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3 Points From The Oval

Read Dave Wilmott's report from the first team's 3-2 victory against Little Common here.

Little Common
2
Lancing
  • Goldsmith (77')
  • Daniel (87')
  • Connolly (89')
3
Sat 3 Oct, 2020 SCFL Premier Division

Starting XI

Mitch Bromage, Conrad Honore, Harrison Parker, Joe Kennard, Finn Daniels -Yeoman, Darius Goldsmith, James Waters, Mo Juwara, Ebou Jallow (c), Matt Daniel, Michael McEnery.

Substitutes

Will Berry, Josh Gould, Ben Connolly, Dave Sharman, James Rhodes.

 

Lancing made the trip to the Oval,  looking to bounce back from an undeserved home defeat by Horley Town. Some enforced changes, caused by the absence of skipper Liam Hendy and Mitch Hewens,  gave managers, James and Kane the opportunity to give first league starts to Michael McEnery and Joe Kennard. The name of James Rhodes was also included, for the first time this season, with the substitutes. Little Common were in the lower half of the table, with one win, three draws and one defeat.

It was an inauspicious baptism for Joe Kennard, lining up alongside Harrison Parker, as he found himself going in the referee’s note book after barely three minutes. Fortunately, this did not seem to unsettle him. The first 30 minutes was rather lack lustre. Few opportunities were created by either side and neither goalkeeper was seriously tested. During this spell, Harrison Parker sustained an injury on 21 minutes, forcing him off, with Will Berry taking his place.

There was a rather puzzling decision by the referee to book James Waters on 35  minutes, some time after the event, for what appeared to be no more than an accidental coming together. There was a bit more excitement as the half came towards a conclusion. James Waters made good progress down the left flank and hit a deep cross which cleared everyone but was retrieved wide on the right by Mo Juwara. Lancing were unable to capitalise on this as the ball ended up going harmlessly out of play. Little Common finished the half with a couple of corners and in between a free kick. Mitch dealt with the first corner comfortably but the free kick was more of a threat but Will Berry was well placed to block a goal bound shot and divert it behind.

The second half saw Lancing increase their attacking momentum. James Waters had a couple of early efforts which were narrowly off target. Finn looked to be through on goal but was flagged offside. He quickly followed this with a fierce drive which keeper Cameron Clark could not hold. The rebound fell to Michael McEnery but his shot from close range hit the keeper. This was the first real chance. Shortly afterwards, on 65 minutes, Lancing brought on the goal machine, Ben Connolly for Michael. Before he could bring his influence to bear, Lancing were a goal down from a penalty conversion by Russell Eldredge. The  unfortunate Lancing culprit was Will Berry.

There was almost a second for the home team as Joe Kennard, who was having a solid debut, lost possession but Mitch Bromage came to the rescue with an excellent save. With 20 minutes to go Josh Gould replaced Conrad Honore and he immediately began to have an important influence on the game. With his first touch he picked out James wide on the left with a sweeping long-range pass. James made good strides forward and put in a cross which dropped just beyond the far post. Josh then found Matt Daniel with another fine long-range pass. Matt took on a couple of defenders and worked himself into a good position on the bye line before pulling the ball back towards Ben, who just failed to make contact. Matt was again linking with Ben, which almost produced an equaliser as Ben curled a shot off the underside of the cross bar. Finn’s follow up header looked to be going in but Cameron Clark managed to tip it over the bar .Ben  was again proving his value, showing great control to get to the bye line before picking out Darius who cooly slotted home with 13 minutes left.

 

Within minutes Mitch, whose handling of high balls is usually faultless, allowed one to slip through his fingers. Fortunately, Joe Kennard was well positioned to retrieve the ball as it rolled towards the goal line.

The goal spurred Lancing on as they looked for a winner. Josh had a shot well saved.  The pressure was building on the home defence and with 3 minutes to go of normal time, Matt Daniel curled a superb shot from wide on the left into the far top corner, to put the game out of reach. Lancing went looking for a third and it came on 90 minutes after some great attacking play by Matt to set up Ben to prod the ball goal wards. Lancing had to thank the diligent linesman (or Assistant referee, if you prefer) for decisively and immediately flagging for a goal.

This was not to be the end of the goal scoring as, soon after the restart, Little Common hit the ball into the Lancing six-yard box. There was a melee of players competing for the ball with Mitch Bromage.  It was difficult to see exactly what happened, but Mitch appeared to have been impeded.  Lewis Parsons is credited with having got the ball across the line. There was a bit of a tussle on the ground, as Little Common were desperate to get the ball back to resume play. But time ran out on them.

 

Not exactly a classic game, made difficult by a surprisingly hard ground, despite the heavy rain we had experienced in the Lancing area. By the second half, Lancing had managed to work out how to play on the Oval surface and were a lot more confident and clinical in their approach work. The introduction of Ben and Josh, in particular, helped to turn the tide in Lancing’s favour and Matt Daniel was seeing more of the ball. Michael and Joe both made valuable contributions and can feel reasonably satisfied with their performance.

No appearance by our manager, to the disappointment of his many fans!!!!! But he did show us he still has legs as he sprinted up and down the pitch with the other subs after the game.

A worrying sight was the early departure of Harrison Parker with what appeared to be a groin strain. With no league or cup commitments next Saturday, the break may enable Harrison to recover before the next game.

 

Man of the Match Awards.

A proposal I made, which our committee approved, subject to the views of James Rhodes, was to involve our supporters in the MOM process, by inviting one of them to choose the MOM. The managers would still choose their man.  James was happy with this. So, my first selection was a very nice couple, who are frequent supporters, home and away. Nick and Ann Knight, Lancing residents (and, by a strange coincidence, ex residents of Crawley, who lived just around the corner from where I used to live. Not that I knew them then.). They did not fall out but, amicably, settled on Darius Goldsmith.

A consistently reliable player, either at full back or in midfield and the scorer of the goal which helped to get Lancing going.

The managers chose Josh Gould, who made a major contribution to the increased attacking momentum, which secured a valuable three points

Report by: Dave Wilmott

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