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 take a flying tackle 11-10-14 LFC Res vs The Unicorn

Greg Ayling sent flying by the Unicorn tackle

Lavant Reserves hosted The Unicorn for the second time this seaon in only their sixth league game, after drawing 2-2 at their ground on the opening game of the season.
With both side unbeaten in the league, Lavant knew they could be in for a tough game.
Lavant started clearly the more confident side playing the better football, creating chances but unable to finish them. The most spectacular of the early chances was a 30 yard well struck drive from Lee Smirh which managed to strike the top of the post, rebound and strike the keeper, then roll the wrong side of the post for a corner.
Lee Smith on the ball 11-10-14 LFC Res vs The Unicorn
Lee Smith on the ball
The Unicorn were limited to few chances before Lee Smith managed to break the deadlock on 30 minutes. The remaining 15 minutes of the first half saw The Unicorn turn up the pressure in their hunt for the equaliser. And Lavant’s tempo and quality seemed to drop, but looking like they were going to hold out till half time. Then the visitors scored on 41 minutes deflating the Lavant players while lifting Unicorn going into the break, all even at 1-1.
Martin Pullen Res Manager 11-10-14 LFC Res vs The Unicorn
Manager Martin Pullen (Spider) checking his watch, hoping for half time as Lavant try to hold on to their slim lead
The Second half started as the first had ended with the Unicorn in the ascendancy. 50 minutes saw the visitors take the lead and then extend it on 62 minutes.  Three substitutions were made over the next 15 minutes to try and change things around and replace tired players. On 85 minutes Lavant’s Matt Grace pulled one back with a 35 yarder, disguised as a cross (some say he meant it).
This buoyed the Lavant players back into the belief they could salvage something from this game and played with the desire and effort that was possibly lacking in large periods of this game. Then in the dying minutes Lavant managed to score but the goal was ruled offside.
Final score Lavant Reserves 2-3 The Unicorn. Not the end of Lavant’s great start to the season, just a blip.

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 on the ball 11-10-14 LFC Res vs The Unicorn

Pete Caveney breaksdown the left wing