The latest round of West Sussex League games brought wins for Lavant, The Unicorn and Nyetimber Pirates Reserves - with The Unicorn’s victory a real brotherly affair.
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West Chiltington 2 Lavant 3
West Sussex League premier division
Lavant were back in action for the first time in 2017 with an away victory against in-form West Chiltington.
The hosts took an early lead when Lavant allowed Chilt to play out from the back, pick their pass over the backline and Gary Weadon ran through to convert.
With the pitch deteriorating it was never a game for the purist despite both teams’ best endeavours.
A direct approach got Lavant back on level terms. A ball over the top found willing runner James Sandford, who was felled breaking into the area. Richard Gabb stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
Before the break Lavant took the lead as a Charles Mclaren corner found Paul Jones at the back post to toe-poke past the stranded keeper.
After the break Chilt had a good go at the Lavant defence but they held firm, though the one-goal lead looked a precarious one.
The visitors extended their lead when good work down the left by Jon Wright found Sandford to finish sublimely.
With the pitch resembling a mudbath it became a war of attrition and Lavant were had a nervy finish after Ash Court felled Weadon in the box and he picked himself up to dispatch the penalty.
Lavant: Court, Grace, Jones, Lyttle, Gabb, Brooks, Mclaren, Hawkes, Cieszynski, Wright, Sandford. Subs: Augustus, Caveney.
The Unicorn 4 Hammer 0
West Sussex League division two south
Bragging rights were shared in the Thompson household as a goal apiece from three brothers Jamie, Mark and Carl helped propel The Unicorn to a deserved victory in a slightly-heated tie against Surrey side Hammer.
Twenty minutes in a cool finish from Jamie Thompson broke the deadlock after a through-ball from his brother Mark.
They doubled their lead shortly before half-time when Mark Thompson latched on to a through-ball from midfielder Matt Parker, beating the full-back and calmly finishing into the bottom corner.
After the break, further pressure from The Unicorn resulted in a first goal in ten years for the youngest of the three Thompson brothers, Carl.
A quick free-kick by Mark Thompson lofted the ball into the path of Carl, and a first deft touch took the ball away from the advancing keeper, leaving him the task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
It was quite a feat for all three to score - especially as this was only the second time they had played together.
With 15 minutes to go, sub James Williams provided the goal of the game with an excellent long-range effort.
With the game long out of reach for Hammer, they suffered further agony late on when their centre-back was sent off for kicking out in frustration.
With a crucial table-topping clash up next for The Unicorn, manager Jon Wickenden was delighted with the clean sheet and the outstanding performance of the new centre-back pairing of Waterhouse and Porter.
Yapton Res 1 Nyetimber Pirates 6
Division three south
In-form Pirates Reserves were up against fellow title contenders Yapton – the only team to beat the Pirates this season.
From the off the away side were showing just why they were unbeaten in the league.
The Pirates were awarded a free-kick after Dean Gilchrist was fouled just inside the Yapton half. Shaun Maskell delivered it to the back stick and Nathan Stonelake rose highest to nod down to strike partner Ross Ludlow, who placed it past the keeper.
Pirates were awarded a penalty after Stonelake was brought down. Ronnie Lewry stepped up but scuffed his shot and the keeper saved.
Nyetimber were 2-0 up when Stonelake latched on to a Ludlow flick and placed it past the keeper.
It was 3-0 when Thomas Bann played a through-ball to skipper Az Millar who scored what can only be described as a Van Basten-esque volley.
Pirates started slowly in the second half but the reliable and solid defence dealt with everything thrown at them.
Ludlow forced the Yapton keeper into a fine save and the ball fell kindly for Stonelake – all he had to do was tap it into an open net, but somehow he found Row Z.
A Pirates corner was headed against the bar by Shaun Maskell, then Ludlow did the same with the ball falling to Stonelake on the line and there was no way he was missing this one.
Alex Jasper and Kieron Mills came on and Stonelake completed his hat-trick, taking on a Yapton defender and neatly finishing into the bottom corner.
Liam Maskell, Tom Hickling and Harvey Burchell came on and Yapton scored a consolation after sloppy defending gifted Yapton striker Thomas Legge a chance to score Yapton’s only goal.
The Pirates finished the rout when Danny Stote scored against his old club after closing down a clearance.
Stonelake was MoM but a special mention goes to the Pirates defence.
Pirates Res: Nanson, Nunn, Gilchrist, Stote, S Maskell, Millar, Bann, Dant, Lewry, Stonelake, Ludlow. Subs: Burchell, L Maskell, Hickling, Mills, Jasper.
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