Lancing Starting XI:
Alieu Secka, Harrison Parker, Will Berry, Liam Hendy, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Modou Jammeh, Darius Goldsmith, James Rhodes, Matt Daniel, Lorenzo Lewis.
Matt Evans, Bradley Campbell-Francis, Mohammed Joumaa Zabadne, Daniel Kingston, Isaiah Corrie.
After completing their league fixtures, Lancing lived to fight another day as they gave themselves an opportunity to retain their place in the Isthmian League South East Division but Newhaven from the SCFL Premier stood in their way. The last meeting between these two teams was way back in July 2021 when Lancing hosted them in a pre-season friendly at Culver Road. Lancing secured a 2-1 win that day, courtesy of two goals from James Waters, operating as a central striker that day. James left for pastures new and was on the bench for The Dockers for this decider.
Newhaven notched up a creditable league goal tally of 94 for with 36 conceded. Lancing had only managed to score 34 goals with 65 against and this itself told a story of how Lancing’s season had fared. What this picture does not tell you, however, is how close Lancing had come in encounters against some of the top teams in the league and how impressed some of their opponents had been with the quality of Lancing’s football.
Alex Walsh, Kane Louis, Matt Evans and Mark Stuart had worked hard during the week to prepare their players both physically and mentally for the challenge ahead. A season’s best attendance at Culver Road, of 702, was an indication that something special was on offer.
It soon became clear that the players had taken on board the belief in their ability, which the coaches had transmitted to them, as they took the game to the Dockers from the off. Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Lancing’s inspirational skipper set the standard with a solid tackle in the first couple of minutes switching the ball to James Rhodes who sprayed the ball wide to the left for Mo Juwara, whose cross was deflected to the far wing for a Lancing throw in. Harrison Parker is a useful weapon in Lancing’s armoury, with his ability to deliver a throw in from deep into the opposition box. His throw was only half cleared with the ball falling to Matt Daniel who, with his back to goal, managed to make some contact but only to put it past the upright.
Lorenzo Lewis oozed confidence taking on his full back at every opportunity. Will Berry hit a superb long ball over the Dockers’ right back. Lorenzo made a beeline for the dead ball line and picked out Modu Jammeh, whose first-time effort was well blocked by keeper Jake Buss. Lancing were controlling the play from the back with the ball being switched between centre backs Will berry and Liam Hendy and wide to full backs Harrison Parker and Mo Juwara.
James Rhodes did well to come through a tackle and curl a pass to Lorenzo Lewis in space on the left. Lorenzo sped towards the goal striking the ball low towards the near upright and forcing a save with his feet from Jake Buss. The ball rebounded from him out wide where it was recovered by Lorenzo Lewis. He bore goal wards again bringing another save from Buss, putting the ball behind for a corner. Newhaven cleared the ball some distance from the corner and it looked as if it would fall into the path of Lee Robinson with a clear, almost unopposed, run on the Lancing goal. Fortunately, Finn Daniels -Yeoman was on defensive duty near the half way line and brought off a a superb tackle to eliminate any danger.
Lorenzo Lewis was on fire, backed up by Mo Juwara and between them they were making swift progress along Lancing’s left flank. Another drive on goal from Lorenzo forced a clearance behind for a corner.
Will Berry was finding his range with some long passes from the back and hit a ball over the top for Harrison Parker, who crossed to the near post where it was met by Modou Jammeh, whose volley landed in the side netting.
Newhaven’s first attempt on goal came just after the 15-minute mark with a header over the cross bar by Charlie Bennett from a free kick.
Matt Daniel got on the end of another penetrating pass behind the visitors’ defence and with a clever back heel set up Lorenzo Lewis who cut in and hit a fierce drive which cannoned off the cross bar.
Finn Daniels-Yeoman and Darius Goldsmith were full of energy and working exceptionally hard to win the midfield battle and this allowed Modou Jammeh to get forward and link up the play just behind Matt Daniel.
Despite their dominance so far, Lancing almost succumbed to a sucker punch on 27 minutes as Alfie Rogers found himself clear in the box but, with the goal at his mercy, he sliced his side foot effort well wide.
James Rhodes was using all his experience on the right flank for Lancing and this allowed Harrison Parker to get forward. He came close to giving Lancing the lead on 34 minutes running at the Dockers defence before hitting a powerful left foot drive, which had goal written all over it, but for a diving save to his left by Jake Buss, who was able to parry the ball away. A cross from Modou Jammeh reached Harrison Parker who tried his luck again from the edge of the box but this time his effort flew over the bar.
Lorenzo Lewis continued to be Lancing’s main threat and he forced Jake Buss to get his body in the way of another effort on goal, the ball bouncing high off the keeper before being cleared.
