Victories for Sidlesham, Lavant and Wittering feature in our round-up of action from the West Sussex League.
Newtown Villa 0 Sidlesham 5
In strong winds, Sidlesham opened the scoring through Gary Jones on six minutes, shortly followed by an own goal.
Paul Barnes, back from recent injury, got his name on the scoresheet to make it two and a third was soon added.
Although Sidlesham were three up at half-time, some of the passing was not as consistent as it should have been.
Tom Bayley was sent off on 50 minutes, which meant Sidlesham had to dig deep.
They started to play well down the flanks with John Philips and Brad Derry.
The Sidlesham defence soaked up pressure and Sidlesham’s management brought on Dan Bassil.
Brad Miles got a fourth on 70 minutes set up by Paul Barnes and Miles scored again on 82 minutes.
This was the third game in which Sidlesham had gone down to ten men and the Sidlesham management are looking at this as they feel they are getting an undeserved reputation.
SIDS: Keen, Jones, Brown, Grantham, Carragher, Philips, Hounsome, Miles, Bayley, Barnes, Bassil, Low, Whitehead, Evans, Derry.
Lavant 1 Holbrook 0
West Sussex League division one
Leaders Lavant beat their closest challengers for the title in a massive game at The Jungle.
The build-up started badly for Lavant manager David Parker when he discovered star striker Stuart Loversidge had failed a fitness test. This meant he had to reshuffle his deck and employ different tactics.
The match was a classic hard-fought battle with good entertaining football. Both teams had well organised defences and there were only two chances in the entire game.
The first fell to Lavant’s Ryan Seacombe when Mike Bartley fed Dave Knight, whose slide-rule pass released the division’s leading scorer to outpace defender Nick O’Carroll and beat keeper Adam Kollar with his low drive in the 56th minute.
At the other end, Chris Spears found the ball at his feet in the box, but central defender Jon Wright threw his body in front of the ball to block the shot.
As Holbrook pressed for an equaliser, Lavant dug in and their back four of Coe, man of the match Purgavie, Wright and Lyttle were awesome and saw the game out to take the three points and pull clear of their rivals. Parker commented: “I was so proud of the team and how they responded to the changes we made. But there’s a long way to go yet.”
LAVANT: Sanson; Coe, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle; Neville, Brooks, Stevens, Knight; Seacombe, Bartley. Subs: Cole, Price, Latham.
Tangmere 1 Wittering Utd 4
Wittering made the short trip to Tangmere in confident mood having won 14 games on the trot – and duly marched into the last eight.
Wittering kicked off playing into the wind and it didn’t take long for the Warriors to show their superiority. A long throw by Peter Cairns found Darren Cox, who fired a volley into the bottom corner for his 17th of the season.
Soon, James Kewell played in Hugh Howden to go one-on-one with the keeper only for Hugh Howden to be taken down by a reckless challenge from the Tangmere centre-half for a penalty. Skipper Baz McCoy stepped up to calmly slot home.
A clear-cut chance fell to Alan Sheppard who blazed his shot high over the bar.
In the second half Tangmere started to gain more possession although they never really troubled Rochester in goal.
Wittering made in 3-0 after 55 minutes when another long throw from Cairns fell to Tom Kelly, whose volley was deflected in net by Howden for his sixth of the season.
Wittering brought on Joe Jefkins, Simon Oakes and Jay Smith and then spectators were treated to a moment of magic from McCoy. The ref awarded a free kick ten yards inside their own half. McCoy saw the keeper off his line and went for goal. It sailed over the keeper only to cannon off the bar back into the keeper’s arms.
Tangmere were back in the game after a quality finish from their centre-forward who fired into the top corner from 20 yards. Tangmere were then denied by a brilliant save from Rochester.
Wittering added a fourth when Cox chased a lost cause and was brought down for the second penalty of the day.
McCoy fired it low to the keeper’s left for his 13th of the season.
Wittering get back to league action this week at home to Fittleworth (2pm).
WITTERING: Rochester, Holder, Cairns, McCoy, Kennard, Sheppard, T Jefkins, Kewell, Kelly, D Cox, Howden. Subs: J Jefkins, Smith, Oakes, B Cox.