Saturday's top of the table clash finished level away at Peacehaven, with Finney & all of our management team unavailable for the fixture.
- Ford (24')
- Fenton (59')
Lancing Starting XI
Taylor Seymour,James Beresford, Alex Bygraves, Liam Hendy, George Fenton, James Rhodes,Tom Caplin,MItch Hewens,Brad Santos,Mo Juwara, MIke Williamson.
Substitutes : Conrad Honoure,Matt Herridge,Omar Bukleb and Matt Evans.
With Kane Louis absent with a very important engagement i.e his wedding, and Naim and David present as his guests, Matt Evans and Mark Stuart assumed the management reins in a challenging away fixture at Peacehaven, lying just below them in the table.Lew Finney was a spectator, having to serve a one match suspension. Al Fair still side lined with an injury. James Rhodes lined up in midfield with Brad Santos occupying the central striking role,supported by MItch on the right and Mo on the left.
A swirling gale and driving rain greeted the players.These elements and a greasy playing surface made for challenging conditions.
Mitch had an early strike on goal which was comfortably held by Lawrence Sanded but at the other end Taylor had to react sharply to put a close range header behind for a corner.James Rhodes was busy and influential in his midfield role, with Mike Williamson and Tom Caplin covering the ground well. George Fenton was a real force breaking forward with some surging runs from the back.
It was Peacehaven who got their noses in front on 24 minutes, after capitalising on a corner, and as the ball deviated in the wind ,which made it difficult for Taylor to hold on to it, it fell into the six yard box. There was a bit of a scramble before Peacehaven managed to apply the finishing touch .
Lancing had two potential penalty claims turned down.The first when a Mitch Hewens shot struck the arm of. Peacehaven defender but the referee indicated that the arm was behind the player’s back and deemed to be accidental.The second left little room for doubt in the minds of the Lancing players and those of us close to the incident.Brad Santos,whose pace was a constant threat, made a great burst into the penalty area and had his legs taken away from behind with a sliding tackle.However the referee decided otherwise.In between Taylor got down to make a good save but the ball ran loose pinging around the six yard box without Peacehaven being able to take advantage of the opportunity to increase their lead.
Lancing continued to enjoy good possession and finished the half strongly but without being able to cancel out Peacehaven’s lead.Some strong running from James Beresford looked to be promising but he was brought down with a bad foul by Cameron Wiltshire who rightly received a yellow card.Shortly afterwards Alex Bygraves found himself in trouble after a flair up between several players and received a yellow card.
It was Lancing’s turn to play into the strong wind in the second half and they began with Alex Bygraves and Liam Hendy keeping possession well and trying to create openings.It was difficult to make much progress as Peacehaven were marking tightly and not afraid to cross the permitted boundary with the strength of some of their tackles, evidenced by the fact that they picked up five yellow cards in total.The conditions tested Taylor to the full when a long range shot reared up off the greasy surface. Fortunately, he was able to get his body in the way to keep the ball out.
George Fenton gave Lancing a real boost on 49 minutes, cutting in from the left and curling an unstoppable shot into the far top corner out of reach of keeper Sanded.
Matt Herridge replaced Mo on 67 minutes. Matt Evans made a positional switch with Matt coming into midfield and James moving to the central striking role and Brad taking up the wide right position.This enabled Brad to make the most of his strengths and he was getting into some great positions towards the Peacehaven byline.A superb pass inside the fullback by Tom Caplin saw Brad able to put a telling pass across the face of the goal forcing a defender to clear behind for a corner.
Conrad Honoure came on for Mitch Hewens as Lancing stepped up the pressure. Peacehaven were trying to use the elements to their advantage and putting the ball in the box at every opportunity.But George,James,Alex and Liam held firm .Brad continued to pose a threat and another cross from the byeline looked certain to end with a goal but Conrad sliding in at the far post got underneath the ball and skied it over the bar.The temperature of the game was hotting up as more players ,including Tom and George were given yellow cards.Despite their strong finish, Lancing could not get the winner and had to be content with a share of the points.
Not a day for much pretty football but both sides did well to cope as they did with the conditions.A draw was probably a fair result .Taylor had some difficult shots to contend with in the swirling wind and greasy surface.Lancing enjoyed a good measure of control without causing the home keeper too much trouble.
Once again some good candidates for MOM.Brad,Liam, Tom, Rhodesy, but, with his spectacular goal, the award went to George Fenton.So well done George and also well done to Matt and Mark for managing in difficult circumstances.
Man of the Match: George Fenton