NOTHING could separate two of the leagues unbeaten sides Laverstock and Ford and Hythe and Dibden in this epic clash at the Waterside last Saturday.

Going into the game it was fair to say Hythe were deemed favourites after their recent results, but Laverstock are made of tougher stuff these days and certainly fancied their chances of upsetting the apple-cart.

On a fantastic surface at Claypits Lane, both sides saw a lot of the ball in the open 15 minutes, both sides having opportunities but Lavvy with a quick counter saw Josh Cotton make a smart save from Russ Jones before Tommy Campbell Smith could only blaze his effort over.

Hythe began to maintain possession and with their first real attempt found themselves one up.

A free-kick from Hythe's former Saints star Jo Tessem was knocked down by the skipper Sam Floyd for Sam Woodward to poke home the opener.

Lavvy responded and perhaps should have had a penalty, What looked like a clear handball in the Hythe box resulted in protests being waved away, before Woodward hit the bar with a looping header and Seb Dawes clipping the outside of the post brought the half to a pulsating end.

With one goal separating the sides in an evenly matched first half the second session was a different outcome.

Lavvy went straight after the home team. Dawes and Jones causing panic in the home back line every time they went forward.

Despite a lot of pressure they could not crack the Hythe defence, Lewis Wykes made way for Chae Sykes who immediately saw his effort clawed on the line by the home goalkeeper.

Ollie Roe then saw his free-kick cleared off the line as pressure mounted.

Then on the 70 minute mark, Lavvy got their reward for their endeavour.

Jones slid Dawes through before he coolly stroked home his three goal of the week to level things.

The momentum was all in the visitors favour and although Hythe were having their moments also, they were limited to long range efforts clearing Roberts goal.

As the game ticked into injury time it looked as though Lavvy had produced the ultimate comeback.

Dawes again bravely looping a header over the onrushing Cotton, just as it looked to cross the line a Hythe defender acrobatically cleared the effort off the line to save his side a point.

After the game, manager Liam McConnell was quick to praise his troops and said: "We knew today would be our toughest test to date based on what Hythe have done to teams this season.

"But there was never an ounce of doubt in my mind that we wouldn't get something today. We had to demonstrate a discipline today and that's what pleases me the most.

"We look menacing going forward and as a unit have added fitness and a dedicated work ethic to our game."

He added: "We felt we did enough in the first half to be level, but we weren't so we knew we had to win the second half, the boys listened and that second half performance not only deserved the win but it was one of the best 45 minutes we have put in.

"I still can't believe how he's kept Seb's header out.

"We can look back positively on this week and use it as a platform to go into our next group of games. We can still improve and we certainly won't rest.

"We have equally tough games around the corner. But the boys did the club proud today!"

The result leaves Lavvy ninth in the table one point off top spot and they entertain US Portsmouth, who are just below them in Division One this Saturday.

Then on Tuesday night, they are away at Alresford in the first round League Cup tie.