West Sussex League battle to draw at Worthing

Mike Bartley strikes for Lavant against Barnham II  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Mike Bartley strikes for Lavant against Barnham II Picture by Kate Shemilt
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After a year out from managing the West Sussex League rep team, Adie Konieczny returned to a vastly different squad to the one who won the inter-league competition with him in charge two years ago.

The squad had a depleted look to it for a game against the Worthing League but the players responded with an excellent performance and secured a 3-3 draw.

The game at Worthing FC started with the Worthing League piling on early pressure.

After ten minutes the inevitable happened when a poor clearance found Dan Yeomans on the edge of the area and he fired the ball back towards goal where WSFL keeper Sam Brock appeared to be unsighted as the ball squirmed under him.

WSFL put together some excellent moves and the equaliser came when Ross Barnett broke up play in midfield and started a swift passing movement which found ex-New Zealand under-17 World Cup star Nico Molijn, who finished well. Molijn added a second minutes later.

Worthing started the second half in the same manner as the first and restored their lead with two goals in the opening ten minutes. The first came from a long throw nodded in at the far post by John Axeworthy, who towered above his defensive markers. Dan Yeomans got his second with a bullet free-kick which gave Brock no chance.

After 70 minutes Tom Freeman was introduced for his West Chiltington team-mate Dec Jenkins. His impact was immediate and with ten minutes left Dean Robinson got the goal his outstanding forward play had deserved.

WSFL looked certain to get the winning goal their superior play deserved but Worthing held firm. Ross Barnett of Cowfold was star man in central midfield.

The West Sussex team’s next game is at home to the Brighton & Hove League on November 23 at Arundel FC.

WSFL: Brock, Corbett, Proto, Hatton, Carragher, Brabon, Bennett (Lewis 80), Barnett, Jenkins (Freeman 70), Molijn, Robinson. Sub unused: Simmonds.

Lavant 4 Barnham Res 1

Division one

With Barnham occupying second place and Lavant fourth before this game, this fixture was vitally important to both teams.

Both played attractive football and when Lavant gave the ball away in their own half, star striker Harry Abraham came close to giving the visitors the lead.

Within two minutes, Stuart Loversidge headed Mike Bartley’s cross just wide at the other end.

Barnham keeper Gary Wimbledon pulled off a fine save from a Matt Stevens drive and minutes later, Bartley broke the deadlock (as pictured at the top of the article) with a right-foot drive into the bottom corner to give the home side the lead.

Ryan Seacombe doubled Lavant’s lead on 32 minutes and Wimbledon again denied Bartley minutes later.

As Lavant battened down the hatches in the second half, Barnham dominated the first 15 minutes. But when Stevens headed Matt Hine’s corner in on 57 minutes, the hosts settled.

Lavant’s Neil Sanson had to pull off two class saves from Barnham’s greatest threat, Abraham.The visitors got their desserts when Kain Lawrence lobbed the keeper from a deep cross on 63 minutes. But Lavant sealed the points with a great individual goal from Seacombe ten minutes from time.

LAVANT: Sanson, Coe, Purgavie, Wright, Hine, Weller, Brooks, Stevens, Bartley, Seacombe, Loversidge. Subs: Grace, Price, Hughes.