Lancing Starting XI:
Alieu Secka, Mohamed Joumaa Zabadne, Harrison Parker, Liam Hendy, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (capt.), Darius Goldsmith, Anesu Sisimayi, Matt Daniel, Gabriel Robinson, Isaiah Corrie.
Andrew Dalhouse, Modou Jammeh, Thai Davis-Day, Destiny Ojo, Danny Kingston.
After a run of five games without defeat, Lancing were high on confidence coming into this game and this was reflected in the upbeat atmosphere amongst the team members on the coach journey (coach provided by Worthing Coaches) to the Corinthian Sports Club at Gay Dawn Farm, Fawkham. But Lancing were mindful of how much of a challenge they were facing after experiencing a 3-0 home defeat earlier in the season, when Lancing paid the penalty for squandering several good scoring opportunities, whilst their opponents made the most of the few chances which came their way. Unfortunately, Lancing failed to live up to its billing, as set out by Corinthian (The Hoops) manager, Michael Golding in his programme notes: “Today we host an in-form Lancing side, who are coming here on the back of a last minute 3-2 win at Sevenoaks last weekend. We beat Lancing 3-0 earlier in the season, but we have said all along that they are in a bit of a false position as they are one of the better sides we have played, so it is no surprise to see them pulling away from the relegation zone…………”
Alieu Secka was back after recovering from injury, which meant that Gregor Shaw, who had proved a more than capable understudy, had to stand down. Will Berry was unavailable, which meant a recall for Mo Zabadne at right back and Harrison Parker deputising as centre back, alongside Mr. Dependable Liam Hendy.
The opening spell showed that both sides were having difficulty in adjusting to a fairly stiff breeze. There were a lot of passes going astray and the ball frequently either out of play or up in the air. Both sets of defenders were making good headed clearances but this led to some untidy play in the middle of the park. Neither side could establish any sort of rhythm or sustain any lengthy periods of possession. Corinthian had a couple of efforts on goal, the first from Josh James, following a free kick but it was weak and wide. The next came after some enterprising attacking play by Jack Mahoney, advancing quickly though midfield, playing a quick one-two, before forcing Alieu Secka to get down low to make a good save.
That was the most threatening move of the game so far with nothing from Lancing to seriously trouble the home defence. Lancing looked to be caught by a counter attack down their left around the 35-minute mark, but the offside flag came to their rescue. Corinthian looked the more likely to score with their ability to quickly close down Lancing players trying to progress up field. Twice we saw the rare sight of, firstly, Mo Zabadne being robbed of the ball, as he attempted to advance from deep, but Frankie Morgan could not profit from this thanks to some good defending, but the second instance involved Mo Juwara being dispossessed near to the half way line. This provided an open space in which to make inroads towards the Lancing penalty area. Lancing successfully averted the danger at the expense of a corner, which was to prove extremely costly as Ryan Sawyer rose high to head the ball into the far corner from a few yards out. This was virtually the last meaningful action of the half, as seconds later the whistle blew, without Aidan Prall, in the Hoops goal, having a save to make.
Lancing managers Alex Walsh and Kane Louis wasted no time in making changes to try and turn things around in the second half, in which they would, literally, face an uphill task, having had the slope in their favour in the first half. On came Andrew Dalhouse and Modou Jammeh for Gabe Robinson and Anesu Sisimayi. Modou Jammeh would be able to use his quick movement to get between the lines and feed off Andrew Dalhouse’s ability to use his physical presence to hold the ball up and bring others in to play. This worked to a degree but The Hoops continued to hustle and bustle, winning 50/50 challenges to prevent Lancing from building up any meaningful attacking play.
Isaiah Corrie was able to get forward well and send Mo Zabadne clear but his cross was cut out and cleared. Lancing were still proving to be vulnerable to the quick counter attack and were fortunate that Corinthian were not making the most of their opportunities. Oscar Housego missed a good chance to increase the Hoops lead, when well placed, curling his effort wide.
Andrew Dalhouse was enabling Lancing to see more of the ball in possession as he was proving difficult to shake off the ball but little penetration came from this.
There were some bright spots for Lancing. Matt Daniel and Mo Juwara linked well on Lancing’s left and looked to threaten the Hoops goal but some sound defending enabled the defence to close the attack down. Andrew Dalhouse did well to control the ball and set up Darius Goldsmith for an attempt on goal but his effort from distance was too high.
On 69 minutes, The Hoops made their first substitution with Harvey Smith replacing Joshua Stirman. A minute later they were reduced to ten men when Oscar Housego was guilty of serious foul play for a tackle, which brought Liam Hendy to the ground, and was shown a red card.
Neither goalkeeper had been called upon to make any real saves but the Lancing goal had a charmed life when a cross from the right rolled across the face of the goal with no one in position to apply the finishing touch.
Mo Zabadne earned himself a booking for a rash tackle and, immediately afterwards, he was withdrawn with another attacker, Destiny Ojo coming on to try and use his pace to get in behind the home defence.
Lancing were working hard in the final quarter of the half but were unable to carve out any clear-cut openings. The Hoops had a couple of efforts on goal but nothing to trouble Alieu Secka and, as the game reached its final stages, The Hoops seemed to lose their discipline as they strove to hold on to their slender lead.
Firstly, Lekan Majoyegbe received a yellow on 88 minutes, followed 2 minutes later by Charles Edmundson, who had only just arrived on the pitch as a replacement for Jack Mahoney and, to complete the fall from grace, Jack Holland joined his team mates with his booking on 90 minutes.
The Hoops proved resilient enough to prevent Lancing from capitalising on the extra man and were able to hold on to their lead.
This was a game of very little quality. The home team benefitted from the one moment of real skill when Ryan Sawyer powered a header in from a corner, which arose from Lancing losing possession. Both goal keepers were given an afternoon off, in terms of not having to save many goal-bound efforts.
Corinthian described the game in their report to the NON-LEAGUE PAPER as a “drab affair” and it would be hard to argue with that. Equally, only the most biased Lancing supporter could claim that Corinthian did not deserve their three points.
A good turnout of Lancing supporters (mid-twenties in total, which is very pleasing, given that the total number of spectators was only 82) who were obviously disappointed to see a below par performance. Hard to fathom, but Will Berry was clearly missed.
Lancing remain in 17 th place, two points behind Hythe Town and Whitehawk and four behind East Grinstead and Faversham, both of whom Lancing have to meet again.
We were impressed by the refereeing of Teddie Osbourn and we had the opportunity to tell him so after the game. He is only 24 and this was his first match at this level. He was also a late replacement. We felt he got all the big decisions right, tried to use the advantage rule sensibly and spoke to players, when this helped the situation.
Usually, we have several players vying for selection as the committee’s MOM, but without being disrespectful, we did not see the sort of performances throughout the team, to which we have become accustomed. One player can hold his head up high, a consistent and reliable defender, who is Liam Hendy. So well done Liam our MOM.
A game from which lessons will no doubt be learned, which will enable Lancing to bounce back and get on the winning trail again.
Finally, an apology to 16-year-old Danny Kingston. I somehow missed noticing that he had come on as a sub with Mo Zabadne, in the Sevenoaks game. Not only had I not spotted this, but neither had the Isthmian League web site, which I always check. So, congratulations to Danny and we hope that you have a bright future with Lancing F.C. It needs some dedication to occupy the subs bench regularly but it is to be hoped that his patience will be rewarded in due course.