Lancing Starting XI
Taylor Seymour, James Beresford, Max Blencowe, Liam Hendy, George Fenton, Mike Williamson, Mo Juwara, Kane Louis, Tom Caplin, Lew Finney (Capt.) James Rhodes.
Substitutes: Mitch Hewens, Matt Evans, Dave Sharman, Omar Bukleb, George Mitchell-Phillips, Alex Fair.
The omens were good when, after leaving a windswept and rain-soaked Lancing and driving through torrential rain, the skies brightened and the rain relented as Lancing reached the Len Salmon stadium for their second-round tie against Frenford of the Eastern Counties league. The familiar sight of a 3 G pitch greeted Lancing so conditions under foot would enable them to recreate their Culver Road style of play. The facilities for the travelling supporters were good with a welcoming club house and good covered seating accommodation.
Lancing were without the services of their stalwart centre back Alex Bygraves who had sustained a fractured tibia in Tuesday’s RUR cup win at Littlehampton and dynamic young forward, Brad Santos, recalled by parent club Whitehawk. A second game for 17-year-old centre back Max Blencowe, after a fine debut against Littlehampton and a strong bench completed the squad.
Lancing began brightly with James Beresford setting up Lew Finney for a shot which keeper Danny Fowler was able to gather comfortably. Lew was then close to making contact with a strike from Mo Juwara which flew towards the far upright. An early yellow card was awarded to right back Enoch Freeman for a foul on James. Beresford, who had been giving Freeman a torrid time with his pacy runs from deep on Lancing’s left. By taking firm action early in the game the referee helped to set the bar for future transgressions and this resulted in a game relatively free of any serious foul play.
Most of Lancing’s forward play was developing with Taylor Seymour feeding James, who was making good use of possession linking well with Lew Finney. Lancing were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and Frenford were kept busy trying to contain James, Lew and Tom Caplin breaking into good positions on Lancing’s left and George Fenton and Mo Juwara combining to good effect on the opposite flank. George did well getting to the bye line, before laying the ball on for Mo whose goal bound strike was initially fumbled by keeper Fowler but quickly gathered in. Somewhat against the run of play, Frenford went ahead on 29 minutes. Liam Hendy had made a good tackle but the ball ran loose to Harry Daly who gave Taylor no chance, hammering the ball home from close range.
Lancing continued to make inroads into the final third and were working their way patiently into good positions. A James Beresford shot was well saved with the ball falling nicely for Lew Finney to volley home. Lancing’s joy was short lived as the flag was raised for offside.
Enoch Freeman was getting the ball into the Lancing penalty area with his ability to reach a good distance from throw ins. Frenford came close to increasing their lead when a free kick was deflected onto the Lancing cross bar. This was one of very few chances created as Lancing’s pressure and clever inter passing kept the opposition fully occupied defensively.
The half came to an end with James Beresford setting up Kane Louis whose shot was drifting well wide and just too far in front of Lew Finney, closing in with an attempt to head for goal.
Lancing picked where they left off but responding to manager Naim’s instructions increased the pace of their movement in the second half. This soon paid dividends, as, with barely 7 minutes into the half, James Rhodes showed great close control weaving his way into the penalty area before laying on an inch perfect pass for Lew Finney to coolly pass the ball into the bottom corner. James Rhodes then turned finisher but his “goal” was disallowed for offside. Lancing’s confidence was sky high as they moved into the final 30 minutes. James Rhodes took up a position on the right of the attack, with Kane operating centrally and was having a field day joining with George Fenton and Tom Caplin to turn the unfortunate Frenford defenders inside out.
Mitch Hewens came on for Mo to add his attacking flair and increase the pressure on an already hard-pressed home defence. Within minutes Lancing took the lead. A thunderbolt of a free kick from Lew Finney brought a good save from Fowler but he was unable to hold on to the ball which rebounded into the path of Kane Louis who volleyed home. James Rhodes was causing havoc with his close ball control in and around the opposition box. A 2-1 lead was not comfortable as Frenford were looking to get long balls forward quickly and any defensive slip up could open the way for an equaliser. However, the Lancing back four were a tight unit and gave nothing away, and with Mike Williamson winning some excellent tackles when needed, Frenford were held at bay. The closest Frenford came to levelling the score was when a long punt from keeper Fowler landed on the top of the net. A moment of excitement for the spectators to enjoy.
Lancing were totally dominant in the latter stages and further goal attempts came from James Rhodes and Lew Finney. Al Fair, returning from injury, replaced Tom Caplin and, as the game went into added time, Kane Louis killed of any hopes of a last minute Frenford recovery with his second and Lancing’s third.
A fairly comprehensive victory for Lancing progressing to round three. Almost total football with their ability to retain possession and keep the ball, thus frustrating the opposition who were chasing shadows for much of the game. Respect due to Frenford for continuing to play football the right way without resorting to aggressive tactics to disrupt Lancing’s rhythm. Some very complimentary remarks from the Frenford management and a satisfactory visit to Essex for the Lancing faithful who joined the team on the coach.
Needless to say, there was a great atmosphere on the home journey with the team and supporters in boisterous mood.
Manager’s MOM awarded to James Beresford. So much attacking impetus to get Lancing off to a dominant start. Caused anxiety in the home defence every time he broke forward and worked well in tandem with Lew Finney.
Committee’s MOM goes to Mike Williamson.100% commitment and winning tackles left right and centre, disrupting the opposition time after time.
Manager’s Man of the Match: James Beresford
Committee’s Man of the Match: Mike Williamson
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