Wins for Lavant, Sidlesham and Wittering United all feature in our latest round-up of West Sussex League teams’ matches.
Petworth 1 Lavant 3
West Sussex League division one
With a month having passed without a game and a number of key players abroad, an air of anxiety pervaded the visitors in this hastily-rearranged fixture.
But despite playing into an horrendous wind at Petworth Park, Lavant looked comfortable and played confident football.
Lavant’s Ryan Seacombe was through on goal until Darren Hotson chopped him down with four minutes gone.
Petworth, assisted by the wind, maintained pressure on a resolute Lavant defence.
When they were breached, 17-year-old keeper Rob Baylis, on his debut, was up to the task, pulling off a fine save from Martin Dillon’s strike on 26 minutes.
At the other end Alex Wadey matched his opposite number with a fine stop from James Brooks’ drive and another at the feet of Mike Bartley in the 40th minute. In between, Baylis parried Hotson’s shot but Dillion was first to the rebound and set up John Pafford to put Petworth ahead on 35 minutes.
The turning point came two minutes from half-time when Petworth’s Rob Levett fired his penalty wide after being fouled in the box by Matt Lyttle.
Lavant’s management were confident of winning the game in the second half abetted by the wind.
This paid off when Dave Knight hit home a screamer from 28 yds on 56 minutes, a feat repeated by Brooks 13 minutes later to put Lavant 2-1 up.
The game was sealed in the 73rd minute when Mike Neville, who’s got back from Italy hours before the match, scored.
LAVANT: Baylis; Coe, Lyttle, Wright, Hine; Neville, Brooks, Stevens, Knight; Seacombe, Bartley. Sub: Latham.
Ashington 1 Wittering Utd 2
Chichester Charity Cup
Wittering booked their place in the semi-finals.
Wittering played into the wind in the first half and were immediately put under pressure.
Ashington took the lead after 15 minutes by carving open the Warriors defence.
The Ashington forward ran on to an excellent through-ball and fired it past Rochester in the away goal.
The home team should have extended their lead more than once.
Barry McCoy nearly levelled with a free-kick but it was expertly turned round the post.
After stern words at half-time by management and senior players, the Reds came out with a new lease of life.
Tom Kelly went close with a fierce drive from 25 yards that was turned round the post and from the corner Joe Jefkins played it to McCoy, who turned and fired it just past the post.
Wittering brought on Joe Newton for Joe Jefkins and Jamie Smith for Peter Cairns and switched to 3-5-2.
A long punt from Rochester found its way to Darran Cox. Cox headed over the onrushing keeper but the ball hit the outside of the post.
Minutes later a McCoy cross was met by top goalscorer Cox, who headed home the equaliser.
Five minutes later Wittering took the lead: Cox dispossessed the full-back around 25 yards out, turned and unleashed a ferocious drive that flew into the top corner.
Wittering probably should have had a penalty for a foul on Joe Newton but went on to book their second semi-final of the season.
Man of the match was James Kewell, midfield strings-puller.
WITTERING: Rochester, Kennard, Cairns, McCoy, Lartey, Kelly, J Jefkins, T Jefkins, Kewell, D Cox, Howden. Subs: B Cox, Smith, Newton.
Southwater 1 Sidlesham 3
Malcolm Simmonds Cup
Sids started sluggishly, not helped by a wet, bobbly pitch. The conditions were a factor when Sids keeper Simon Keen sliced a misplaced back pass to a Southwater centre forward, whose shot he then superbly saved.
Gary Jones’ 35-yard free-kick just before half-time was wind-assisted and keeper-assisted in for Sidlesham’s opener. A fine lobbed pass by Jay Whitmore allowed Brad Derry to nip in and fire home on 48 minutes.
Whitmore was also involved in the set-up of the third, finding Derry, whose tremendous run ended with a shot which the keeper parried into the path of Paul Barnes, who converted.
Barnes was replaced by Tom Simmonds and Ben Evans replaced Whitmore.
A misunderstanding in the Sids defence led to a Southwater striker converting on 80 minutes.
Howard Low came on for Steve Whitehead to shut up shop and the Sids secured another semi-final.
SIDS: Keen, Whitehead, Grantham, Carragher, Jones, Brown, Whitmore, Philips, Rawlins, Barnes, Derry, Evans, Simmonds, Low, Miles, Hounsome.