Pitching In Isthmian League South East Division
Lancing 1 v Ramsgate 1 Saturday 4th March 2023
Lancing Starting XI:
Gregor Shaw, Will Berry, Marcus Allen, Owen Spicer, Mahamadou Juwara, Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Capt.), Tyres Mthunzi, Reece Hallard, Ashley Mutongerwa, Modou Jammeh, Marcel Powell.
Charles Towning, Darius Goldsmith, Mohammed Zabadne, Tyrone Madhani, Callaghan Stobbart.
Lancing came into this game nursing a sense of injustice after successive defeats by one goal against East Grinstead and Cray Valley. Dean Cox had instilled a belief in his team that they could match anyone in the League. There would be no sterner challenge than facing top of the table, leading goal scorers and high spending Ramsgate, for whom recent big money signing, much travelled Frenchman Youssef Bamba, who, this season, has already featured for VCD Athletic and, more recently Sittingbourne, was on the team sheet.
Some changes in the Lancing line-up with Ashley Mutongerwa in for injured Kane Louis, Owen Spicer for the unavailable Tom Butler and Darius Goldsmith stepping down for Tyrese Mthunzi. Gregor Shaw continued in goal.
Lancing were forced into making some important early tackles as Ramsgate tried to impose themselves on the home side from the kick off but Lancing won the first corner 4 minutes in, when Marcel Powell got on the end of a measured pass inside the full back from Finn Daniels-Yeoman. Tyrese Mthunzi got his head to the corner but could not keep the ball from clearing the cross bar.
It was the Lancing keeper who was first called into action making a good save from Youssef Bamba. Tijan Jadama looked a threat bursting through the middle but got underneath the ball which sailed over the cross bar. Lancing showed that they had enough attacking strength to cause problems with Marcel Powell oozing confidence as he used his pace and close control to get beyond his marker and get in a dangerous cross which came off a defender dropping for Tyrese Mthunzi who reacted with a well struck volley but straight into the welcoming arms of keeper Josh Bexon. Reece Hallard was next to show his ability to get forward, picking out Marcel Powell who again delivered another fine cross which was cleared.
Ashley Mutongerwa was looking lively leading the line but got himself a caution on 13 minutes for preventing a free kick being taken. Gregor Shaw then came to his side’s rescue when he stretched to turn a long range low drive from Jack Paxman behind for a corner.
Almost immediately Lancing got themselves in front. Ashley Mutongerwa smashed the ball goal wards. It clattered the underside of the cross bar rebounded into play and Ashley had a second bite of the cherry burying the ball into the roof of the net.
Ramsgate threw themselves into attack to try and cancel out the lead and looked dangerous whenever they advanced into the final third. Bamba let fly from 25 yards but Gregor Shaw got down well to keep his shot out. But Lancing were not to be outdone and showed that they had plenty left in their locker as Reece Hallard launched a sweeping move from midfield, switching play to Marcell Powell on the right. He had the beating of his man and headed for goal winning a corner.
Mo Juwara held on to the ball well down the left linking up with Reece Hallard and he laid the ball off to Ashley Mutongerwa , who shot on the turn with his effort being put behind for a corner. Lancing kept up the pressure with Finn Daniels-Yeoman winning a header which found the busy Ashley Mutongerwa breaking forward but unable to get a shot away. Marcel Powell was full of running on Lancing’s right and worked himself into a good position to deliver a cross which flew beyond everyone. Mo Juwara was again able to motor forward and send Ashley Mutongerwa in with only the goal keeper to beat but an offside flag brought him to a halt.
Youssouf Bamba was again the main danger man for the Rams testing Gregor Shaw with a hard low drive. The Lancing keeper managed to get his body in the way, the ball being cleared as it rebounded from him. Just when it looked that Lancing would go in at half time with a lead, Jerald Aboagye hit the bye line on his right flank and pulled the ball back into the penalty area. It ran behind two Rams’ forwards but reached Jack Paxman unmarked at the edge of the box. He had time to calmly side foot the ball into the bottom corner.
Lancing had the final say in the second minute of addled time, with Marcel Powell teeing the ball up for Tyrese Mthunzi whose driven shot was well struck but just wide.
Early in the second half Mo Juwara was spoken to by referee Chris Williams for a foul and when he erred for a second time 12 minutes into the half the referee had little choice but to issue a caution.
Marcel Powell continued to impress on Lancing’s right and he dissected the Rams defence with a superb pass for Finn Daniels-Yeoman to run on to reaching the by-line but he was closed-down by a couple of defenders. Marcel linked up with Finn again shortly afterwards putting him through into space wide on the right. Finn hit a well flighted cross for Reece Hallard but Reece got underneath the ball with his header putting it over the bar.
Roman Liburd and Tijan Jadama both came close to scoring on 62 and 63 minutes but Gregor Shaw was proving difficult to beat.
The Rams made their first substitutions on 66 minutes with Olopade coming on for Riley-Snow and Gil Carvalho replacing star man Bamba who had tried hard but found Will Berry in his way when playing down his left and he got no joy from the tough tackling Mo Juwara, when he switched wings.
Lancing made their first substitution on 72 minutes with Darius Goldsmith coming on for skipper Finn Daniels -Yeoman who had covered so much ground.
The game was stood on a knife edge. The Rams were using the ball well in the middle of the park and trying to feed supporting runners but Will Berry, Marcus Allen ,Owen Spicer and Mo Juwara maintained their concentration levels and held firm. The Rams came closest to breaking the deadlock with a shot which grazed the outside of the upright and, shortly afterwards failed to hit the target when well positioned.
Owen Spicer twice came to his side’s rescue, making a vital interception as Rams winger threatened to get to the by-line, followed by a good block getting his body in the way to prevent a cross into the box.
On 87 minutes Ashley Mutongerwa, who had showed excellent movement leading the front line, stood down for Tyrone Madhani. As the 90-minute mark approached the Rams had their final effort to snatch a winner but Gregor Shaw denied them with an excellent save. A corner followed and with Gregor Shaw unable to get to the ball, it reached a Rams head but the ball was put well clear of the cross bar.
Four minutes of added time failed to produce a winner despite both sides continuing to press forward.
This was a hard earned but well-deserved point for Lancing and was a tribute to a thoroughly hard working and competent performance right throughout the team, from keeper Gregor Shaw at the back to front man Ashley Mutongerwa. This should give the side a real boost as we enter the latter stages of the campaign. Faversham are next up. We should not allow complacency to creep into our play. Faversham may be one place above the bottom but picking up a win against Chichester City must send out a warning signal. Sides at the bottom will be scrapping to try and secure a foothold in the table, so we must be wary.
The Rams remain top of the table, two points in front of Chatham Town, who have a game in hand. Lancing occupy 14th place.
Another headache as we tried to select our Player of the Match. Will, Ashley Marcel, Mo Juwara. In fact you could stick a pin in the team sheet and you could make a case for whichever name it landed on. But, in the end, we felt that Tyrese had just edged it with such a strong showing in the centre of the park, winning tackles and closing down to frustrate the Rams. So well done Tyrese.