Lavant 2 Faygate United 2

Lavant this week hosted a confident Faygate side still on a high from their victory the previous week against rivals Watersfield. But it was in fact Lavant who actually started the game the better showing a much higher level of commitment and determination which somewhat subdued the visitors game plan.

Then on 15 minutes and against the run of play Faygate took a surprising lead following a very dubious offside decision. The Faygate striker clearly appeared to be offside, but with no clear flag from the linesman, referee Richard Sergeant waved play on as Lavant’s defence stopped still arguing the decision allowing Liam Broxup to run through and round keeper Chris Bowles to score into an empty net, 0-1.

The goal now allowed the visitors to get a foothold into the game and the remainder of the half was more evenly contested. But slowly and surely Lavant started to threaten Faygate’s goal once more and right on half time.

Matt Price’s cross found Alan Sheppard clear of the defence but he was judged to be offside, then with seconds remaining Ross Line’s goal bound volley was somehow palmed to safety by keeper Martin Jepson.

Lavant’s half time team talk was one about self belief and this seemed to focus the squad as they produced a hard working second half performance which once more saw Faygate on the back foot.

The increased tempo of the team eventually told as Ben Thomas’s lofted ball over the visitors defence was met by Sheppard who skilfully rounded the out-coming keeper and scored, drawing the team’s level on 66 minutes.

The homeside then deservedly took the lead 17 minutes later when man of the match Dave Kennard picked out Sheppard who to skilfully lob the ball over the keeper from the edge of the box, 2-1.

Lavant from the restart tried to see out the remainder of the game and everything was going to plan until they conceded a free kick 30 yards out with just minutes to go. The subsequent free kick was then lofted deep into the area where full back Greg Bolt smashed home the equaliser, 2-2.

The remaining couple of minutes were tense as both sides searched for the winner and Lavant nearly snatched all three points at the death, as Kennard’s header rattled the crossbar and the rebound found him a yard out with only the keeper to beat, but as at the end of the first half keeper Jepson pulled off a great save to deny Lavant once more.

Team: C.Bowles, T.Shepppard, B.Thomas, M.Court, C.Coe, R.Lines, T.Parker, D.Kennard, M.Price, D.Knight, A.Sheppard. Subs: M.Smith, L.Weller, S.Gooding. Linesman J.Wawrzewski.

Ambassadors 1 Lavant Reserves 1

Lavant this week travelled to Bognor, perhaps slightly too over confident of bagging all three points as they faced the current bottom of the league side Ambassadors.

But their optimism was short lived when the combination of a spectacular own goal and the defending of a resolute Ambassadors side ensured they had to settle for one point as the honours were even at the final whistle.

The first half was evenly contested, but both teams seldom threaten each others goals as most of the play was fought out in the middle of the pitch. The breakthrough however eventually came for the homeside on 15 minutes, with Lavant down to 10 men as right-back Neale Watts received treatment off the pitch, a tentative cross into the box was hastily met by the outstretched foot of debutant left back Martin Pullen, resulting in the ball curling up and over his own keeper Tom Turner and into the back of the net, 1-0.

At half time manager Mel Milburn made some tactical changes which saw Lavant up the tempo immediately from the re-start and for much of the second half they forced Ambassador’s onto the back foot as they hastily defended their own goal in order to hold onto their slender lead.

The visitors deservedly made the pressure count finally in the 80th minute with their best move of the match, as Shaun Massey picked out Robbie Pinder from the half way line, who chested the ball down to Shay Wiggins, who slotted the ball past the full-back allowing Pinder to run through and calmly slot the ball home past the outcoming keeper, 1-1.

The remaining 10 minutes saw Lavant continue to pile on the pressure in the desperate search for the winner, but Ambassadors had other ideas, as they successfully saw out the remainder of the game, thankful for the draw, as they claimed only their second point of the season.

Team: T. Turner, M.Pullen, G.Pinder, J.Walsh, N.Watts, C.Swain, D.Maclean, S.Massey, S.Wiggins, R.Pinder, A.Yaxley. Subs: G.Bell, D.Morris, M.Milburn.

Saturday’s Results

24th October

Division 1:
Angmering 8, Wittering Utd 0
Faygate Utd 2, Lavant 2
Fishbourne 3, Henfield 2
Hunston CC 0, West Chiltington 2
Partridge Green 3, Watersfield 1.

Division 4 South:
Ambassadors 1, Lavant Reserves 1
Highdown Hornets 1, Coal Exchange 4
Tangmere 3, Yapton II 1
Milland 0, Fishbourne II 5.