Read Dave Wilmott's report from Tuesday night's on-the-edge-of-your-seat action and resulting victory at Culver Road.
- Gould (17')
- Hewens (23')
Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Adam Hunt, Will Berry, Liam Hendy (Capt.), Josh Coupar, Ebou Jallow, Darius Goldsmith, Josh Gould, Mitch Hewens, Matt Daniel, James Waters.
George Mitchell-Phillips, Michael McEnery, Ben Connolly, Mo Juwara, Dave Sharman.
The Tigers came to Culver Road boasting an unbeaten start to the season. Two wins and one draw. Lancing were keen to get back to winning ways after the disappointment of conceding a very late penalty goal at the Beacons, enabling Hassocks to run out 3-2 winners. Some changes were necessary for Lancing. Finn Daniels-Yeoman was nursing a slight injury, as was Ben Connolly, although not enough to prevent him from having a place on the bench. Darius Goldsmith took over Finn’s midfield role and there was a first start for Adam Hunt. It was also an opportunity for Lancing squad members. Will Berry, James Waters and Harrison Parker, ex Saltdean players to renew contact with former team mates.
First blood almost fell to Saltdean in the first few minutes but a timely tackle by Liam Hendy snuffed out the threat. Mitch had also been forced to make a reaction save but there was an offside flag. Lancing were next to look most likely to break the deadlock when, on 12 minutes, Ebou Jallow found a gap on the right, getting in behind and firing in a goalward shot but keeper Phil Hawkins dealt with it comfortably. But it was not long before Lancing got their noses in front. Good pressure from Josh Gould forced a corner on The Tigers left. A short corner was quickly taken and the ball worked to Josh Gould, who looked up, took aim and hit an unstoppable left foot curler into the keeper’s top right corner on 17 minutes. Lancing were not allowed to enjoy their lead for long as, a couple of minutes later, Saltdean took advantage of some hesitancy in the Lancing six-yard box, from a corner, allowing tall defender Joseph Shelley to get his head to the ball and force it across the line through a melee of players.
Lancing, clearly stung by this, redoubled their efforts. A superb pass from Ebou Jallow carved open the defence and put Mitch Hewens through on goal. No one was going to catch the speedy Mitch but could he keep a cool head and finish. Emphatically YES!!!. The ball was curled around the advancing keeper into far corner to restore Lancing’s lead on 23 minutes. Lancing were denied a third goal as Matt Daniel burst clear only to find Phil Hawkins in excellent form and able to pull off a good save.
Lancing were forced to concede a number of corners and free kicks. Saltdean sensed that Lancing were finding it difficult to cope with the dead ball into the penalty area. Their tall players were creating uncertainty in the home defence.
However, Will Berry and skipper Liam Hendy took on the responsibility of organising the defence and ensuring that the ball was attacked as it came into the box. Although never completely comfortable, Lancing coped well enough.
Saltdean were looking threatening down their left and a forceful run and cross cleared everyone. Lancing then broke forward with Josh Coupar, who had earlier come close to finding the back of his own net with a clearance which skied over the cross bar, went on a good run. He switched the ball to Darius who threaded a pass to James Waters whose left foot drive had plenty of power but was a foot or two above the bar. On the stroke of half time The Tigers reminded Lancing of the threat they posed from the dead ball. Mitch Hewens was penalised deep on Lancing’s left. A deep cross into the six yard box was put behind by Mitch Bromage under a fair degree of pressure.
Lancing began the second half with Mitch Hewens continuing to be a major threat on Lancing’s right wing. Within 5 minutes of the restart, he took on his full back, cut inside and from his favoured left foot let fly from just inside the box. Agonisingly just clearing the cross bar. Lancing felt the need for a third goal to ease the pressure and they looked to have secured this. Josh Gould showed his dribbling skills in the box, the ball rebounded from a defender to Matt Daniel. He turned on a sixpence and fired in a left foot shot in an instant. Phil Hawkins pulled off a great save pushing the ball upwards. It struck the underside of the cross bar and fell into his grateful arms.
Mitch now returned the favour to Ebou with a great through ball but Hawkins was alert to the danger racing off his line to whip the ball away from Ebou’s toe. James Waters found himself in the referee’s book for what looked to be a tackle which won the ball cleanly, but the man on the spot, closer to the action than me, saw it differently.
There followed the rare sight of Will Berry giving the ball away easily to the opposition but he was quickly supported by Liam and Adam who ensured that no harm was done. James was then on the receiving end of a nasty lunging tackle from Regan Smith who received a yellow card. On 62 minutes Mo Juwara replaced Josh Gould and was soon embarking on his forceful trademark runs. Saltdean had brought on three substitutes, Camara, Barbosa and Stewart Hunter to try and force an equaliser.
Lancing brought on Ben Connolly for Matt Daniel on 72 minutes.
Saltdean were getting the ball forward and pegging Lancing back but the Lancing back four backed up by some superb goalkeeping from Mitch Bromage, who had made some excellent saves, held firm. On 79 minutes, Adam Hunt who had earlier been injured when clashing in a tackle with Camara, limped off, with Dave Sharman bringing his experience into play for the closing stages.
Saltdean were pressing hard but this left them exposed to the pace of Mitch, James Ben and Mo. Some clever interplay between Mitch and Ben gave Mitch the chance to feed the ball to James who shot quickly on the turn only to see the ball go just wide. It was Camara’s turn to threaten some damage at the other end but Josh Coupar was able to head the ball behind for a corner. Mo then went on another strong run from midfield. He was impeded in the process. Sound refereeing by Jamie Wells allowed advantage but he called play back when advantage fell away.
Lancing finished the game strongly. But Mitch had to fling himself to the right and at full stretch to keep out a low drive from Stewart-Hunter. Ben looked almost certain to score when James found himself in acres of space on the left. Ben kept himself on side as James laid the ball across. Ben’s first effort was blocked and his second was cleared off the line. There was still time for Phil Hawkins to distinguish himself with a superb one handed save to deny James a goal.
Another entertaining game at Culver Road. The crowd were kept on the edge of their seats until the final whistle. Goalmouth action at both ends.
Always difficult to single out one player from a solid team performance but Mitch Hewens was a constant threat with his pace and aggressive forward play, capped off with a fine goal. So, MOM goes to Mitch.
Finally, congratulations to our former keeper Taylor Seymour who has just earned himself a professional contract at Portsmouth. One more finally!! Nice to see Lew Finney keeping Al Bygraves company as spectators.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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