Lavant 2 Henfield 1

Lavant hosted Henfield this week in a bid to get back on track after a disappointing result away to Ockley the week before.

A change in shape and the reinstatement of Baker and Haggar into the starting line-up would hopefully provide the springboard the home side were looking for. It appeared to of paid off almost immediately with Baker being played through by Haggar who fired low across the keeper only to strike the post.

Lavant persevered and were eventually rewarded and it was again that man Baker with the opportunity which this time he converted after being fed in by Brooks, rounding the keeper and tapping home.

Lavant continued on the front foot and managed to double their lead on the half hour mark, corner by Haggar finding Jones climbing high at the back post where the ball was smartly headed across goal for Baker to steer home.

At this point it really looked like Lavant would run away with the game but credit to the opposition they dug in and looked dangerous on the counter. 5 minutes from the half Henfield broke from a Lavant corner and despite good pressure from the home defence the Hens front man managed to find an angle to half the deficit going into the break.

Lavant went into the second half hoping they wouldn’t be punished for their earlier profligacy in front of goal. It was a bitty affair with Henfield looking dangerous on the counter after any sustained Lavant possession.

Lavant had a great shout for a penalty after the keeper felled Haggar after the striker beat the stopper to the ball but the referee felt otherwise. Neither keeper was really tested with shots from both sides sailing high and wide letting the home side see the game out for a much needed 3 points.

Lavant: Matt Bevan, Richard Gabb, Paul Jones, Simon Augustus, John Wright, James Brooks, Matt Stevens, Aaron Hancock, Pete Caveney, Ollie Haggar, Dan Baker Subs: James Sandford, Chris Harvey

Nytimber Pirates Reserves 1 Lavant Reserves 4

Lavant reserves continued their good form with a well-deserved win at Avisford Park, but were indebted to ‘keeper Rob Baylis for keeping them in the game early on.

Goals from LouisWeller, Paul Taylor and two from Will Cieszynski gave the visitors the points but they had to come from behind after another slow start.

Lavant lost front man John Langridge just before kick off but were boosted by the return of striker Lee Smith. However there was to be another setback just 90 seconds into the game, as Henry Polack jumped for a header in the box with the ‘Pirates forward and fell awkwardly with a nasty looking knee injury.

The visitors were unsettled and Baylis was forced into 3 good saves in quick succession, before an even better stop denied the hosts from close range. But as Lavant were starting to win the midfield battle, they conceded. A free kick from inside the ‘Pirates half was pumped forward and Palmer beat the onrushing Baylis to the ball and looped his header into the goal.

Lavant regrouped and were level on 35 minutes when Taylor played in Weller in the left channel, who curled his effort into the far corner. And they lead 5 minutes later when Taylor’s lofted through ball was misjudged by the keeper and bounced straight in.

Smith was introduced at half time and was an immediate threat, his pace and directness causing problems for the hosts, and was unlucky not to score when his chip over the keeper hit the corner of post and bar. And as Nyetimber pushed on for an equaliser, sub Cieszynski punished them on the break just 5 minutes after coming on. Played in by Smith, he calmly set himself before smashing past Taylor in the ‘Pirates goal, before slotting home Dave Maclean’s delightful through ball to make the game safe.

Despite a late aerial bombardment Lavant saw out the remaining minutes to make it nin points out of nine as they moved up to 3rd and closed the gap on the leaders.

Lavant: Rob Baylis, Martin Smith, Neil Latham, Henry Polack, Matt Grace, Scott Yaxley, Dave Maclean, Paul Taylor, Louis Weller, Adam Yaxley, Micky Earle. Subs: Tom Parker, Lee Smith, Matt Hine, Will Cieszynski