A 4-1 victory against East Preston got the ball rolling for the Lancers' return to league action following the second national lockdown. Dave Wilmott reports.
- Jallow (25')
- Connolly (31', 51')
- Mitchell-Phillips (71')
Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Joe Kennard, Dave Sharman, Mo Juwara, James Rhodes, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Ebou Jallow, Conrad Honore, Matt Daniel, Ben Connolly.
Kane Louis, Bradley Cambell-Francis, George Mitchell-Phillips, Mitch Hewens, Will Berry.
Lancing were back in League action, 5 weeks after their last competitive game. From facing the tough challenge of a friendly against Isthmian Premier Horsham, they came up against struggling East Preston, occupying the bottom rung. A good attendance from spectators, braving the cold, created a lively atmosphere.
In the absence of Liam Hendy, still serving his three match suspension, Dave Sharman lined up alongside Joe Kennard in the heart of the Lancing defence.
Lancing survived a very early scare when a misplaced pass from the back fell to Chad Milner but Mitch Bromage was alert and quickly down at full stretch at the forward’s feet to push the ball away. At the other end a cross from Mo Juwara was only half cleared. James Rhodes reacted with a sharp volley which curled just wide.
Lancing were given a warning that, despite their lowly position, East Preston would be all out for points, as they showed an attacking threat along their left win, with Eli Amoo looking lively. It was from the left that East Preston launched an attack which led to them taking a lead on 14 minutes. Dave Sharman managed to get his boot to a dangerous cross. His clearance reached Finn Daniels-Yeoman but the ball ran away from him to Chad Milner who finished low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Lancing were also a threat along their left flank with Mo Juwara showing great pace and energy and he was being well supported by Matt Daniel, showing some nice touches On Lancing’s right James Rhodes and Darius Armstrong were making good progress goal wards.
Lancing got themselves level on 25 minutes, Ben Connolly got on the end of a ball over the top and was upended as he bore down on EP keeper Steve Allfrey. Ebou Jalow found the net from the penalty spot, despite a good attempt by keeper Steve Allfrey to keep it out. Further goal attempts came from Matt Daniel, and Mo Juwara before good interplay between Matt and Mo created the opportunity for Ben Connolly to slide the ball home, via a defender, to put Lancing ahead. E.P wasted a good chance to draw level as half time beckoned putting the ball wide from close range.
Lancing increased their lead only minutes into the second half. Ben again used his pace to break into the box before being brought down This time, he took the penalty which he converted. Shortly afterwards, Matt was denied a goal when the E.P keeper brought off a good save with his legs. Conrad Honore was displaying a great range of passes, picking the ball up from deep and linking well with James Rhodes, Ebou and Finn and between them, they were controlling the midfield. Mo was a constant threat marauding forward at will. But it was a rare misplaced back pass from Conrad, which caused a moment of panic. The ball was intercepted but the E.P player scuffed his attempt to lob the advancing Mitch and the ball went harmlessly wide.
With 20 minutes to go, James Rhodes who had shown excellent skill on the ball, made way for George Mitchell-Phillips. .Another pin point pass from Conrad set Mo on another strong run. He pulled the ball back for Matt who hit the target but without the power to trouble the keeper. Ben turned creator, twisting and turning in the box to find the space to test Allfrey, who could only parry the ball into the path of George Mitchell-Phillips who had the easy task of tapping the ball over the line to put the game beyond the reach of E.P.
Bradley Campbell-Francis came on for Matt Daniel on 72 minutes and within minutes he hit a screamer into the roof of the net but was disappointed to see his superb effort disallowed, presumably for offside. A constant wave of yellow attacks kept up the pressure on a hard- pressed E.P defence. Mo, now with Bradley in support, was unstoppable, getting to the bye-line at will. But the final touch to get the ball into the net was not quite there. Ben hit a low drive which Allfrey did well to block but no one was able to capitalise on the rebound.
Kane Louis came on to give Finn, who had covered so much ground, a well-earned rest. He was soon showing that he had lost none of his ability to retain possession when under pressure.
Further chances came Lancing’s way. Mo and Brad combined well to set up Ebou, who took careful aim but his shot was narrowly wide. And, finally, George came close with a well struck drive which flew over the cross bar.
It was mostly one- way traffic in the second half and given the amount of possession Lancing enjoyed, it was surprising that the goal tally was not greater. East Preston were handicapped by losing two or three players to injuries, which could not have helped their cause.
Three more valuable points which keeps The Lancers in touch with the leaders, although they sit in 7th place, they are only 7 points behind leaders Saltdean with a game in hand. They share 20 points with Newhaven and Pagham, who have a superior goal difference .With a busy festive schedule ahead, after the forthcoming BuildBase FA vase home tie against neighbours Worthing Utd, Lancing are delighted to welcome back Lew Finney and Tom Caplin who played such important roles in Lancing’s successful 2019/2020, albeit one that saw all results, goals etc expunged.
Supporter Andy Berry selected James Rhodes as his MOM. Andy was impressed by James use of his experience to make good use of the ball and bring those around him into play. Hardly put a pass astray.
Management MOM went to Conrad Honore. It was an excellent performance by the midfield trio of Finn, Ebou and Conrad, but Conrad had so much variety to his game. Bringing the ball out from the back , executing some clever exchanges of short passes and spreading the play with some fine long range passes to the flanks.
So, we now need to get behind our boys and will them to victory this Saturday.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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