Darren Clarke, the Wittering coach, praised the advance their opponents had made in the last 2 years. For this was a game of few chances.

Wittering produced the early pressure but Gordon’s header after 11 mins was disallowed for pushing. Half way through the first half, another cross from the visitors was hooked into his own goal by defender, Daryl Hall.

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Daryl Hall flying in to clear the ball

The Lavant coach altered the homeside’s tactical formation and immediately it became a more even game.

Six minutes after the restart came the turning point of the game. A clever build up presented Lavant;’s Ben Thomas with a clear chance from 12yds, but the midfielder fired wide.

Gradually the homeside built up pressure on the visitors but then came the first of two catastrophic errors. Lavant ‘keeper Chris Bowles rolled a ball out to Hall which was too weak to reach him.It gifted Danny Pittham with a simple goal on 71 mins as he intercepted the underpowered ball.

Another soft error 11 mins later allowed Dean Platt to add a third.

To their credit, Lavant never gave up and Wittering headed 3 efforts off the line in the last 4 mins. Discounting the goals given away, there were only a total of 6 chances in a very close game.

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Oli Haggar attacking Wittering’s goal

Lavant coach, David Parker, summed up his side’s reaction: ” We gave Wittering by gift , the goals they couldn’t craft in open play. We committed too many individual errors but did battle right to the end. We must pick ourselves up for next week’s home game against Middleton,”

Team: C.Bowles, D.Hall, G.Pinder, L.Hayward, O.Haggar, M.Ayers, D.Kennard, B.Thomas, M.Price, T.Parker, M.Court. Subs: R.Pinder, M.Hine, C.Drinkwater.