Lavant 1 Hunston 0
A screaming sizzling 25yd shot into the top corner by Lavant midfielder, Ben Evans, bagged the homeside 3 points and kept them in the promotion race in Division Two.
With their regular coach, David Parker away, it all started badly for the Chichester side. Hunston dominated the first-half but simply could not score. A gilt-edged opportunity fell to Hunston’s Andy Hendrie but he uncharacteristically ballooned the ball over the bar.
Then, holding player, Ben Thomas, won the ball in midfield and released Stuart Loversidge on the left. The Lavant striker’s cross was deflected outside the “D” by the visitors’ defence, where Evans took one touch and sweetly struck the ball home against the run of play and on the stroke of half-time.
Deputy manager, Stuart Eastwood, gave the homeside a dressing down in the changing room and Lavant emerged to dominate the second half. The home ‘keeper, Martin Pullen had little to do whilst Hunston,s counterpart, Steve Chiddle, pulled off great saves from Tom Parker and Loversidge whilst Lomas cleared off the line from a sneaky lob from David Kennard with Chiddle beaten.
Eastwood commented afterwards, “David Parker would have killed me on his return had we not won, but more importantly this win was crucial for our promotion prospects. It was a hard grind but in the end we deseved the win”.
Lavant: M.Pullen, S.Gooding, M.Court, D.Hall, M.Ayers, D.Kennard, B.Thomas, B.Evans, R.Lines, S.Loversidge, T.Parker, Subs: M.Hine, M.Neville, T.Sheppard
Newtown Villa 1 Lavant Reserves 0
Lavant hoping to build on last week’s performance faced a stiff challenge as they travelled away to league leaders Newtown Villa, who have yet to drop a single point in the league.
True to the formbook the visitors were forced to defend early on as home side forced the pace. With Robbie Pinder playing in an unfamiliar defensive role due to injuries blocking a goal bound shot with the ball spilling over for a corner. The following corner was again well defended, with a timely challenge from Andy Strange, which was cleared to safety by Dave Knight.
Newtown’s pressure however paid off on thirteen minutes as keeper Johnny Wiffin’s quick throw out was driven up the pitch for Mike Woolston to run onto and lob keeper Pete Czajka to open the scoring, 1-0.
This could have forced the floodgates to open but Lavant were not in the mood to roll over to the league leaders and concede the game and ten minutes later they should have levelled the score when Christian Swain broke through on goal, but his shot failed to beat the keeper.
The second half was evenly contested. Lavant were resolute in defence with Czajka pulling off some great saves early on. Whilst also pressing up at every opportunity in an effort to try and draw level.
Both Lavant strikers worked hard up front continually threatening the home side’s goal. Chris Withall had an effort well saved by Wiffin and Dave Knight saw his shot go frustratingly just inches over the bar.
Lavant’s defence were continuously tested with man of the match Czajka pulling off a number of critical saves.
In the final quarter of the game Withall’s twenty five yard effort looked to be going into the top corner, but somehow Wiffin pulled off a fantastic one handed save to deny Lavant the equalizer, as he tipped the ball just over he crossbar.
At full time the result went the way of the formbook but the league leaders only narrowly beat the team seated at the foot of the league and Lavant should take heart from the result as they battled and competed for the full ninety minutes and perhaps deserved at least to come away with a draw.
Team: P.Czajka, J.Perrin, J.Strange, R.Pinder, S.Blackman, C.Swain, J.Houghton, A.Strange, D.Morris, D.Knight, C.Withall. Subs: M.Martin, G.Pinder, C.Bowles.
West Sussex League Results – 22nd November
Division 2 South:
Barnham Res 7, Yapton 4; General Henry 1, Lodsworth 2; Lavant 1, Hunston CC 0; Predators Res 3, Worthing BCOB 2; Selsey Town 3, Fishbourne 2.
Division 4 South:
Coal Exchange 0, Petworth Res 3; Harting 1, Boxgrove 0; Newtown Villa III 1, Lavant Res 0; Tangmere 1, Rustington Park Snrs 3.
Mike Neville is faster than a speeding Porsche and that is official