Victories for Wittering and Lavant and a draw for Bosham feature in our latest West Sussex League round-up.
Wittering Utd 3 Barns Green 1
West Sussex League
Wittering made it two wins from two with a fairly routine win over Barns Green.
For the second time this season the Warriors were up against the league leaders.
They started in fine form, keeping the ball, and could have taken the lead early on with efforts from Tom Kelly - but it was strike partner Darran Cox who opened the scoring converting a right-wing cross from Kelly with a well-placed left-foot shot on eight minutes.
It was a dominant first 25 minutes and chances were aplenty, Dan Cowell powerfully heading against the bar from a Greg Robinson corner before a long-range effort from Tom Kelly just flew over the bar.
On 28 minutes Spencer Stent went close when an effort from wide lobbed the keeper only to crash against the bar.
The second half started with Wittering dominating possession.
On 63 minutes Joe Jefkins and Jay Smith replaced Paul Cooper and goalscorer Cox. Barry McCoy was moved up top and immediately McCoy was brought down on the edge of the box.
The skipper took the resulting free-kick and despatched it low to the keeper’s right from 22 yards.
Their lead was soon extended when a lay-off from McCoy found Robinson, who powerfully drove a shot from 35 yards that nestled into the top corne - surely a contender for goal of the season.
Barns Green did enjoy a late flurry and a cross from the right was handled by Smith in the area and the penalty was slotted past Ash Rochester.
In the final 30 seconds Barns Green’s winger went up for a header with Dan Cowell and landed heavily - and looked in serious pain. An ambulance was called and everyone at Wittering Utd wishes him all the best.
MoM was Robinson.
WITTERING: Rochester, Stent, Cowell, McCoy, Tallman, Sheppard (Pearce), T.Jefkins, Robinson, Cooper (J.Jefkins), Cox (Smith), Kelly.
Bosham 2 Watersfield 2
West Sussex League premier division
A late headed, goal from James Ash rescued a point for a Robins side who struggled to find their feet after captain Ben Blanshard went off with ankle ligament damage as early as the second minute.
Watersfield quickly established a two-goal lead through James Cox and Tom Crump, leaving the Reds with a major job on their hands.
Fox opened the scoring just minutes after Blanshard left the pitch with Bosham very slow to react. Fox avoided defensive attention from the Reds and slotted in efficiently from ten yards leaving keeper Simon Hasted frustrated.
Hasted showed dedication a short time later, pulling off a stunning double save to keep the Reds in the game and deny the purple army another goal.
However it didn’t take long for Watersfield to add to their tally through Crump with just less than 20 minutes on the clock. Sam Dorman fizzed in an effort from long distance which Hasted failed to hold and Crump was quickest to react to the loose ball.
Joe Hancock netted a penalty to bring the Robins back into the tie just before the break.
The second half was end-to-end as both teams tried to find the necessary quality to seal the points as best they could.
The visitors were given a boost when James Bracher saw red for a tackle on keeper Tom Rockingham. Referee David Lott had no choice but to give the Bosham striker his marching orders.
Despite this Bosham improved as a team and had the purple defence on the back foot for long periods and Neil Redman and Graeme Dowden went close to drawing them level.
With minutes to go Bosham got back on level terms when Andy Probee delivered a delicious ball to the back post and Ash headed in superbly.
It was a deserved point for Bosham, whose manager Tony Hancock said: “The boys didn’t react well to losing Ben so early but recovered really well from the bad place they found themselves in.”
BOSHAM: Hasted, Redman, Dowden, Probee, Blanshard, Docherty, Wilson, Brett, Hancock, Redman, Bracher. Subs: Ash, Davies, Fewell.
Upper Beeding 2 Lavant 3 Premier division
Lavant made the long trip to Upper Beeding aiming to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat against Bosham.
The home side had the better of the opening 15 minutes but Lavant started to force mistakes and with 20 minutes gone Ryan Seacombe chased down keeper Ciaran Towse’s attempted clearance which defected off him and in.
Mike Neville broke down the right and crossed for James Sandford to head home Lavant’s second.
Upper Beeding pushed forward and at times Lavant rode their luck, but the odd shot from long distance was comfortably saved by Lavant keeper Neil Sanson.
In the second half with the wind behind them the hosts started positively.
Lavant soaked up the pressure and looked dangerous once more on the counter-attack.
On 65 minutes Sandford was brought down in the box. Mike Bartley took the spot kick but Towse pulled off a great save.
Five minutes later Upper Beeding saw a shot bounce in off the bar, reducing the deficit to 2-1.
Sandford took advantage of a mistake by the Upper Beeding full-backs to run though and round the keeper and slot home Lavant’s third.
The home side fought back and took advantage of a rare Lavant defensive mix-up to stab home the ball past Sanson.
The visitors’ hard work and staunch defending paid off as they ran down the clock to bag three precious league points.
LAVANT: Sanson, Coe, Wright, Parker, Lyttle, Neville, Bartley, Stevens, Weller, Seacombe, Sandford. Subs: Gabb, Holmes.