Lavant Reserves fought out a hard earned victory on Saturday at Raughmere park banishing the memory of when the two teams last met in the league in November when Harting romped home to victory.

The first ten minutes of the game saw both sides play attacking football, with Harting having the best of the early chances to take the lead. However with Martin Pullen in the Lavant goal for the first time since the middle of November, due to injury and Daryl Hall using his head to clear off the line, the homesides goal was not breached.

As the half progressed Lavant started to settle and take control of the game frustrating the visitors as they started asserting pressure on the Harting goal.  Then on the half hour a late tackle saw Lavant’s sticker Joe Hepworth limping off injured forcing an early change. Lavant quickly regrouped with Nick Farrer slotting into defence, allowing Hall to push into midfield.  The first half ended level, 0-0.

The second half saw Lavant carrying on where they let off. However with only five minutes gone the home side again had to make a change as captain Guy Pinder had to be replaced with a injury to his hand, which was later found to be broken.  Stuart Eastwood replaced Pinder and minutes later contributed to breaking the deadlock.  Eastwood’s free kick in Lavant’s half was met by Andy Strange who headed the ball into the penalty area and both the Harting keeper and Hall raced for the ball.  Hall made it to the ball first, heading over the stranded keeper into an empty net, 1-0.

Harting had to now raise their game in order to salvage a result and so they started to pressurize the Lavant half and from a corner the Harting fullback raced into the box and scored an unstoppable header, as they drew level, 1-1.

Just when the game looked like it was heading for a draw, with 12 minutes remaining Lavant retook the lead.  Jim Hurd’s corner was met at the near post by Andy Strange and his diving header caught the keeper off guard as the ball controversially just sneaked across the line, to the joy of Lavant and their many spectators.

With minutes remaining Lavant’s defence held firm ensuring they took all three points in this hard fought local derby.

Team: M.Pullen, D.Hall, G.Pinder, J.Strange, J.Hird, A.Strange, M.Richardson, M.Martin, D.Morris, J.Hepworth, R.Pinder. Subs: N.Farrer, S.Eastwood, M.Gliaubertus.