Lancing Starting XI:
Alieu Secka, Darius Goldsmith, Joe Rye, Liam Hendy, Harrison Parker, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Conrad Honore, Will Berry, Ismaila Diallo, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Matt Daniel.
Ahmad Nazar Kamil Hassan, James Rhodes, Mark Goldson, Gabriel Robinson, Louis Evans.
After three consecutive draws, when Lancing had done enough to earn three points in each game, they faced high riding Ramsgate (The Rams), lying fourth in the table with an impressive goals for tally of 30 in 12 games. A formidable task lay ahead. Alex and Kane retained the core of the team, which had come so close to beating Burgess Hill Town, but brought into the starting line-up Ismaila Diallo and Conrad Honore for Lorenzo Lewis and Mark Goldson.
The scale of the task facing Lancing became evident as early as the 8th minute but, before this, Lancing looked to have carved open a goal scoring opportunity when Conrad Honore slipped a slide rule pass through for Matt Daniel and Ismaila Diallo to run onto but the ball ran fractionally too fast for them to reach.
There was power and pace everywhere you looked in the Rams team, and this was quickly demonstrated by Joshua Ajayi , a 19-year-old signing from Crystal Palace, as he broke down the right with Finn Daniels-Yeoman and Harrison Parker, neither of whom is exactly a slouch, in close pursuit. Before he could be closed down, he aimed a cross deep into the box which evaded the outstretched arms of Alieu Secka and reached Ashley Miller who planted a header into the net.
Lancing were not overawed by the quick inter passing and powerful forward runs down both flanks by the Rams and tried hard to make good use of their own speed merchants. Liam Hendy delivered a superb pass for Harrison Parker who had sprinted clear on the left and, after cutting inside, hit a dangerous cross which was hammered clear.
Ajayi continued to pose a threat and, whenever he had a yard of space, did not stand on ceremony but drove the ball into the Lancing box. But Liam Hendy and Joe Rye kept their cool and were able to clear their lines, whenever possible bringing the ball out and starting offensive moves for Lancing. Darius Goldsmith was able to keep a tight grip on the right side of Lancing’s defence and link up well with Conrad Honore and Bradley Campbell-Francis. Bradley was showing the confidence to take on his marker and after getting clear laid the ball back to Conrad who hit a cross to Finn on the far post. Finn was able to get his head to the ball but there was not enough to trouble The Rams 6. 4 tall, athletic, keeper, Jacob Russell.
Ajayi showed that he could shoot with power as well as cross and he took aim for goal on 26 minutes but he was marginally clear of the cross bar. Almost on the half hour mark, both Joe Rye and Bradley were fouled in quick succession and needed treatment before they could continue.
Alieu had not had many difficult attempts on goal to cope with but he was at full stretch to fingertip the ball behind for a corner on the 36th minute. Matt Daniel was finding space well and looking to bring Ismaila into the game. A good move involving both players broke down with what appeared to be a foul on Ismaila but, surprisingly, it was Ismaila who was adjudged to have been the offender. Matt received a well-placed pass from the back and, with the visitor’s defence stretched, he hit an early pass to Ismaila bursting forward on the left. Matt continued his forward run but Ismaila did not appear to spot Matt in the clear and a good opportunity fell away, as he was dispossessed. Lancing continued to battle to contain the pressure being exerted on them and this demanded a lot from Will Berry, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, and Conrad Honore but they were not being overrun and were staying focussed and disciplined. Joe Rye continued to impress, together with Liam Hendy, as they held their nerve when the Rams were powering forward. Rams came close with a glancing header from a free kick near the bye line. A strong run from Bradley ended with his pass being closed down and a quick counter attack ensued, leading to well struck shot but it was a straightforward save for Alieu.A rare misplaced pass by Liam provided Ajayi with a free shot at goal but his effort was way off target. The half ended with Lancing have shown resilience after their early set back and could be satisfied with defensive qualities which were much to admire.
