Matt Evans, Dave Sharman, George Fenton (c), Alex Bygraves, Liam Hendy, Matt Berridge, James Rhodes, Kane Louis, George Mitchell-Phillips, Tom Caplin, Mo Juwara.
Omar Bukleb, Brad Santos, Mitch Hewens, Taylor Seymour, David Altendorff.
Robbed at the death. This was Lancing’s fate. My stop watch was showing just over 8 minutes of added time (no dispute about this as there were a couple of lengthy stoppages). Lancing were leading 2-1. YM had been knocking on the door in the last few minutes without making the most of their openings. And who should deliver the hammer blow .None other than Matt Daniel, Lancing’s top scorer and standout player from last season. His goals had proved to be so important to Lancing and now he was turning the table on them.
Lancing went into this game without skipper and prolific goal scorer, Lew Finney and midfield dynamo Mike Williamson. Neither of whom was available. But defeat could not be blamed on their absence as replacements, Dave Sharman, brought in at right back, with George Fenton, switching to left back and Mo occupying the left wing and Matt Berridge in midfield ,both having good games.
This was a tough physical battle for Lancing, evidenced by the fact that 6 yellow cards were dished out to Y M players plus a sin bin award, compared to one (Tom Caplin) for Lancing ( not including the yellow for manager Naim for something said )
There was an early penalty claim by YM, not given and the first serious threat came from them with a ball being driven in from the left but with no one able to get on the end of it. At the other end, Mo and George Fenton combined well down the left but James Rhodes was unable to get a clear contact on George’s cross from the bye line.
Lancing conceded on 13 minutes when a clever lob by Lewis Taylor caught Matt Evans by surprise and slightly too far from his goal line to be able to make any attempt at a save.
Undeterred by this, Lancing got into a good rhythm and James Rhodes was narrowly wide, and followed this with a penetrating run and pass to Mo Juwara who pulled the ball back to Tom Caplin. Tom got a good shot away but Amon Jeal made a good point blank save. After a quiet start, Mo was starting to show his pace and threat and the first yellow card was shown to right back Dean Carden for a nasty tackle on Mo. Kane Louis was next to try his luck, after good work by George Mitchell-Phillips but his shot was charged down.
The powerful Tony Nachwuku burst through on the right, evading Dave Sharman’s tackle but Matt Evans was alert to the danger coming quickly off his line to clear. With a couple of minutes to go before half time some clever foot work and close control, took James Rhodes to the byeline. He picked out George Fenton who found the net via the upright to bring Lancing level
Lancing began the second half as they had finished the first with some clever play from James Rhodes whose cross was perfectly weighted for George Mitchell-Phillips with the goal gaping from a couple of yards. George tried to make sure by bring the ball under control, rather than hitting it first time and this allowed keeper Jeal to get back in position and make a fine save. Lancing were enjoying a lot of good possession as the second half progressed but, despite a lot of promising approach work, were unable to make this count in and around the YM penalty area. YM had a rare attempt on the Lancing goal with a clear opportunity from a header but were guilty of a bad miss.
YM were then reduced to ten men for a spell with Lewis Taylor being sin binned. Brad Santos replaced Gorge Mitchell-Phillips. Shortly afterwards Alex Bygraves got up well to head towards goal but he was unable to get above the ball and direct it into the goal . Mo then created an opening for Brad Santos to rise well and head goal wards, forcing Jeal to palm the ball against the cross bar. James Rhodes was quickest to react as the ball dropped forcing it across the line.
YM returned to the offensive with some fairly robust play. Matt Evans needed to be at his best to turn a fierce shot over the bar and twice make excellent saves with his legs. Alex Bygraves had to make a superb tackle to prevent the dangerous Tony Nachwuku getting a shot away from close range. Mitch Hewens, who had come on for Mo Juwara was causing the YM defence a real headache and was rewarded for this with some ruthless tackles and being hurled to the floor before being manhandled off the deck. James Rhodes had a bruising encounter with Nachwuku and, after treatment from Georgie, had to be helped off ,with Omar Bukleb coming on for the last few minutes.
YM piled on the pressure for the last few minutes and when they failed to make the most of two good chances, putting a header too high and blazing a shot way over the bar ,it looked as if Lancing would pick up the three points they deserved, but that man Daniel came to their rescue to send his team into ecstacy and condemn Lancing to two more points being dropped.
The general consensus seemed to be that YM were more than a shade fortunate to have a share of the points but credit is due for them not giving up and, of course we are only too familiar with Matt Daniel’s gaol scoring instincts.
A good debate by the Committee over a pint in the Partridge at Partridge Green on the way home threw up a few good contenders for their choice of MOM, Tom Caplin, Matt Evans, Liam Hendy ,James Rhodes but the award went to skipper for the day George Fenton. So well done George for leading by example and getting us back into the game just before half time.
Man of the Match: James Rhodes