Newtown 2 Lavant 5
Malcolm Simmonds Cup

Premiership Newtown entertained Division One Lavant in this Malcolm Simmonds Memorial Cup clash.

The first half was tight with few chances. Ryan Seacombe forced a save from Villa ‘keeper, Keelan Belcher, and Dean Cooper fired over the Lavant bar from 8yds out.  The Chichester side had to rearrange their squad when James Brooks had to leave for hospital with a broken nose, when his diving header was met by a Villa boot.  The only break in the deadlock was Matt Lyttle’s 8th minute goal for the visitors from a set piece.

Ashley Pugh drew Villa level in the 55th minute but fortunately for Lavant Louis Weller restored the lead two minutes later.  Then came a series of goals from the visitors as Seacombe (68th minute) and Weller (72nd minute) put the visitors 4-1 in front.

The Lavant management were dismayed to see their side then lose shape as they went “Gung-Ho” for more goals, paying the penalty for this indiscretion when Pugh’s cross was swept home by Newtown’s Paul Sibley.  Villa were

Re-inspired and Lavant looked ragged as the game drew to a close. But any Villa hopes were crushed when Seacombe hit Lavant’s 5th in off the bar in the dying seconds.

Lavant: N.Sanson, J.Wright, B.Purgavie, M.Lyttle, C.Coe, L.Weller, M.Stevens, J.Brooks, M.Price, R.Seacombe, M.Bartley. Sub: M.Grace.

Lavant Reserves 2 Lodsworth 2

This week Lavant Reserves hosted Lodsworth at Raughmere Park in the league, with the homeside hoping for a win, after narrowly losing their first two opening league games of the season.

Manager Cliff Massey shuffled the pack with Guy Pinder coming in as captain and centre back, Martin Ayers moving over to the right wing and the impressive Matt Hine coming in as left back.

The changes certainly made a difference as Lavant took the game to Lodsworth straight from the off. With Hine spraying the ball around the pitch and Pinder winning everything in the air; it gave the players a real boost and enabled them to play football.

The homeside’s opening dominance was soon rewarded as Ross Lines received the ball 40 yards out from goal before running past the Lodsworth defender and striking a hard low shot towards gaol, which the keeper could only parry away into the path of striker Mark Fegus, who reacted quickest and drill the ball into the back of the net from close range, giving the homeside a deserved one nil lead, 1-0.

Lavant created more chances to score, only to be denied by the crossbar and the Lodsworth keeper who pulled off a number of fine saves. It was surely now only a matter of time now before the match had a second goal, but unfortunately for the home side it went against the run of play, as the visitors scored with their first shot of the game on 40 minutes.

A neat passage of play on the edge of Lavant’s box caught the defence ball watching as the Lodsworth striker got away an opportunist shot which curled delightfully low into the right hand corner of the goal, levelling the scores going into half time, 1-1.

The homeside’s half time team talk consisted of sticking to the game plan and not to let our heads drop and then Lavant will get points on the board.

Lodsworth still upbeat from their late first half equalizer started the second period with fire in their belly, putting Lavant keeper Craig Seacombe straight into action, but he was more than up to the task as Lodsworth were unable to make their early pressure pay.  As the visitors pressed forward in search of a goal space opened up in midfield, allowing Davey Knight to take advantage as the worked his way up to the edge of the opposing box before unleashing a ferocious shot, a real net buster, which gave the keeper no chance, to the delight of the larger than normal crowd that had gathered to witness a great game.

Lavant were now in control of the game and pushed forward in an attempt to further extend their lead, winning a succession of corners, but both Pinder and Wiggins were unable to capitalize on their goal scoring opportunities.

The pressure on manager Cliff Massey who’s was now constantly shouting from the touchline and pacing up and down was clearly showing, as he rallied his team to see out the game in the last quarter of an hour and gain the three precious points.

Then true to Lavant’s current luck, Shay Wiggins was adjudged to have fouled in his own area giving away a penalty from a corner for pushing an opponent, a seemingly harsh decision as 95% of the time these incidents go unpunished.

The resulting penalty was duly dispatched levelling the game, 2-2 with only minutes remaining.  Both teams tried in vein for the winner but to no avail and so Lavant had to settle for only a point after dominating for much of the match.

“It was really disappointing not to have won today, but on the other hand we did earn our first point of the season in this tough league.  Every week we’re improving. The team has a great spirit and the players gave a 110% commitment over the whole ninety minutes of the game. No matter what the score. As manager’s Mel and I are really happy with that” commented Cliff Massey.

Lavant: C.Seacombe, A.Berry, M.Ayers, G.Pinder, M.Hine, D.Maclean, S.Wiggins, D.Knight, S.Massey, R.Lines, M.Fegus. Subs: B.Geall, C.Colwell, N.Richards.