Holbrook 6 Lavant 2

With five first team players absent through injury, Lavant Manager, David Parker’s, worst fears came true in this Division One meeting.

However, the visitors started well and looked the better side and more likely to score, especially when Darren Cox and then Ryan Seacombe came close.

All this changed when referee, Andy Guy, awarded a penalty for Chris Coe’s challenge on Paul White. Captain Adam O’Carroll converted the spot kick on the quarter hour and form then on the homeside gradually came more into the game and Lavant became ragged and devoid of self-belief.

The system that had served them so well in recent games was abandoned and they paid the penalty. First ‘keeper Ash Rochester had to save and then Jon Wright clear off his line before White put Holbrook 2-0 in front on 37 minutes.

A mix up between Coe and Rochester allowed White the easiest of goals just before half-time.

The pitch had now become a sea of mud but a roasting from the Manager saw a rejuvenated Lavant appear in the second period and pull one back through Cox early on.

But though Lavant were pressing they were inevitably exposed to Holbrook’s speciality counter attacks. On one such Dan Nason restored their three goal lead on 78 minutes.

White got his hat-trick from an 89th minute free-kick.  But that wasn’t the end of it. In added time, Dave Knight pulled one back for the visitors before substitute, Nat Rowland, hit another for the Horsham side from a clean break away. This will be a day Lavant will want to forget.

Lavant: A. Rochester, J.Walsh, J.Wright, C.Coe, K.Fogden, S.Green, J.Brooks, D.Knight, S.Cole, R.Seacombe, D.Cox. Subs: L.Weller, M.Carver, M.Stevens.

Lavant Reserves 5 Rustington Park Seniors 0

Lavant going into this game were forced to make a change in goal, as Duncan Terry stood in for the injured Tom Turner.

And it was Terry who demonstrated his goalkeeping abilities early on producing a number of fine agile saves, as the visitors pressed early on in search of a goal.

With twenty minutes of the game gone and both teams in deadlock the homeside finally made the breakthrough scoring their first goal from a well worked move involving Dave Maclean, Matt Hines and Ross Lines, with Shaun Massey producing a quality finish, to make it two goals in two games for him, 1-0.

This goal seemed to galvanise the Lavant team and considering the boggy pitch they were playing some good passing football with Matt Hine in the middle of the park spraying balls out to the lively Louis Cook-Jones on the wing at every opportunity, as his surging runs caused havoc with the Rustington defence.

The second goal just before half time credited to Rhys Watling was however a little more of a scrappy affair after Peter Cairns floated a ball into the box, as it was pinged around the defenders before rebounding off the keeper and into the path of Watling, who thumped home the ball across the line at lose range, 2-0.

At half time assistant manager Mel Milburn told the players to carry with the passing game, spraying the ball out wide to the flanks and more goals would come.

Watling’s second of the game came on the break from a Rustington corner. The ball was cleared away by captain Martin Ayres into the path of Ross Lines who unselfishly played in Watling, who ran 40 yard’s leaving the defenders in his wake before coolly finishing and putting the homeside 3-0 up.

This goal seemed to break Rustington’s spirit and from then on apart from a long range effort on goal, which Terry made a brilliant save to keep it out, the visitors never really threatened.

From there Lavant went on a surge of attacks on goal with Ben Evens, Pete Cairns, Louis Cook-Jones all going close.  But it was left up to Lavant’s top scorer Ross Lines to show them how to finish.  As Lines added goals four and five, on both occasions scoring from inside the box after good work on both occasions by Watling.

At the final whistle Lavant had notched up a resounding win and team performance.  But the most pleasing to see was that the two youngest players in the team, Louis Cook-Jones and Rhys Watling had made significant contributions to the win.

Manager Cliff Massey commented “Both Louis and Rhys were neck and neck for the man of the match award after today’s game, with Rhys narrowly getting the referee’s vote. This shows great promise for the future for the club”.

Lavant: D.Terry, B.Evans, J.Green, P.Cairns, M.Ayers, S.Massey, D.Maclean, M.Hine, L.Cook-Jones, R.Lines, R.Watling.  Subs: J.Hepworth, M.Milburn.

Sunday’s Results

Chichester & West Sussex Sunday League
Shuker Memorial Trophy: Semi Finals:
Lamb Steyne 2, Lavant 5
University of Chichester 3, Southbourne 2.

Division 2:
Queens Park South 7, The Railway 1
Six Villages Utd 2, Wheatsheaf II 4.

Arun & Chichester Youth League
Division B:
Worthing Rebels Yth 2, Worthing Town Yth 1.

Saturdays Results

Division I:
Hunston CC 10, Ashington Rovers 3
Stedham Utd 2, Newtown Villa 2nd 10

Centenary Cup – Rnd 3
Billingshurst 2, Lavant 1

Division III South:
All games cancelled