There was a big defeat for Lavant’s first team and a big win for their reserves in the latest round of West Sussex League games.
Holbrook 6 Lavant 2
West Sussex League division one
With five first-team players absent through injury, Lavant manager David Parker’s worst fears came true.
The visitors started well and looked the better side and more likely to score, especially when Darren Cox and then Ryan Seacombe went close.
All this changed when referee Andy Guy awarded a penalty on the quarter-hour for Chris Coe’s challenge on Paul White. Captain Adam O’Carroll converted the spot-kick.
The home side came more into the game and Lavant became ragged and devoid of self-belief.
The system that had served them so well in recent games was abandoned and they paid the penalty.
Keeper Ash Rochester had to make a save and then Jon Wright cleared off his line before White put Holbrook 2-0 in front on 37 minutes. A mix-up between Coe and Rochester allowed White the easiest of goals just before half-time.
The pitch was now a sea of mud but a roasting from the manager saw a rejuvenated Lavant appear in the second period and pull one back through Cox early on.
But though Lavant were pressing, they were inevitably exposed to Holbrook’s speciality counter-attacks.
From one, Dan Nason restored their three-goal lead on 78 minutes. White completed his hat-trick from an 89th-minute free-kick.
In added time, Dave Knight pulled another one back for the visitors before substitute Nat Rowland hit another for the Horsham side from a breakaway.
LAVANT: Rochester, Walsh, Coe, Wright, Fogden, Green, Brooks, Knight, Cole, Cox, Seacombe. Subs: Weller, Carver.
Lavant Res 5 Rustington Park Snrs 0
Division three south
Lavant were forced to make a change in goal as Duncan Terry stood in for the injured Tom Turner – and the stand-in demonstrated his abilities early on with some fine agile saves.
On 20 minutes, the home side made the breakthrough from a well-worked move involving Dave Maclean, Matt Hines and Ross Lines, with Shaun Massey producing a quality finish- his second in two games.
The second just before the break – credited to Rhys Watling – was a scrappy affair. Peter Cairns floated a ball into the box and it pinged around the defenders before rebounding off the keeper and into the path of Watling, who converted.
Watling’s second, after the interval, came on a break from a Rustington corner. The ball was cleared by captain Martin Ayres to Ross Lines, who played in Watling. He ran 40 yards, leaving defenders in his wake before finishing.
This broke Rustington’s spirit and, apart from a long-range effort which Terry made a brilliant save to keep out, the visitors never threatened.
Ben Evens, Pete Cairns, Louis Cook-Jones all went close for Lavant but it was top scorer Lines who showed them how to finish. He added Lavant’s fourth and fifth, on both occasions scoring from inside the box after good work by Watling.
Manager Cliff Massey said: “Louis and Rhys were neck and neck for the man of the match award.”
LAVANT RES: Terry, Evans, Green, Cairns, Ayers, Massey, Maclean, Hine, Cook-Jones, Lines, Watling. Subs: Hepworth, Milburn.