Bosham re-ignited their West Sussex League premier division title bid at Hunston CC with a blistering first quarter-of-an-hour that effectively ended the game as a contest on a wet, muddy afternoon.
After a frustrating loss to a solitary goal against Holbrook in midweek, a win was a must for the Reds if they were to hold off the late charge by Cowfold in the race for top spot.
Seconds after kick-off, the Robins were in front. The black-and-yellow striped defence was torn apart by a surging run from Adam Brett and his pass found Tom Davies, who opened the scoring with ease past replacement keeper Connor O’Hara.
With just over a minute on the clock, Joe Hancock doubled the Reds’ advantage. Again Bosham poured through the Hunston back line and Hancock had a simple task to poke the ball home.
Hancock got his second with a goal of his own construction. Picking the ball up just inside the Hunston half, he bore down on the box and then, having turned a defender inside out, fired a sublime shot into the far corner, leaving O’Hara dispirited in the Hunston goal.
The early surge was completed with an unfortunate incident for the unlucky O’Hara who, in attempting to punch clear, directed the ball into his own net from a corner swung in by Neil Redman.
Hunston looked completely shellshocked and needed to settle things down to prevent further blemish.
Davies, who had started so brightly, was forced off with a hamstring injury. The Robins took their foot off the gas and the black and yellows seemed to gain confidence.
Nathan Agate and Leeroy Sweeny went close but Bosham ended the half by adding a further goal to their tally through James Wilson.
Hancock chipped the ball over the static defence for Wilson to latch on to and lift the ball effortlessly over the outstretched arm of O’Hara.
The second half saw Hunston, to their credit, getting the better of things with a much more positive display - despite conditions getting markedly worse.
After a lovely move, Martin Romas forced a smart save from Simon Hasted, and Robin Benjamin also tested the resolve of the Bosham shot-stopper.
Late on Hunston did get on the scoresheet through the lively Matt Walker, who rounded off an excellent move to deny Bosham a clean sheet at the death.
Nevertheless it was still a resounding win for the Reds that continues to keep Cowfold at bay.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Jack Hancock, Blanshard, Evans, Docherty, Redman, Wilson, Davies, Joe Hancock, Brett. Subs: Desai, Ash, Maitland.
Holbrook 2 Lavant 4
On a day of constant rain, Lavant dominated a game in which conditions underfoot were conducive to their passing game.
When Holbrook keeper Joe Holt had to rush out of his area to clear a dangerous through-ball, his kick landed at the feet of David Knight. The Lavant midfielder, 55 yards out, launched a lofted shot over Holt to give the visitors the lead on 11 minutes.
Afterwards Holt pulled off a dazzling save from a Richard Gabb thunderbolt five minutes later.
Mike Bartley, with his back to goal, increased the score with an intelligent lob on 26 minutes and striker Stuart Smith headed a third from a Mike Neville corner two minutes later.
Unprofessionally, Lavant took their foot off the pedal, allowing Holbrook’s Matt Warren to pull one back for the home side five minutes from the interval.
The second half was fought on a quagmire, negating Lavant’s passing game and reducing the play to a grinding battle in the mud. But the tension was resolved when captain James Brooks fired Lavant further ahead on 83 minutes from the penalty spot
after James Sandford had been brought down.
Again, Lavant relaxed to allow Warren to head home unchallenged from an innocuous free kick five minutes from time.
LAVANT: Sanson; Gabb, Parker, Wright, Lyttle; Sandford, Knight, Brooks, Neville; Smith, Bartley.