Lancing Starting XI
Will Allen, Joe Kennard, Liam Hendy, Mo Juwara, Will Berry, Kane Louis, Conrad Honore, Lew Finney, Mitch Hewens, Josh Gould, George Mitchell-Phillips
Tom Caplin, Harrison Parker, Matt Daniel, James Waters, Ben Connolly
On paper this tie should not have posed too much of a challenge with Oakwood propping up the SCFL First Division table. However, they did come into this game buoyed by their first league win, the preceding Saturday.
Lancing rang the changes, having regard to a busy programme since play resumed, and in the weeks ahead. There was a first start for U-23 keeper Will Allen. Back came Liam Hendy after completing his suspension, Will Berry, Mitch Hewens, Kane Louis and George Mitchell-Phillips. Harrison Parker and James Waters, who had both missed games recently were on the bench. It was also good to see Tom Caplin making his return on the bench.
It was Oakwood who had the first attempt on goal, following a break down the right but the final shot was high. Lancing were then on target twice with strikes from Lew Finney being saved with his feet by home keeper Tom Agate. Oakwood broke away again down their right, with Lancing defenders appealing for offside, but the shot hit the side netting.
There was a touch of good fortune about Lancing’s opening goal on 20 minutes. Agate badly sliced his clearance which fell to Lew Finney. He quickly slipped the ball to Conrad Honore who buried it into the corner. A couple of minutes later, Lew was again involved in the action leading to Lancing’s second when he was brought down with a hefty foul tackle, which left him prone on the ground and in need of treatment from physio Georgie, and which resulted in a penalty which George Mitchell-Phillips converted.
The game was put out of reach of Oakwood on the 28th minute when Agate did well to get to a great shot from Josh Gould but he could only palm the ball away to Mitch Hewens who volleyed the ball into the net in an instant. Josh was hitting some superb long range passes to Mo who, once gain was a powerful force breaking from deep on the left.
Oakwood made good use of a long throw deep into the Lancing box, which led to Will Allen getting down quickly to make a good save from close range.
Half time saw the introduction of Tom Caplin making a welcome return, with Conrad Honore taking a break. Tom was quickly demonstrating that his energetic style of midfield play was very much still with him. He and Lew were busy and effective together.
Oakwood gave themselves hope with a goal 4 minutes into the second half but this was cancelled out when Joe Kennard got his head to cross from the right to the far post to restore the three-goal advantage on 62 minutes. A few minutes later, Kane Louis made way for Matt Daniel.
Mitch Hewens was enjoying plenty of possession on Lancing’s right wing and was a constant torment to the Oakwood defence. A fine pass from Tom Caplin gave Matt Daniel an opening in the box but Agate denied him with a good save.
A fine piece of skill from Josh ended with him hitting the ball across the face of the goal, presenting Lew with the straightforward task of planting the ball in the net from close range to put Lancing 5-1 up on 71 minutes. Josh then tested the keeper with a free kick which cleared the defensive wall and forced Agate to react with a save at full stretch.
Oakwood showed they could still create scoring opportunities with a swift counter attack, but, once again, their finishing let them down. With just over 10 minutes to go, Harrison Parker replaced Liam Hendy.
Lancing were still seeking more goals and some clever trickery from Mo, turning his marking defender inside out, got him to the bye line before laying on a pass for Tom Caplin but Tom’s effort flew over the bar. Lancing did get one more, after a fine overlapping run from Harrison Parker ended with him laying the ball on the plate for Matt Daniel to side foot it home for a 6-1 lead. The same combination produced another shot on target from Matt, which the keeper. Did well to keep out.
So, Lancing, as expected, progress to the next round of the Sussex Senior Cup. Some more minutes on the field for Lew, who completed 90 minutes and a good 45 from Tom Caplin. Will Allen did not have too many difficult saves to make but he looked competent and distributed the ball well. Defensively, Lancing looked solid with Will, Liam, Joe and Mo in fine form.
A bit of a trip down memory lane for your match reporter, as I spent a few seasons at Oakwood in playing, coaching and management roles. Met a couple of people I knew from my Crawley days. Mark Archard, a player I knew, whose 16-year-old son James was right back for Oakwood, and Oakwood coach Joe Clarke, who played for me as a 16-year-old and who went on to play at a good level for Horsham, Lewes and Whyteleaf.
Unanimity for MOM. Management and committee member Clive Nutter both selected Mitch Hewens. Mitch took full advantage of his opportunity to get 90 minutes in, after being on the side-lines, and put in a fine all-round performance, showing great confidence on the ball and contributing to some of Lancing’s good attacking play.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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