Billingshurst 2 Lavant 1 (after extra time)
This clash between Premiership Billingshurst and Division One Lavant produced a stunning game of football.
Thanks to information picked up the previous week from Chief Scout and ex-Lavant player, John Squires, the visitors perfectly set out their stall to combat the homeside’s 4-3-3 formation.
Billingshurst played some delightful football and pressed in the early stages but Lavant looked comfortable in a defence in which man-of-the-match Tom Parker and co-defender, Jon Wright, shone.
They were only troubled once when Ashley Rochester made a fine save from Matt Balmer.
Lavant, however, produced equally delightful passing in their counter-attacks which saw Dave Knight go close on 14 minutes and Stuart Loversidge open the scoring on 43 minutes and give the visitors a 1-0 lead at half-time.
The second half was a replica of the first until the 73rd minute when the ball stuck in the mud between Rochester and his defence for Paul Elliott to stab home the equaliser from 6 yards, 1-1.
From a corner Chris Coe then headed off the line 2 minutes from full time to deny the premiership side the winner and ensuring the cup tie went into extra time. Extra time saw a Billingshurst counter attack give them the winner as Elliott squared to the unmarked Balmer who stuck home from the six yard box on 99 minutes.
In the second period of extra time Lavant changed to 3 up front to try and equalise. They almost did it. A Loversidge and Cox combination set the hard working Seacombe up but he fired wide.
One minute from the end it looked as if Seacombe had done it when his effort seemed destined to roll into the empty net…but… the ball stopped in the mud and was cleared.
Lavant visit Holbrook in their league programme next Saturday.
Billingshurst: Betts, Buckwell, Thatcher, Blazier, Zydonic, Simmons, Molijn, Thomas, Elliott, Balmer, Lewis. Subs: Stepney, Thatcher, Cause.
Lavant: A.Rochester, J.Walsh, T.Parker, J.Wright, C.Coe, S.Loversidge, J.Brooks, D.Knight, D.Cowell, R.Seacombe, D.Cox. Subs: B.Evans, N.Watts, S.Eastwood
Chichester & West Sussex Sunday League
Lavant 2, Lamb Steyne 1
Arun & Chichester Youth League
Broadbridge Heath 4, Worthing Minors Ath 1
Predators Yth 4, Rustington Otters Yth 2
Southwater FC 2, Lavant 2
Worthing Utd Yth 1, Worthing Rebels Yth 1.
Southwater FC 2 Lavant Youth 2
Despite an unbeaten run stretching back to October, manager Karl Gaffney feels Lavant Youth’s quest for the title is in danger of fizzling out. “If we don’t get a goalkeeper we could dip out,” was the manager’s view after Sunday’s disappointing draw at mid-table Southwater.
With no specialist goalkeeper available Lavant have been compelled to use five outfield players this season.
Two goalkeeping ‘miscalculations’ cost Lavant two valuable points. A goal behind after ten minutes meant an uphill task, however, Lavant responded well and dominated what remained of the game. Man of the match Ryan Parfoot equalised on twenty minutes and then top scorer Chris Colwell put Lavant ahead before half time.
With conditions near impossible for any semblance of football Lavant pressed forward searching for the elusive third goal and some breathing space. Chances came and went before a bizarre own goal robbed Lavant of all three points. Following a Southwater set piece Lavant struggled to clear their lines. When, eventually, Nico House did appear to clear, the ball smashed team mate Kieron Gilbert in the face and subsequently flew past a bemused Reece Hanson in goal. Lavant continued to push forward but were unable to grab a winner and all three points.
Lavant have 14 days to sign a goalkeeper and keep their season on track.
Team: K.Gilbert, R, Hillier, L.Cotton, R.Hanson, N.House, R. Parfoot, L. Cook-Jones, C.Young, C.Ransom, C.Webb, C.Colwell. Subs: J. Booth, L. Finch
MOM: Ryan Parfoot.
Capel 0, Petworth 5
Lavant 3, Stedham Utd 2
Watersfield 1, Newtown Villa II 1.
Division III South:
Harting 2, Lavant II 6
Selsey FC A 3, Tangmere 2.