The Lancers were victorious away at Cuckfield Rangers on Saturday, beating them 5-0.
Jack Gunn (GK), Josh Clayman, Alex Bygraves, Dave Sharman, Michael Coupar, Josh Swietlik, Jack Baden, Alex Fair, James Rhodes, James Beresford, Liam Hendy.
Subs – Matt Evans, Tom Caplin, Lewis Finney, Kane Louis, Adam Bukleb,
(George Fenton and Mo Juwara side-lined through injury)
For their fourth pre-season friendly, away to Cuckfield Rangers, Manager Naim Rouane gave first team starts to goalkeeper Jack Gunn and full back Michael Coupar. Alex Fair was back after injury and Josh Swietlik and Jack Baden also had the opportunity to impress from the start.
Lancing soon established their attacking intent with Jack Baden linking well with Josh Clayman. Josh was a constant threat with his hard running from the right full back position. It was a Jack and Josh combination which created a scoring opportunity for Alex Fair but his shot was deflected for a corner. James Rhodes was fed the ball from the short corner and his determined burst into the penalty area resulted in a body check which blocked him off. A penalty was awarded which Alex Fair converted to give Lancing an early lead.
Lancing were well in control at this stage and were keeping possession to frustrate Cuckfield. A rare counter attack by Cuckfield produced a dangerous cross into the six-yard box. It needed a desperate tackle from Dave Sharman to prevent what looked to be a certain goal.
Sharman sustained a nasty looking ankle injury in the process and after lengthy treatment from physio Georgie Hill, had to leave the field to be replaced by Lewis Finney. Josh Swietlik switched from midfield to centre back partnering Alex Bygraves. Lancing continued to enjoy good spells of possession following instructions from Naz to show patience in their build-up. This paid off when after at least a dozen short passes, an opening was created for Alex Fair to get his second with a well-placed shot into the bottom corner.
Cuckfield then came close after a free kick awarded against Alex Bygraves was aimed towards the far post. It found a Cuckfield head but the header was glanced wide of the upright.
Several changes were made at half time with the introduction of Adam Bukleb at right back (Josh Clayman switching to left back), Mike Williamson, Kane Louis, Tom Caplin and Matt Evans.
The emphasis on quick passing and a patient build-up was maintained. Good interplay between Kane Louis and Lewis Finney after another period of possession in and around the Cuckfield penalty area resulted in the ball being slipped in behind the Cuckfield defence for Tom Caplin to slot home from close range. More changes followed with James Rhodes back on for James Beresford who had looked very comfortable in midfield.
Josh Swietlik was back on for Liam Hendy and Jack Baden for Lewis Finney. Josh Clayman earned a much-deserved rest having put in a great amount of work along the right flank getting up and back. Michael Coupar returned and James Beresford replaced Alex Fair, who made a quick return after Tom Caplin sustained an injury.
Lancing finished strongly. Josh Swietlik set James Beresford on a run towards the goal and he found James Rhodes with a precise pass. James finished coolly in the bottom corner. James Beresford was again involved in a move began by Kane Louis as he found James Rhodes in space to score his second and give Lancing a 5-0 lead. On the stroke of full time, James Rhodes was close to his third when his shot came back off the upright.
Committee MOM was awarded to Liam Hendy narrowly edging out Josh Clayman.
P.S Apologies to George Fenton. I credited (or should that be discredited) him with an o.g. against Worthing but I have since been reliably informed that the ball went directly into the net without touching him.
Our thanks to Lancing FC Committee Member, Dave Wilmott, for his match report.