Pitching In Isthmian League


South East division 


Saturday 25th February 2023 


Cray Valley (The Millers) 2 v Lancing 1 


Attendance 120 


Lancing Starting XI: 


Gregor Shaw, William Berry, Thomas Butler, Marcus Allen, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Jacob Thompson, Darius Goldsmith, Kane Louis, Modou Jammeh, Reece Hallard. 


Substitutes: Charles Towning, Marcel Powell, Mohamed Zabadne, Tyrese Mthunzi, Tyrone Madhani. 


Lancing arrived at the appropriately named Arctic Stadium, where a cold blustery wind was blowing, hoping to take advantage of the Millers run of poor form, which saw them pick up only one point in the last 6 league games, an away draw at Three Bridges. They also exited the quarter final of the Kent cup, losing 3-0 to Margate. 


The goalkeeper injury jinx struck again. Having lost Alieu Secka to a fractured finger, his replacement Macauley Scott sustained a muscle strain in his previous outing. In came Gregor Shaw from Eastbourne Borough along with another new signing Jacob Thompson. There was also a welcome return for Modou Jammeh after a short illness. 


Lancing were quickest out of the blocks with both Kane Louis and Mo Juwara bringing early saves from home keeper Chris Lewington. At the other end, Gregor Shaw got down well to steer the ball behind for a corner after The Millers broke through the middle to finish with a good strike on goal. The Millers quickly settled into rapid movement of players and quick one touch passing which had Lancing at full stretch but sound defending was able to keep them at bay. 


Lancing came close to opening the scoring after a dangerous cross into the box from Jacob Thompson led to a corner. The ball in from the corner was cleared as far as Darius Goldsmith .His volley struck a defender rebounding to Marcus Allen whose goal bound effort was well saved by Lewington. A minute later, on 29 minutes, Lancing fell behind, Daniel Bennett having a simple tap in, getting on the end of a cross from the Millers left flank. 


Lancing redoubled their efforts to cancel out this lead with Reece Hallard prominent, advancing high up on their left and using his prodigious leap to win the ball in the air. Heading towards goal at every opportunity, and cutting on his right he let fly with a fierce effort which swerved wide. Then, winning good possession and delivering a cross, which Modou Jammeh got his head to but put wide. A pretty even half came to a close with Darius Goldsmith linking up with Reece whose goal bound effort was headed away for a corner. 


Marcel Powell came on for the second half replacing Jacob Thompson. It only took Lancing 5 minutes to get back on level terms. A long throw in from Will Berry was nodded on and Marcus Allen was first to react getting the ball home from close range. 


Darius Goldsmith had earned himself a caution and then suffered a knock forcing him off on 57 minutes with Tyres Mthunzi taking his place. Kane Louis reached the ball from a free kick nodded on by Modou Jammeh and stretched to try and lob Lewington but the keeper was able to get a hand to it and keep it out. Some good interplay between Marcel Powell and Tyrese Mthunzi provided Reece Hallard with a shooting chance but his effort was blocked. Kane Louis looked to have been put clear by Modou Jammeh, who was finding pockets of space in the final third but, to his surprise, was flagged offside. 


The Millers were still posing a threat and Lancing had Marcus Allen to thank for keeping his side level clearing the ball away from the foot of the post. Reece Hallard picked out Marcel Powell, full of running on Lancing’s right, with a superb cross field pass. Marcel got he better of his marker, reached the bye line and floating a cross which dropped under the cross bar but gathered in by Lewington. 


On 78 minutes Kane Louis, who had again led the front line well, stood down for the fresh legs and pace of Tyrone Madhani. Reece Hallard once again tested the keeper with a powerful drive from 25 yards but he was equal to it stretching wide to prevent a certain goal. Tyrese Mthunzi was next to try his luck, getting on the end of a mishit clearance but his volley flew wide. 


Just when it looked likely that Lancing’s excellent defensive play would see them through with a vital point, The Millers capitalised on a free kick from the half way line. Will Berry had been adjudged to have committed a foul, for which a caution was issued. For once Lancing’s solid defensive line was caught out and the high ball in was allowed to drop to Sonny Black who scrambled the ball across the line. 


Two minutes of the 90 had elapsed but 5 minutes of added time remained. A bit of attempted time wasting by Barney Williams was dealt with firmly by referee Steven Goldup, promptly issuing a caution. Lancing continued to show forward momentum but almost conceded a third, but for a fine save with his leg by Gregor Shaw. 


In the dying seconds Gregor Shaw left his goal to add his presence in the box as Lancing had a corner. The ball in was cleared to Modou Jammeh and he hit it goalwards but not enough power to trouble Lewington. 


Cray Valley had not been able to cause too many problems for Lancing’s strong central defenders, with Will Berry, Marcus Allen and Tom Butler looking pretty impregnable. One moment’s inattention secured three points for the hosts which did not look likely for most of the second half. 


Relief for the Millers to have halted a downward slide as they move to 8th place, Lancing slipping down to 14th. 


Several candidates for Lancing’s player of the match. Supporters and committee could have settled on one of Modou, Marcus, Tom, Will but democracy prevailed with Reece Hallard receiving most votes. 


Tough to come away pointless after being able to match The Millers for most of the game. The will to win, demonstrated by inspirational skipper Finn Daniels -Yeoman, is still in evidence and will surely see Lancing through. 


Dave Wilmott