Dave Wilmott reports on Saturday's 0-0 draw at East Preston.
Lancing Starting XI
Mitch Bromage, Mohd. Zabadne, Harry Docherty, Tariq Brown, Ashley Wadhams, James Rhodes, Ebou Jawalla, Darius Goldsmith, James Waters, Will Berry, Alberto Lubango
Bradley Campbell-Francis, Harrison Parker, Ben Connolly, Matt Daniel, Alfie Loveridge, Joe Kennard
Please excuse the brevity of this report and the lack of comprehensive detail but as, fellow committee members Terry and Brian, will testify, we were sat in the stand facing a blinding bright sun slowly sinking in the west. Despite wearing sun glasses it was very difficult to make out what was happening on the far side of the pitch, Lancing’s right. We were able to clearly see some of the excellent play along Lancing’s left featuring, particularly, Alberto Lubango, last seen at Culver Road representing Lingfield in the Supplementary Shield semi -final won by Lancing.
Mitch was called into action early, diving to smother the ball at the feet of an on rushing forward but was not then greatly troubled until late in the half, when a cross from E. P’S no.15 was met with a close-range volley by no.9 aimed straight at Mitch, which fell nicely into his arms. Two more promising breaks by E.P in the final minutes came to nothing.
For much of the first half Lancing were camped in the E.P half with James Rhodes showing that he has lost none of his midfield strengths, good close control, ability to retain possession and find a teammate with unerring accuracy. But the pick of Lancing’s attack was No.11, Alberto Lubango and there was also some good forward play from Ashley Wadhams from left back. Alberto was in full flow, having the confidence to use his pace and trickery on the ball to constantly get close to the bye line. Crosses were coming in from Ashley and Alberto but, apart from a firm header from Ebou Jallow, which flew narrowly wide and a sharp shot from James Rhodes, which the keeper was able to block, there was no end product to cause the home defence much anxiety.
As is usual in friendlies a number of changes were made during the second half. Bradley Campbell-Francis, Harrison Parker, Ben Connolly, Matt Daniel, Joe Kennard and Alfie Loveridge came on to replace Will Berry, Harry Docherty, James Rhodes, James Waters and Ashley Wadhams. Tariq and Alberto also made way later and Will Berry returned to cover for Harry Docherty who left the field with an injury, assisted by new physio Callum. Alfie announced his presence almost immediately with a well struck drive from outside the box, which had the home keeper at full stretch to keep out. Both sides created a few chances but nothing clear cut. Lancing had the ball in the net after the keeper had a made a good save but there was an offside ruling the “goal” out.
Honours even in the end. Neither side did quite enough to edge in front. For Lancing a few established players were absent (Liam Hendy, Finn Daniels -Yeoman and Mike Williamson) but this provided an opportunity for others to show what they are capable of.