Henfield 2 Lavant 4

Lavant completed a March fixture list that has witnessed their best run of results since joining Division One with a win at Henfield.

The quagmire state of the pitch combined with Henfield’s style of play provided a possible banana skin for the visitors to slip up on.

The Chichester side, however, dominated the first half with Ryan Seacombe converting a Justin Walsh through ball on 11 minutes to give the visitors the lead.

Last week’s hero, Ross Lines put them further ahead 5 minutes later and the two combined for Seacombe to give Lavant a 3-0 advantage at half-time.

The visitors could have gone further ahead just after the restart but as conditions deteriorated Henfield came further into the game and Jamie Smith curled a 68 min free-kick into the top corner to reward the homeside’s efforts.

In pouring rain and a sea of mud, the match became a battle of physical endurance. After a series of corners and throw-ins, the homeside looked like staging a comeback when Rowbotham’s flick on was volleyed home by Matt Mead 6 minutes from time.

But these hopes were dashed 2 minutes later when Seacombe completed his hat-trick by heading home Tom Parker’s pin-point free-kick.

Lavant: T.Turner, D.Kennard, T.Parker, C.Coe, M.Neville, J.Walsh, G.Ockwell, A.Sheppard, M.Price, R.Seacombe, R.Lines. Subs M.Hine, N.Watts.

Tangmere 3 Lavant Reserves 2

Revenge was on the minds of the Tangmere players leading up to this game after Lavant had beaten them 4-0 earlier in the season.

Lavant started the brighter producing some good possession football and creating chances and this early pressure paid dividends on 10 minutes when Dan Mortimer opened the scoring for the visitors after some neat work down the right by Tom Sheppard, 0-1.

After the goal Lavant stepped up another gear as they played some good possession football but with Adam Yaxley seemingly leaving his shooting boots back in the changing rooms, they were unable to provide the finishing touch and extend their lead.

On 25 minutes Lavant’s opportunity came as Yaxley was fouled in the area and the referee Mark Ledbetter pointed straight too the spot. Up stepped Yaxley to make amends for earlier misses, but the keeper guessed the right way, producing a great save, keeping the score at one nil to the visitors.

This was a wake up call for Tangmere and they grew stronger as the half progressed, creating a couple of good chances, but with keeper Chris Bowles in fine form in the Lavant goal the score remained unchanged going into half time.

With no changes at half time and a stern talking to by manager Cliff Massey, Lavant begun the second half just like the first, creating a couple of early chances. But it was Tangmere who got the next goal, using a route one approach the ball was launched over the top of the stranded defenders, allowing their striker to run through and level the score, 1-1.

All of a sudden the game seemed to be favouring the now stronger Tangmere team, but from a rare break from defence Lavant won a corner, which Shaun Massey floating into the box and the ball was scrambled across the goal line by Adam Yaxley on his second attempt, 1-2.

Tangmere’s reply was almost instant as straight from the kick off they pressed forward winning a corner themselves and with the wind conditions in Tangmere favour they whipped the ball into the far corner of the goal, 2-2.

Tangmere sensing the victory were in front for the first time in the game two minutes later with a well worked move, 3-2.

In an attempt to get something from the game Lavant made changes to the team bringing off Yaxley and Ayers and replacing them with Chris Withall and Scott Yaxley.

The remaining 15 minutes were evenly matched with both teams having chances to score, but good goalkeeping by both keepers ensuring deadlock remained right up to the final whistle as Tangmere claim all three points precious points in the race for the league title.

Lavant’s assistant manager Mel Milburn commented “the game could have been over in the first 30 minutes as we had 5 or 6 gilt edge chances, not too mention the penalty. But Tangmere showed their strength and resolve to get all the points. There is no however no criticism aimed at our strikers today, as it’s their goals that have kept us in the promotion race all season long. We win as a team and we also lose as a team”.

Team: C.Bowles, J.Strange, M.Ayers, S.Eastwood, M.Smith, D.Maclean, S.Massey, T.Sheppard, J.Houghton, A.Yaxley, D.Mortimer. Subs: S.Yaxley, C.Withall, A.Clarke.

Saturdays Results

13th March

Division 1:
Ashington Rovers 5, Faygate Utd 3
Henfield 2, Wittering Utd 4
Partridge Green 2, Hunston CC 2
Watersfield 1, Angmering 2
West Chiltington 2, Lavant 3.

Division 4 South:
Ambassadors 3, Coal Exchange 3
Lodsworth II 1, Lavant II 2
Yapton II 1, Fishbourne II 4.