Last week, league leaders Clymping; this week’ ” never-dropped-a-point” Stedham were held to a draw by a much improved Lavant side.
It’s easy to see why the visitors have such an impressive record. Mick Dunn, their manager, has organised them well with excellent overlapping fullbacks and accurate interpassing.
From the space which the Midhurst team obtained on the flanks, two of their early crosses clipped the Lavant crossbar. Whilst Stedham were stronger on the flanks, the homeside were impressive again in midfield with their Thomas-Walsh- Kennard triangle.
It was a game of few chances and when Lavant ‘keeper Chris Bowles spilled a Rupert Slate 25 yard drive on 22 mins, Daryl Hall was first to the ball to clear.
However, a quarter of an hour later, when Lavant sweeper, Matt Court, broke forward no one stepped into the hole he had vacated and the Midhurst side went ahead with a wonderfully well worked goal which Chris Hayes finished brilliantly.
The Chichester side went in trailing by this single goal, but emerged for the second half with a new game plan. Coach, David Parker, devised the means of containing the visitors’ fullbacks and Stedham were soon reduced to playing long ball. The homeside went level, when man-of-the-match, Mike Neville, curled home a superb free-kick on 47 mins, after striker Tom Parker had been chopped down on the edge of the penalty area.
Lavant substitutes, Lines, Ayers and Haggar all impressed, though Lewis Hamilton’s late Stedham effort hit the bar, only to see the ubiquitous Hall clear his lines again.
” We’ve a long way to go” said Lavant’s veteran captain, Matt Court,, “but the two performances and results against the top two clubs hopefully means we may have turned a corner.”
Team: C.Bowles, D.Hall, M.Court, L.Hayward, M.Neville, D.Kennard, J.Walsh, B.Thomas, M.Price, T.Parker, C.Drinkwater. Subs: M.Ayers, O.Haggar, R.Lines.