Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, George Fenton, Max Blencowe, Liam Hendy, Mo Juwara, Mike Williamson, Lew Finney, James Rhodes, Brad Santos, Ben Connolly, Conrad Honore
Mitch Hewens, Kyle Woolven, Will Berry, Alex Fair, Josh Coupar.
Lancing were up against an in-form Newhaven buoyed by their recent 4-3 victory over Eastbourne Town. A crowd of 217 were expecting a close fought match at The Trafalgar ground and they were not disappointed. The sides had met twice already with two games in a four-day period at the beginning of September. Lancing came out on top with a 3-1 win away in the Peter Bentley cup, after extra time and four days later the sides drew 2-2 at Culver Road in the league.
The first real scoring opportunity fell to Lancing on 7 minutes. Ben Connolly executed a fine turn, and picked out James Rhodes with a well-placed pass. James was clear in the box but his shot lacked power and Freddie Beale was able to get down and make a comfortable save. Three minutes later Newhaven were awarded a penalty for what looked like a push in the back and Ian Robinson made no mistake with his spot kick. The playing surface was proving a challenge but James Rhodes seemed to be coping well and showing excellent control. Some good attacking play by James set George Fenton on a goal wards run. Two corners in quick succession were won by Lancing as a result but Newhaven were defending well.
Lancing found themselves level on 31 minutes from an unlikely source. Mo Juwara, playing as an attacking full back, broke forward from deep, and tried his luck from a good 30 yards. The ball flew from MO’s left boot into the top right corner with the home keeper stranded.
A series of fouls interrupted the flow of the game and there were a number of stoppages. Both sides were working hard with Mo Juwara looking strong on Lancing’s left and George Fenton winning some excellent tackles on the right. With three minutes to go before the break Sebastian Saunders took advantage of Lancing’s failure to clear their lines and he burst into the penalty area hitting a shot with the outside of his right foot. A slight deflection was enough to beat Mitch Bromage and Newhaven restored their lead. They came close to increasing their lead a couple of minutes later but Mitch Bromage denied Lee Robinson with a save with his outstretched leg.
Naim did not hesitate to shake things up and introduced Kyle Woolven and Alex Fair for Brad Santos and Conrad Honore for the second half. But it was Newhaven who made an early break through when Lee Robinson rose to get his head to a ball which had been deflected upwards and was dropping just under the cross bar.
Lancing responded well and were taking the game to the home side but they were up against a disciplined defence. Lancing enjoyed some good possession but lacked precision in the final third. When they were able to get into shooting position, they failed to test the keeper. A promising interplay between James Rhodes and Lew Finney gave Lew the opportunity to fire in a rocket of a shot but, unfortunately, Al Fair was in the firing line and instead of Lew hitting the back of the net he brought Al to the ground.
Newhaven were proving stubborn and hard to break down. The last throw of the dice for Lancing was the introduction of Mitch Hewens for Ben Connolly. Mitch, Kyle and Mo were making inroads along the flanks but no real scoring opportunities were being created. Newhaven were hitting back on the break and using the pace of Lee Robinson to stretch Lancing. Liam Hendy and Max Blencowe held firm but a miskick in front of an open goal and a header over the bar from a good position saved Lancing from an even heavier defeat. Lancing’s final goal attempt fell to James Rhodes but his attempt to lob the keeper cleared the cross bar by some distance.
Lancing knew that this was going to be a difficult game. There was not much between the teams on the day. There was a touch of good fortune to a couple of Newhaven’s goals. Once they got two goals in front, they marshalled their defence well. We have to go back to September 27th for Lancing’s last League defeat (1-0 at home to AFC Uckfield) but there is another stern test facing them in the away fixture at Horley Town, themselves enjoying a good run of form.
Naim will know how to prepare his team and how to pick them up from Saturday’s loss. Lancing remain 6 points clear of second place Peacehaven, on the same number of games. Horley are 8 points behind but with two games in hand. So, we need to get behind our boys.
Dave’s MOM goes to Mo Juwara. Strong in the tackle and always a threat with his runs from deep. His goal was an absolute gem. Shame that a momentary lack of discipline after 98 minutes resulted in a red card for Mo.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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