Holbrook 1 Lavant 4
Lavant (in red away kit sponsored by the Belle Isle) too strong in defence for Holbrook
Lavant returned to league action this weekend following a week’s break and run of cup fixtures with a journey to Horsham side Holbrook.
Conditions weren’t ideal for the Chichester side with the pitch suffering from the week’s rainfall which was bound to influence their passing game. It was Lavant that started the stronger and again it was Hancock on the right flank provided the outlet and having the beating of the opposing full back that was clearly out of his depth.
It was by this avenue where Lavant opened the scoring 15 minutes in, Hancock fired a low and hard cross in to the area only for the Holbrook centre half to divert into his own net, a finish any striker would be proud of.
As the half progressed, further chances fell to Baker and Sandford leading the line but Lavant failed to extend their lead before the break. This left the away side hoping their profligacy in front of goal wouldn’t cost them in the second half as the pitch deteriorated.
Matt Lyttle in to clear the ball up-field
The home side had shuffled the pack during the interval with the skipper now leading the line and from the outset clearly more effective. Lavant weathered any early Holbrook skirmishes and doubled their lead on the hour, a well delivered corner finding Lyttle at the far post who guided the ball back into the path of Sandford to smash home.
This settled Lavant who minutes later extended the advantage to three as Baker was set free down the inside left channel who calmly guided the ball round the outstretched keeper with the sweetest of finishes.
Lavant attack the Holbrook goal again dow the left flank
Credit to Holbrook as they still strived to cause Lavant problems and got their consolation goal 15 minutes from time with a fabulous header from their skipper. Despite the setback, Lavant weren’t finished yet; Sandford bagged his 2nd after showing great feet in the area and dancing past the opposing centre halves to hit home the goal to put the result beyond doubt.
Team: Rob Baylis, Richard Gabb, James Batten, Ben Purgavie, Matt Lyttle, Aaron Hancock, James Brooks, Dave Knight, Ollie Haggar, Dan Baker, James Sandford (c). Subs: Mike Neville, Alex Holmes.
Lavant Reseves 1 Ajax Trees 3
Neil Latham attacking the ball
Not the best run up to a very big game with Lavant Reserves losing their keeper to the 1st Team on Friday morning along with Henry Polack pulling out (injured). Then Saturday Morning Dan Mortimer also pulling out (injured).
Tom parker was therefore selected to go in goal from no less than four volunteers, positions re-thought and nets put up and it was time to take on Ajax Trees who are unbeaten this season and top of of Division 4 South.
The game started well and it was clear that it was going to be a battle with the visitors challenging hard and challenging every decision until Referee Ricky Steed laid down the law in no uncertain terms.
With the referee now in certain control of the game the battle continued until the visitors broke the dead-lock on 15 minutes with a shot that went in off the inside of the post that stand-in keeper Parker could do nothing about.
Lavant regrouped and carried on with the task at hand with Lavant striker Lee Smith giving Ajax Trees defenders problems. Then on 39 minutes Greg Ayling score the equalizer and the task now turned to not conceding before the half time break, which Lavant succeeded to do.
The half time talk consisted of keeping the tempo and fight up and as the 2nd half started with Louis Weller on for Adam Yaxley, the game seem a lot more open with Lavant occasionally dropping in tempo but also missing a few chances the best of which was Lee Smith’s shot hitting the bar.
But it was Ajax Trees who eventually took the lead 1-2 in the 65th minute with a goal which left the defenders swapping quizzical looks and gestures with the assistant ref, but no flag was raised.
Neale Wattts on the ball
Lavant now chasing the game saw the introduction of Leon Mears for Lee Smith and later the introduction of Neale Watts for Don Polack but this couldnt stop Ajax Trees putting the game out of Lavant’s reach on 83 minutes with a speculative shot/thru ball from midfield which was intercepted by the striker inches in front of Lavant’s stand-in keeper and chipped into the net. The remaining 7 minutes saw Ajax protect their lead and running down the clock.
Final score 1-3 saw the end of this years Bareham Trophy crusade for Lavant Reserves.
Team: Tom Parker, Craig Spann, Neil Latham, Matt Grace, Ben Thomas, Adam Yaxley, Greg Ayling, Don Pollack, Pete Caveney, Lee Smith, Dave Maclean. Subs: Louis Weller, Neale Watts, Leon Mears.