Stedham Utd 5 Lavant 2

Three goals in 10 minutes by Stedham virtually guaranteed them victory in this game.

Lavant simply had not turned up for the game and within 2 minutes on the clock s Christian Jones unmarked acrobatically fired Lewis Hamilton’s cross home from 7 yards.

Two minutes later a free kick from the left was palmed away by Lavant keeper Ash Rochester into the path of Nathan Castleton.

Despite Lavant being all players around him he remained unchallenged to lash in the second into the net.   The third seemed an innocuous curled shot from 22 yards which somehow eluded the Chichester ‘keeper to the delight of the Stedham crowd.

Eventually the visitors woke up and played a delightful spell of passing football. They deservedly pulled one back when Stuart Loversidge was released on the right, skipped past two players and set Ryan Seacombe up to score on 21 minutes.

Two minutes later James Brooks brilliantly switched play to release Dave Knight on the right. The winger did a repeat performance of the previous goal, but this time Seacombe shot over.

This was the turning point of the game. A Lavant goal then would have changed the game, but instead from a Stedham corner followed and the homeside restored its lead when Brian Young headed home.

Lavant continued with good passing in the second half but despite strong pressure could not crack the home defence. On a counter attack from this sustained pressure, the excellent Nick Plater added Stedham fifth on the hour.

Eventually the visitors did break through when Brooks with only the ‘keeper to beat scored Lavant’s consolation goal.  David Parker ,the Lavant manager, commented. “We have the potential of a good side here, but though we play well in possession we are rubbish defensively. An area we must work on”.

Lavant: A.Rochester, C.Coe, M.Steven J.Wright, K.Fogden, D.Knight, D.Kennard, J.Brooks, D.Cowell, R.Seacombe, S.Loversidge.  Subs: J.Walsh, S.Eastwood, T.Parker.

Lavant Reserves 2 Angmering Reserves 6

The first fixture of the New Year saw the top verses second place, so what more incentive does a team need to ensure they produce a great performance?

Unfortunately in this encounter only Angmering showed up on the day for the whole ninety minutes, putting on a commanding performance and demonstrating why they are currently worthy league leaguers.

Angmering intentions were displayed right from the start putting Lavant players under pressure and not allowing them any time on the ball.  This in turn forced the Lavant players into giving the ball away far too easily.

On 20 minutes Ross Lines on the edge of the 18 yard box lost possession to an Angmering player, who’s low shot wasn’t troubling the keeper, until a mistake by Tom Turner resulted in the first goal.

With heads now down, goal number two quickly followed, after a free kick to the right of the 18 yard box saw Ross Lines in the wall jump up with arms raised, making contact with the ball. The ref had no choice but to award the penalty, with Angmering making no mistake scoring their second, 2-0.

Lavant still hadn’t come to terms with the pitch and passes continued to fall short allowing Angmering to capitalise on the poor display. But hoping to go into the break at only two nil down the homeside sat back, soaking up the pressure.

However, a corner just before half time saw Angmering further increase their lead from a well drilled set piece, as the ball was floated into the near post and a neat flick on from the incoming striker found its way past the keeper, 0-3.

Assistant manager Mel Milburn shuffled the pack at half time and asked the players to dig deep and find their form which had brought them to second place in the league.

Lavant began the second half with new determination and were quickly rewarded as Louis Weller went on a mazy run beating his man on the right and unleashing a fierce shot which hit the underside of the crossbar and in, 1-3.

Lavant now had a foothold once more in the game and their new belief started to trouble the visitor’s goal.  But against the run of play somewhat Angmering made Lavant pay for not finishing off their chances as they counterattacked and a seemingly tame shot went agonisingly through the hands of the Lavant keeper and into the goal giving the visitors a three goal lead, 1-4.

Still fired up Lavant battled on, this time themselves capitalizing from a counter attack from an Angmering corner, as Sid Green picking the ball up on his own half and ran through on goal before finally neatly chipping the out-coming Angmering keeper to make it 2-4.

Angmering were still closing down quickly and working hard, but Lavant had found their form once more and were now camped in Angmering’s half.  But yet again with the homeside unable to capitalise on the pressure, but two quick breakaways goals put the game well and truly beyond Lavant’s reach.

Assistant manager Mel Milburn commented on the game “Putting on a Lavant shirt on a Saturday afternoon should be enough to fire up a player, but today it wasn’t enough and players struggled to play football, a basic requirement on a Saturday afternoon”.

Lavant: T. Turner, S.Green, D. Ranjbar, P.Cairns, M.Ayers, L.Weller, B.Evans, D.Maclean, R.Lines, D.Cox, R.Pinder.  Subs: M.Carver, M.Milburn, M.Pullen.