Lavant 3 Holbrook 0

Lavant started their first game in the Premiership in positive mood,despite missing two regular strikers and their influential midfielder, James Brooks, through injury.

The homeside looked the sharper in the opening quarter hour and were rewarded with a goal when replacement midfielder, Mike Bartley, headed home a Mike Neville free-kick on 9 minutes.

Gradually, Holbrook took up the pace of the game and their pressure brought them a free-kick in the”D” on the half hour. Ben Millman’s exquisite strike was brilliantly turned onto the post by Lavant ‘keeper, Neil Sanson. It was the turning point in the game. Apart from a wobbly last 10 minutes, the Chichester side seemed comfortable in defence.

The second half saw Lavant’s Tom Parker set up Ryan Seacombe who finished superbly, only to be ruled offside with 49 mins on the clock.When Lavant were granted a free-kick on the hour, fullback, Matt Lyttle, put the homeside 2-0 in front.

The game settled into a fixed scenario of the Horsham side pressing and Lavant defending their two goal lead. Then, in stoppage time Parker set up Seacombe and as the striker’s shot hit the bar, Bartley netted from the rebound.

Manager, David Parker said “We set up a new tactical system to cover our worry about any weakness in midfield. This and the players discipline and commitment gained us valuable points in what will be a very tough season for the club”.

Lavant: N.Sanson, C.Coe, J.Wright, B.Purgavie, M.Lyttle, M.Neville, M.Bartley, M.Stevens, L.Weller, T.Parker, R.Seacombe. Subs: R.Gabb, N.Latham, J.Philips.

Lavant Reserves 1 Yapton Reserves 2

Lavant started their first League game of the 2012/2013 season with a home fixture against an old adversary, Yapton!

Both teams began the game well, playing some good football, with the first half being very evenly matched.  Lavant were passing and keeping possession well, but creating few clear cut scoring chances.

Whilst Yapton reminded Lavant on a number of occasions just how dangerous they could be on the counterattack.  Forcing a number of fine saves from Rob Baylis, the young Lavant keeper and some crucial defending from Tom Sheppard and Nathan Richards, to ensure that the deadlock remained going into halftime, 0-0.

The second half had the promise of more evenly matched football, but also the danger that a small lapse in concentration could prove disastrous to either team.  The work from Lavant’s mid-field finally paid off with a goal from Dan Mortimer as finally the homeside seemed to be edging ahead in possession and confidence, 1-0.

But going a goal down just seemed to inspire Yapton into action and with the introduction of substitution Nathan Saddler it reinvigorated the visitors game changing the balance of power back the visitors way, as they pushed forward putting some dangerous crosses into the Lavant area and eventually capitalising on the pressure, levelling the score 1-1.

Minutes later the visitors scored again as Lavant seemed to lose focus as they were still in shock of conceding a late equaliser, 1-2.

A late change in formation could not rescue Lavant’s fate as Yapton resorted to possession football once more, safe in the knowledge that time was ticking away, as they held on to their slim lead right to the final whistle.

The result gave food for thought for the Reserve management duo, which still have some work to do with the team in order that next time Lavant once in front work harder to control the match in the final quarter of the game.

Lavant: R.Baylis, M.Grace, T.Sheppard, N.Richards, M.Hine, R.Gabb, D.Payne, D.Hayward-Hall, M.Ayers, D.Mortimer, J.Philips. Subs: H.Wade, B.Thomas, M.Price.

Saturdays League Results

Premier Division
Lavant 3 Holbrook 0
Barnham Reserves 0 West Chiltington 4
Cowfold 2 Bosham Reserves 2
Faygate 5 Watersfield 0
Lancing 2 Hunston CC 7
Upper Beeding 2 Newtown Villa 1

Division Three South
Lavant Reserves 1 Yapton Reserves 2
Bisham Reserves 2 Nyetimber Pirates 5
Rustington Park Seniors 2 Harting 2
Whyke Utd 1 Stedham 1