Lancing Starting XI.
Matt Evans, George Fenton, Omar Bukleb, Max Blencoe, Mo Juwara, Mike Williamson, Matt Herridge, James Rhodes, James Beresford, Lew Finney (Capt.), Alex Fair.
Dave Sharman, Tom Caplin, Kane Louis, Liam Hendy, Mitch Hewens
Lancing continued their busy schedule with an away tie at the Beacon against The Robins (Hassocks F C) in round 2 of the Sussex Senior Cup. Manager Naim made a few changes to the team who defeated Frenford on Saturday. In came keeper Matt Evans, former Robins midfielder Matt Herridge and striker Alex Fair.
The Robins squad included former Lancing players, keeper Josh Green, Alex Spinks and Liam Benson.
Lancing were quickest out of the starting blocks with James Beresford playing in front of Mo Juwara on the left flank and these two were immediately linking up to good effect. James created a good opportunity for Al Fair to get on the scoresheet with barely two minutes gone but good defending blocked what looked to be a certain goal. The Robins had not touched the ball up until this point. James broke forward minutes later and fed the ball towards Lew Finney, whose clever dummy allowed the ball to run to James Rhodes who brought a good save from Josh Green. The Robins first threat was a good through ball into the Lancing penalty area but Omar Bukleb was alert to the danger and was able to win possession and clear to safety.
It took Lew Finney just 11 minutes to add to his amazing goal tally this season. Intercepting a cross field pass just inside the Robins half and with one touch he looked up and, spotting Green off his line, sent the ball over him into the net from at least 40 yards.
The Robins first attempt on goal brought a good save from Matt Evans who got his body behind a well struck free kick which came quickly off the turf. The Robins could not quite get their passing accuracy going as a number of long passes went out of play or were comfortably dealt with by Alex Blencowe and Omar Bukleb.
Al Fair was frustrated again with another goal bound effort blocked by good defending on the goal line.
The Robins were gradually posing more of a threat. Omar Bukleb was making a number of important tackles to break down some good attacks. A Robins free kick on 22 minutes smacked against the cross bar.
Max Blencowe was oozing confidence playing out from the back and dictating to those in front of him. But as the half wore on The Robins were getting closer to an equaliser. Another free kick was won on the edge of the Lancing penalty area. The kick struck the wall and a shot from the rebound was well held by Matt Evans.
A blow to their hopes of getting on level terms was delivered by James Beresford giving Lancing their second goal on 38 minutes with a well struck low drive. This seemed to spur the hosts on and Matt Evans was kept busy and demonstrating what a safe pair of hands he is in the Lancing goal tipping a goal bound shot over the bar. It needed a superb interception by George Fenton to snuff out a run on the Lancing goal which almost certainly would have enabled the hosts to reduce the arrears just before half time.
The Robins introduced Liam Benson for the second half replacing Ben Bacon and came out fighting to get back in the game. There was an early shout for a penalty with an appeal for handball against a Lancing defender. The ball certainly took a deviation from near the goal line. But referee Nick Blogg, who had handled the game well, saw no more than a corner being conceded. Matt Evans, while diving in the opposite direction to his right, had to use his outstretched legs , to prevent a certain goal.
Lancing made a double substitution early in the second half with Tom Caplin and Kane Louis replacing Al Fair and Matt Herridge. Tom soon was on hand with an assist splitting the Robins defence with a pass for Lew to run on to. As Josh Green came out to close him down, Lew drove the ball past him into the empty net. This was a killer blow for the home side. There were still 30 minutes left but Lancing were passing the ball around with confidence denying The Robins possession and frustrating their attempts to make a comeback. Dave Sharman came on for George Fenton. Kane Louis and James Rhodes were finding space and using it wisely There followed the rare sight of Mike Williamson being robbed of the ball on Lancing’s left touchline. A foul tackle seemed to have brought this about but Nick Blogg saw nothing wrong. Taking his cue from Lew’s first half goal, Dan Stokes, from a good 35 yards, took advantage of Matt being marginally too far from his goal and floated a well-executed lob over him and into the net.
Shortly afterwards James Littlejohn squandered a great opportunity to make life uncomfortable for Lancing for the last 15 minutes. Seizing on an under hit back pass, rounding the stranded Matt Evans and with the goal gaping, he blazed over the bar.
This was to prove their final attempt to close the gap. The final nail in the coffin came from Tom Caplin who scored via a slight deflection to give Lancing a well-earned 4-1 victory.
James Beresford was still motoring forward with Mo down the Lancing left keeping the pressure on the Robins defence until the last minute.
Lancing continue their good cup form and are still in the Vase, RUR cup and The Peter Bentley Cup. Hassocks can consider themselves a shade unfortunate not to have made the score look a lot more respectable but their failure to make the best of some good passages of play and put away a couple of decent chances underlined the difference between the sides. Lancing could already have been two up before Lew put them ahead.
Post-match committee debate threw up a number of candidates for MOM. Matt Evans, Omar Bukleb. James Beresford. Lew Finney’s two superbly taken goals made him the leading candidate. The committee were unanimous in identifying Lew’s prodigious work rate on the night as tipping the balance in his favour.
This happened to coincide with David Altendorff’s MOM choice on behalf of team management, so well done to the goal machine. Keep banging them in Lew.
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