Sussex Senior Cup 3rd.Round
Tuesday 10th January 2023
Lancing F.C. 0. V Worthing F.C. (The Mackerel Men) 4
Lancing Starting XI ;
Alieu Secka (Capt.), Jake LeGrange, Tom Butler, Owen Spicer, Charles Towning, Marcel Powell, Tyrone Madhani, Ashley Mutongerwa, Reece Hallard, Darius Goldsmith.
Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Will Berry, Faris Khallouqi, Alfie Beck, Callaghan Stobbart
Worthing F.C and Lancing enjoy a good relationship and a healthy rivalry, which explains the appearance in Worthing colours of dual signings Kyle O’Brien and Ollie Starkey , who only three days earlier were giving their all for Lancing at Beckenham. Pleased to see that Ollie had recovered from the ankle injury which caused him to limp off in the first half. Further connections between the teams were the presence of James Beresford in the Worthing starting XI and Joe Rye on the bench, both of whom have turned out for Lancing in previous seasons. Owen Spicer, a Worthing dual signing had represented Lancing in an earlier Senior Cup round, so remained in the Lancing team. Finally, Darren Budd who performed so well for Lancing a couple of seasons back, was present with the Worthing coaches.
Some players were rested by Dean Cox, which provided opportunities for others to come in and demonstrate their value to the team.
Rain swirling across the pitch welcomed the players during warm up. It relented for a while when the game got underway but returned with a vengeance. Both sides did well to cope with the conditions and provide an entertaining spectacle for the hardy souls who braved the elements.
There was early evidence of an attacking inclination from both sides as, in the first minute, a strike from Worthing fizzed narrowly wide of the upright and Marcel Powell was to demonstrate the speed and directness of his play, reaching the bye-line without earning the corner which he seemed to have won.
Ibrahim Akanbi was looking to shoot on sight but his first effort flew wide.
Charles Towning was in the thick of things in the early stages winning some important tackles.
It took Worthing a mere 9 minutes to take the lead. A break down the Lancing left ending with a cross into the box, which Lancing failed to clear, the ball falling to Reece Myles -Meekum who drove low under the diving Alieu Secka.
Lancing were being stretched by the speed of Worthing’s forward movement and had to resort to some desperate clearances to keep them at bay. Alieu Secka was the busier of the two keepers and, when Owen Spicer lost his balance, falling backwards, leaving a clear run on goal, Alieu did well to push a goal bound effort behind for a corner. Ashley Mutongerwa was working hard to close down defenders and came close to winning the ball in the box having almost intercepted a throw in.
Ibrahim Akanbi was fouled on the edge of the box but Joshua Chambers failed to make the most of a free kick in a dangerous position by blazing the ball over the bar. Akanbi then put in two close range efforts on goal which brought superb saves in quick succession from Alieu Secka .
Lancing could not be faulted for their work rate as they strived to contain to keep Worthing and prevent them from increasing their lead. Marcel Powell was Lancing’s main threat to Worthing as he used his pace to motor deep into the Worthing final third. Ashley Mutongerwa was leading the line well, with excellent support from Tyrone Madahani, Reece Hallard and Darius Goldsmith, all showing belief that they could find a way to get Lancing back into the game. A fine cross from deep on the right from Jake LeGrange aimed for Reece Hallard saw Reece rising to his full height stretching upwards but the ball was inches too high.
Ibrahim Akanbi was a fine target man for Worthing and continued to keep Alieu Secka busy but, at the other end, Harrison Male was not seriously troubled.
Lancing did well to keep Worthing at bay with some resolute no nonsense defending, led by the impressive Owen Spicer and his co -central defender Tom Butler. Both Jake LeGrange and Sean Stephenson were solid in the tackle.
But Lancing could not relax, as was shown as the first half came to an end, when Reece Myles-Meekums found himself in the clear but wasted a genuine scoring opportunity, dragging the ball wide.
Worthing began the second half where they had left off and were piling on the pressure. Charlie Towning had a shot on target for Lancing but on 54 minutes Lancing fell further behind when defenders switched off as Kane Willis hit a free kick from close to the by-line on Lancing’s left and Callum Kealy reacted quickly to turn the ball in at the near post.
With 30 minutes to go Lancing brought on Faris Khallouqi and he quickly made a major contribution to Lancing’s determination to put pressure on the Worthing defence with some strong challenges to win the ball. Worthing still looked dangerous in possession and James Beresford nearly punished Lancing breaking forward, shrugging off a couple of challenges before finding a team a mate closing in on goal until Alieu Secka rescued his side with a brave dive to smother the ball.
Play was end to end as the half progressed and Lancing continued to search for a goal to restore some respectability to the score line. Reece Hallard went on a surging run, crossing to Faris Khallouqi who sliced his effort on goal.
Alieu Secka was, once again, called upon to keep out a low drive, this time from Joshua Chambers. Two further substitutions were made by Lancing, Callaghan Stobbart made his debut coming on for Sean Stephenson and Alfie Beck also making his first appearance for Ashley Mutongerwa. Try as they might, Lancing could not find a clear-cut scoring opportunity. Marcel Powell showed some excellent skill to turn away from his marker and set up Faris Khallouqi but as he turned in to head for goal the ball was nicked away from him.
Worthing’s substitutions paid dividends with sub Ollie Pearce netting twice late on. On 88 minutes, Joshua Chambers bamboozled the right side of the Lancing defence cutting the ball back for Ollie Pearce to score. Pearce then took advantage of Owen Spicer being deceived by the flight of the ball to get in behind him and coolly lob the ball over Alieu Secka into the empty net.
Two late goals took the gloss off what would have been a creditable performance for Lancing to keep their more illustrious opponents to two goals.
The Lancing team could not be faulted for their work rate. Every single player showed 100% commitment and there were some individual moments of high quality. The players can hold their heads up high.
Stand- in skipper for the night, Alieu Secka set a fine example as leader and was chosen by Rick Ball, match ball sponsor with Dean Cox of DC Development, as his Player of the Match, a view shared by the Lancing committee, who also selected him as their Player of the Match. A series of fine saves prevented Worthing from running away with the game well before the last couple of minutes when the goal tally was doubled.