Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Adam Hunt, Will Berry, Liam Hendy (Capt.), Josh Coupar, Ebou Jallow, Josh Gould, Darren Goldsmith, Mitch Hewens, Ben Connolly, James Waters.
Michael McEnery, Matt Daniel, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Mo Juwara, Harrison Parker.
Lancing supporters had to look twice as their team took to the field at the Haven dressed in an unfamiliar green strip. It transpired that our dedicated kit man got caught up in the horrendous traffic hold up on the A23 and did not arrive in time for the k.o. So, thanks to Crawley Down Gatwick (The Anvils) officials, for the loan of their away strip.
The Anvils had begun the new season in fine form. Undefeated in the League with 2 wins and, having successfully negotiated two rounds of the FA cup with victories over Crowborough and Egham Town, were looking forward to hosting Hendon in the first qualifying round on the coming Tuesday. Lancing had unhappy memories of Hendon in the FA cup in October 2018, going out at home 4-0 after a 1-1 draw away
First strike on goal came from Josh Gould but his shot was wide. Within a couple of minutes, The Anvils were in front, although it took three attempts to get the ball over the line. A swift break down the right wing culminated in a cross met by a firm header which struck the upright. The first rebound was hit goal wards and kept out by the frame of Liam Hendy on the goal line. The second rebound was unstoppable and hammered in via the cross bar by Guy Harding, on 5 minutes.
The Anvils were full of confidence at this point and twice threatened to increase their lead. Another break down the right led to a ball played in to the near post. There was a bit of a scramble before Mitch Bromage was able to gather the ball. A golden chance went begging with a header from an unmarked Anvils forward which failed to hit the target from six yards out.
Lancing needed to restore parity to dent the home side’s confidence and they did this in style on 23 minutes. Liam Hendy found Josh Coupar in an advanced position on the left. Josh made progress before switching the ball inside to the supporting James Waters who picked his spot curling a left foot shot beyond the reach of keeper Sam Smith. Lancing now took the game to the Anvils. Darius Goldsmith lofted a free kick from the centre circle, which was dropping nicely for Mitch Hewens, but the ball was hooked away for a corner before he could get his shot away. Ben Connolly then intercepted a poor back pass but could only poke the ball past the upright. Ben was in the action again hooking the ball goal wards on the turn but the keeper was well positioned to deal with it.
Adam Hunt had looked busy throughout and from a good position hit a deep cross into the box which Ebou was able to get his head to, but Sam Smith managed to force the ball upwards and hold on to it when it bounced down from the cross bar.
Adam’s combative play crossed the line early in the second half when he found himself being given a yellow card as he tried to halt a forceful run along the Lancing right wing. Mitch Bromage was kept busy in the first few minutes, palming the ball away at full stretch, and then making a save with his feet at the near post.
Matt Daniel replaced Mitch Hewens on 63 minutes followed a few minutes later by Mo Juwara coming on for James Waters. Mo was soon making strong runs through the middle. Play was end to end, as neither side was content to settle for a point. The Anvils made three changes with Dave Brown, Ben Chowney, and Nicholas Sullivan being replaced by Ollie Broad, Blair Cooney, and Phillip Johnson. Johnson hit a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but no one was on hand to apply the finishing touch. The final substitution for Lancing saw the introduction of Finn Daniels-Yeoman for Josh Gould for the last 15 minutes.
There was plenty of endeavour from both sides and action in the box but both keepers were in fine form and both defences were proving difficult to break down. The game came to an end with neither side being able to show the precision needed to find the back of the net and secure three points.
There were good and bad spells for both sides in a game which had plenty of ebb and flow and honest endeavour. Lancing players and management were disappointed that they could not raise their performance to the level needed to break down a solid and well organised Anvils. This underlined the fact that there will be no easy games this season. But Lancing certainly showed that they will prove to be a difficult side to beat with a solid back four, well led by skipper Liam Hendy, and plenty of pace to stretch opposing defences.
For an all-round solid defensive performance with good positional sense and some probing passes from the back, MOM award goes to Liam Hendy.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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