Stedham 2 Lavant 5
(Sussex Intermediate Cup)
Stedham’s pitch is great condition and adjacent their new club-house under construction
Lavant progressed to the next round of the Sussex Intermediate Cup after a 5-2 victory over division 1 side Stedham. It was clear from the outset that the hosts were more than happy to play the long ball and utilise the pace of their front men. However, the Lavant defence held firm as they looked themselves to impose their own game.
The away team soon settled with Hancock consistently an outlet on the right of midfield beating the opposing full back with ease. It was through this where Lavant broke the deadlock with Hancock beating his man and rifling a shot at the Stedham stopper only to parry into the path of Sandford to tap home.
Lavant continued to press on, looking to stretch their advantage but it was Stedham who scored next, a long ball up field in behind the Lavant defence and despite and good starting position from keeper Sanson managed to completely miss the ball allowing the Stedham striker to pass into the empty net.
Lavant continued to create chances and it was long until they were back in front with Sandford scoring his second of the game with ease as the keeper was poorly positioned. Next came the goal of the game, a free kick on the halfway line taken by Gabb who followed his pass and laid in on goal to hammer home.
With halftime looming Lavant further extended their lead, allowing Sandford to complete his hat-trick and his 8th goal in 2 games with a smart finish with the outside of his right boot.
The start of the second half saw Stedham fly out of the blocks and within minutes they cut the deficit to two with an unstoppable drive into the top left corner. With the early goal you would have thought that we were in for a real cup tie but instead the game turned into a slog. Poor football from both sides and continuous minor infringements stopped the game from having any real flow. Lavant then lost Knight after a clash of heads which worsened the cause.
Stedham were then reduced to 10 men after their substitute committed 2 bookable offences after only being on the field for 10 minutes. This eased the pressure on the visitors who put the game to bed late on with substitute Baker volleying home a Hancock cross.
Team: Neil Sanson, Richard Gabb, Ross Longland, Ben Purgavie, Jon Wright, Aaron Hancock, Mike Neville, James Brooks, Dave Knight, Ollie Haggar, James Sandford (c). Subs: Matt Lyttle, Dan Baker.
Lavant Reseves 2 The Unicorn 3
Greg Ayling sent flying by the Unicorn tackle
Team: Rob Baylis, Craig Spann, Neil Latham, Neale Watts, Ben Thomas, Tom Parker, Dan Mortimer, Greg Ayling, Pete Caveney, Lee Smith, Alex Holmes. Subs: Matt Grace, Henry Polark, Dave Maclean.
Pete Caveney breaksdown the left wing