FERRING Football Club came up against a stubborn Lavant side on Saturday in which they needed extra-time to advance with a 1-0 win into the fourth round of the Sussex Intermediate Cup.
Despite heavy rain, the game went ahead owing mainly to the efforts of Ferring chairman Deane Culver and a team of helpers which ensured The Glebelands pitch was playable.
Lavant started quite brightly but were soon pegged back as Ferring got in to their rhythm.
Although Ferring dominated the play, few chances were created and the half ended with no score
The second half continued in the same vein, with Ferring camped in the visitors’ half and chances were being created but not taken.
Ross Fraser, Josey Stakim, Josh Gibbons and substitute Sean O’Reilly all went close but were denied by a mixture of less-than-clinical finishing and the Lavant goalkeeper, who was in inspired form. And, at the end of normal time, the deadlock had not been broken.
Ferring continued to press hard in extra-time and Pete Christodoulou was unlucky to see his close-range effort from Joe Matthews’ cross strike the bar and rebound clear.
Chances continued to go begging before Tom Barnes struck the winner on 110 minutes when he turned superbly in the penalty area and curled his shot into the far corner of the net.
The strike was not only timely, but the Ferring man’s first goal in three years.
Ferring should have gone on to put the result beyond doubt, but O’Reilly was denied at close range and then Steve Gettings saw his shot saved superbly by the Lavant keeper.
Ferring boss Pete Matthews said: “This was a really hard-fought victory. At the moment, we are finding it difficult to finish our chances but it is pleasing that we are continuing to create and have not sacrificed our style of play.
“Lavant defended in numbers and were extremely resilient and difficult to break down. Another victory is, though, extremely pleasing.”