Pitching In Isthmian League
South East Division
Whitehawk 4 v Lancing 0
Tuesday 14th Feb. 2023
Lancing Starting XI :
Macauley Scott, Will Berry, Tom Butler, Owen Spicer, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Reece Hallard, Darius Goldsmith, Modou Jammeh, Tyrone Madhani, Mohamed Zabadne.
Substitutes: Rory Marashi, Marcel Powell, CharlesTowning, Tyrese Mthunzi.
Dean Cox was forced to take prompt action to bring in a goalkeeper at the last minute when Alieu Secka, who sustained a hand injury against Corinthian, reported that he had fractured a finger, which will keep him side-lined for, possibly, six weeks. Macauley Scott, of Worthing Utd., responded to the emergency. Little did he know what a baptism of fire was awaiting him.
Back into the starting line-up after missing some games through injury came Tom Butler for the unavailable Marcus Allen and Mo Zabadne. With Kane Louis also not available, Tyrone Madhani occupied a more attacking role.
Not quite as dramatic as the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre, but the Lancing keeper must have felt like he was facing the barrel of a shotgun, given the force with which the ball came at him for Whitehawk’s first three goals.
Lancing began confidently enjoying some good possession. Finn Daniels-Yeoman won the ball and found Owen Spicer in space near the half way line. Owen delivered a fine pass to Mo Juwara breaking forward at pace. He crossed the ball high towards the goal where it dropped onto the cross bar with Hawk’s keeper, Sam Freeman back pedalling to try and reach it. Mo Zabadne was energetic and positive on Lancing’s right flank.
Referee Daniel D’Urso reacted without hesitation when, on 12 minutes, Rob O’Toole took a tumble in the Lancing box, which the referee interpreted as simulation for which a caution was issued. However, this did not appear to have unduly unsettled O’Toole as three minutes later he executed the first of what was to be three blockbuster Whitehawk goals, struck from the edge of the box. Will Berry got his head to a cross and managed to head it away but O’Toole was in the right spot as the ball dropped perfectly for him to volley it home. Macauley Scott was caught by surprise with the pace of the ball and could only watch as it sped past him.
Lancing attempted to hit back through Owen Spicer, whose cross from deep was turned behind for a corner. Two corners were won in quick succession and from the second the ball came close to crossing the goal line until being cleared at the last moment. Lancing continued to apply pressure with the slope in their favour and came close when Finn Daniels-Yeoman just failed to make a good connection to a ball crossed in by Mo Juwara.
Whitehawk’s forwards were giving the Lancing defence a real test through the middle but Tom Butler, Owen Spicer and Will Berry were rising to the challenge well. Macauley Scott was sound behind them showing a safe pair of hands and ready to punch away to clear danger, when necessary.
A long-range cross into the box from Reece Hallard, wide on Lancing’s left took a wicked deflection and had keeper Freeman scrambling backwards to tip the ball over for a corner, as it threatened to drop into the goal.
Lancing had to withstand some intense pressure as the final 15 minutes of the half approached. Bodies in the way in the box kept Whitehawk at bay. Macauley Scott did well to keep out an overhead kick at point blank range. And at the other end, a penetrating cross in from the flank just evaded Tyrone Madhani and Reece Hallard as they tried to get on the end of it before it ran clear of the far upright.
A pretty even first half but Hawks just about deserved their 1-0 lead. Lancing were not prepared to roll over as the second half got underway and some strong running from Mo Juwara looked to be Lancing’s most potent weapon. Clever play by Mo turning away from his marker ended with him being brought down with a foul. Mo had minutes earlier received a caution and Will Miles was then cautioned for his tackle on Mo.Mo Zabadne made away for Charlie Towning on 55 minutes.
Whitehawk increased their lead in spectacular style on 66 minutes when Charlie Harris, lurking at the edge of the box, was in the right place to hammer a headed clearance back through a mass of players into the net. Keeper Scott had no chance of reaching it.
Lancing tried to hit back with some clever close interplay between Mo Juwara, Modou Jammeh and Reece Hallard whose ball into the box was walloped clear. Modou Jammeh then teed the ball up for Tyrone Madhani whose attempt to lob the keeper just cleared the bar. Tyrone then made way for Marcel Powell.
Any hope Lancing had of getting something from the game disappeared on 78 minutes when another defensive clearance from Lancing happened to fall invitingly, this time to Stefan Wright and, not to be outdone by his fellow goal scorers, he proved that he could match them by hitting another unstoppable volley into the net.
The final nail in the coffin came right at the end when Owen Spicer was dispossessed as he tried to shepherd the ball out near the corner flag. The ball was delivered to the far post where Luke Robinson had the simplest of tasks to get his head to it and give the Hawks a 4-0 victory.
Some spectacular goals were well greeted by the home supporters. Lancing were dumbfounded but only have themselves to blame for failing to identify the risks of leaving players unmarked at the edge of the box as corners were driven in and had to be cleared.
Little blame, if any, could be applied to Macauley Scott whose general play was sound.
Competition for Lancing’s Player of the Match was between Mo Juwara and Tom Butler but Tom just shaded it for a fine performance, particularly coming in after missing a few games.
Lancing remain in 12th place but Whitehawk are looking good at 4th place.