Two wins for Bosham extended their lead at the top of the West Sussex League premier division - while there was a derby victory for Lavant over Hunston CC.
Bosham 2 West Chiltington 0
West Sussex League premier div
ON ANOTHER bitterly-cold afternoon, Bosham warmed their fans with a solid win against a tough West Chiltington side to extend their lead at the top of the table.
The Blues started brightly with Gary Weedon showing good pace and the Bosham defence, marshalled by the returning Nick Edgington, looked nervy for a while as the Reds struggled to get their footing.
This was a massive game for both sides and the first goal would be all important.
Both Dan Leppard and Ryan Ashley fired early shots across Bosham bows early but keeper Simon Hasted was untroubled by them.
Bosham grew in confidence as the half wore on and chances began to flow. Tom Davies produced the first effort on goal with a stinging shot that only just went over the bar from distance.
Then Adam Brett tested keeper Jordan Mitchell, who covered his goal well to prevent Bosham edging in front.
After a further period of West Chiltington pressure, the Reds should have scored through the pacy Brett. Davies carved out the opportunity leaving Brett with the seemingly simple task to slot in from the middle of the box, but the Reds striker ballooned his effort over the bar.
Further chances came for Brett before the interval and all went begging.
Bosham continued to dominate in the second half and finally broke through the dogged Blues defence.
James Bracher streaked clear to latch on to a long ball from Davies and finished with style past the onrushing Mitchell to
give the Reds a deserved lead.
Chiltington put the burners on to try to get back on level terms but the Bosham rearguard was more than a match for anything the Blues could muster, which left Hasted with little cause for concern.
Any nerves among Bosham’s players and supporters were finally extinguished with just five minutes left when the redoubtable Joe Hancock got on the scoresheet to double the lead and seal the points.
Sub Matt Moore linked up well with Bracher and the diminutive striker sent in a rasping, low drive which Hancock diverted in with keeper Mitchell well beaten.
Bosham manager Tony Hancock said: “That was a much better performance, particularly in the second half which was superb. We look forward with confidence to the return match next week.”
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Jack Hancock, Edgington, Evans, Docherty, Davies, Wilson, Bracher, Joe Hancock, Brett. Subs: Desai, Moore, Fewell.
Bosham 4 Lancing Utd 0
Bosham surged clear of the chasing pack in the table with an emphatic victory over the green and whites of Lancing with four
With six games left, the title is within the Robins’ grasp but more twists and turns are sure to be waiting round the corner.
Bosham were off to a flyer when Adam Brett steered them into the lead with only 30 seconds on the clock. A simple pass from Joe Hancock left Brett to sidefoot home with ease.
Lancing were shellshocked and could do little to prevent Bosham from continuing to apply the pressure.
Hancock and James Bracher had good chances to extend the Bosham lead but fired their efforts over the bar, enabling keeper Ash Hollick to breathe a sigh of relief with his side still in the tie.
Glen Souter did his best to unsettle Bosham with his energetic pace but the defence stopped him in his tracks and Bosham keeper Simon Hasted was left with little to do.
Right on half-time Bosham doubled their advantage. Hancock again worked his magic and fired a shot at goal which hit the bar. It fell to Bracher, who slammed in the rebound.
Lancing needed to regroup quickly but it didn’t take Bosham long to inflict more pain on the visitors.
Bracher was fouled in the box by a lazy push in the back and Hancock finally got his goal with a well-placed spot kick to put the Robins three up.
Bracher saw a great effort cleared off the line by Chris Allwright and with frustrations getting the better of some, referee Martin Smith was a busy man with the cards with several Lancing players going into the notebook.
Striker Josh High, moments after going into the book for dissent, lazily brought down Jack Hancock and duly received his marching orders for a second booking.
To end their misery, Mark Desai broke clear from his own half to add a fourth for the Robins with time running out and set the seal on an emphatic win that saw the lead at the top of the table extended to seven points.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Jack Hancock, Blanshard, Evans, Docherty, Edgington, Wilson, Bracher, Joe Hancock, Brett. Subs: Desai, Sumnall, Redman.
Lavant 2 Hunston CC 1
With the rain finally ceasing and Raughmere Park playable once more, Lavant’s derby with Hunston was able to go ahead a week after being postponed.
Lavant weres missing a number of regular players and drafted in players from the reserves to put out a starting XI.
Playing one of the top teams in the league the task seemed daunting, but Lavant were really up for it.
Lavant forced the early play, pushing forward and catching Hunston off-guard - and with three minutes gone, striker Mike Bartley made the early pressure pay as he neatly placed a shot past keeper Rob Chiverton.
Lavant worked hard chasing down and winning the ball in midfield through Dave Maclean and Dave Knight, while the visitors were struggling to get going.
They were further rewarded for their efforts as Mike Neville combined with Matt Grace down the right before his crosswas cleared into the path of Louis Weller on the edge of the box. He took his time and calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net.
Following a stern talking-to at the break, Hunston started the second half in determined fashion and pressed from the restart.
But with Jon Wright and 17-year-old Jordon Lillywhite holding the line, the visitors couldn’t break through.
Lavant could have closed out the game midway through the second half as they counter-attacked and Stuart Smith put though Bartley, but his shot went agonisingly wide.
At the other end, Lavant keeper Neil Sanson pulled off a tremendous double save to deny Hunston a goal.
Lavant were just about holding on but were struggling to maintain their workrate.
Hunston’s Dave Rough went close but was denied by a timely tackle from Matt Hine.
With three minutes left Hunston won a corner, which was eventually stabbed into the back of the net after a scramble in the six-yard area.
The last few minutes seemed like an eternity for the home side, but they defended with everyone behind the ball to bag a very hard worked for valuable three points.
LAVANT: Sanson, Grace, Wright, Lillywhite, Hine, Weller, Maclean, Knight, Neville, Bartley, Smith. Sub: Eastwood.
Chapel 0 Milland 3
Div five south
When the league’s top scorers meet the league’s worst defence, you expect a high-scoring game.
Not so in this case - the Chapel defence were well mustered by Ben Kaighan and with keeper Chris Pannell in good form, they held out until the offside trap was sprung in the 75th minute.
The last 15 minutes were frantic as the visitors clung on to their lead.
Only a superb save by the Milland keeper from a Lee Bayliss header kept them in front.
In the last five minutes, a defensive mix-up allowed Milland to go two up and, as Chapel tired, they added a third.
Chapel 1 Harting Res 2
Div five south
Both sides were troubled by high winds and a bumpy pitch which led to some glaring misses.
Chapel took the lead in the 20th minute when Tom Kaighan scored after latching on to a through ball.
In the second half Knight drew the visitors level from a well-taken free kick and Shaw settled it in the 80th minute with a cross-come-shot over the keeper’s head.