The Lavant-Bosham derby ended in a draw, while Ambassadors drew and Chapel enjoyed their biggest win in years. It’s all in our latest West Sussex League round-up.
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Lavant 2 Bosham 2
West Sussex League premier division
Lavant bounced back from their woeful 8-1 defeat a week earlier with a performance that no-one could criticise on the grounds of lack of effort.
Bosham played the better polished football but Lavant’s tactical response was spot on.
The visitors went ahead from their first corner with Lavant defender Jon Wright unluckily deflecting Jack Hancock’s header into his own goal on five minutes from a Kieran Hartley corner.
Hartley caused problems all afternoon for Lavant.
The home side maintained their shape and confidence and deserved their equaliser when Alex Holmes’ shot went in off the bar on 14 minutes after Pete Caveney had forced a great stop from Stephen Meakrall in the Bosham goal.
Holmes’s effort fell close to the line and sharp-eyed linesman Simon Jasinski confirmed to referee Guy Lawson that it had crossed the line, leaving some to rue the fact the same man was not on duty when Frank Lampard ‘scored’ against Germany in the 2010 World Cup.
To manager David Parker’s exasperation, Lavant lost their tactical shape for a ten-minute period, during which Joe Hancock superbly turned home Graeme Dowden’s left-wing cross in the 25th minute after Dowden and Hartley had combined beautifully.
The home side regathered their shape and Meakrall again saved from striker Stuart Smith’s 34th-minute effort.
Right on half time Neil Sanson saved Joe Hancock’s spot kick.
In the second half, Lavant had no lapses in formation and the game evolved into Bosham moving the ball round well and having the most possession while the home side defended resolutely and struck on the breaks.
Hancock should have scored again after supplied a sumptuous cross into his path but he contrived to hit the post and the unlucky Dowden fired over the bar when, seemingly, easier to score.
From one of the Lavant breaks, James Sandford put them level on 64 minutes. With nothing on around him, the plucky midfielder decided to take a pot at goal and produced a most exquisite chip that left keeper Steve Metherell grounded.
Manager Parker said: “After last week’s performance I was pleased with the mental approach of the team shown by twice coming back from behind and sticking to the plan.”
The Reds can now look forward to their first home game of the season this week as The Sportsman make the trip to Walton Lane in the Centenary Cup.
LAVANT: Sanson; Polack, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle; Sandford, Parker, Knight, Holmes; Caveney, Smith. Subs: Richardson, Cieszynski.
BOSHAM: Metherell, Probee, Dowden, Mullen, Jack Hancock, Docherty, Davies, Wilson, Joe Hancock, Huntley, Hartley. Subs: Evans.
Hunston Comm Club Res 0 Ambassadors 0
Div three south
Ambassadors were made to rue missing some clear-cut chances in this stalemate.
In a scrappy affair, both teams struggled to settle, but an improved first-half performance from the Viola will have pleased the management. The visitors showed more grit and determination in the early exchanges, but lacked guile and a cutting edge.
The onus and momentum was with Ambassadors, but they lacked a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch and when Paul Cotton slotted wide in a one on one, they may have thought it wasn’t their day.
Half-time brought a renewed energy from the home side, with less space afforded to a dynamic Viola midfield. However, they offered little going forward and Crabb in goal for Ambassadors was rarely tested.
Cotton hit the inside of the post after good work inside the box and Whitton was denied a clear penalty during a frustrating spell.
When Greg Ockwell released Cotton late on, only the keeper was left to beat, but his dinked effort went inches wide.
MoM was Nathan O’Brennan.
Slinfold Res 0 Chapel 9
Div five central
Slinfold were weakened by late call-ups to the first team but had no answer to Chapel’s short passing game as they were torn apart in the first half. Lee Bayliss, Ben Mariner, Graham Lucking, Aaron Carver and Jordan Warren (2) all scored before the break.
Although Slinfold tightened up a bit after the break, further goals were added by Mariner, Ben Plant and Carver to give Chapel their biggest win for many years.