On Saturday Lavant Football Club hope to become the first club to win the Sussex Junior Cup for the third time when they take on Brighton League side Crown and Anchor in the final to be played at Culver Road Lancing. Kick-off is at 3 pm.
Lavant first reached the last stage of the county’s top cup competition for junior clubs in 1939when they were beaten by Bexhill Wanderersat the Dripping Pan, Lewes.
Since then they have been successful in the 1958 final, and again in 1976 when victory was achieved after a replay – both games being played at Horsham.
Included in the line-up for Saturday’s game at Lancing is goalkeeper Mark Court and his brother Matthew, the side’s skipper. Both are the son’s of Geoff Court who was the winning captain in 1976.
The only survivor from that side who will be on duty again on Saturday is Peter Lovegrovewho is namedamong the five substitutes. Also on the subs bench for Lavant is Richard Sims who doubles up as the club chairman, and his 16 year old son Nicholas who came on as a substitute through to victory with a remarkable extra-time hat trick.
Amongst the strong contingency of supporters who will make the journey to Lavant is the club’s patron Tony Bleach who is still remembered in West Sussex league circles for his long period of service with the club not only as a player but as their former hardworking secretary.
If Lavant should win for a record breaking third time it will mark a complete turn-about in the clubs fortunes after being relegated in each of the previous two seasons.
Lavant still have an outside chance of gaining promotionfrom Two (South) if they can win their remaining three league games.
The full Lavant line-up is Mark Court, Tony Drinkwater, Tim Squires, Cliff Massey, Adian Goldfinch, Keith Duke, Ian Callow, Michael Seacombe, Matthew Court, John Brewer, Simon Watling. Subs: Two from five, Peter Lovegrove, Simon Homer, Raymond Massey (player/manager), Richard Sims and Nicholas Sims.
The followng Saturday the 8th April Lavant went on to make history winning the final in extra time in a most memorable cup final.
8th April 1989 Lavant parading the Sussex Junior Cup at Lancing Football Club after beating the Crown & Anchor (Brighton League) in the final and making history as being the only team to win the Sussex Junior Cup three times.
The team consisted of:
(left hand side back row) Pete Lovegrove, Tim Squires, Simon Watling, Ray Massey, Mark Court, John Brewer, Kieth Duke, Simon Homer, Nicholas Sims. (left hand side front row) Tony Drinkwater, Mike Seacombe, Matthew Court, team mascot, Adrian Goldfinch, Richard Sims, Ian Callow and Cliff Massey.
The following week the Chchester Observer printed the following match report.