West Sussex League: It’s a champion effort by Lavant

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Lavant secured the West sussex League division-one title for Lavant with a 3-1 win over Cowfold at The Jungle.

It’s the first time since 1974 they have won the division and gained promotion to the premier division.

They started brightly with swift passing forcing Cowfold keeper Matt Beck into two fine saves in the first eight minutes.

When Beck was beaten by Mike Bartley’s conversion of James Brooks cross, the striker’s effort grazed the post.

The visitors produced only one half-chance from a free-kick which defender Josh Harris fired over the Lavant bar halfway through the first half.

The home side’s pressure was rewarded when Ryan Seacombe stabbed home Bartley’s cross in the 27th minute.

Cowfold maintained a resolute 4-5-1 defence, and after Anthony Parsons went off following a head injury and was waved back on by referee Mark Weller, his unmarked presence gave him Cowfold’s first real shooting chance.

Lavant keeper, Neil Sanson had it covered but it deflected off a Lavant defender into the net.

The home side restored their lead with Knight’s goal and Bartley nearly added another just on half-time but his strike shaved the bar.

Lavant retained ball possession for long spells with Beck again denying Bartley, Mike Neville shooting over and Seacombe being denied a goal for a very tight offside decision.

The game was put beyond Cowfold’s reach when Bartley netted on 84 minutes.

On the whistle, the home side celebrated and the joy was summed up by Sharon Knight, who drank her third glass of champagne and declared: “I can’t believe I gave birth to the lad whose goal secured the title.”

LAVANT: Sanson; Coe, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle; Neville, Brooks, Stevens, Knight; Seacombe, Bartley. Subs: Cole, Walder, Latham, Ockwell.

Petworth 1 Holbrook 3

Division one

Petworth remain in the relegation zone after a dreadful start saw them 3-0 down inside 15 minutes.

The first goal came when the Holbrook right midfielder peeled off at the back post and nodded a deep cross back across the goal past keeper Alex Wadey and in.

The second goal was unfortunate for Petworth as a speculative long-range effort deflected off Conor Burrows and looped over Wadey.

Holbrook were rampant and and it was 3-0 as they carved open Petworth again.

Finally Petworth realised the game had started, but it seemed all but over as a competitive contest. To their credit they started to amount promising attacks of their own and pulled one back after 30 minutes when Mark Cooper set up Martin Dillon on the edge of the area and he fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.

The second half was different and only profligate finishing denied Petworth the chance of getting some reward.

Aaron Evans played a brilliant first-time half-volley across the pitch and into the path of Dillon, whose effort went high and wide. Cooper had two glorious chances from just inside the area. both of which were fired wide.

Petworth now face an uphill task to avoid the drop.

PETWORTH: Wadey, C Burrows (R Burrows 65), Torode, Murray, Evans (Jefford 85), Pafford, Exall (Naldrett 75), Dillon, Wells, Levett, Cooper.

Uni of Chichester 2 Watersfield 3

Premier division

In a relegation six-pointer, Watersfield took a big step towards securing top-flight football for another season with a win over their fellow strugglers.

The game was scrappy but the home side took the lead early on when Tom Smith beat the keeper with a low drive.

Makeshift Uni centre-back Declan Hartigan was caught out of position and allowed a Watersfield striker to level soon after.

In the second half both sides pushed for a much-needed victory and the visitors profited from lacklustre defending to gain the lead.

Dan Baker levelled for the Uni boys when he converted a Conner Baker cross - but another lightning-fast counter-attack saw Watersfield score a third.

The University had striker James Sandford sent off late on in controversial circumstances.

This defeat leaves the University in a real relagation battle.

UNIVERSITY: Evans, Baker, Fraser, Hibbert, Hartigan, Potter, Hagan, Smith, Boniface, Sandford, Baker. Subs: Lee, Guttridge.

Sidlesham 3 Cowfold 0

Premier division

Sidlesham needed to up their game when Cowfold visited Selsey Road and a couple of changes in personnel saw the Sids come out of the traps a lot quicker.

Cowfold were under pressure down both flanks, with Andy Rawlins and Jimmy Brown in good form.

The new strike partnership of Charlie Squires and Kieran Hartley were starting to show good promise.

The opening goal on 11 minutes came after good work down the left by Rawlins and Carragher, which led to a superb cross by Carragher converted by Brad Miles.

Cowfold were hitting the Sids on the break but failed to convert with in-form Simon Keen in complete control.

On 25 minutes Sids won a free-kick on the right just inside the Cowfold half. The ball was whipped in by Rawlins for Squires to head in off the bar and keeper’s back.

Three minutes later, a free-kick on the left was dispatched by Gary Jones with a perfect strike into the top corner.

In the second half, Dan Bassil came on for Brown, allowing Hartley to maraud down the right, failing on four or five occasions to find the net.

Hounsome came on for Philips and Mullins for Squires as the Sids held on to their lead thanks in no small part to a brilliant double save by keeper Keen.

SIDS: Keen, Low, Carragher, Grantham, Jones, Miles, Brown, Philips, Squires, Hartley, Rawlins, Bassil, Mullins, Hounsome, Evans, Simmons.