Here is Dave Wimott's report from Tuesday night's friendly against local Isthmian side, Worthing.
Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Will Berry, Liam Hendy, Conrad Honore, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Josh Gould, Matt Daniel, Ben Connolly, Mitch Hewens.
George Mitchell-Phillips, Dave Sharman, James Waters, Ben Whitmore, Josh Coupar, Harrison Parker, Ebou Jallow.
Lancing faced their sternest test of their pre-season build-up with a home friendly against Worthing FC, who were top of the Isthmian Premier when the season was halted.
For the first time a limited number of spectators were allowed into Culver Road with stringent Covid 19 regulations being applied.
A strong gusting wind greeted the players as they lined up. We witnessed the quickest goal I have ever seen at Culver Road. A couple of touches from the kick-off by Worthing players. Skipper and No. 6 advanced a few yards before hitting a peach of a pass over the top of Darius Goldsmith to the onrushing Worthing No. 11. One touch from him and a cross met with a diving header from a couple of yards high into the roof of the net. This was to be an early feature of Worthing’s play. The long ball in behind the Lancing back four, however, any lofted pass had to combat the strong gale, which was usually the winner, resulting in the ball taking wicked deviations.
Lancing soon shrugged off this disappointment. Led by some sharp tackling from Conrad Honore allowing him to break forward and unselfishly switch the ball to Ben Connolly to his left. Ben tried to create some space to give himself a better opportunity, but his shot was blocked. Shortly afterwards, Conrad was again the provider, winning the ball and slipping it to Ben. Ben had spotted the visiting keeper way off his line and in an instant, attempted a lob from distance. The ball looked to be set to drop into an empty net, but the wind carried it forward with the result that the ball bounced off the top of the cross bar and away. Lancing were enjoying a good spell. Mitch Hewens tried his luck with a low left foot drive and, although it forced the keeper down to his left, it lacked the power to seriously trouble him. Lancing were soon rewarded for their attacking momentum with Josh Gould being fed just on the edge of the penalty area. His well-placed shot found the bottom corner to the keeper’s left to level the scores after 15 minutes.
This state of play was short-lived as Liam Hendy, from a prone position on the ground, seemed to get his legs tangled up with a Worthing forward and was adjudged to have committed an offence, worthy of a penalty. Worthing’s No. 10 hammered the ball into the roof of the net, giving Mitch no chance.
Lancing kept their heads and continued to play possession from the back, competing well and winning some important tackles. But Worthing were still dangerous when breaking forward at pace. A miss-control in defence presented a glorious opportunity for Worthing to increase their lead but their No. 10’s attempt to lob the advancing Mitch Bromage from close range went harmlessly over the bar.
At the other end, Matt Daniel found the net but from an offside position. Incidents continued at both ends keeping the crowd well entertained. A cross from Worthing’s left wing was met with a first-time drive. Plenty of power but a lack of control saw the ball fly over the bar. Play swept to the other end. A clever flicked pass from Conrad found Mitch, who beat his man, cutting in from the right. Josh Gould was picked out and he was able to find the target but it was a comfortable save for the keeper. It was then Worthing’s turn to go close, but only to find the side netting. The half finished with a quick shot on the turn from Ben Connolly. This time it was the upright which denied him a goal.
Changes for Lancing at half-time saw Ebou Jallow, Josh Coupar, James Waters, and Dave Sharman on for Conrad, Mitch, Mo and Josh Gould. Dave Sharman joined Liam Hendy at centre back, Will Berry advancing into midfield to join Finn and Ebou. Worthing appeared to swop almost all of the first half eleven for a new second half line-up.
With just over 6 minutes gone, Lancing gave themselves an uphill task, conceding a third goal. What appeared to be a misunderstanding between Dave Sharman and Mitch Bromage, allowed the ball to run to the unmarked Worthing No. 9 who rounded Mitch to tap into an empty net.
Lancing’s midfield was competing well with Will, Ebou and Finn covering a lot of ground and breaking up Worthing’s play with some great ball-winning. Josh Coupar was a good outlet from left back, and always willing to get forward. On the 60th minute, Lancing conceded possession deep on the left flank. The ball was quickly switched to their No. 9, whose shot took a wicked defection off the boot of Liam Hendy, spinning out of Mitch’s reach and into the net for Worthing’s 4th goal.
Harrison Parker replaced Liam Hendy and George Mitchell-Phillips came on for Matt Daniel with 30 minutes to play. Lancing did not allow their heads to drop and still fought for every ball. However, they were unable to test the Worthing keeper. It was Mitch Bromage who was the busier of the two keepers, showing sound handling under pressure and pulling off a particularly outstanding save on 85 minutes, diving to his right to get a hand to a fierce drive and put it behind for a corner via the upright.
This was to be Worthing’s last real threat before the final whistle.
A good work out for both teams. Worthing (the superior side), did not have things all their own way. They did not make the best of all their scoring opportunities but, on the other hand, Lancing were denied almost certain goals by the cross bar and upright and the two goals conceded in the second half, were rather soft and unfortunate.
This should prove good preparation for Tuesday’s home FA Cup tie against Phoenix Sports.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
(Apologies for the lack of names for Worthing players, but no team sheet was available to me).
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