Pitching In Isthmian League
South East division
Saturday 21 January 2023
Lancing 3 v Sevenoaks Town 1
Lancing Starting X1:
Alieu Secka, Tyrone Madhani, Kyle O’Brien, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Tyrese Muthunzi, Owen Spicer, Mahamadou Juwara, Charles Towning, Ashley Mutongerwa, Modou Jammeh, Marcel Powell.
Ollie Starkey, Darius Goldsmith, Thomas Butler, Will Berry, Kane Louis.
After the disappointment of the first home league defeat for Dean Cox and team, some changes were made for the visit of a Sevenoaks team, who had inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Lancing when the sides met earlier in the season and who had achieved recent impressive wins over Beckenham Town, Ashford, Haywards Heath and Whitehawk. A run which took them up to 9th place in the table.
In to the starting line-up came, Charles Towning, Marcel Powell, Ashley Mutongerwa and Tyrone Madhani and there was a return to Lancing Colours of Tyrese Muthunzi, who had represented the Lancers in season 2020/21 and who had last played for Worthing. The quality available to Dean Cox was evident by the names on the bench.
The size of the task facing Lancing was clear as early as the third minute, when central striker David Kawa had the opportunity to put his side in front but he dragged his shot wide. Two minutes later, some clever play on the right wing from Fumnaya Shomotun resulted in him delivering a cross into the goal which was only half cleared, falling to Solomon Baugh who reacted quickly to get the ball over the line and give Sevenoaks a 1-0 lead. Shomotun, a player with plenty of experience at a National League level, was a thorn in the flesh for Lancing as he showed some mesmerising close ball control at pace, the ball seeming to be glued to his boot as he twisted and turned and threatened along Lancing’s left flank. Fortunately, his finishing was not quite at the same level when he created a chance to put his side two up but his effort was way off target.
The visitors were a constant threat, mainly thanks to the skills of Shomotun but there was quick movement and exchange of passes wherever you looked. David Kawa was looking to play quick one twos at the edge of the Lancing box and the Lancing defence had to be alert to keep Sevenoaks from increasing their lead.
Lancing did show that they could pose problems of their own with the pace and direct attacking play from Marcel Powell. Ashley Mutongerwa received a fine pass from Charles Towning and tried his luck from long range but his effort veered wide of the far post. Mo Juwara won possession on the left and motored towards goal finishing with a powerful drive, well held by keeper Tyler McCarthy. Marcel Powell continued to make strong runs down the Lancing right, getting the ball into the box. A break clear from him on 38 minutes was cut out for a corner and from this the ball dropped invitingly to Charles Towning to volley but wide of the upright.
In between Karen Miller-Neave brought a good save from Alieu Secka and then Secka had to stretch to try and get his finger tips to a well struck drive which grazed the cross bar.
Shomotun provided a stern test for the slightly off-colour Kyle O’Brien who stuck to his task manfully but, on 40 minutes Dean Cox made a change to the defensive formation, taking Kyle off, dropping Mo Juwara into a defensive role on Lancing’s left to try and nullify the threat from the visitors’ wide man, with Ollie Starkey coming on to provide support on that side.
Lancing had done well to prevent Sevenoaks domination from leading to more goals, although they were fortunate not to concede a second goal on the stroke of half time when a free kick from the edge of the box was hit powerfully but straight into the safe arms of Alieu Secka.
Whatever was said by Dean Cox at half time in the changing room, it produced an immediate result within in a minute of the restart. Marcel Powell again was the main man for Lancing and earned a free kick wide on the right, after being brought down. Tyrone Madhani stepped up to take the free kick. He delivered the ball towards the far upright. It beat everyone and curled in low at the foot of the post.
This was just the fillip that Lancing needed. Marcel Powell was full of confidence, taking his man on at every opportunity. A fine run from deep ended with a cross from him to Ollie Starkey who directed a header back into the goalmouth from where it was cleared. Alieu Secka was again called into action, this time to punch clear a free kick heading for goal.
Ollie Starkey and Mo Juwara were working in tandem on Lancing’s left and were successful in reducing the threat from Shomotun.
Lancing’s second half improvement showed itself on 57 minutes. Ollie Starkey switched the ball wide to Marcel Powell on the right. There was no stopping Marcel as he cut inside bearing down on the penalty area. He looked up and curled a superb left foot drive beyond keeper McCarthy into the far corner.
Sevenoaks were not about to roll over and Alieu Secka was forced to dive bravely at the feet of David Kawa to reach the ball first.
Lancing made a double substitution on 64 minutes with Kane Louis and Darius Goldsmith coming on for Ashley Mutongerwa and Charles Towning. Kane was able to hold the ball up and on 72 minutes this led to him setting Modou Jammeh in on goal. Modou broke into the box and wasted no time in firing the ball home to put his side two goals clear.
Sevenoaks continued to press forward and Alieu Secka needed to be at his best to keep the ball out during a hectic final quarter of an hour. Shomotun again got himself into good shooting position but could not keep the ball down.
6 added minutes were a good test of nerves but Lancing held firm to secure a valuable three points and lift them up to 12th in the table.
A game of two halves. Sevenoaks were in control for much of the first half but Lancing tightened up in the second. Owen Spicer, Tyrese Muthunzi, Tyrone Madhani and Mo Juwara were firm in the tackle and disciplined. Further forward, the players were quick to close down the opposition and upset their rhythm. Lancing showed that they can be clinical. Unlike the Haywards Heath game, goal scoring chances were few but Lancing took them in fine style. Three excellent finishes.
Thanks to Brian Hill for being the match ball sponsor and for his selection of Marcel Powell as Player of the Match. Few people would disagree with that choice. Always a threat to the opposing defence. Pace and close control and a superb goal to put Lancing in front.