Lancing starting XI:
Mitch Bromage, Freddie Carter, Liam Hendy,Will Berry, Mohamed Zabadne, Destiny Ojo, Tyrese Mthunzi, Kane Louis, Finn Daniels-Yeoman(capt.), Bradley Campbell-Francis,Mark Goldson.
Anesu Sisimayi, Gabe Robinson, Matt Daniel, Darius Goldsmith, Lorenzo Lewis.
When the final whistle blew, Lancing supporters were left scratching their heads to fathom how their team, which had dominated so much of the game, could be walking off as 3-0 losers. But it required no genius to reach the conclusion that for all their good approach work and long spells of possession, if you fail to take any of the many chances created, you will suffer the consequences.
There were encouraging signs for Lancing as they kept the ball well with Liam and Will in control at the back and setting attacks in motion along both flanks. Bradley was full of confidence running at the visitor’s defence and was picked out with a sublime pass over the top from Tyrese. A free kick followed for a foul on Brad, and the ball fell to him but this was the first of many failures to hit the target as Brad got underneath the ball and volleyed it over. Soon afterwards, good work by Mark, turning sharply on the by-line, enabled him to plant a perfect cross for Kane to get his head to but the player-manager glanced it wide from close range. Brad’s determined runs were getting him in good scoring positions but he could not find the finishing touch. Tyrese showed some superb skill on the ball, breaking forward at pace, finishing with a well struck shot but straight into the arms of keeper Aidan Prall. Next it was Kane creating openings to score, firstly with a pass to Bradley but his shot was deflected wide, then slipping the ball through for Mark but he was tackled in the process of getting his shot away, forcing him to hit it wide.
Lancing continued to mount attacks with the irrepressible Finn intercepting a pass deep in his own half and sending the ball into space for Brad. He cut inside but, again, fired wide of the upright.
In an instant, and against the run of play, Corinthian broke down their left and hit a cross into the six-yard box. Luke Tanner was quick to react and put the ball in the back of the net. Mitch had been a bystander for much of the game but here he was picking the ball up with his side 1 down on 28 minutes. To compound the misery, two minutes later, Lancing were two down. An attempted clearance from the penalty area was hit back towards the Lancing goal and the ball fell to the unmarked Becka-Kah Dembele who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards. Things could have a got a lot worse shortly afterwards, when Liam Hendy’s attempt to pass out from the back was cut out by Dembele allowing him to make a beeline for the Lancing goal with only Mitch to beat. Luckily for Lancing his eye for a goal deserted him and his shot rolled wide of the far upright. Corinthian tried to capitalise on their good fortune by keeping up the pressure on the Lancing defence and a desperate clearance from the goal line by Mitch, with his boot, preventing them from increasing their lead.
Lancing made a determined effort to reduce the arrears and another inch perfect pass from Tyrese found Kane who was fouled at the edge of the box. The free kick came to nothing. Bradley was impeded as reached the by-line and from the free kick Liam headed goal wards but a defender was able to deflect it over for a corner. Another flowing Lancing move just before half time ended with Destiny facing an open goal but he skied his shot well clear of the cross bar.
Immediate changes were made by Lancing at the start of the second half with Destiny and Mark being replaced by Anesu Sisimayi and Matt Daniel. Lancing were dominant as the second half progressed. A well flighted corner from Matt was turned behind at the far post. A dangerous cross from Bradley was cut out. A good piece of interplay between Anesu and Bradley ended with the ball reaching Kane, who put a curling effort goal wards but not enough to trouble the keeper. Finn was running the show in Lancing’s midfield, dropping deep when necessary and bringing the ball out at pace. Chances continued to come Lancing’s way. A Kane cross reached Bradley at the far post but he could not keep the shot down. A great cross from the right by Freddie Carter reached Matt Daniel unmarked on the left of the goal. His effort forced a good save from Prall down low.
Freddie Carter sustained an injury and was replaced by Gabe Robinson with Brad dropping back to full back.
Lancing were camped in the opposing half for much of the second half but but had to be wary of the counter attack from Corinthian’s main danger man, their number seven, Emmanuel Oloyede. Mitch had to be alert to leave his line to halt one attacking run from him but on 71 minutes Oleyede got clear with Lancing looking for an offside call, which was not given. As Oleyede bore goalward, Mitch got down and, in stretching to reach the ball, brought the attacker down. A penalty was awarded and this was confidently despatched by Jack Mahoney.
Lancing now faced an uphill task to get something out of the game. But they continued to create scoring chances. Gabe was fouled but play allowed to continue as Anesu had possession heading towards goal. But he hit his shot wide. Another inch perfect pass from Tyrese found Anesu in space on the left and he hit a superb cross for Matt at the far post but his header was off target. Lancing were unlucky when a shot rebounded off the cross bar and fell invitingly to Matt with the goal gaping but he was in an offside position.
Lancing then had a strong claim for a goal not given, with the ball appearing to have clearly crossed the line from a header from a corner, but the linesman’s flag stayed down. It was clear from the immediate appeals from the Lancing players nearest to the goal line that the claim for a goal was legitimate and some Corinthian players did not dissent. However, had the goal been awarded it would have come so late in the game to have been no more than a consolation.
There was a great sense of disappointment in the Lancing camp after dropping three points in a game in which they squandered so many good scoring opportunities. There was much to appreciate from Lancing, solid defensively, and plenty of attacking momentum driven on by Finn and Tyrese in midfield. Brad was a constant threat with his pace along the flanks. Mitch had very little to do but Corinthian were able to make the most of their limited opportunities. It was clear to all that it was in the finishing department that improvement is needed. Some satisfaction from their general play and from getting into some great positions. It is to be hoped that this will be written off as just one bad experience and that the goal touch will be found.
The committee were impressed by some strong running and good close control from Bradley and with some superb passing from Tyrese, but their choice of MOM went to Finn, who covered so much ground, winning some good possession, defending deep when necessary, and initiating some excellent attacking moves.
P.S . Just a few words about Lancing ladies. I was only able to get to the ground in time for the second half of their Sussex F.A Trophy match against Woodingdean Wanderers, which meant I had missed 6 Lancing goals. I did witness two more as our ladies romped to an 8-0 win. Congratulations to them and, in particular, to Amber and Amy who each scored 4 goals.