Pitching in Isthmian League

South East Division Saturday 22.10.22 

Lancing – 2    VCD Athletic – 1 

Lancing Starting XI: 

Alieu Secka, Jake LeGrange, Tom Butler, Marcus Allen, Mohamed Joumaa Zabadne, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Darius Goldsmith, Reece Hallard, Tyrone Madhani, Ashley Mutongerwa, Louis Veneti. 

Substitutes:   Ollie Starkey, Reuben Livesey-Austin, Billy Fuller, John Lucero, Tommy Boyle 

For the visit of VCD Athletic, enjoying a good start to the season, occupying third place in the table, Alex Walsh and Dale Hurley kept faith with the starting XI and formation, which earned three valuable points away to Faversham. Goals seem to be hard to come by for VCD, with only 11 scored after 10 games, with 12 conceded. 

Some changes on the Lancing bench saw the return of striker Tommy Boyle, after missing much of the early season with an injury, and the introduction of full back John Lucero, ex Brighton youth player and currently on loan from Worthing. Disappointment for Kane Louis who had to stand down from the bench after suffering a problem during the warm up. 

Both sides began well, probing for openings but finding defences standing firm. Anthony Adesite was proving to be a handful for VCD and came closest to making a break through, cutting in from the right but finishing with a tame effort easily held by Alieu Secka. More danger threatened when Adesite carved a way through the Lancing defence into the six-yard box and it needed a superb block from Mo Zabadne to prevent a shot on target. 

Free kicks were being awarded by referee Michael Ryan in fairly equal number. Alieu Secka once again showed a safe pair of hands reaching high to collect dead ball kicks landing close to goal. Lancing looked to have profited from one of theirs, on 21 minutes, when Louis Veneti got on the end of a fine delivery from Darius Goldsmith to head home from close range, but an offside decision ruled the “goal” out. Louis then came close to a legitimate goal when put through by Reece Hallard but Harry Brooks in the visitors’ goal was quickly off his line to get his body in the way and block the effort. 

Lancing’s good attacking spell got its reward on 26 minutes. Darius Goldsmith latched on to superb pass which split the defence. Brooks was again quickly off his line but Darius rounded him and put his side one up with a calm finish. 

Both Tyrone Madhani and Finn Daniels-Yeoman were frustrated by being fouled when making good strides towards the opposition goal. Finn Daniels-Yeoman and Darius Goldsmith were winning good possession in the midfield. Finn came out best in a 50/50 challenge and supplied the ball to Tyrone Madhani who clipped it forward to Ashley Mutongerwa but his attempt to lob keeper Brooks was unsuccessful. Tyrone continued to show his ability to get forward reaching the bye line and hitting a cross for Darius Goldsmith but he was unable to keep his shot low enough to hit the target. 

Lancing conceded another free kick in a dangerous position on the stroke of half time but, fortunately, Finn Daniels-Yeoman was quick to react as the ball was driven into the box and was able to hoof it well clear. 

Neither side made any half time changes. In the first minute Alieu Secka was called into action to save from an overhead kick. Lancing were not content to sit on a 1-0 lead but VCD were quick to counter attack when Lancing’s attacking play broke down. Louis Veneti found himself yards clear, with only the keeper to beat, but he mistimed his burst and was clearly offside. Good combination between Ashley Mutongerwa, Reece Hallard and Louis Veneti ended with a foul on Veneti. Darius Goldsmith took the kick and as the ball reached the six-yard box Marcus Allen was able to divert it into the net fora 2-0 lead. 

VCD found themselves trailing by two goals on 66 minutes but were not finished and, after winning a couple of corners, managed to profit from one with Oluwafikayo Ajayi ramming the ball home from a couple of yards. 

They were given a boost by this and Lancing were indebted to excellent defensive work from Marcus Allen, Tom Butler, Jake LeGrange and Mo Zabadne for restricting VCD’s attempts to draw level. Alieu Secka commanded his area and coped with everything which came his way. 

On 78 minutes Tommy Boyle came on for Ashley Mutongerwa, who had held the ball up well for Lancing, followed by Ollie Starkey on 90 minutes for Louis Veneti, to help see out 5 minutes of added time. Alieu Secka was kept busy until the final whistle but VCD were unable to break Lancing down. 

Successive victories suggest that Lancing are making progress. There is depth to the squad and competition for places which should stand them in good stead. A good number of home fans, in a crowd of 169, gave the Lancers rousing support and this helped them to see the game out as deserved winners. 

Once again, several good claims to be the committee’s MOM, but, in the end, Mo Zabadne was the clear choice. Mo has been tireless getting forward on the right to support the attack, showing excellent ball control, but has also maintained his defensive discipline making a number of vital tackles and timely interceptions. 

A win against a side much further up the table was a fitting birthday gift for Alex Walsh, Steve Taylor and one of our most dedicated followers, Liam Kinsella. VCD drop a place in the table, while Lancing remain in

 13th, sharing 12 points with Hythe Town, Cray Valley and Littlehampton.

Also, nice to be able to compliment the man in the middle, Michael Ryan and his assistants Michael Hurdle and Jack Hussey for their handling of the game.

Dave Wilmott.