Lancing Starting XI
Taylor Seymour, Josh Coupar, Dave Sharman, Liam Hendy, Mo Juwara, Mike Williamson, James Rhodes, Lew Finney. Kyle Woolven, Alex Fair, George Mitchell-Phillips
Matt Evans, Naim Rouane, David Altendorff, James Beresford.
With injuries and suspensions and the absence of some of the talented youngsters who had played in trial matches, Lancing were stripped to the bare bones for the away game against Little Common played at the Oval, the home of Eastbourne Utd. This provided opportunities for George Mitchell-Philips, Josh Coupar and Kyle Woolven to have 90 minutes on the pitch. A pitch which had withstood the rain quite well but which provided difficult playing conditions. It took Lancing a little while to adjust to the conditions and things looked ominous as they fell behind to two well taken goals. The first was scored by Sam Ellis cutting in from the left wing and finding the bottom corner. Lancing barely had time to react before Lewis Hole seized on a defence splitting pass to race through and plant the ball past Taylor Seymour.
Lancing were gradually finding their feet and soon hit back with Kyle Woolven using his pace to get into a scoring position. Keeper Ryan Alexander did well to keep his shot out but could not hold on to the ball. Lew Finney was quickest to react and plant the ball in the net. This seemed to settle things down for Lancing as Dave Sharman and Liam Hendy began to control things from the back and Mike Williamson and Lew Finney were dropping back to collect the ball and initiating some promising attacking play.
Al Fair was twice able to create good openings for himself. Firstly, turning on a sixpence, and lining up a shot on goal only for him to sky it over the bar, followed shortly afterwards by being in a one to one situation with the keeper but firing directly at him.
On 30 minutes Kyle and George switched flanks and both were getting forward well. Josh Coupar showed his dribbling ability bursting forward from the right back position and with the goal in his sights disappointingly sliced his shot well wide. Lancing finished the half having weathered the early difficult spell and were now showing good confidence and coping with the conditions much better.
The second half began for Lancing where the first finished off although there were a few misplaced passes to get out of the system first. Lew Finney and James Rhodes were now seeing more of the ball. Lew, in particular was urging his side on with his ability to pick up possession and spot good openings.
Mo Juwara, who had had a fairly quiet first half suddenly burst into life and was making inroads from the left back position. After one powerful run, which took him to the Little Common bye line, it ended with Mo being brought down. Lew made no mistake from the penalty spot so on 56 minutes Lancing were back on level terms. The home side seemed to have run out of ideas and it was some time before they had a chance to test Taylor Seymour but their free kick was way too high.
Mo continued to pose a real threat with his direct running and again was instrumental in Lancing going ahead as he reached the bye line again and fed the ball to Al Fair who was able to prod the ball over the line from a couple of yards. It was Lew who was next to benefit from another storming run from Mo but Ryan Alexander pulled off a good save from Lew’s well struck shot. Kyle was also causing anxiety in the home defence with some penetrating runs and good attempts on goal.
Lew Finney characterised his inspirational captain’s display with one exceptional piece of play. Defending at the edge of his penalty area, Lew won the ball, set an attack in motion and finished by almost rounding the opposition keeper at the other end of the pitch. It was Lew who finally put the result beyond doubt after a clever pass from Al Fair gave him a clear shot at goal which he took superbly to give Lancing a 4-2 victory.
So, after a nervy start Lancing recovered their composure, mastered the difficult surface with some first-class football and demonstrated once again the strength in depth at Naim’s disposal. Pleasing to see players like Josh , George and Kyle stepping up to the plate and getting 90 minutes under their belt. One downside was the yellow card picked up by Liam Hendy which brings his tally to five for the season and will incur a suspension. Fortunately, Mike Williamson, also hovering on the edge of a potential suspension was able to successfully negotiate his passage through the game without a yellow blemish.
MOM, rightly awarded to Lew Finney, as Naim said, not just for yet another hat trick taking his goal tally to an amazing 32, but for some excellent defensive work and all-round work rate.
Man of the Match: Lewis Finney
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