- Lancing Starting XI
Jack Gunn (GK), Josh Clayman, James Beresford, Mike Williamson, David Sharman, Omar Bukleb, Lewis Finney (c), Kane Louis, Conrad Honore, Tom Caplin, Mo Juwara.
Jack Baden, Josh Swietlik, George Mitchell-Phillips, Mitch Hewens, Liam Hendy, Adam Bukleb.
Egham Town, from the Combined Counties Premier League, versus Lancing of the Southern Combination Football League, was one of 184 matches taking place in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup this weekend. Sides at level 9 and 10 enter the competition at this round but are motivated by the hope of progressing to the final 32 teams who make it to the first round proper.
Conditions were blustery at the Runnymede Stadium but Lancing’s style of play, which is to keep the ball on the ground, was not affected too much by the conditions. So, they began with confidence with Kane Louis and Mike Williamson having important influence in maintaining possession. They were both involved in the first serious attack on the Egham goal with Conrad Honore receiving the ball in a good position. His shot went wide but the flag was up for offside anyway.
Dave Sharman was showing good composure at the back and was always looking to bring James Beresford into the game wide on the left. James used the ball sensibly, moving it on to team mates in more advanced positions. Egham had plenty of pace in their team and were looking to counter attack quickly. Jack Gunn, making his first start of the season in the absence of Matt Evans, had to be alert to the through ball and early on kept his nerve to head clear. But too often Egham were caught offside or lacked accuracy on their final pass. Just short of the half hour mark, Lancing’s quick interpassing paid dividends as the ball was moved between Kane Louis, Tom Caplin and James Beresford who set up Lewis Finney, who made no mistake side-footing the ball home from a few yards. Lewis Finney was showing plenty of energy chasing back to support the defence when necessary but was always available in and around the Egham goal area.
Jack Gunn had not been tested with a shot on goal but was again called upon to come swiftly off his line to win possession. There was a minor scare when Jack lost control of the ball but he recovered quickly to regain control. The first yellow card of the game was awarded against Egham for a foul on Mo Juwara, as he raced back to support the defence as Egham looked to be breaking clear, when a Lancing free-kick was cleared. Another Lancing free-kick on the stroke of half-time once again ended with Egham counter-attacking quickly. It took some great defensive work by Mike Williamson to avert the danger. Mike’s ball-winning ability had been one of the stand-out features of the first half.
Egham raised their game in the second half and an early break down the right wing produced a good cross which was well held by Jack Gunn. Egham continued to mount their attacks and came close to drawing level with a shot into the side netting.
Lancing hit back with a good run from Josh Clayman who was brought down after putting Mo Juwara clear in the box, but instead of giving Lancing the advantage, halted play for the foul. Egham received a second yellow card when Lewis Finney was pulled back as he was advancing at pace towards the Egham goal. 20 minutes into the second half, Manager Naim executed a tactical change bringing on Liam Hendy to bolster the midfield and pushing Kane Louis into a more attacking role. This was soon rewarded 5 minutes later when James Beresford did well to get clear on the left and fire in a shot which was blocked. Kane was quick to react to the rebound and found the net via the upright.
The hardworking Tom Caplin was replaced with 15 minutes to go by Mitch Hewens. Egham continued to try and exploit space behind the Lancing defence with long balls over the top, but Omar Bukleb and Dave Sharman held firm. Egham looked to have given themselves little chance of getting back into the game when a red card was shown to Keiron Robinson, already on a yellow, for a dangerous tackle on Josh Clayman. Against the odds, Egham took advantage of some loose play in the Lancing penalty area to pull one back through John Tyler. Jack Gunn sustaining an ankle injury in the process. Buoyed by this, Egham threw everything at Lancing as the game reached the final couple of minutes. Having won possession on the right of Lancing’s touchline, Egham put in a fierce cross which eluded Lancing’s defenders to find an Egham player free to hammer home the equaliser.
A disappointing end to the game for Lancing, who had looked to have the game sewn up when taking a 2-goal lead. On the balance of play, Lancing should have booked their passage into the next round and will rue their inability to take firmer control in the later stages of the game.
With some missing players now available for Tuesday’s replay, and with good crowd support, Lancing should have sufficient strength in depth to give themselves a good chance of coming through to the next round. Come and show your support this Tuesday!
Official MOM – James Beresford
Committee MOM – Mike Williamson.