A thrilling draw between Sidlesham and the University of Chichester and mixed fortunes for Lavant and their reserves feature in our latest roud-up from the West Sussex League.
Sidlesham 4 University of Chichester 4
The Sids went 2-0 up then 4-2 down before a late comeback gave them a share of the spoils in a thriller at the Memorial Ground.
The first half was played mostly in the Sidlesham’s half and their defence had a lot to do.
The opening goal by Sidlesham’s Tom Bailey on 11 minutes settled the team, but Keen was kept busy in the Sidlesham goal.
On 15 minutes a penalty, given for Dan Bassil’s shot being handled was coolly converted by Gary Jones.
The University’s goals came late in the first half on 42 and 44 minutes both courtesy of Dan Baker. The first was down to poor defending, the second from a scramble after the ball had come off the bar.
A clash of heads in the visitors’ 18-yard area on 75 minutes saw Scott Tapper of the University have to go off and to hospital with a gash above his right eye.
Then James Sandford looked to have given the university the win with two goals – on 81 and 83 minutes – the second from a brilliant diving header.
Sidlesham’s third came courtesy of a Darren Dennis backheel to give Jimmy Brown the chance to score on 89 minutes, and Andy Hounsome scored an amazing draw-clinching goal in the third minute of injury time.
SIDLESHAM: Keen, Carragher, Grantham, Evans, Brown, Rawlins, Hounsome, Philips, Bailey, Dennis, Jones, Barnes, Bassil, O’Neill, Low.
UNI OF CHI: Evans, Tapper (Fraser), Chaplin, Hibbert, Lee, Hartigan, Potter, Hagan, Smith (Watts), Baker, Sandford.
East Dean 0 Lavant 2
In the run-up to this derby match, Lavant manager David Parker admitted he was anxious about this game.
“Any complacency and East Dean are a banana skin waiting for us to slip on,” he said.
Despite Lavant outplaying their opponents, Parker’s fears seemed justifiable when East Dean keeper Dave Hunter pulled of a series of terrific saves from Mike Bartley, Dave Knight and Louis Weller.
Knight twice hit the post and Lavant were denied a penalty despite a handling offence by the home side.
To emphasise the danger, in an isolated breakaway, Louis Manchip clipped the visitors’ crossbar and Lee Bessey headed close from a corner.
After the restart, East Dean made the running in the first 15 minutes but as Lavant settled, the deadlock was broken when Knight’s deep cross was headed home by Bartley at the far post on 65 minutes.
Two minutes later, Bartley was the supplier from the left as Weller volleyed home in majestic style.
Sub Mike Neville hit the post for the visitors and Lavant kept possession to see out the game and secure the three points.
LAVANT: Sanson; Coe, Lyttle, Wright, Hine; Weller, Brooks,Stevens, Bartley; Loversidge, Knight. Subs: Grace, Neville.
Lavant Reserves 2 Predators 3
Division two south
A bruising encounter was expected as both sides desperately needed a win to move up the table.
Predators broke the deadlock, taking advantage as stand-in keeper Dave McLean was caught too far off his goal-line.
Lavant were level following a flare-up involving captain Greg Ockwell and a Predators midfielder. Ockwell, still fired up, won the ball, ran 60 yards towards goal before unleashing a furious shot which the keeper pushed into the path of top scorer Mark Fegus who made no mistake.
Lavant were made to pay for not taking chances as visitors capitalised from a free-kick. The ball was lofted into the goalmouth and the visitors got the final touch to prod the ball over the line.
The visitors stuck again to take a commanding 3-1 lead into the break.
Manager Cliff Massey gave his team a stern talking-to and within five minutes Fegus went on a darting run down the touchline, beating three players before scoring from a tight angle.
Lavant created numerous chances but could never apply the finishing touch.
McLean pulled off two great saves to keep Lavant in the game, but they couldn’t salvage a point.
Assistant manager Mel Milburn said: “We were rocked by the loss of our keeper on Saturday morning, but we rearranged the squad and gave it 120 per cent. The simple things let us down.”
LAVANT: McLean, Ockwell, Ayers, Wiggins, Berry, Massey, Holmes, Bell, Lines, Cole, Fegus. Subs: Green, Milburn.