Lancing starting XI
Taylor Seymour, James Beresford, George Fenton, Mike Williamson, Dave Sharman, Liam Hendy, Mitch Hewens, Kane Louis, Alex Fair, James Rhodes, Mo Juwara
Matt Evans, Conrad Honore, Alex Bygraves, Omar Bukleb, Jack Baden, David Altendorff.
It was no happy homecoming for former Lancing assistant manager, Danny Wood, now in charge at Worthing United as Lancing treated their fans to a goal fest and showed how difficult it is for a club such as Worthing Utd to bridge the gap between the lower reaches of Division 1 of The Southern Counties Combination League and the upper echelon of the Premier League, to which position Lancing’s early league form has propelled them .Lancing were without the services of high scoring skipper Lew Finney, not available for this game and welcomed back Taylor Seymour in goal ,Kane Louis ,sufficiently recovered from a facial injury, although wearing a protective facial mask. Dave Sharman was recalled alongside Liam Hendy as the centre back pairing and there was a start for the highly promising Mitch Hewens. It was Mitch who gave Lancing the opportunity to take an early lead when he was brought down in the box with the game barely three minutes old. Al Fair made no mistake with the spot kick with a shot high into the roof of the net. Within a further three minutes Lancing were two up with an unstoppable freekick from 25 yards curled into the far corner by the left boot of James Rhodes. The visitors’ keeper was then kept busy keeping out a snapshot from Al Fair and a header from James Rhodes. Worthing then took advantage of some casual play by Lancing from a short corner and their pacey no. 9 broke clear but Liam Hendy was able to make a challenge resulting in the ball deviating off him for a corner.
Mitch Hewens on the right and Mo Juwara on the left were proving a handful for Worthing defenders to manage and with James Beresford making his powerful forward runs, Worthing were kept at full stretch.
The only other moment of danger for Lancing occurred when Taylor Seymour was almost caught out of position as he was forced to try and head the ball clear just outside his penalty area. It looked as if the ball might fall kindly for Worthing but Lancing were able to recover and regain possession.
Some tight control and silky movement in the box saw, firstly James Rhodes and later Kane Louis, bamboozle the opposing defenders without being able to apply the finishing touch. On 36 minutes, George Fenton was put clear on the left and was able to send the ball towards the far corner. Such was the accuracy, that the ball sailed into the far top corner with the keeper stranded. Whatever was intended, it was either a superb cross or, to give George the benefit, a well placed shot.
To add salt to Worthing’s wounds Al Fair, after coming close minutes earlier, sealed Worthing’s fate with his second and Lancing’s fourth, with a fine drive into the corner four minute before the break.
Play resumed after the break with James Rhodes and James Beresford being given a rest and Conrad Honore and Omar Bukleb replacing them. Liam Hendy switched from his central defensive role to right back.
Worthing came out for the second half trying to play out from the back but came unstuck, after barely two minutes by losing possession. The ball fell to Al Fair who despatched it into the back of the net in an instant to complete his hat trick. Following this Worthing enjoyed their best spell and tested Taylor Seymour with a rasping drive which he managed to reach at full stretch with the ball grazing the crossbar .Al Fair was hungry for more goals and Liam Hendy looked to have assisted him to achieve that, laying the ball back to him after a good run to the bye line but Al’s shot was blocked. After Conrad Honore was brought down at the edge of the box, Al hit a powerful freekick that ricocheted off the crossbar, down to the goal line. .Neither referee, nor his assistant were well positioned to judge whether the ball had crossed the line. Post match, the general view from those in a good position to see was that the ball had crossed the line. Al was again denied a goal from another well struck free kick which hit the upright, rebounded to strike Liam Hendy before bouncing off him towards the goal line. Before anyone could take advantage of the situation, the flag had been raised for offside. Worthing came close to a consolation goal but Liam Hendy , who had been enjoying himself getting forward from the right back position, came to Lancing’s rescue having made it back to clear from his goal line .Al Fair’s persistence finally paid off with a neat turn in the penalty area and a clinical finish for his fourth and Lancing’s 6th.
There was still time for Al to notch his fifth ,but to everyone’s amazement, including Al himself, when he was teed up superbly by Kane Louis, he somehow managed to put the ball wide from a few yards .Mike Williamson looked certain to add his name to the scoresheet when a well timed run put him clear with only the advancing keeper to beat. Unfortunately, Mike could not get underneath the ball sufficiently to get it over the keeper.
Lancing were still looking for goals and to everyone’s delight Mo Juwara finished one of his mazy runs, leaving defenders trailing in his wake, with a brilliant finish into the bottom corner. This was not be the end of goalmouth action, as David Altendorff , who had replaced Conrod Honore ,who had limped off with an ankle injury, received a good pass from Mo and looked to have scored as his shot struck the upright, span along the goal line but instead of crossing it went harmlessly wide.
Not quite seventh heaven for Lancing and their supporters, as with 5 minutes of
normal time remaining, Al Fair seemed to twist his ankle, and after attention from physio Georgie, had to be helped from the pitch. Fingers crossed that another of Lancing’s ace marksmen has not suffered a serious injury.
An entertaining afternoon’s football. Tough for Worthing still trying to make progress under a new manager and several new players. The game was played in good spirit and the atmosphere in the ground was boisterous at times but all in good humour without animosity towards our neighbours.
Little doubt about committee MOM. Four goal Al Fair. Well done Al. Hope you soon recover.