Lancing Starting XI :
Alieu Secka, Mohamed Joumaa Zabadne, Mahamadou Juwara, Will Berry, Liam Hendy, Joe Rye, Darius Goldsmith, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Kane Louis, Mark Goldson, Ismaila Diallo.
Substitutes : James Rhodes, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Louis Evans, Ashley Wadhams, Harrison Parker.
Both sides came together at Oakwood after a run of three league defeats but, whereas VCD (The Vickers) were comfortably placed at 8th in the table, Lancing were getting perilously close to the bottom places, lying at 17th.
In the absence of Matt Daniel, Mark Goldson came back into the side and Darius Goldsmith slotted in to midfield. With Conrad Honore having departed to pastures new, that is to say Burgess Hill Town, Lancing operated with a back three of Liam Hendy, Will Berry and Joe Rye, with Mo Zabadne and Mo Juwara providing the width. Lancing keeper Alieu Secka was the busier of the two keepers, his first test coming on 8 minutes when he had to turn the ball behind for a corner. At the other end Mark Goldson brought a good full length save from Sam Mott on 12 minutes. Lieu was called into action again, not long afterwards, with a save, which saw him push the ball onto the upright and behind for a corner. The corner was met by a powerful header which hit the cross bar and rebounded into play. Lancing were able to clear the ball after two attempts.
Lancing were competing well for every ball and were enjoying some good possession. The game was being played at a quick pace, with The Vickers wide men proving to be a handful for both Mo’s. For Lancing, Mark Goldson was showing that he, too, had pace on the ball and was causing the home defence some anxious moments.
On 29 minutes, the first controversial incident occurred. Lancing had been awarded a free kick and Ayman El-Mogharbel tried to prevent a quick kick being taken. This led to some pushing and shoving and it appeared to some of us that El-Mogharbel had thrown a punch. Referee Lawrence Torz-Brown got control of matters, identified the culprit, El-Mogharbel, taking him aside. What action would the referee take? Out came a card, which was yellow, on the basis, apparently, that the offence was a slap and not a punch. !!!
Play resumed but some 8 minutes later, more controversy occurred. Joe Rye was covering the run of the powerful No. 9, Jeff Duah-Kessie and preventing him from cutting in toward goal. A slight contact with his shoulder saw the No.9 take a tumble and the referee instantly signalled for a penalty. A sense of grievance was appeased when the penalty resembled the sort of successful penalty conversion for which Dan Biggar of Wales is renowned.
Lancing survived a couple more scares when Finn Daniels-Yeoman spotted the danger when Duah-Kessie muscled his way past Joe Rye and was able to put the ball behind for a corner. And again, when a poor clearance from Alieu Secka presented a chance for The Vickers to take the lead but Alieu reacted well to make a good save. But Lancing’s hope of going in level at halftime was dashed when Mo Juwara lost possession wide on Lancing’s left and a swift break forward finished with a cross to the right picking out Youssef Bamba, who had time and space to curl the ball into the far top corner.
The second half saw Mo Juwara making more inroads along the left and one promising break had Mark Goldson in support. Mark fed Ismaila Diallo who, in turn, slipped a pass to Finn Daniels-Yeoman whose effort on goal flew just wide.
Lancing’s good start to the second half was dealt a blow on 53 minutes when a mishit clearance from Alieu Secka fell to Jeff Duah-Kessie and with Alieu out of position, the ball was soon in the back of the net.
A second yellow card was shown on 55 minutes after a bad foul on Mo Zabadne by Vickers Theo McKenzie. Mo Juwara continued to take on his marker with some success but the final ball was not finding a Lancing player. Vickers came close to increasing their lead when Jeff Duah-Kessie rose well to a free kick but his header was off target. On 61 minutes, Mo Zabadne was replaced by Bradley Campbell-Francis.
Lancing came close to reducing the arrears when Kane Louis did well to hold on to the ball in the box and float the ball to Mo Juwara sliding in on the far post, but Mo was unable to apply the finishing touch.
Louis Evans came on for Mark Goldson on 69 minutes but, before he could begin to have an influence on the game, Lancing’s fate was sealed with a third goal. Kane Louis was robbed of the ball in the opposition’s final third and a quick counter attack created the opening for Youssef Bamba to get his second and the Vickers third on 71 minutes. To add to Lancing’s woes, four minutes later, right back Chris Edwards cut in and hit a goal bound shot with his left. Alieu Secka was down to his left and seemed to have it covered but the ball squirmed through his hands and fell over the line.
What you can say about the current Lancing team is that they never allow their heads to drop. Right to the end they were pushing to get some reward for the amount of effort put into the game. Bradley Campbell-Francis did well to win the ball and fire in a low hard drive which keeper Mott dealt with comfortably. Bradley supplied the pass for Liam Hendy to get a shot on target which was pushed behind for a corner and Darius Goldsmith had the final say with a forceful run towards the bye line only to be brought down for what looked a clear penalty. But no, and to add insult to injury, he was given a yellow card, presumably for what was seen to be a “dive” (i.e. in official parlance “simulation”
An enjoyable day out for committee and supporters, despite the result, safely conveyed by Road Runners, and well treated by our hosts.
Committee’s MOM selection went to Will Berry, who, together with Joe Rye, who continues to impress with his composure under pressure, despite being given a severe test by the powerful Duah-Kessie, and ability to break forward without losing possession and Mr. Dependable, Liam Hendy, helped to form a solid central defensive unit.
As one of our committee said to team captain Finn Daniels-Yeoman, we are happy to support our team, even though results may be disappointing, because we can see how much effort and togetherness is being shown. Hard to argue that Lancing deserved three points but a 4-0 defeat was not a true reflection of the balance of play.
Finally, it is sad to learn of the departure of Conrad Honore after playing for Lancing for the past couple of years. Conrad is a player of great ability and always performed well in Lancing colours. I have no doubt that he will continue to develop and improve and it was probably inevitable that he would move on at some stage. We wish him all the best (except, if and when he should line up against Lancing).