Lavant lost their 100% league record and consecutive clean sheets in 30 soporific minutes.
The visitors came close when Stuart Loversidge twice shot over the Stedham crossbar. But then as match official Martin Smith commented after the game, “Lavant ceased to compete for 20 mins”.
In that time the Chichester side twice gave the ball away on the edge of their defending third to allow Paul Hoff on 14 mins and Paul Porter 23mins to put Stedham in the driving seat. The horrors were complete when Porter’s driven cross was deflected by Liam Hayward into his own net 2 minutes later.
Then, like a giant awaking from sleep, Lavant battled back into the game. When Matt Hine was chopped down, Loversidge met the cross from the resulting free kick to fire home on the half hour.
The second half saw a brighter more committed Lavant. Stedham ‘keeper, Tim Dixon was injured saving from Loversidge and when Dixon went off his understudy pulled off a great save from a Joe Hepworth free kick. Hepworth again hit the bar on 65 minutes and deserved his 75 minute goal when he met Loversidge’s cross after the striker burst through on the left.
” There is no doubt that Lavant trailing by 3 goals did well not to concede and yet test Stedham to the limit; creating so many chances. But unless they start better they will never contest the league leadership”. So said Dave Louis, long time observer of the Chicheser side’s fortunes. Mick Farr’s Stedham however seem back on course for their promotion challenge.
Team: Pullen, Court, Hayward, Hall, Haggar, Ayers, Hine, Neville, Richardson, Parker, Loversidge. Subs: R.Pinder, Hepworth, McClean.