Centenary Cup
Yapton 3   Lavant 1

Yapton deserved their passage into the next round of the Cup in this hard fought tie.

The homeside put Lavant under early pressure but the Chichester side settled into the game to provide a well worked build-up for Ross Lines to give the visitors the lead with a 20 yd strike on 16 minutes.

When Tom Sheppard, 11 minutes later, committed an infringement in the box, Nathan Sadler dispatched the spot kick to level the game.

Then came the first of two controversial incidents which provide turning points in any match. The visitors carved out an excellent goal hit home by Tom Parker on the half hour after a slick six pass build up. The linesman had flagged for an offside and the goal was disallowed.

In the second half, Daryl Benfield put the homeside deservedly ahead on 56 minutes when the visitor’s offside trap failed. Lavant came back again as Shawn Gooding shaved the bar 5 minutes later.

Loversidge had a chance to equalise for Lavant but passed the responsibility to Lines whose effort was brilliantly blocked. Three minutes later, Loversidge did hit the net in the second controversial event which was a replica of the first.  Again the goal being ruled offside in a protest of disbelief.

But battling and counterattacking Yapton sealed the result as Alex Clark scored a brilliant individual goal 7 minutes from time as Lavant strove for an equaliser.

Team: M.Pullen, T.Sheppard, S.Gooding, D.Hall, M.Neville, D.Kennard, B.Thomas, B.Evans, R.Lines, S.Loversidge, T.Parker. Subs: M.Hine, J.Walsh

Injury Time Strike Sinks Lavant

Petworth Reserves 2 Lavant Reserves 0

This was the first time this season these two teams had met and so for the opening ten minutes of the match both sides were cautious in their approach to the game.

However Lavant with the first half advantage of the slope began to eventually make headway and for the next twenty minutes they pushed up field and constantly attacked the home side’s goal.

Jason Houghton read Chris Withall’s cross deep into the Petworth’s area perfectly, as he ran through the defence outstretching a leg and redirected the ball towards goal, but his effort went inch’s over the bar.

Withall’s flick then put Alan Sheppard through one on one with the keeper but Reese Griffiths was quick to react and pulled of a great save to deny Sheppard.

Minutes later Christian Swain’s effort also went again agonisingly inch’s wide of the target.

Petworth somehow managed to weather the initial onslaught and then for remaining fifteen minutes of the half got a foot hold in the game and began to pressurize Lavant’s goal.

Lavant losing possession in midfield allowed the home side to react quickly on the counterattack, forcing Paul Czajka to race out his goal in an effort to try and clear the ball, in doing so he clumsily brought down the on-coming Petworth striker, conceding a foul a yard outside the area.  Referee Simon Booker then thought hard and long before deciding to only issue a yellow card for the offence, all to the disgust of the local supporters.

Petworth were unable to capitalize on the free kick, as the shot went wide of the mark and so the score remained goalless going into half time.

The second half kicked off in a lively fashion with both sides looking to break the deadlock.  With only five minutes gone Houghton was then up-ended in the Petworth box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.

Chris Withall stepped up and hit his shot low and hard in the corner, but Griffth’s again pulled off a great save to deny Withall and ensure Lavant did not take the lead.

As the second half progressed both sides had great opportunities to open the scoring.
Czajka pulled off a series of great saves to somehow deny Petworth, whilst at the other end of the pitch substitutes Chris Bowles and Dan Baker for Lavant had shots saved by Griffiths.

With five minutes remaining of normal time, Oli Haggar’s corner was headed by Sheppard into the far corner of the goal, this time past the stranded keeper, but the Petworth full back was able to clear the ball off the line, again denying Lavant.

Then with only seconds remaining on the watch, it was Petworth who finally broke the deadlock and then also resolve of the visitors, as substitute Evan Griffiths in the ninety first minute, launched an unstoppable shot some twenty five yards out into the top corner of goal, 1-0.

With the game all but over and visitors still in shock, Griffiths repeated his first effort scoring an identical goal two minutes later, right on the final whistle, ensuring all Lavant’s hard work came to nothing.

Team: P.Czajka, O.Haggar, S.Eastwood, R.Pinder, J.Strange, D.Knight, C.Swain, J.Houghton, D.Morris, A.Sheppard, C.Withall. Subs: C.Bowles, D.Baker, S.Blackman.

West Sussex League Results – 6th December

Centenary Cup: Third round:
Henfield 1, East Dean 3; Watersfield 4, Lancing Utd 3; West Chiltington 1, General Henry 0; Yapton 3, Lavant 1.

Division Four Cup: Second round:
Rustington Park Snrs 5, Ockley Res 2.

Division 2 South:
Predators Res 3, Barnham Res 0.

Division 4 South:
Petworth Res 2, Lavant Res 0; Stedham Utd Res 4, Boxgrove 4.