A YOUTHFUL Laverstock and Ford finally put their slow start of the new year behind them with a hugely improved team performance as they beat high flying visiting Romsey Town 2-0.

After back-to-back defeats and below satisfactory performances, the changes were rung for the visit of Romsey, in total three 17 year-olds started for the home side. including a surprise debut to new signing Lewis Wakeford.

Right from the off, Lavvy were clearly in the mood, creating several early chances, they deservedly took the lead on 12 minutes.

Lewis Wykes played in a clever cross which was met by debutant Wakeford who tucked home his header in style. Lavvy continued to press and came close to doubling their lead through Russ Jones.

However on 20 minutes, the game burst into life, Alexis Ageur was adjudged to have fouled the on rushing Jack Odam 25-yards from goal, despite the player not going down or making a deal of the coming together the referee stopped play and after lengthy deliberation issued the Ageur his marching orders.

Goalscorer Wakeford made way for substitute goalkeeper Rob Crossley and he was immediately called into action making a double save from the resulting free-kick.

With Romsey smelling blood, they were beginning to make the extra man count and on 27 minutes, Jim Ward's trip on McGee in the box gave Romsey the perfect chance to equalise from the spot.

However, Crossley had other ideas and made a great full length save to deny Odam his goal.

Lavvy held firm and got in at the break 1-0 up

Lavvy rode the early second half storm from Romsey and on 56 minutes the Dell exploded into life, skipper Adam Bourner's neat through ball was met by Russ Jones who found space in the box, danced around the goalkeeper to grab his side's second of the game.

Romsey continued to press but Crossley and the back four led by the assured Joe Rawkins continued to stand firm. Lavvy had a golden chance to get a third but Jones' stretching effort went just past the post.

In the end, Laverstock stood strong with 10 men and took a deserved three points much to the delight of their manager Liam McConnell

McConnell said: "That was the performance we have been looking for! To completely dominate such an inform side like Romsey with 11 men was testament to how good these lads are.

"Even with 10 men, it's the third time this season we have had to dig in with a man less for 70 plus minutes and we're yet to lose.

"There is something about the character and spirit in this group and it was on show for all to see today.

"We've worked hard to affect fitness and confidence levels and the boys came through in style today".

McConnell was full of praise for one man in-particular in his squad and said: "Rob (Crossley) has had to be patient at times this season, but to play as he did today when we are under pressure is a credit to him!

"I also have to mention Lewis (Wakeford) who has come in on his debut and made a big impact, it was bitter sweet for him, a great goal and then I had to sacrifice him, again just like all the young lads we have, his attitude it fantastic and he completely understood the decision, thankfully it was the right one.

"We'll enjoy this result but the hard work starts again at training."

Laverstock this week have a trip to Whitchurch United on Saturday.