Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Liam Hendy (Capt.), Harrison Parker, Josh Coupar, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Mitch Hewens, Ebou Jallow, Ben Connolly, Josh Gould, Matt Daniel.
Mo Juwara, Adam Hunt, Will Berry, Dave Sharman, James Waters.
Just under 6 months since Lancing last played a league match, they were back in action at Culver Road. By an odd quirk of fate, their last opponents were Lingfield on 14th March. The match was played at Steyning’s ground as Lingfield had experienced problems with their pitch and had fallen behind with their fixtures.
Lancing were under the management of Naim Rouane, assisted by David Altendorff and Kane Louis. Some of today’s squad featured then. Kane, both Mitchs, Will Berry, Dave Sharman and Ben Connolly. Both Mitch (Hewens) and Ben Connolly were on the score sheet as Lancing ran out 5-1 winners. This put them top of the SCFL premier on 68 points from 29 games. Eastbourne Town were their closest challengers for the title, lying second with 62 points from 28 games. No one could have anticipated what would follow as a result of the pandemic, which had just begun to rear its ugly head, or the measures Lancing would have to adopt for football to take place at Culver Road.
Lancing began their first league match in their usual calm way, playing out from the back and looking to find openings by good possession football. They looked to have taken an early lead, after three minutes, when Matt Daniel found the net, but the linesman had flagged that the ball had been taken out of play before being crossed from the left bye line. Minutes later Ebou, Josh Coupar and Ben Connolly combined on the left and Ben pulled the ball back for Josh Gould, whose goal bound shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Lancing were not having things all their own way. Lingfield were quick to break forward with Ashon Shepherd, Tyler Cox and Alberto Lewbans showing plenty of skill and pace. But it was centre forward Fred Horlock who came closest to opening the scoring with a powerful run into the box, but, under pressure from Harrison and Liam, hit his shot wide. Josh Coupar was making good progress along the left flank, and put Matt Daniel into the box with a good pass. Matt’s close control allowed him to turn inside his defender and strike for goal, but his shot was blocked at the near post by keeper Dan Narne.
Play was end to end. Josh Gould tested Narne from a free-kick and at the other end Josh Coupar had to be alert to cut out a dangerous cross from the left. Mitch Hewens burst into life with a surging run down the right, twisting and turning at pace before curling a left foot shot which almost dropped into the far top corner. Josh Coupar was called upon to deal with another threatening cross from the left but showed great chest control to turn and steer the ball safely away.
Matt Daniel appeared to have been fouled but this was not spotted. Instead, a foul was awarded against him as he tussled for the ball. Tyler Cox’s free kick was met by Jake Horn but his header was glanced wide.
The break through came for Lancing on 33 minutes with Ebou seizing on a misunderstanding between goalkeeper and defender enabling him to reach the ball first and round the keeper before firing into an empty net. Three minutes later Ebou turned provider, putting Ben Connolly through to score with a cool finish.
Lancing then increased their lead on 39 minutes when Matt Daniel ran onto a well executed lob by Liam Hendy and, holding off a defender, finished with a low shot.
Lingfield missed an opportunity to reduce the arrears shortly before half time, when Fred Horlock capitalised on a mis control in the Lancing defence, but, although his drive was well struck, it was straight at Mitch Bromage.
Lingfield introduced Jay Mayhew for the second half and came out determined to close the gap. Mitch Bromage had to get down quickly to gather a dangerous cross but with the second half barely 3 minutes old, centre back Charles Naylor swung his boot at a free kick, played into the penalty area, and volleyed the ball into the back of the net.
Lancing reacted quickly to this set- back with Matt Daniel, Ben Connolly and Mitch Hewens, from a free kick, all having attempts on goal. Lancing then had a lucky escape when Mitch Bromage miscued a clearance straight to a Lingfield player but with the goal gaping, he fluffed his shot which allowed Mitch to dive and smother the weak effort. On 57 minutes, a double substitution saw Darius Goldsmith and Josh Coupar giving way to Adam Hunt and Will Berry. Alberto Lewbans was proving a tricky customer with good close control and was difficult to dispossess, but Harrison Parker and Liam Hendy showed good composure, snuffing out his threatening runs.
Lancing restored their three-goal advantage on 66 minutes. Ebou won the ball at the edge of the Longfield box and set Matt Daniel in on goal. Matt does not waste good opportunities and got his second, and Lancing’s fourth with a perfect finish. Lingfield had not thrown in the towel, and still made Lancing work hard to contain some dangerous breaks. Mitch Hewens was replaced by James Waters on 70 minutes and he was soon making an impact. A strong run on the left ended with the ball reaching Ben Connolly whose attempt on goal flew just too high.
Lingfield then brought on Rhys White and Scott Johnstone as they attempted to close the gap. But it was Lancing who finished the game strongly. James Waters got a well-deserved goal after a determined run down the left ended with a fierce drive into the far-right corner on 81 minutes. James and Ben then combined on Lancing’s left flank, allowing James to look up and place his cross onto the head of Matt Daniel to firmly plant the ball into the net from a couple of yards out, giving him his hattrick and giving Lancing a comfortable 6-1 lead which, thanks to a good piece of defensive work by Finn Daniels-Yeoman, they were able to hold on to until the final whistle.
Not quite déjà vu as Lancing went one better than their last victory over Lingfield. A very encouraging start for the team under new management, with some thoroughly entertaining football to please a supportive bunch of spectators. Despite the loss of some major players from last season (Lew Finney, George Fenton, ,Mike Williamson, Tom Caplin, James Beresford ,to name but a few) plus current managers James Rhodes and Kane Louis who were vital to Lancing’s success, who are sitting things out in the dugout with Matt Evans, James and Kane have recruited well and there are some exciting players in the Lancing colours.
It was good to see Lancing stalwart Alex Bygraves present at recent games. We all feel for him, having suffered a set back in his rehabilitation from his serious injury. We all wish him the best as he continues with his recovery.
We hope to be able to make our usual MOM award once we can get back to normal post-match social contact between management and committee.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
A reminder that the view of any officials in their match report for a fixture may not represent the views of Lancing Football Club or the website editor. Please contact the writer of a report directly if you have any issues to raise, as these are not written by the website editor & may contain errors from time to time.