Wins for Bosham, Lavant and Chapel make it a good-news week for our local West Sussex League sides.
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Bosham 3 Henfield 2
West Sussex League premier div
A fearsome second-half strike from James Wilson helped Bosham come from behind fora terrific win and close in on the leaders - and give new manager Andy Probee his second win in as many weeks since taking over the reins.
Henfield took a shock early lead through Sam Witherden, finishing a swift move that breached a much-changed defensive line-up.
With the likes of Jack Hancock, Ricky Mullen and Graeme Dowden unavailable, Nick Edgington, Ben Blanshard, Neil Redman and Paul Sumnall made up the back four.
But Ollie Parsons strode clear down the left for the black and whites and his cross was converted by Witherden converted.
Bosham began to find their feet and Edgington showed his prowess with a mazy run, only for his effort to go tamely past keeper Ben Long’s post.
Before the break, the Robins were level thanks to striker Dean Ayling. Joe Hancock showed good strength to work an opening and laid a perfect ball into the path of Ayling, who finished expertly.
The Reds were more effective after the break with Matt Docherty becoming more dangerous from midfield.
Wilson stepped up to fire the Robins into the lead for the first time. Picking up the ball 30 yards out, the midfielder unleashed a thunderbolt with his left foot that flew into the top corner, leaving Long rooted to the spot.
It was the perfect comeback for Wilson after an injury lay-off.
Bosham’s tails were up and Henfield began to wilt.
Simon Hasted did pull off one outstanding save to deny Parsons from point-blank range and keep the Reds in the lead.
There was more drama in the final minutes. Sub Matt Moore gave Bosham a crucial two-goal lead with his first touch, finishing well at the back stick from a lovely cross from fellow sub Josh Rehill.
Then James Smilie headed in at the opposite end from a corner to leave a tense finale before Bosham could celebrate a huge win which leaves the top end of the premier league table very tight.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Probee, Redman, Blanshard, Edgington, Ayling, Brett, Joe Hancock, Sumnall, Docherty, Wilson. Subs: Fewell, Moore, Rehill.
Holbrook 1 Lavant 2
Lavant continued their recent good form with this away win. The 2-1 victory was cemented in dramatic fashion as Dave Knight poked home a late winner after debutant Tom Haslam’s shot struck the woodwork.
The game started poorly for the away side as yet another penalty was conceded, this time Jon Wright the culprit. The spot-kick was dispatched and Holbrook were ahead at the break.
A Lavant revival came after the break as James Sandford was felled in the box. James Brooks stroked in the penalty to equalise and begin the turnaround. Several chances went begging as Lavant searched for the winner, Mike Neville, Sandford and Brooks all going close before Knight’s late winner saved the day.
Lavant had captain Sandford sent off late on for a second booking but held on to move up to eighth.
LAVANT: Sanson, Gabb, Wright, Purgavie (Richards), Lyttle, Neville, (Haslam) Maclean, Brooks, Holmes, Knight, Sandford.
Wisborough Green Res 2 Chapel 5
Div five central
Chapel went top of the table for the first time this season but not before they were tested by a spirited young Wisborough Green side.
The first half was even but goals from Dan Scutt and Ben Mariner late in the half gave Chapel a two-goal lead.
The home side fought hard and pulled back to 2-2 before Chapel woke up and dominated the latter stages with goals from Lee Bayliss, Josh Warren (pen) and top scorer Aaron Carver.