Here is Dave Wilmott's report from Saturday's FA Vase exit in the final 32.
- Juwara (42')
- Symo (11')
Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Will Berry, Liam Hendy, Mo Juwara, Darren Budd, Tom Caplin, Lew Finney (Capt.),Conrad Honore, Ben Connolly, Matt Daniel
Subs: Josh Gould, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, James Waters, Ebou Jallow, Joe Kennard, Kane Louis, Matt Evans.
Lancing’s dream of reaching Wembley was shattered in dramatic fashion as they went out of the tournament after a penalty shootout, the sides being
level,1-1 at full time. Flackwell Heath’s giant of a goal keeper, Aaron Watkins, was the hero of the hour making good saves from Lew Finney and Darius Goldsmith. Flackwell were successful with all their penalties and were ecstatic at going through after a very even game between two good sides.
As the whole Your Instant Replay live stream can be viewed via the Lancing FC Website, I shall not be producing my match report in its usual format. Suffice it to say that Lancing fell behind after 11 minutes, when Khalid Symmo found the ball reaching him from a corner. Lancing would have been kicking themselves at this point for having conceded a goal in such an unsatisfactory manner. The ball was swung in to the near post and it appeared that defenders and goalkeeper might have impeded each other as they tried to reach the ball. As a result, the ball reached Symmo almost on the goal line, giving him the simplest of tasks to get the ball over the line.
However, Lancing’s equaliser, on 42 minutes, was a different story. Mo Juwara, who had impressed during the first half, with the strength of his tackles and the power of his runs along the left flank, finished off one such run with a well struck left foot drive, the power of which was too much for Watkins.
The second half was full of exciting football. Both sides were going all out to reach the next round, with little concern for the logistics of a journey to either Plymouth in Devon or Clevedon in Somerset for the next round. Lancing enjoyed good spells of possession and were making inroads into Heath’s defensive lines but Heath, with their counter attacks, looked more likely to score. Finn, Josh and Ebou came on at various stages in the second half for Matt, Tom and Darius and all helped to maintain Lancing’s momentum. However, a combination of some good saves by Mitch Bromage and some poor finishing ensured that Lancing were able to reach the end of normal time with the scores still level.
A nerve-wracking time for we small band of committee/supporters as we witnessed Lew Finney, normally pretty deadly from the penalty spot step up to take the first attempt. Aaron Watkins seemed to fill the goal with his huge frame and did well diving to his left to make a fine save. Will Berry and Ebou Jallow were successful from the spot but Darius found Watkins able to keep his effort out. All four Heath spot kicks were enough to see them through.
So, disappointment for Lancing players, management and committee, as well as supporters following on live stream. But congratulations to Flackwell Heath and best wishes to them for the challenge ahead away to Plymouth Parkway, who defeated Clevedon.
Matt Evans observation, was that on another day Lancing might have nicked it but it was a really enjoyable performance from our lads. Lots to build on and much more to come from a young squad. Kane Louis was happy with the team’s performance and was glad that we all enjoyed the game.
Vice President and committee member Terry Cartwright expressed his feelings as follows: “Saturday’s game proved to be a thriller – this is what our football is all about. The players were a credit to Lancing FC in all respects. The only down side for us was the result. Flackwell Heath team and committee proved to the perfect guests with their attitude and friendliness proving a success at Culver Road.”
Thoughts of Vice Chairman Barry Sutton are as follows
‘While we’re obviously disappointed to go out of the Vase in such dramatic and heart-breaking fashion, every one of the players and management team can hold their heads high after another fantastic effort. The players left everything on the pitch against a very good Heath side and they did Lancing proud today.
Off the pitch the live stream was really successful and well received. We would obviously have preferred to have the ground full of supporters getting behind the team but this was the next best thing. Huge thanks to everyone involved in making that happen.
My own views are that I share the pride we all felt in our team’s performance and how well they rose to the challenge of competing against a team currently top of the Hellenic Premier league, a higher level than our SCFL Premier. Team selection must have been difficult, given the strength in depth we have. Hard to know who to leave out from the starting XI. But I think the managers got it right, knowing what they had in reserve to bring on. I thought we played the better football, in terms of possession and ability to find and use space. Pity we could not capitalise on some great moves down both flanks. The boys were very well prepared and gave their all. The margin between the sides was slender but a giant goalkeeper was the difference in the end.
The game was well handled by East Sussex referee, Alex Bradley and his assistants. There was very little controversy and there could be no real complaint about the yellow card given to Tom Caplin.
The commentary from Lee Roberts was excellent and helped to create a great atmosphere in the stand. Dave Sharman deserves a huge pat on the back for his football wise comments and intelligent input which complemented Lee’s vocals.
Our visitors tweeted a thank you for a warm welcome and great hospitality despite the restrictions and it was a good day out in the sunshine. They wished Lancing the best of luck for next season.
Finally, Lee Roberts selected Mo Juwara as his MOM, a view shared by several of our committee. A power house, whether winning tackles or breaking forward at pace and a superb finish to bring Lancing back into the game.
Match Reporter: Dave Wilmott
Our thanks to Lancing FC Committee Member Dave for his report.