville who gave Lavant a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Court was a casualty of a first-half tackle and Gooding took over the sweeper role. Wittering increased their work-rate and the visitors created two good chances and forced the save of the century from Lavant’s ‘keeper, Martin Pullen. But the Chichester side defended resolutely and launched a series of counter-attacks, which saw Parker add his second on 75 mins.

Wittering ‘keeper, Neil Janson, pulled off four quality saves and saw Justin Walsh fire against the Wittering bar. Then, Lavant scored the best goal of the game. Ross Lines, on the left, played a ball inside to Dave Kennard who worked a wall-pass off Parker before playing Lines in again, whose cross was swept home by midfielder, Ben Evans, on 87 mins.

Evans was there again, just before the final whistle, to volley home, after Parker topped on Kennard’s long throw.

Team: M.Pullen, S.Gooding, M.Court, D.Hall, M.Ayers, D.Kennard, B.Thomas, B.Evans, M.Neville, T.Parker, S.Loversidge.  Subs: T.Sheppard, J.Walsh, R.Lines.

Rustington Park Seniors 3 Lavant Reserves 1

On Saturday, Lavant travelled to Rustington Park Seniors joint leaders of Division IV South.

With the weather more akin to a hot summer’s day both teams made sluggish starts, but early on Lavant should have taken the lead as Christian Swain linked up with Robbie Pinder, who then saw his shot deflected by the keeper into the path of the oncoming Chris Withall. But with an open goal beckoning, the ball somehow went though his legs as he failed to get his shot off on target.

Lavant’s good start was beginning to frustrating the home side, but with 15 minutes gone all that changed in the space of two minutes as the home side went into a somewhat unexpected 2-0 lead, due to some lapse marking.

Firstly Bright Kushata won the ball in midfield and was allowed to get into the box unopposed before beating Paul Czajka in the Lavant goal and then minutes from the restart slack marking from a corner allowed the Rustington striker a free header, which he dutifully dispatched into the top corner of the goal. 2-0.

On the half hour Lavant halved the deficit when Matt Hines beautifully lofted ball was met by Withall who stepped past his marker and slotted the ball home into the left corner, 1-2.

Then with almost the last kick in extra time for the first half, all Lavant’s previous hard work was undone as they failed to clear the ball in their own area and as the ball spilled outside the box the waiting Jason Jarvis was able to lob the ball over the stranded defence and goalkeeper, ensuring Rustington went into the half time with their two goal lead still intact, 3-1.

Lavant still believed they could salvage something from this game; however the next 45 minutes resulted in stalemate, as both teams were unable to capitalize on their chances.

The introduction of Andy Strange and Dave Knight in Lavant’s midfield ensured the visitors were able to fight on right to the final whistle, attacking Rustingtons goal.

But it was the home side which maintained their unbeaten run and the visitors that were left still looking for their first points of the season.

Lavant however should take heart from this very positive performance and hopefully take it forward into next week’s Bareham Trophy cup game.

Team: P.Czajka, J.Strange, S.Eastwood, M.Hine, S.Blackman, D.Morris, G.Ockwell, M.Price, C.Swain, C.Withall, R.Pinder. Subs: A.Strange, D.Knight.