Barns Green 0 Lavant 2
After their Cup defeat last Saturday, it was business as usual in the league for Lavant as they travelled to Barns Green and secured three points taking them to second in the table, with a game in hand on current league leaders Faygate Utd.
But in a tight game, it was half an hour before the visitors took the lead, when Mike Bartley headed home a Mike Neville corner.
The Chichester side could have gone 2-0 up, two minutes later when Ryan Seacombe was upended in the box, but he fired the spot kick wide.
Lavant did then extend their lead when a delightful move on the right saw midfielder Matt Stevens run from deep and cross the ball into the box. This time Seacombe met it and made no mistake just before half-time.
The visitors were instructed to close up the game and apart from Adam Rice shooting inches wide for Barns Green, Lavant saw the match out; Bartley managing to force a fine save from Barns Green’s ‘keeper, Jason Dumbrill.
Lavant: N.Sanson, G.Ockwell, B.Purgavie, M.Lyttle, C.Coe, M.Bartley, M.Stevens, J.Brooks, M.Neville, R.Seacombe, S.Cole. Subs: M.Grace.
Selsey A 3 v Lavant Reserves 2
For the last three seasons, both Lavant Reserves and Selsey have gained promotion up the leagues making this a regular local fixture, with Selsey having the most success by far in recent league encounters.
With Selsey’s county ground being the last minute change in venue, the Lavant players unfortunately arrived late, so pre-match preparations were once more hurriedly convened. Right from kick off a well prepared Selsey team therefore immediately took the upper hand creating a couple of early chances forcing keeper Craig Seacombe into action, as Lavant hurriedly tried to organise themselves.
Lavant then slowly started to come into the game playing their way out of trouble with the midfield linking up well with attack. But with the Selsey’s keeper steadfast in goal, the visitors were unable to forge many real clear cut chances.
On 20 minutes Selsey route one approach paid off as the ball was wellied up field, which Lavant’s defence failed to clear, allowing the homeside’s striker to win the ball and run through and round the out-coming keeper and open the scoring, 1-0.
This immediately gave Selsey a real lift, as they once more put the visitors defence under severe pressure right from the restart and were quickly rewarded with a second goal, as a neat through ball allowed the Selsey striker to out paced the Lavant centre back and coolly slotted the ball home, giving the homeside a two goal lead going into half time.
During the break, manager Cliff Massey focus was on getting the players to start believing in themselves and then chances that would come, as they really didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down.
Right from the re-start Selsey had other ideas as they continued to dominate with their confidence high, but the now the Lavant rearguard upped their game and for a brief spell the score remained unchanged.
Lavant began to forge more clear chances, as the whole team pressed forward in search of a goal. But as a result they also left themselves exposed at the back and once more a Selsey counterattack paid dividends, as somewhat against the run of play Selsey further increased their lead to 3-0.
Lavant made changes bringing on David Payne into midfield and pushing Louis Weller up front, which immediately paid dividends as Weller scored to reduce the deficit, 3-1.
This goal seemed to give Lavant a real belief and further chances were created with Mark Fegus going close and full-back Alex Berry forcing the Selsey keeper to pull off the save of the game, somehow flipping the ball over for a corner.
With 15 minutes remaining it was now all Lavant and goal number two came as Fegus took on the Selsey back four before scoring a fine individual goal, 3-2.
Selsey were now being punished for taking their foot of the gas and it proved to be a nervy final 10 minutes for the homeside, as Lavant were camped out in the Selsey half, as they tried desperately to grab an equaliser.
But as in the previous week Lavant’s opponents held out to the end bagging all three precious league points. Leaving the visitors to reflect on their last two games against possibly the two front runners for the league title, in which it took the side to go three-nil down before they started the fight back, something the management team of Cliff Massey and Mel Milburn need to work on for future matches.
Lavant: C.Seacombe, N.Richrds, M.Ayers, G.Pinder, A.Berry, D.Maclean, S.Wiggins, S.Massey, L.Weller, M.Fegus, J.Green. Subs: D.Payne.
Saturday League Results
Barnham Reserves 3-1 Cowfold Reserves
Barns Green 3-1 Yapton
Faygate Utd 3-1 Petworth
Division TWO SOUTH
Fernhurst 3-2 Predators
Lodsworth 2-0 Barnham 3rd
Selsey FC ‘A’ 4-2 Boxgrove
Stedham Utd 1-4 Fittleworth
Wittering Utd 3-2 Lavant Reserves