For the second time, Newhaven had a good opportunity, albeit against the run of play, to take the lead shortly before half time. Lee Robinson managed to shake off Will Berry and lay the ball into the path of Alfie Rogers who skied the ball well clear of the bar.
At half time, the Lancing faithful were scratching their heads in puzzlement as to how Lancing’s domination had not been rewarded with at least a couple of goals. The worry was that the failure to turn possession and good attacking play into goals can come back and bite you. And this is exactly what happened with barely two minutes gone in the second half. Give Lee Robinson an inch and he will take a mile. Harrison Parker was dispossessed by Lukas Flanzen -Jones, as he was striding out from the back. The ball reached Alfie Rogers who quickly passed it on to Lee Robinson. Liam Hendy succeeded in forcing Robinson wide but the prolific striker hit an unstoppable drive high to the inside of Alieu Secka’s right upright.
Lancing needed a response and it came minutes later. Harrison Parker hurled a long throw in into the Dockers’ six-yard box where it was met with a defender’s header which only reached as far as the edge of the penalty area where Modou Jammeh was perfectly positioned to volley the ball through the defenders into the back of the net. Four minutes later, Lancing were in front. Darius Goldsmith lofted a pass into the Newhaven penalty area. An attempt to intercept the ball only saw it being knocked toward Conor Sitwell, who attempted to nod it back to Jake Buss. But the ever-alert Modou Jammeh was on to it in a flash and won the ball from Buss, and from the dead ball line he laid a simple pass for Matt Daniel to tap the ball home as it rolled across the goal line, tantalisingly close to going in, but not quite.
Lancing were now pushing forward to try to secure their advantage with another goal and another surging run from Lorenzo Lewis produced a corner. The ball in reached James Rhodes whose header was just wide of the upright. Lancing still had to be wary and Liam Hendy came to his side’s rescue with an important block. Darius Goldsmith sent Harrison Parker on a run into the Newhaven penalty area but Harrison failed to make a good connection striking the ball wide with the outside of his left foot as a tackle came in.
Lancing made their first substitution on 67 minutes with Bradley Campbell-Francis replacing James Rhodes.
Alieu Secka had not been under much pressure during the game, but had to make a couple of timely clearances but he was called into action around the 73 rd. minute having to get down low to make a good save.
On 78 minutes Newhaven brought on former Lancer James Waters and Rob Malila for Charlie Bennett and Freddie Beale. Their final substitution saw Demas Ramsis replacing Tristan Jarvis who had just received the only caution in the game.
Lancing continued to press for a third goal to ease the pressure and clever interplay between Matt Daniel and Modou Jammeh enabled. Modou to get forward and clip the ball towards Matt Daniel whose goal bound header was deflected wide for a corner. This was the final Lancing effort on goal .
Newhaven had not been able to make much of an impression in the second half since taking the lead. With 5 minutes of added time to play, Bradley Campbell -Francis was forced off with an injury giving Isaiah Corrie the opportunity to come on.
The final whistle by referee Rob Ablitt gave rise to a massive outburst of joyous noise from the Lancing supporters. Chris had dressed for the occasion and with strong vocal support from Liam and, not to be ignored Clive, plus all the usual suspects, they made their feelings known throughout the game.
There was huge relief on the faces of the Lancing players and management/coaches. This had been another superb team effort and the response to going a goal down had been quite outstanding. There could be no complaints by Newhaven as, on the day, Lancing’s performance thoroughly merited them keeping their place in the isthmian League.
Another headache for the committee in selecting their MOM, given that each and every player had shown skill and commitment and all playing to a high level. However, one player just stood fractionally above the rest. His all-round clever skill on the ball, non -stop running, but, above all else, scoring the goal that immediately cancelled out Newhaven’s lead and laying the winner on a plate for Matt Daniel, we selected Modou Jammeh as MOM.
It was a sad day in a way, as James Rhodes announced that he is not going to continue to play at this level in the future. He may still participate at a less intense and time-consuming level, but he has said his goodbyes to the Lancing team.
We owe James huge thanks, for his time as joint manager, his financial support and for his excellent performances in Lancing colours. He made an important contribution to yesterday’s win. He showed that he has not lost his ability to control a football and to pick out a good pass. And yesterday, he had to show that he could resist a physical challenge. Everyone at Lancing F.C wishes James all the best and we hope that we will see him from time to time at Culver Road.
Note from the Media Manager
On behalf of all the committee I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dave Wilmott for his dedication in producing his detailed, accurate, engaging and comprehensive match reports for another consecutive season. His level of detail is truly unmatched at this level. Cheers Dave.