Lancing Starting XI: 

Alieu Secka, Jake LeGrange, Tom Butler, Marcus Allen (Capt.), Mohamed Joumaa Zabadne, Josh Gould, Darius Goldsmith, Faris Khallouqi, Billy Fuller, Ashley Mutongerwa, Kane Louis.

Substitutes:  Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Reece Hallard, Sean Stephenson, Tommy Boyle, Owen Spice

What should have been a home fixture for Crawley Down Gatwick was turned on its head with the sides meeting at Culver Road because of a problem with the CDG pitch. 

The visitors are enjoying a good start to their SCFL Premier League campaign and are currently lying 4th in the table on 27 points, 2 behind leaders Broadbridge Heath. Two former Lancers are in the Crawley Down Gatwick squad, Louie Pittock in the starting line-up as centre back, and Ben Connolly, a recent addition, with a place on the bench. 

Lancing management took the opportunity to give starts to Billy Fuller, Faris Khallouqi, Kane Louis and Josh Gould, with Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Reece Hallard and Tyrone Madhani being rested. Louis Veneti was also not available for selection. Finn Daniels-Yeoman and Reece were on the substitutes bench. This by no means weakened the Lancing team as all four put in excellent performances. Billy and Faris were full of drive and determination and Kane’s positional sense and close control were much in evidence. Josh ‘s ability to use his powerful left foot to switch play from left to right was also an asset. Captain for the night was Marcus Allen. 

There was plenty of enterprising attacking play from Lancing. Ash Mutongerwa was keeping the home defence occupied, using his pace to good effect. Lancing spent much time in the visitors final third with some quick interpassing creating openings. Both Billy Fuller and Ash Mutongerwa had efforts on goal which did not quite cause any real concern for the opposition keeper. At the other end, CDG’S no.11, Ben Calisle was picked out in space in the home box but his control deserted him, the ball running through to Alieu Secka and their no.9 and captain, Micheal Wood tried his luck from 25 yards but his powerful drive flew narrowly wide. 

Faris Khallouqi, taking a leaf out of Finn Daniels-Yeoman’s note book, showed strength in the tackle, winning  the ball and advancing at pace towards the visitors box before being brought down with a foul. A superb delivery from Josh Gould’s immaculate left foot was met by Marcus Allen, timing his run to perfection and, glancing the ball with his head beyond the visitors’ keeper, to give Lancing a 1-0 lead on 44 minutes. 

With barely two minutes gone in the second half, Faris was again an instigator leading to a second goal. This time he executed a sublime pass for Billy Fuller to run on to. His pace got him to the ball before the visitors’ keeper could reach it. He rounded the keeper and slotted home into the empty net. 

Lancing dominated the second half keeping up the pressure and looking to increase their lead. Mo Zabadne stood down for Sean Stephenson on 55 minutes and he wasted no time in getting into his stride and putting Billy Fuller clear on the right. His early cross lead to a corner. Billy Fuller was now in full flow, as he fed an excellent pass to Kane Louis, who brought a good save from CDG keeper Alex Bellingham.  Kane Louis saw Sean Stephenson free and slipped the ball to him near the bye line. He tried to round the keeper who had stretched out on the ground to try and gather the ball. It looked as if Sean had steered the ball away from him but the keeper did well to recover possession. With a little over 20 minutes to go, Tommy Boyle came on for Ashley Mutongerwa and, shortly afterwards, Ben Connolly came on to the ground where he had scored some fine goals for Lancing. 

CDG came close to pulling one back when Josh Gould’s attempt to prevent a break down the right did not quite come off. This left Lancing exposed but the combined efforts of Jake LeGrange and Tom Butler saved the day. 

With 15 minutes to go newcomer Owen Spicer, on loan from Worthing F.C, replaced Josh Gould. Lancing had looked to be in control thanks, once again, to some solid defensive work from Jake Le Grange, Tom Butler and Marcus Allen but CDG did not make life easy for them as they kept up their impressive work rate as the game reached its closing stages and a break down the right ended with a low effort which had Alieu Secka down quickly to save at his near upright. 

But Lancing had the last word almost coming close to increasing their lead,  with Tommy Boyle providing a pass for Kane Louis, who looked to be in a position to score but, again, CDG keeper Bellingham was able to wrestle the ball away from the striker, despite being on the ground. 

Lancing progress to the next round, where their opponents will be Peacehaven. They deserved to come out on top but it was not a straightforward victory as CDG competed well from start to finish. It was good to see the newcomers to the Lancing starting line-up perform so well. Each one had a good claim to be MOM, as did our very capable defenders, Tom, Jake and Marcus but we went for Billy Fuller, his well taken goal tipping the balance in his favour. 

Dave Wilmott