Seymour, Hendy, Fenton, Williamson, Bygraves, Bukleb, Juwara, Honore, Rhodes, Beresford, Finney (c).
On The Bench
Sharman, Evans, Fair, Louis, Altendorff.
It was a very hot & humid morning at The Beacon earlier today, with an early start probably tough, as always, for some of the players from either side who may have been on the beer the previous day(s) and enjoying this rare weather! Despite Hassocks’ lower league position, wins at The Beacon don’t come easy, particularly following The Robins’ impressive draw away at Chipstead, Surrey, last Saturday.
Still, Lancing were I’m sure many’s favourites heading into the fixture, following 4/4 league wins, including a 4-0 victory at home to Crawley Down Gatwick last Tuesday. Despite missing tenacious midfielder, Tom Caplin, and experienced defender, Josh Clayman the lineup remained strong. Seymour remained in the starting lineup, following his recent good form, as Evans returned following his 4-game break, named amongst the 5 subs.
The game begun with a short attacking spell from our hosts, with a header from Nick Pitcher forcing Seymour to parry the ball out for an early corner. Bygraves, Bukleb and Seymour were playing good possession football at the back, and making use of Hendy and young Conrad down the wings. Despite still appearing an attacking threat, Mo had a slightly more deflated start compared to previous matches, finding it difficult to play the right ball, with Hassocks closing him down quickly.
After 10 minutes played, the Lancers maintained possession, playing the ball around comfortably at the back, being awarded 2 consecutive free-kicks following fouls on Conrad and Beresford as Hassocks looked to win back play. After Bukleb was caught out with one too many passes at the back early on, Entiknapp forced Seymour into action, with a calm save to deny the hosts the lead.
It was no surprise that a water break was required after 15 minutes in the sweltering heat.
When play resumed, Mo was again called into action to delay the host’s counter-attack, forced to make a foul on the half-way line. Mike made a great tackle to prevent Entiknapp from turning and having a shot on goal, passing to Hendy who found Beresford going forward, only for Hassocks to win back possession. Hendy, Conrad, Mike, Fenton and Finney continued to put together quick strings of passes in the final third, but few resulting with a strike on goal.
After 20 minutes Bygraves, Mikey and Conrad were called upon to stop Hassock’s counter-attack, as Bygraves managed to pull a last-ditch tackle to prevent Seymour being forced to make a save, with Mike defending the corner well. Lancers still dominant in possession, Bygraves found Rhodes on the right-wing who was taken out from behind, with no foul given by the referee. Bukleb intercepted a through-ball by Hassocks, only for the hosts to win back the ball, requiring Mike to make the foul, with Seymour again seeing out the ball for a goal-kick after a weak strike on goal.
Rouane’s side maintained their standard of possession football, however were struggling to find Finney and Rhodes up top, with neither side creating many chances on goal. The Hassocks defence continue to park the bus, making it difficult for Mo to make his normal attacking runs towards goal. Bygraves was soon called upon again to stop the Hassocks attackers in their tracks, with a clearance out for a corner, followed by a header out from the resultant cross.
The Lancing support were on edge after 30 minutes as Seymour‘s pass to Bukleb was over-shot, heading out for a Hassocks throw-in despite Omar’s best efforts to keep the ball in play – with Seymour returning to his usual confident self by saving a resultant Hassocks shot on goal. Finney, for Lancing, and Blake, for Hassocks, were both booked in a space of 3 minutes for fouls, with an attacking spell from the Lancers being halted by the linesman’s flag with just 7 minutes until the half-time interval.
5 minutes until half-time Hassocks begun to gain more possession, with thing’s not looking up for Mo, who lost possession again whilst on the attack, and Beresford‘s pass to Mike, intercepted, forcing Seymour into another save. However, it was the away side that look dangerous in the final couple of minutes of the half, as Fenton, Mo, Rhodes and Bygraves played the ball amongst themselves, before Mo‘s run through on goal ended with him being fouled by 2 Hassocks players at the same time. Beresford‘s pinpoint accuracy forced home keeper Josh Green to make a save from our free-kick, before Mo committed a foul on the edge of the box.
A slightly less confident first-half for the Lancers, however still dominant in possession, whilst neither teams created many chances.
Half Time: Hassocks 0 – 0 Lancing
Lancing kicked-off for the second-half at The Beacon, looking more lively in attack following the half-time team talk. After Beresford was tackled whilst pressing forward, midfield duo Mike and Conrad did well to win back possession, leading to a more dangerous-looking attacking spell from Finney, Beresford and Conrad in the final third. An injury forced Hassocks to make an early second-half sub which allowed for a short water break.
On 56 minutes, Rouane & Altendorff’s double substitution, with Kane and Fair replacing Conrad and Mo, fulfilled it’s purpose in bringing more experience going forward – short-lived however as Hassocks took the lead after 60 minutes.
Despite the odd shot to keep Seymour on his toes in the Lancing goal, Hassocks appeared to park the bus again, with Lancing creating a fresh sequence of attacking spells, including a rare shot from Hendy, forcing Green to parry the ball out for a corner, before another brief water-break for the players and officials.
Kane was noticeably dangerous going forward, however a cross into the box didn’t find anyone, however Kane was soon back terrorising the Hassocks defence, making a run towards the box before being fouled right on the edge, in what could have resulted in a penalty on a different day.
A penalty was not needed however, after substitute Alex Fair levelled the scoreline after calmly slotting past Green on 73 minutes. 3 minutes later, Fair reminded us of his scoring ability, by extending our lead, with his header blasting past the Hassocks keeper. 2-1 up, the Lancers continued their possession, until a foul by Bukleb led to a penalty for our hosts on 87 minutes. Fearing the worst, our away support looked away, but young keeper, Taylor Seymour, managed to pull off an excellent save to deny Hassocks an equaliser, predicting their striker’s shot straight down the middle of the goal.
A foul on Kane as he made another break forward resulted in Matt Berridge being shown a yellow in the dying moments of the game. Hendy was replaced by Altendorff with less than a minute of play remaining, to see out the end of the game and secure our comeback win.
Full Time: Hassocks 1 – 2 Lancing
Another 3 points for Rouane’s side, making it 5/5 league wins, ahead of our Buildbase FA Vase fixture at home to Chessington & Hook this coming Saturday – kick-off is 3pm at Culver Road – come and show your support for the Lancers!
Man of the Match – Alex Fair
Match Report By – Me, Jack (In absence of Dave/Barry today)