Lavant 3 Southwater 4

Lavant succumbed to their 3rd league defeat of the season against basement side Southwater. The game was not as close as the 4-3 score line would portray as this was 90 minutes that showed the very worst of Lavant FC.

Lavant weren’t helped by the home surface, rainfall during the week meant the grass could not be cut leaving a long, heavy and slow pitch. Now given that Lavant like to get the ball down and play, along with the gale force winds, it was obvious the home side were in for a long afternoons work.

Although Lavant had started the slightly brighter it wasn’t long until the work rate and desire of Southwater started to pay off and with the Lavant  defense getting deeper and deeper from the fear of defending into the wind the midfield were left doing box to box doggies to make up the defecate.

Southwaters sustained pressure finally told, after numerous corners, each one looking dangerous. A top delivery found a Southwater player completely unmarked at the near post and the header was powered home in style. It was one of those goals that would benefit from analysis from Gary Neville on MNF; the marking was shocking to say the least. Was it man to man or zonal, or perhaps nothing at all.

The game now completely opened up and it wasn’t long until Southwater doubled their lead, they were being given a free run of the park with the Lavant defense camped on the 18 yard box.

Before halftime a third goal came, it had a bit of fortune taking a massive deflection off Jon Wright and lobbing the helpless Ash Court. You could write about the Lavant chances in the half but each opening was completely fluffed to the point that the Southwater keeper never had to make a save.

So after a dressing down at halftime the first goal in the second half was of paramount importance and five minutes in it was 4-0 Southwater. It was a great great goal, a lovely angled ball into the box taken first time on the volley and in off the underside of the bar, again where was the defending.

From here the game settled, Southwater were not as effective into the wind and the graft they had carried out in the 1st half was clearly taking its toll. The introduction of Caveney for Lavant was a positive one and chances started to come. Sadly it wasn’t until the 83rd minute when Lavant finally notched.

Haggar drove into the box from the right hand side only to be felled, penalty. Haggar stepped up and a duly dispatched. A glimmer of hope maybe for the home side, a minute later Lavant had two, Caveney set free after a delightful through ball whom fired home from the edge of the area.

Surely not…. could we? Southwater kicked off and had another raid at the Lavant defence and won a penalty of their own, the final nail in the coffin perhaps. It wasn’t, penalty saved by Court, it was hit well but a good height for the keeper. Could this be the catalyst for the come backs of comebacks…..?

Injury time looming and the Southwater keeper player for time, “6 seconds ref” is the shout, free kick given. The ball was laid off for Sandford to hit hard and low, goal, 4-3.

If the game was played for another 5 minutes Lavant would’ve taken a point or maybe the win but it goes to show the these games are played for 90 minutes and not just the last 10.

Team: Ash Court, Richard Gabb, Matt Lyttle, Jon Wright, Dan Cowell,  Aaron Hancock, Dave Knight, Matt Stevens, Ash Hawkes, James Sandford, Ollie Haggar. Subs: Pete Caveney, Scott Yaxley

Watersfield 4 Lavant Reserves 0

Lavant were the architects of their own downfall as they bowed out of the Bareham Trophy at free-scoring Watersfield by contributing the first two goals.

At a sodden Alban Head both centre backs put through their own net either side of half time before two late goals completed a deserved victory for the Div 4 side.

Lavant were forced into changes ahead of kick-off, with manager Neil Sanson having to go between the sticks and Adam Yaxley returning for the unwell Lee Smith.

The visitors started brightly and should have been ahead after 5 minutes, Louis Weller turning well but screwing his shot wide from 7 yards. Watersfield’s fashioned their first opportunity shortly after, a deep cross finding the unmarked runner who could only lash a volley over the bar.

But it was Lavant controlling the early passage of play, and when left back Matt Grace’s divine cross was missed by John Langridge and the defender, Will Cieszynski was able to control and fire in a shot that was pushed behind by the ‘keeper at his near post.

However Watersfield grew into the game and got a huge lift when an innocuous free kick into the box was called by Sanson but headed past his ‘keeper by Tom Parker.

Lavant started the second half brightly but had the stuffing knocked out of them on 52 minutes as another harmless delivery from a corner was glanced in at the near post by the unfortunate Neil Latham.

The hosts sensed victory and pressed forward in search of more and were twice denied by Sanson; firstly getting down well to his left to a low drive, then tipping a fierce drive over the bar from 10 yards. It was 3-0 after 70 minutes, some neat one touch football unlocking the Lavant defence who appealed in vain for a flag as the ball was slotted home.

Parker was moved up front and almost immediately forced an excellent stop from the home keeper low to his left, but Lavant’s misery was complete through another mistake, Grace’s pass intercepted and expertly slotted home with 5 minutes to go.

Lavant travel to Horsham Crusaders for the Div 3 cup next Saturday knowing defeat will see all cup hopes extinguished for the season.

Lavant: Neil Sanson, Paul Taylor, Neil Latham ( c), Tom Parker, Matt Grace, Mike Sleet, Will Cieszynski, Lou Weller, Adam Yaxley, Leon Mears, John Langridge. Subs: Charlie McLaren, Alex Holmes, Martin Smith.