Dave Wilmott reports on Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat to League One, Seaford Town.
Lancing Starting XI:
Alieu Secka, Mohamed Zabadne, Liam Hendy, Will Berry, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), James Rhodes, Ismaila Diallo, Mark Goldson, Anesu Sisimayi, Matt Daniel, Mark Goldson.
Bradley Campbell-Francis, Thakaiy Davis-Day, Harrison Parker, Destiny Ojo.
There have been many cup upsets over the years and one which sticks most in my memory is the 1972 F.A CUP replay between Newcastle and Southern League side Hereford Utd, which the underdogs won with a 30-yard blaster from Ronnie Redford in extra time on a real quagmire of a pitch.
Obviously, a clash between a side in Div.1 of the SCFL and one in the Isthmian league does not stand comparison in giant killing terms but, nevertheless, it is still quite a scalp to capture for the team from the lower level to triumph, so all credit to Seaford for the teamwork which saw them progress to the next round at Lancing’s expense.
Least said soonest mended, so far reporting on this surprise outcome. Seaford revealed their hand in the third minute with a long ball over the top. Lancing were looking for an offside flag which did not appear. Alieu Secka was smartly off his line to make a good save at the edge of his area. Not to be put off by this, Seaford had another go two minutes later but this time Alieu could not get the ball under control and it ran clear to Callum Connor who floated the ball into the unguarded net. The home side were already one up.
One has to say that the muddy and uneven pitch surface would prove to be a leveller, and without looking for excuses, there is no doubt that Lancing’s attempt to play their passing game from the back was not working. Yes, it is the same for both sides, but the home side has the advantage of familiarity.
It took Lancing 21 minutes to get their first shot on target and this came from Mo Zabadne but his low hard drive was not enough to to cause keeper Michael Platt much trouble.
As the first half wore on, Lancing gradually adjusted their play to suit the conditions. James Rhodes was able to get on the ball and ensure Lancing built up some momentum but the Seaford defence were well marshalled and were quick to close Lancing forward players down, winning some good tackles.
Towards the end of the first half a Lancing corner caused some uncertainty in the home penalty area but there was a poor connection on the loose ball and it flew wide.
Lancing looked to have given themselves a boost to enable them to go on and win the tie in the third minute of the second half. Mo Juwara’s good attacking run won him a corner on the right. The cross found the head of Will Berry who rose superbly to plant the ball high into the net.
But Seaford held their nerve and within 5 minutes of conceding the lead, were back in front. Callum Connor got on the end of an accurate cross from the left to hit a first-time volley into the bottom corner.
More good work by Mo Juwara led to him crossing to Matt Daniel but his volley was wide.
Seaford missed a glorious opportunity to increase their lead when Simon Piper headed over from a couple of yards with only Alieu Secka to beat.
With 35 minutes to go Mark Goldson and Mo Zabadne made way for Destiny Ojo and Harrison Parker. Hardly had the substitutes been able to settle, when Lancing fell further behind. Alieu Secka mishit a clearance and the ball fell to a Seaford player who hit the ball directly to the unmarked Callum Connor who was able to pick his spot with a firm header.
Lancing’s final substitution saw new signing Thakaiy Davis-Day make his debut. Harrison made an immediate impact with some driving runs and long throw ins but, although Lancing continued to fight to the bitter end, putting the Seaford defence under sustained pressure, there was insufficient quality in their final third to break down a packed defence.
The dejected looks on the faces of the Lancing players, as they trudged off at full time, said it all. Nobody gave up but Seaford battled hard and were worthy winners.
We small group of committee members did not feel able to pick someone out as MOM. From my personal point of view, I thought Mo Zabadne was forceful for Lancing in the first half. “Twinkletoes “ James Rhodes kept his balance well and did not give the ball away. Anesu beavered away energetically.
Not the best preparation for the away trip to league leaders Cray Valley but it is to be hoped that our boys see this as a one-off and put the result to bed.