The second half began with some battling work from Conrad Honore who won the ball after a tussle and set Will Berry on a forward run but he was unable to get the ball to the supporting Ismaila . With only 5 minutes of the second half underway, Lancing’s hopes of getting back on level terms suffered a setback. A long-range powerful shot rocketed towards Alieu Secka, who was able to block the ball with his body but it rebounded from his chest and, as bad luck would have it, it fell perfectly to Ashley Miller who had the simplest of tasks to stroke the ball home.
Such is the never say die attitude within the Lancing squad, that they raised their game and responded with some fine attacking play. Ismaila had a shot deflected for a corner, and when the ball was played into the box Jacob Russell made two vital saves in quick succession. Ismaila was lively in and around the Rams box and was brought to the ground. Was it a penalty? No said referee Will Briers. Darius Goldsmith and Joe Rye combined, leading to a cross which reached Conrad Honore, who nodded the ball back to Matt Daniel who fired in an effort on goal which was just wide. Darius continued to provide good support to Bradley, but after another penetrating run, Bradley was unable to hit the target.
On 62 minutes Bradley Campbell-Francis, who had been struggling with a knock to his ankle, was replaced by Gabriel Robinson and he was soon in the action, backed up by Darius. Ismaila was still full of energy and this led to him blocking a clearance just outside the visitor’s penalty area and quickly put Conrad in on goal. Conrad hit a point-blank shot but keeper Miller was able to block it. A Lancing free kick from the half way line reached Harrison Parker but he was unable to make good contact with his head. On 69 minutes James Rhodes was brought on for Conrad Honore and his good close control helped Lancing to continue to get into threatening positions. A half clearance fell to Liam Hendy but he was falling back as he tried to send the ball goal wards and his shot was well clear of the bar. Matt Daniel got himself into a shooting position in the box but ended up on the ground with Lancing looking in vain for a penalty.
With Lancing committing so many men forward, they ran the risk of being hit on the counter attack and in the 83 rd. minute they almost paid the penalty and were indebted to Alieu Secka for two superb blocking saves. Ramsgate made their first change on 84 minutes with Nico Cotton coming on for Jordan Chiedozie.
Lancing finally got their reward for some determined attacking play with a goal on 88 minutes. James Rhodes had already provided Ismaila Diallo with a superb pass. Ismaila hit a powerful strike on the stretch, which Miller did well to keep out low at his near upright. Ismaila returned the favour with an electric burst of speed to reach the ball as it was about to run behind and hit a cross which James Rhodes was able to side foot home. Vinnie Medhurst replaced Lee Prescott for The Rams on 89 minutes.
Lancing threw everything at The Rams as 4 minutes of added time were played .38-year-old Jamie Coyle, using his experience, no doubt, tried to halt Lancing’s attacking momentum by, needlessly, hammering the ball out of the ground, earning a talking to from the referee, but nothing more. Still time for Harrison Parker to receive a yellow card and for Ramsgate to fail to take advantage of a clear opportunity to fire an early shot into an empty net after a quick break. Thankfully Joe Rye was well placed to save Lancing from conceding a late goal with some excellent defending, as the game came to an end.
It took a second goal to spark Lancing into throwing caution to the wind with a greater commitment to attacking play as the second half continued. The first half was difficult for them as they had to concentrate on nullifying the serious threat the visitors posed as a powerful attacking force. Some stalwart defending was to be admired as was the willingness of every player to chase and harry. They pressed hard but the boost provided by James Rhodes goal came just too late for them to get a second.
They clearly impressed Ramsgate management who were complimentary in their post-match chat by saying that Lancing had asked more questions of them than any other team so far.
Thanks to President Len Ralph for his match sponsorship and for selecting Will Berry as his MOM. No one would wish to quarrel with that as Will was an absolute rock from start to finish.
The Committee, however, were, once again, full of admiration for the cool and composed defending from Joe Rye, especially from one so young. So, Joe was their MOM.
Well, done to both players and to the rest of the Lancing team for the effort they put into the game and for their commitment right to the end.
Finally, nice to see our loyal Lancing supporter, committee member and club historian Ron George on the road to recovery after major surgery and back at his rightful place at Culver Road.