Lancing starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Will Berry, Mo Juwara, Darren Budd, Finn Daniels -Yeoman, Tom Caplin, Josh Gould, Matt Daniel, Ben Connolly
Subs: Lew Finney, Mitch Hewens, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Drew Matthews, Joe Kennard, Liam Hendy, Ebou Jallow, Kane Louis.
Wick Team not provided to match reporter.
Lancing struck with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Darren Budd sliced Wicks left flank wide open to set Darius Goldsmith clear. An early cross picked out Matt Daniel who calmly finished with a close-range tap in. Lancing were enjoying the best of possession with Tom and Finn controlling the midfield. Some intelligent inter passing finished with Josh Gould testing the visiting keeper who got down well to save at the foot of his upright.
Wick came close to cancelling out Lancing’s lead. A quick break down the left led to a cross which Mitch was able to fingertip from under his cross bar before being turned behind for a corner. A good passage of play created a shooting opportunity for Tom Caplin but the ball flew inches wide of the upright. On 22 minutes, Matt Daniel had the ball in the net after Ben Connolly had executed a superb turn near the half way line, and hit a first time through ball to Matt. Unfortunately, the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside. Another opportunity to increase their lead came to nothing. Josh had brought a good save from the keeper who could only parry the ball into the path of Ben who reacted quickly to get a shot away but got underneath it sending it over the cross bar.
Wick failed to make the best of the few chances which fell their way with their No.9 looking threatening but from a good position on the edge of the box fired high and, seizing on lost possession by Lancing, tried his luck from distance but Mitch was not troubled.
In between, Matt came close to his second. Mo had been tormenting his marker with strong runs from wide on the left and after one such run laid the ball into Ben’s path. He flicked it onto Matt who prodded it just wide of the upright. Mo finished off a good exchange of passes between Ben and Darren Budd with a left foot strike but the keeper was able to deal with it comfortably. A misplaced pass from the Lancing defence was intercepted by Wick’s no 16 but his hurried shot was blazed over the bar.
It was an almost completely different Lancing which took the field for the second half. All eight subs came on, leaving only Mitch, Mo and Darren on from the opening line up. Wick were able to make some substitutions but were not so well blessed with numbers as Lancing.
The tempo of the game had been high in the first half but this increased in intensity, particularly with the introduction of Mitch Hewens, on Lancing’s right flank and Bradley Campbell-Francis on the left. Both players were a constant thorn in the Wick side with their direct running and ability to take on defenders and leave them trailing. Kane Louis was always available to receive the ball and find a team mate and his movement off the ball created space for Bradley and Mitch to exploit.
Drew made an immediate impression with a determined run to the bye line, pulling the ball back perfectly for Kane, who responded with a close range snap shot which the keeper did well to keep out.
Mitch is always a threat cutting in from the right with the ball on his favoured left foot. This was soon demonstrated as he beat two men, creating a space for a shot from the edge of the box. It had the keeper beaten but it grazed the outside of the upright.
The highlight of the evening was provided by Lew Finney who had shown that he had lost none of his craft and guile, winning possession a couple of yards inside the Wick half, he had the presence of mind to look up and spot the Wick keeper in an advanced position off his goal line. What followed next had to be seen to be believed. Lew executed a perfect lob which sailed high towards the goal dropping just at the right time to nestle in the net.
Wick were struggling to cope with the pace and directness of Lancing’s attacks. Kane, Mitch and Bradley were rampant. Wick did manage to cause the home defence a few problems. Their number 9 was their danger man and it needed a good block by Joe Kennard to divert a shot wide for a corner. Shortly afterwards they came close when the ball dropped onto the cross bar but Joe was again on hand to clear the danger. Lancing put the game out of Wick’s reach with a third goal. A nice piece of skill by Kane set up Mitch on the right. His pace and close control put him in a great position from which he was able to hit a swerving shot just inside the keeper’s right upright.
A momentary lack of concentration caused Lancing to lose the ball to the number 9 and it needed a good tackle by Liam Hendy to avert a serious threat on goal.
But Lancing finished strongly. Darren Budd closed the keeper down as he tried to play the ball out. The keeper did well to block Darren’s follow up shot but the ball fell to Kane who kept a cool head to plant the ball in the far corner for Lancing’s fourth with 10 minutes to go. Kane then turned provider with a well-judged lofted pass over the defence to pick out Lew on the far post, who brought the ball under control quickly and passing the ball into the far corner before he could be closed down.
This was the last meaningful action in the game which proved to be a good boost for Lancing as they inch closer to their all-important FA VASE match. For the fortunate few committee members on duty, they were well entertained but what a pity that Lancing supporters are unable to witness their team’s progress.
There is little doubt that the fresh legs introduced by Lancing at half time, particularly when you have the pace of Mitch and Bradley and the powerful running from Mo, who kept this up for the full 90 minutes, was too much for Wick to handle. But with a little more care in front of goal Wick might have been able to close the gap, but without really looking good enough to come out on top.
When you look at the strength of the Lancing squad, and bearing in mind that there were at least four more contenders for a place in the team absent through injury or unavailability, Dave Sharman, Harrison Parker, James Waters and Harrison Moulton, competition for places is intense.
Match Reporter: Dave Wilmott
Our thanks to Lancing FC Committee Member Dave for his report.