Pirates reach final destination - again

James Batten of Lavant and Matt Russell of Newtown Villa challenge   Picture by Louise Adams LA1500022-5
James Batten of Lavant and Matt Russell of Newtown Villa challenge Picture by Louise Adams LA1500022-5

A win for Nyetimber Pirates, a draw between Lavant and Newtown Villa and a loss for Chapel feature in our latest round-up of West Sussex Football League clubs.

Nyetimber Pirates 2 Ockley 1

Malcolm Simmonds Cup semi-final

PIRATES booked their place in their third final in just over a year after a hard-fought battle with Ockley at Pirate Park.

Matt Carter’s late strike was enough for the Looters to progress to the final, in which they will face local rivals Predators at Arundel FC on May 4.

Pirates went into the game as massive underdogs with Ockley flying high in the premier division, but showed great fight in a feisty affair which could have gone either way.

Ted Griffin and James Fallick returned to the side and Nyetimber dominated the first half and created a number of chances early on, but were unable to take advantage of early dominance.

Despite wasting a handful of chances, the opener finally came on 32 minutes when Fallick headed home Andy Cox’s corner giving them the lead.

There was a nasty incident minutes later when an irate supporter of the visiting side entered the field of play to confront a Pirate player following a clash on the edge of the penalty area, nearly resulting in a brawl with the two teams .

The game settled down following the clash and Ockley struck back on the stroke of half-time with a well-worked goal smashed past Warren Pye in the Pirates’ goal, leaving him with no chance.

The winner came on 78 minutes following a scramble in the penalty area. The ball fell to Carter on the edge of the box and he looped the ball over the Os’ keeper for his first of the season.

Ockley pushed for an equaliser but the impressive Pirates backline stood strong and cut out any attacks before they could cause any real danger.

Pirates’ unbeaten run stretches back to December as they fight on three fronts with division one and the Centenery cup still possibilities.

PIRATES: Pye, Hamm, Williamson, Carter, Bann, Cox, Pasterfield, Palmer, Griffin, Turner, Fallick. Subs: Dant, Peach, Gill.

Lavant 2 Newtown Villa 2

West Sussex premier division

LAVANT were keen to capitalise on the visitors’ indifferent form and seek revenge for a 5-4 defeat earlier in the season – but had to settle for a point.

It didn’t take long for Lavant to notch another early goal. Paul Jones won the ball on the edge of his area and found Sandford, who held the ball up and returned it to Jones to finish a great flowing move.

Newtown were intent on a direct approach to Matt Russell whose duel with Jones was always going to be vital.

With half-time approaching Lavant made it two with Sandford beating the offside trap to race clear, beating the keeper to the ball and poking home.

After the break, Lavant changed to a more direct approach to prevent an early goal. But they never got out of this mindset.

Newtown got reward for their perseverance and were awarded a penalty for a contentious handball against Jones. Russell’s spot-kick was saved by Neil Sanson.

Newtown did get themselves on the scoresheet from a corner, scored when three players were down injured, two of them from Lavant.

A catalogue of errors let Newtown draw level. Jon Wright gave the ball away with a wild clearance, allowing a smart through-ball from Villa which led to Russell being taken out by Matt Lyttle in the area.

Sanson again saved the kick but the rebound was tucked away.

This was two points lost for Lavant.

LAVANT: Sanson, Gabb, Jones, Lyttle, Wright, Batten, Brooks, Knight, Hancock, Haggar, Sandford. Subs: Purgavie, Neville, Baker.

Chapel 0 Ajax Trees 8

West Sussex League division four south

A greatly-weakened Chapel side could only field ten players against promotion-bound Ajax Trees.

Despite bravely holding out for the first 25 minutes, once the gates were open four more goals quickly followed before half-time.

The resistence continued after the break led by Ben Plant, who never stopped running, and Daryll Till covered time and time again at the back but Ajax Trees ran out comfortable winners.