A composed and cultured Lancing side drew 1-1 at East Grinstead Town on Saturday - Dave Wilmott reports.
- Brown (53')
- Lewis (69')
Lancing starting XI :
Mitch Bromage, Mohamed Zabadne, Harrison Parker, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Joe Rye, Liam Hendy, Lorenzo Lewis, Will Berry, Kane Louis, James Rhodes, Matt Daniel.
Clayton Garner, Brad Campbell-Francis, Destiny Ojo, Ahmed Hassan, Louis Evans.
Lancing were looking to bounce back after their surprising home defeat at the hands of Corinthian. Some team changes saw the return of James Rhodes for the first time since standing down from his managerial role. Joe Rye making his first start alongside Liam Hendy, with Will Berry adding his strength to midfield in place of Tyrese Mthunzi. Harrison Parker was back at left back after missing the last few games, with Mo Juwara still recovering from injury. Clayton Garner back on the bench after serving his suspension.
Both sides showed early attacking intent using the flanks. Mohd Zabadne delivered a fine pass for Lorenzo Lewis to use his pace to get clear and hit a good strike which hit the side netting. It was next the turn of Grinstead to get forward on the left but the finish flew wide. Lancing had to defend a couple of well flighted free kicks into the heart of the penalty area but Lancing defenders were comfortable in clearing any danger. Harrison Parker was showing real enthusiasm and provided good support for Matt Daniel, wide on Lancing’s left. After winning a solid tackle he sent Matt on his way but, just as he was shaping to turn in on goal he was dispossessed.
Grinstead came close to opening the scoring on 26 minutes. Bobby Dunn completed a mazy run-on goal with a low drive which had Mitch at full stretch to palm away. Shortly afterwards Grinstead were again close to threatening the Lancing goal but a superb tackle from Harrison rescued his team. Harrison was again in action but attacking this time as he delivered a great pass for Matt Daniel to get in behind his marker. Matt picked out James Rhodes who had found space in the box. James had the ball under control in an instant but missed the target with a neat side foot effort just wide of the upright.
Grinstead were again close to a goal but only succeeded in hitting the ball from a very tight angle across the face of the goal.
Will Berry showed that he still possesses an attacking instinct running at the home defence and letting fly from 25 yards but his shot cleared the bar. Play was end to end and it was Grinstead who finished the half the stronger. A side foot clearance by Liam Hendy fell to Seido Sanogo but his first-time effort flew high. Lancing responded well to the pressure with Liam and Joe forming a solid pairing and Mohammed and Harrison coping well with the Grinstead wide men.
Having withstood a sustained attacking spell from The Wasps, it was Lancing who finished the half with a chance to go in ahead. Lorenzo, who had exploited his pace to good effect, was able to deliver a superb cross into the box aimed for Matt Daniel. An almost certain goal opportunity failed to materialise as the ball went just behind Matt as he was closing in to finish.
Lancing began the second half strongly, keeping Grinstead penned in their own half. Good interplay between Harrison Parker and Kane Louis ended with the ball reaching Will Berry, who cut inside and fired in a shot which was well saved by keeper Matte Pierson putting the ball behind for a corner. Pierson was called upon minutes later when Finn ended a powerful burst with a fine shot which was well saved. The ball found its way to Lorenzo, who’s crossed was blocked for a corner. This was defended but a further corner was conceded, which Lancing were unable to profit from.
Quite against the run of play, Grinstead went in front on 53 minutes. A break down their right produced a well struck pass low into the box. Aidan Brown escaped his marker and with a deft touch steered the ball home off the upright.
Undeterred by this set back, Lancing continued to press forward. A clever flick from James Rhodes found Lorenzo who hit another dangerous cross which flew wide of the far upright. Lorenzo was put through again shortly afterwards but his cross just eluded James Rhodes, well positioned to score. With almost 30 minutes to go Kane Louis was replaced by Brad Campbell-Francis, taking up a wide position with Matt Daniel switching to a central striker’s role. James Rhodes left the field with just over 15 minutes left to play and Ahmed Hassan took his place.
Lancing got the equaliser their second half performance deserved, on 69 minutes. Harrison Parker was put through with a well-judged pass from Liam and his low cross was turned in at the far post by Lorenzo. Despite maintaining good attacking momentum, Lancing could not find the opening to take the lead and had to do some defending as the game reached its conclusion. Lorenzo sustained an injury which gave Destiny Ojo the chance to have some influence on the outcome. But Grinstead were also not content with a single point and, firstly, Liam Hendy had to clear a dangerous cross from the left and then Mitch Bromage pulled off a magnificent fingertip save to keep out a fierce volley from Siedo Sanogo with just over 10 minutes of play left.
4 minutes of added time were played and, right at the end, Lancing were in the six-yard box as Grinstead were struggling to clear their lines. Ahmed Hassan seized on the loose ball but miscued his effort on goal and this was the final action of the game.
It was an entertaining afternoon at the OHOB Community Stadium. Both sides might claim they deserved three points. Grinstead probably had more threatening attempts on goal but Lancing played the more composed and cultured football. With a bit more luck some of their good crosses into the box might have led to goals. A neutral would probably conclude that a draw was a fair result and it would be hard to argue with that.
The (small but dedicated) committee team present chose Harrison Parker as their MOM. Harrison was particularly impressive in the first half, both as an attacking force on Lancing’s left wing, and showing his strength as a defender winning some excellent tackles and aerial battles.