Victories for Pagham, Lavant and Chapel feature in a round-up of midweek Sussex League action and last weekend’s West Sussex League games.
Pagham 1 Newhaven 0
Sussex League division one Scott Murfin scored yet again as the Lions resumed normal service in the league.
Following on from a couple of dispiriting cup defeats, Gary Block’s boys showed why they’ve been in the chasing pack all season.
With Tom Broadbent missing from Saturday’s line-up, Andy Brown returned to the starting 11 and Johan Van Driel took his place on the bench having recently re-signed for the Lions.
The early pressure came from the home side before both sides became bogged down in a game of attrition, although referee Lisa Dunn kept things flowing.
After the break, Luca Coleman-Carr went close with a long-range shot.
With only a point separating the sides at kick-off, much was at stake.
On the hour came a change for the Lions, Josh Irish making way for Lewis Hamilton.
Two minutes later, the Lions were ahead. A superb solo run and shot gave Murfin his 12th league goal of the season.
Pagham keeper James Binfield pulled off a string of fine saves, keeping Pagham on top.
In the last minute, a Dockers corner upped the tension. The ball was scrambled away, leaving the Lions with all three points and the chance to move into the top three on Saturday if they can win at Lancing.
West Sussex League
Lavant 2 Barns Green 0
Lavant made cup progress against their division two north visitors.
They were forced into a change in system with a number of absentees but this allowed them to give a debut start to recent acquisition Paul Jones in the centre of defence.
Lavant started by dominating possession with the visitors happy to soak up the pressure, leaving their lone striker isolated.
James Brooks’ outstanding diving header from Aaron Hancock’s cross went narrowly wide. But it was a long clearance from keeper Neil Sanson which finally led to the deadlock being broken. The ball cleared the Barns Green defence, leaving Hancock to run through and round the keeper.
The home side’s tempo dropped and they resorted to long-ball tactics.
Lavant started the second half as they did the first and all moves forward broke down in the final third.
The introduction of a second front man in Dan Baker had the desired effect.
A great opportunity fell to substitute Loversidge, forcing a superb save from the Barns Green stopper. It wasn’t long until skipper James Sandford finished off the valiant visitors with a smart turn and finish from ten yards.
LAVANT: Sanson, Gabb, Jones, Wright, Lyttle, Batten, Brooks, Knight, Hancock, Neville, Sandford. Subs: Taylor, Loversidge, Baker.
Chapel 5 The Nelson 0
Division four south
Chapel made a good start with Lee Bayliss scoring from close range after five minutes and Arron Carver adding a second on 17 as he latched on to Matt Foster’s through-ball.
Two minutes into the second half, Chris Jones delivered the killer blow when he added a third and the visitors’ heads dropped.
On 73 minutes, Tony Scutt hit the goal of the game with a thunderous drive from outside the box and Arron Carver finished the job with his second and Chapel’s fifth with five minutes to go.