Dave Wilmott reports on Saturday's pre-season friendly.
LANCING STARTING X1
Mitch Bromage, Harry Docherty, Liam Hendy, Ashley Wadhams, Harrison Parker, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, James Rhodes, Darius Goldsmith, Ebou Jallow, Matt Daniel, James Waters
Substitutes: Tom Caplin, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Mohd. Zabadne, Ben Connolly, Will Berry, Joe Kennard, Harry Carter, Alfie Loversidge.
For the second week running this friendly was preceded by a presentation, on this occasion, to a much loved and highly respected member of the Lancing F.C. Management team. Physio, Georgie Hill was standing down after 5 years of looking after Lancing players, tending to on-field injuries and using her skills to help their recovery from injury. The Lancing players gathered on the pitch and joined with everyone applauding Georgie, as skipper Liam Hendy presented her with a bouquet of flowers, very nicely created by The Village Florist in Lancing.
Newhaven and Lancing encounters are always closely fought, and this being a friendly made no difference. Newhaven’s prolific goal scorer, Lee Robinson, was forced to be a spectator in the stand as a bout of tonsillitis kept him from making an on-field appearance.
Lancing took an early lead. Capitalising on a defensive error, Matt Daniel quickly crossed into the box to James Waters, showing his versatility as central striker, and putting his side ahead from close range on 4 minutes.
Lancing enjoyed plenty of possession for the first quarter of an hour. Ebou Jallow, Finn Daniels-Yeoman and James Rhodes were controlling the midfield backed up by some precision passing from the back line superbly led by Liam Hendy.
A determined run from Harrison Parker from right back finished with a cross which Matt Daniel met with a left foot volley which the visitor’s keeper was able to block.
Callum Connor was Newhaven’s most dangerous player and his pace enabled him to find space to threaten with a shot on goal from inside the penalty area, which flew just wide.
Ebou Jallow evaded a couple of tackles before finding Matt Daniel whose cross reached Harrison Parker. Harrison fired low towards the near post but the Newhaven keeper got down well to make a save.
Newhaven came close to getting an equaliser. James Rhodes was robbed of the ball with a strong tackle and this allowed Callum Connor to make a strong run into the Lancing box. Mitch Bromage was quickly off his line but Connor kept possession as Mitch attempted, unsuccessfully, to stretch to win the ball. Connor ‘s attempt on goal was cleared by Liam Hendy covering on the goal line.
Newhaven were causing problems with the pace of Connor and it needed some sound defending from Harry Docherty to prevent a threat on goal. Newhaven were then denied a goal from a powerful header by their No. 8 who met a cross from a corner forcing Mitch Bromage to react quickly and tip the ball over the cross bar for another corner.
Mitch was kept busy, having to make a number of good saves in the final quarter of an hour as Newhaven made the most of some unusual untidy play from Lancing, giving the ball away. Ashley Wadhams showed coolness under pressure as he neatly headed a cross into the waiting arms of Mitch Bromage. Next it was the turn of Liam Hendy. who was able to halt a pacy run from the Newhaven No.7, as he reached the bye line, putting the ball behind for a corner.
Somewhat against the run of play, Lancing increased their lead shortly before half time. Harrison Parker, once again demonstrated his ability to make inroads along the right flank with his powerful running with the ball. He cut back inside from close to the bye line, passing to Darius Goldsmith, who carved the defence open, setting up James Waters, who had looked very much at home in the unaccustomed central striker’s role, firing home via a wicked deflection.
The second half saw numerous changes for Lancing as Tom Caplin, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Ben Connolly, Joe Kennard, Mohd Zabadne and Will Berry were introduced from K.O. Mitch the was kept busy early on and Joe Kennard was soon in the action, making a well-timed tackle to prevent a certain strike on goal.
With barely 15 minutes into the half, Newhaven were gifted an opportunity to reduce the arrears. Liam Hendy was deceived by a clever turn in the box from Newhaven’s No.10, causing him to trip the player bringing him down. Mitch, who had been in fine form all afternoon, read the penalty perfectly diving low to push the ball onto the post and away to. safety.
Shortly afterwards, two young players, Alfie Loversidge and Harry Carter came on for Lancing.
Newhaven gave themselves a fighting chance to get something out of the game, when Callum Connor, who had been their most potent attacking weapon, latched onto a defence splitting pass to hit the ball low under the advancing Mitch Bromage. This spurred Newhaven on as they forced a series of corners in quick succession. Mitch had to make a particularly good save punching the ball clear under pressure.
Harrison Parker was re-introduced for Ashley Wadhams and Darius Goldsmith came back on for Ebou Jallow.
Newhaven continued to look dangerous and Mitch came to the rescue again, as Newhaven No. 3 made rapid progress towards goal hitting a fierce drive, forcing Mitch, at full stretch, to push the ball behind at the far post for a corner. The ensuing corner was met with a powerful header by Newhaven’s tall centre back but Lady Luck smiled on Lancing, as the ball grazed the top of the cross bar.
Mohd Zabadne was forced to leave the pitch as a precaution, having sustained a head injury, which subsequently proved not to be serious. Finn Daniels-Yeoman returned to the field.
Mitch again helped his side maintain their lead with another punch to clear his line. Lancing held firm managing to keep Newhaven at bay. Indeed, they came close to increasing their lead shortly before the end when Ben Connolly broke through with only the keeper to beat. Ben attempted to lift the ball over the keeper but was unable to get enough lift to clear the him.
Although only a friendly, any victory over Newhaven is welcome, as they always prove to be tough opposition. Both managements can be satisfied with the effort put in by their squads and another step towards full match fitness and sharpness has been made.
Apologies for not being able to name the Newhaven players but no team sheet is available to me at friendlies. Also, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of numerous substitutions and to identify new players. So please excuse any error
No official MOM selected at Friendlies but I am offering my own personal selection. James Waters looked lively in a striker’s role scoring both goals which makes him an asset for his versatility but Mitch Bromage, with his penalty save, together with a number of other important saves and clearances would have received my vote for MOM.