Newtown Villa 0 Lavant 2

After a week off Lavant were back in action against Bognor side Newtown Villa. In recent seasons, Villa have been somewhat of a bogey side for the visitors, only managing to take a point over last 4 meetings.

Lavant started with intent and purpose and made the most of the space afforded to them on the flanks due to Villa deploying a wingback system. Caveney and Wright were having significant joy with the Villa right hand side seriously lacking in mobility.

The first meaningful chance fell to Wright; a Villa clearance fell to the left back on the edge of the area where a vicious drive was sent thumping against the bar with the keeper completely static.

For all Lavant’s good work they still had to be alive to the consistent threat of the Villa game plan, Matt Russell being played in a deep lying midfield role and looking to clip the ball over the top of the Lavant back four on every occasion. There were numerous times this nearly caught Lavant with their willing runners but both Jones and Augustus managed to clear their lines.

Five minutes from the half Lavant took the lead, a well work throw again down the Lavant left found Hancock who managed to turn and feed in Baker to fire home.

The secon half saw Lavant tighten their grip on the match. A Villa change in shape allowed the space to both Brooks and Stevens in central midfield dominate the game.  Brooks really was in fine form, dictating the pace of the match, working passing triangles and was pivotal in everything good about Lavant’s play.

Fifteen minutes into the half Lavant doubled their lead, again it was Wright surging down the left, crossing and finding Baker who finished in style into the roof of the Villa net.

Lavant went on to see out that match, gain a much needed 3 points to stay in touch with the early front runners and a confidence building clean sheet. Next week it’s a free scoring Predators side back on Lavant Village Green.

Lavant: Matt Bevan, Richard Gabb, Paul Jones, Simon Augustus, Jon Wright, James Brooks, Matt Stevens, Aaron Hancock, Pete Caveney, Oli Haggar, Dan Baker Subs: James Sandford, Matt Lyttle, Dan Cowell.

Lavant Reserves 6 Petworth Reserves 1

Lavant progressed to the next round of the Bareham Trophy with a comprehensive win at Raughmere Park on Saturday.

John Langridge was on target again for the hosts, bagging four goals, whilst a Charlie McLaren volley and an own goal completed the rout.

The home side, a division above their opponents, went with a more attacking line-up than usual and were ahead within 2 minutes. After Lee Smith forced a save at the near post, Greg Ayling’s delivery was nodded in at the back post by Langridge.

Petworth had a chance to equalise almost immediately but could only put a free header straight at the keeper and minutes later were further behind when Langridge again outjumped his marker to head home. Just 5 minutes later the striker had completed a 15 minute hatrick, firing in the loose ball in the box.

However the excellent start saw Lavant take their foot off the gas, and an early substitution for the visitors brought them back into the game, with only a fingertip save from Sanson preventing a lob finding the top corner.

The hosts didn’t heed the advice at the break and a sloppy pass straight from kick off drew a foul; the set piece was initially cleared but helped back in and Neil Latham could only slice into his own net in trying to clear.

Lavant had introduced McLaren and Keanu Burton-Hoyte at half time and the former immediately retook control of the game, dictating the play from centre midfield and stretching Petworth. Within 5 minutes of conceding Lavant had replied, Langridge grabbing his fourth as he smashed the ball high into the net.

An excellent flowing move from back to front saw Lee Smith cut in from the left wing and his drive across the face of goal could only be helped in by the defender. Shortly after the striker saw a thunderous 30-yard strike crash back off the post with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot as the home side piled on the pressure.

There was still time for McLaren to open his account, cleverly ghosting in at the back post to volley home Adam Yaxley’s corner from 12 yards to seal a fine team performance and earn Lavant a place in round two where they face Watersfield.

Lavant: Neil Sanson, Martin Smith, Neil Latham, Tom Parker, Matt Grace, Scott Yaxley, Greg Ayling, Paul Taylor, Adam Yaxley, John Langridge, Lee Smith. Subs: Charlie McLaren, Callum Spaul, Keanu Burton-Hoyte, Mickey Earle, Alex Holmes