Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Lewis Broughton, Dan Mobsby, Will Berry, Josh Coupar, Mike Williamson, Tom Caplin, James Rhodes, Lewis Finney (Capt.), Mitch Hewens, Ben Connolly.
Alex Fair, Dave Sharman, Kyle Woolven, Kane Louis, Marcus Dackers.
There was a return to Culver Road for Matt Daniel, Lancing’s top scorer last season and the man who got a very late equaliser for YMCA in the away fixture. Strange to see such a prolific scorer lining up at left back.
There was a debut at centre back for Lancing for Dan Mobsby (son of Lee Mobsby, well known to me as a respected Sussex County League player for sides in the Crawley area in the 80s). Dan, drafted in as cover in the absence of Max Blencowe, who, together with Brad Santos, will miss some games on international duty.
Lancing were soon into their passing rhythm and YMCA were chasing shadows early on. But it was some careless play which led to Lancing going in front on 10 minutes. Keeper Aaron Jeal put his defender in difficulties as he was quickly closed down by Ben Connolly. Ben won possession and from a tight angle stroked the ball into the far-right corner of the goal with Jeal stranded out of position.
Lancing created some scoring opportunities with their dominance of the ball. James Rhodes came close with a left foot drive and, after a nicely worked corner, Tom Caplin forced a good save from Jeal, pushing the ball wide for a corner. A good break from the back by Will Berry provided YMCA with a wide counter attack as Lancing lost possession. Mike Williamson plugged the gap but conceded a free kick to halt YM ‘s progress. Will Berry was then called upon to head clear a dangerous cross into the box.
YMCA were struggling to string successive passes together and were being forced onto the defensive with some enterprising attacking play from Josh Coupar, getting forward from right back and Mitch Hewens on the left, with good support from Lewis Broughton. It was a good powerful break from Josh which led to Ben Connolly hitting a quick shot on the turn which found the side netting. A sweeping cross field pass from James Rhodes, on the left, picked out Josh Coupar on the right wing. Josh fed Lew who put Mitch Hewens through, but keeper Jeal was out quickly to block Mitch’s effort on goal. Jeal then brought off two good saves in quick succession to deny Ben Connolly. Mitch Hewens had switched from the left flank to the right and looked a real threat cutting in towards goal with the ball on his left foot. Half time came with Mitch Bromage hardly troubled.
Lancing were looking to consolidate with an early second goal in the second half and came close on 52 minutes. Some clever play from Ben Connolly set up Tom Caplin who arrowed his shot for the near top corner, but Jeal was quick to react with a fine one handed save. YMCA then wasted a good opportunity blazing the ball over the cross bar. Mitch Hewens showed some great skill on the ball, finding Lew Finney who looked to have put Mitch in behind but a marginal off side decision brought a promising move to an end. Another fine effort by Tom Caplin floating a dipping shot to the far post came close to giving Lancing the second goal they needed to put YMCA out of reach. YMCA came more into the game in the second half but still failed to seriously test Mitch Bromage in the Lancing goal.
Lancing made their first change on 69 minutes with Al Fair replacing Ben Connolly. Al was soon in the action with a shot deflected for a corner. As the ball found its way across the penalty area it reached the unmarked Will Berry who tried to hit the ball on the turn into the bottom corner but it just shaded the upright. The pace of Kyle Woolven was introduced to replace the equally pacy Mitch Hewens. YMCA made a tactical switch, pushing Matt Daniel into his more accustomed attacking role. A couple of rare lapses almost proved costly for Lancing but, after losing the ball to Matt Daniel, Josh Coupar recovered well to put the ball out for a corner. Then the usually ever-reliable Mike Williamson was robbed of the ball but Will Berry was on hand to come to the rescue and stifle what could have been a real threat on the Lancing goal.
Kyle cut in from the left and let fly forcing Jeal to turn the ball behind for a corner. From the resultant cross the ball broke to Will Berry who tried his luck from the edge of the box but he was narrowly off target.
Lancing made their final change with Kane Louis making a return after several weeks’ absence through injury. There was warm applause for James Rhodes who left the field, having worked tirelessly throughout.
Dan Evans came on for YMCA at left back and was getting some dangerous crosses into the Lancing penalty area. Will Berry and Dan Mobsby had to be at their most alert to clear the danger. A header from YM was too weak to seriously trouble Mitch Bromage but this was a warning of worse to come as Matt Daniel created space for himself to get on the end of a Dan Evans cross to head home in the far corner with three minutes of normal time remaining.
Lancing continued to press forward to restore their lead but keeper Jeal had the final say holding on to a shot from Al Fair.
Storm Dennis spared Culver Road from the worst of its elements. Conditions were blustery but not enough to prevent Lancing playing some attractive football. A share of the points was a poor reward for a generally dominant performance. Dan Mobsby settled in well alongside Will Berry and they quickly established a good understanding. Will was, once again, a commanding figure at the back and there were good performances throughout. All that was missing was really incisive play once Lancing were in and around the box. Scoring chances were created but not executed with the usual accuracy.
It was Storm Daniel which did the damage for the second time this season. One of my favourite players from last season, Matt Daniel, showed that he has not lost the knack of finding a yard of space in a confined area and that, given half a chance, he will punish you.
Once again, some good candidates for MOM, but Will Berry showed great composure and leadership at the back and just edged it. Next game up is not the away fixture at Loxwood, but a friendly on Tuesday against, what I understand, will be a strong Horsham XI.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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