There were differing fortunes for four of our regulars in our weekly West Sussex League round-up.
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Newtown Villa 2 Bosham 2
West Sussex League premier division
A late equaliser from Luke Adams saw Newtown Villa avoid a second successive defeat against a Bosham side who were buzzing after hitting the Blues for seven last week.
Despite playing the second half with ten men, the Blues showed courage and determination to maintain their unbeaten home record.
Neil Redman had a terrific chance to open the Bosham account in the first minute when clear in the box but fired his effort wide.
Villa perked up but almost came unstuck when Dave Storey broke through for the Robins only to slice his effort wide when it looked easier to score. Robin Hampton went close for Villa with a header that zipped over the bar.
Newtown had the frustration of seeing a penalty kick awarded then retracted as a result of the linesman’s flag.
Close to the interval, the deadlock was broken when Hartley was upended in the Villa box and referee Ricky Steed pointed to the spot.
Hartley got up and converted from nine yards to give Bosham the lead they craved. Things got worse for the hosts when Andy Dean saw red for a moment of madness, leaving Newtown with ten men.
The second half was only a few minutes old when the Blues shocked the visitors by grabbing an equaliser through Adams. A free-kick was swung in from the right and keeper Simon Hasted made a mess if it - and Adams was first to the ball to poke home.
This was a knockback for Reds but, thanks to the determined Kieran Hartley, they soon got their noses back in front. James Wilson provided the perfect cross and Hartley applied the finish with a strong header.
Bosham had further chances to settle it through Redman, Storey and Hartley but the confidence to finish seemed to desert them.
Those missed opportunities came back to haunt the Robins late on when former Rocks striker Matt Russell latching on to a through-ball to volley past Hasted and draw his side level.
Both teams threw everything at each other in the final minutes, and a spectacular effort from Hartley smashed off the bar with keeper Keelan Belcher beaten.
News of title rivals Henfield’s demise at Holbrook helped lift Bosham spirits afterwards.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Blanshard, Moore, Jack Hancock, Docherty, Wilson, Dowden, Redman, Storey, Hartley. Subs: Mullen, Lancaster, Brett.
West Chiltington 4 Lavant 1
Buoyed by their recent run of victories, Lavant travelled full of confidence - but came home empty-handed.
The deadlock was broken ten minutes in, a mammoth throw from the West Chilt skipper being headed home.
Lavant pressed on with good chances falling to Mortimer, Sandford and Hancock but they were unable to convert them.
On the half-hour, Lavant hit the self-destruct button. A swift West Chilt counter-attack and with the away side all at sea, saw the West Chilt No11 run over half the length of the pitch to strike home from 20 yards.
Minutes later, the ball was given away on the Lavant left, letting Chiltington counter, and a smart delivery saw their No8 head home his second. Lavant, bickering between themselves and the referee, conceded yet another with a smart finish from an acute angle.
Lavant re-emerged after the break with good attitude, shape and work-rate.
With 15 minutes to go, Lavant got themselves on the scoresheet as neat passing around the box led to Sandford poking home under the advancing keeper.
LAVANT: Sanson, Gabb, Lyttle, Purgavie, Wright, Houghton, Brooks, Hancock, Neville, Mortimer, Sandford. Subs: Lillywhite, Holmes, Haslam.
Nyetimber Pirates 3 Rogate 0
Division two south
Nyetimber Pirates’ impressive 21-game winning streak continued against title rivals Rogate.
The win puts the Looters one point off leaders Stedham, who beat Vardar 3-1.
Rogate went into the game unbeaten in the division, just two points behind the Pirates with a game in hand.
Rogate started the stronger side and had chances to take the lead early on.
Pirates wasted a string of chances with efforts from Paul Frangou and Pasterfield going just wide.
The deadlock was finally broken on 65 minutes when James Fallick struck from the edge of the area after clever work from Frangou.
Rogate should have been level moments later after a mix-up left them with a clear opportunity which they put just wide.
It was 2-0 on 72 minutes when Frangou outpaced the Rogate backline finishing superbly after a Warren Pye goal-kick put him in.
Phil Turner wrapped up the game with ten minutes to go after a well-worked move gave him his 21st goal of the season,
Pirates face Forest this week in the Sussex Junior Cup semi-final at Spooners Lane, Horsham.
PIRATES: Pye, Williamson, Gill, Carter, Dobbs, Wyatt, Cox, Pasterfield, Turner, Fallick, Frangou. Subs: Bann, Griffin
n Pirates booked their place in the Charity Cup semi-final after coming from behind to beat Boxgrove 3-2.
Ten-man Boxgrove were 2-0 up early on but James Fallick’s 42nd-minute goal put Nyetimber back in it.
Fallick struck again just after the break and the game was wrapped up by Anders Wyatt’s free-kick. Pirates will face Fittleworth in the semi-final.
Wheatsheaf 5 Hammer 3
Div five south
Wheatsheaf completed the double over Hammer with a scrappy but deserved win at Avisford Park.
Andy Boxall opened the scoring for the hosts after five minutes with a well-taken individual goal and within minutes, he doubled his tally. Stuart Mercer marauded into the box and was brought down by the centre-back and Boxall slotted home the spot-kick.
Hammer were gifted a goal when the Sheaf defence failed to clear a routine ball from the penalty area.
The visitors drew level after a fine piece of teamwork ended with the forward sweeping the ball home from close range.
Worse followed for the Sheaf when the visitors went 3-2 ahead - then Sheaf player-manager Jon Wickenden was left to rue his luck as in-form striker Boxall limped off injured.
Wickenden changed his side’s shape and introduced himself for Boxall. This had an immediate effect and Wheatsheaf came out stronger in the second half, drawing level again when Matt Parker slotted home.
David Wickenden put the Sheaf back on top with a fine finish and the momentum appeared to be back with the home side.
With Hammer pushing for an equaliser, the game turned on a pivotal moment. A Hammer corner was headed goal wards via a deflection off the defender’s knee, but somehow the man of the match, goalkeeper Damien Leach, reacted in incredible fashion to keep the ball out. On the counter-attack, Mercer kept his head to finish with aplomb from ten yards to further increase the lead.
Thakeham Village 3 Chapel 3
Div five central
A rather bizarre game between the top and bottom clubs in the table got off to an amazing start with bottom club going two goals up in the first four minutes.
Chapel struggled to master the bumpy pitch and were second best for first 15 minutes but two goals from Ben Mariner drew them level before half-time.
The second half started with Chapel on top and Aaron Carver put them ahead on 55 minutes. Thakeham defended well and equalised on the break ten minutes later.
Chapel pushed for a winner but Thakeham always looked dangerous on the break. The game could have gone either way in the last ten minutes but the referee, for reasons best known to himself, denied both teams by blowing for time after 37 minutes of the half.