EMIRATES F.A CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND – 21/08/2021
Lancing Starting XI :
Mitch Bromage, Ollie Read, Mohd. Zabadne, Harry Docherty, Liam Hendy (capt.), Finn Daniels -Yeoman, Louis Evans, Darius Goldsmith, Matt Daniel, Ben Connolly, Alberto Lubango.
Brad Campbell-Francis, Tariq Brown, Will Berry, Conrad Honore, Clayton Garner, Mark Goldson, Harrison Parker.
Not an auspicious opener to this cup match, when Joint manager James Rhodes was forced to cry off with sickness. Matt Evans was also unavailable. Kane Louis made one change from the Sittingbourne game, bringing in Ollie Read at left back for Harrison Parker. Will Berry was back, but on the bench.
Heath were up for it from the off and Lancing were continually on the defensive. Mitch was called into action after only 4 minutes, having to race forward to head clear just outside his goal area. Jenson Dos Santos , Heath’s number 10, was a real threat and came close to putting his side ahead after 10 minutes but Mitch was equal to it blocking his first effort and the follow up as it rebounded off him.
Liam Hendy was putting in a true skipper’s performance, making a number of important tackles and interceptions, as Heath mounted a wave of attacks. There was also some intelligent play from Finn Daniels-Yeoman, dropping back into the back four to cover for Liam as he brought the ball forward, trying to launch Lancing into the opposition half.
Dos Santos had another near miss flying through the air in an attempt to get his head to a fine cross from Davigildo Cravid, but he could only get the slightest of touches, putting the ball wide of the upright. Unusually for Finn, he was caught in possession by Dos Santos, who burst forward, finishing with a good strike which Mitch was able to save.
It was only a question of time before Heath took the lead, although it was in controversial circumstances. It looked as if Harry Docherty had made a well-timed and legitimate tackle, stretching to reach the ball and the fall by Dos Santos was a result of tripping over Harry’s legs, as the ball had been played away. Unfortunately for Lancing, referee Scott Orchard took a different view with the award of a penalty on 27 minutes, and, to add insult to injury, a yellow card to the perceived offender, Harry.
Dos Santos had the ball in the net but a re-take was ordered. The second effort was also successful. The Heath number 10 then turned creator setting up Cravid, only for him to be denied a shooting opportunity by a superb block from Hendy.
Dos Santos got his and Heath’s second, but, once again, there was a serious question mark about the correctness of the decision. Those of us in line with play were convinced that the near side referee’s assistant was caught out by the speed of the attack and failed to spot what looked to be a clear offside. Dos Santos had broken a couple of yards clear and ran through to finish with a low shot to Mitch’s left. Protests were in vain. A few choice words were aimed in the direction of the assistant referee by disgruntled Lancing supporters.
There was a bit of a scare a couple of minutes before the break when Harry Docherty, under pressure, volleyed the ball against Mitch’s chest but Lancing were able to clear the danger. So, the half ended without Lancing having a shot on the opposition goal. No fair-minded spectator could dispute the fact that Heath deserved their lead but there was a sense of injustice.
Lancing came out for the second half with two changes in their line-up. Conrad Honore and Will Berry came on for Harry Docherty and Darius Goldsmith. I am not privy to what goes on in the inner sanctum, which is the manager’s half time team talk, but whatever Kane Louis said it had an immediate effect, as within three minutes of the re-start, Lancing had their first shot on target. Ollie Read cut inside from the left back position, advanced at pace towards the visitors’ goal and let fly with a right foot drive. Not enough to trouble Billy Collings in goal but a sign of greater belief in their ability to get back in the game. Conrad Honore was making a difference, getting on the ball and switching the play with a good range of passes. Alberto Lubango was getting more involved.
Lancing had a great chance to give themselves a toe hold when Finn and Ben raced clear. Finn slipped the ball sideways to Benn but, with only the keeper to beat, Benn failed to hit the target and the ball ran agonisingly just wide of the upright.
Heath replaced Sam Remfry with Josh Clack. A rare missed tackle by Liam Hendy allowed Dos Santos in on goal but Mitch was able to turn the shot behind for a corner. The corner was met with a point-blank header which Mitch was able to parry to safety. Lancing kept up their effort to reduce the arrears and Matt Daniel did well cutting inside from the right and attempting to curl the ball with his left foot beyond the keeper but Collings saved well.
Heath were not sitting back on their lead and continued to test Mitch but he was again in fine form. Heath brought on Abodje Yao for Cravid .
Matt Daniel was on the end of a superb ball over the top of the Heath defence and did everything right with his attempt to lob the keeper. But Collings was quick from his line and leapt high to stretch and reach the ball at the edge of his area to deny Matt an almost certain goal. Collings was injured in the process and needed treatment.
Dos Santos had been kept quiet for a while but fired in a shot which Ollie Read did well to block for a corner. From this Conrad Honore initiated a quick break, sending Mohd.Zabadne on a run along the right, linking with Alberto who switched the ball to Mark Godson, who had replaced Ben Connolly, but the promising attack petered out as the ball ran out of play. Dos Santos was again playmaker teeing up left back Tom Cadman, whose fierce drive rattled the angle of upright and crossbar before ricocheting away across the face of the goal.
Conrad’s fine performance was slightly marred by a yellow card and just when it was looking as if Lancing could take some pride in an improved second half, which had kept the score at 2-0, they were punctured by two late goals. Mitch had done really well to react to a close-range effort but the ball rebounded to Josh Clack who could not miss with a header from almost on the goal line.
Mitch continued to prove a barrier pulling off a save at full stretch from a shot on the turn from Kieran Rowe. From the resultant short corner, Jordan Clark finished off some tricky footwork with a snap shot which went in via the near upright. This was to prove the last action of the game.
So, Lancing’s dreams of reaching Wembley were over. A pleasing result for former Lancing Chairman and still good friend to Lancing F.C., John Rea. From a first half when Lancing struggled to make any attacking headway, there was a definite improvement in the second half and Lancing might well have come close to forcing a replay with a bit more luck in front of goal.
Some good performances all round in the second half. Lancing were, once again indebted to keeper Mitch Bromage, who made a number of excellent saves, and who could not be faulted for conceding four goals for a second time. Matt Daniel did well, holding up the ball and bringing others into play. Liam Hendy was a rock again in defence but it was a real boost to have Conrad Honore back. He was instrumental in Lancing’s improvement in the second half and, consequently, was the Committee’s MOM.
Another Jekyll and Hyde display from Lancing. Successive weeks have produced an indifferent first half but an improvement after the break. Something that the management will no doubt try to address.
Finally, I regret to say that it appears that Ebou Jallow has parted company with Lancing F.C. Ebou has put in some excellent performances for our club and we wish him all the best, wherever he next dons a football shirt.