Our latest West Sussex League round-up features another win for title hopefuls Lavant, a 21st straight victory for Wittering and cup heartbreak for Lavant.
Lavant 3 Southwater 0
West Sussex League div one
Lavant ground out a win against mid-table Southwater.
The visitors almost went behind when Lavant striker Ryan Seacombe broke clear just before the quarter-hour but keeper Matt Laker denied him.
Toby Levett and Scott Cox both shot over the bar as Southwater produced a terrific work-rate and unrelenting pressure on the ball.
Lavant did settle into their passing game and Seacombe netted but was ruled offside, then hit the post and Mike Bartley went inches wide.
The second half continued in the same vein and, after Ben Wlthius had blocked Seacombe’s header on the goal-line, full-back Matt Lyttle broke the deadlock by heading home Mike Neville’s corner on 59 minutes.
Lavant keeper Neil Sanson pulled off two fine saves from Lovett and Paul Osborne as the Horsham side threw forward everything they had.
This opened them up to counter-attacks and from one of these, Sam Cole doubled Lavant’s lead on 76 minutes.
On another, Dave Knight put Seacombe through five minutes from normal time. Laker again denied him but James Brooks drilled home the rebound.
Lavant need one further win to secure the Title.
Assistant manager Dave Kent said: “This game was closer than the scoreline suggests. Our opponents lift their game to be the first team to beat us.”
LAVANT: Sanson; Coe, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle; Neville, Brooks, Knight, Bartley; Seacombe, Walder. Subs: Cole, Grace, Latham.
Pulborough 2 Wittering Utd 5
Centenary Cup quarter-final
Wittering secured a 21st straight win – and a semi-final spot.
After securing a Sussex Junior Cup final spot last week, the Warriors were in confident mood.
Wittering went ahead a minute before half-time.
A long pass was collected by Darran Cox who fed Alan Sheppard, who made no mistake and fired past the keeper from 12 yards.
Wittering seemed to ease off the gas and on 80 minutes a Pulborough player was fouled on the edge of the box and their captain stepped up and knocked the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner for the equaliser.
Things went from bad to worse on 87 minutes when a slip from McCoy allowed the Pulborough striker a one-on-one with Ash Rochester and he converted.
An instinctive point-blank stop from Rochester kept the Warriors’ hopes alive and they made the most of that important save when with seconds left, a long throw by Pete Cairns fell to Joe Newton, whose cross-shot was turned in at the back post by Cox.
The first half of extra-time was pretty one-sided and Wittering took the lead again. Richard Lartey was fouled in the box and McCoy sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.
On 108 minutes Wittering had a two-goal cushion, a neat through ball from in-form Jimmy Kewell finding Cox, who sidefooted in.
A few minutes later, another excellent through ball from Kewell started a race between Tom Jefkins and the keeper, Jefkins reaching the ball first and knocking the ball over the onrushing keeper.
MOM was midfield maestro Jimmy Kewell.
WITTERING: Rochester, Kennard, Cairns, McCoy, Lartey, Sheppard, T Jefkins, Kewell, Newton, Kelly, Cox. Subs: Green, Smith, Cox, O’Brennan, J Jefkins.
Petworth 2 Faygate 2
(aet – Faygate won 4-2 on pens)
Centenary Cup quarter-final
Petworth turned in one of their best performances of the season to take high-flying Faygate all the way. They dominated large parts of the game and can feel genuinely unfortunate to be out of the cup.
Faygate almost scored inside the first minute but stand-in keeper Kieran Gillard made a brilliant save. This stunned Petworth into life and with Jordy Renshaw, John Pafford and Mark Cooper controlling the midfield, Petworth made several chances and Dan Warren had two fine shots well saved.
Martin Dillon was thwarted as he attempted to round the keeper but the deadlock was broken when a Dillon corner was met by Aaron Evans, who glanced a brilliant header back across the goal.
Faygate’s equaliser came in similar circumstances when an inswinging corner was headed powerfully home by their centre-back. Dillon hit the post from ten yards and Warren fired a weak shot straight at the keeper.
With just ten minutes to go in the second half of extra-time the outstanding Evans swung a deep cross to the far post which was turned back across the goal by substitute Rhys Burrows. This was met by Jaysi Wells, who forced the ball over the line to put Petworth ahead.
But with minutes remaining, the league’s leading scorer Chris Cook broke free of Rob Torode for the first time in the game and fired home from eight yards.
Torode and Quinn Murray had done an excellent job at the back.
In the shootout, Gillard saved one and scored one, Cooper also finished well, but Dillon hit the post and Wells bobbled his effort wide to see Faygate run out 4-2 winners.
PETWORTH: Gillard, Evans (Levett 119),
C Burrows (R Burrows 106) Torode, Murray, Renshaw, Pafford, Cooper, Wells, Dillon, Warren. Subs not used. Exall, Naldrett.