• Pitching In Isthmian League South East Division 26th. August 2023.

Chichester – 3 Lancing – 0 Attendance 142

Lancing Starting XI:

Alieu Secka, Charlie Bennett, Henry Watson, Dan Hull, Charlie Gibson, Andrew Briggs, Alex Laing, Lukas Franzen-Jones, George Taggart, Callum Dowdell.

Substitutes: Shay Alfie Matthews, James Hull, Kyle Sim, Jacob Thompson, Alex Plummer.

A rare opportunity for Lancing to sample the delights of the MKM arena, home of Bognor Regis F.C and, temporarily, the home ground for Chichester City ,who are undergoing ground works to provide them with a 3G pitch.

Lancing began playing out from the back with confidence but the first effort on goal came on 13 minutes with Chichester’s with Kaleem Haitham firing past the upright. Another opportunity came their way but Alieu Secka was quickly off his line heading the ball clear and to safety to prevent Ethan Prichard reaching it.

Prichard scored the only goal in last season’s home win by Chichester, when he was a real threat and he was just as lively today, twisting and turning at pace and fully stretching Charlie Bennett having to use all his defensive skills. Bennett showed again that he can attack as well as defend and was the instigator of most of Lancing’s attempts to get into Chichester’s final third. Bennett got forward on the right delivering a dangerous cross which flew across the box eluding everyone. He followed this with another strong run but was unfairly balked at the edge of the box. His delivery of the free kick came close to finding Dan Hull but, despite being at full stretch, he just failed to get his head to the ball.

Full back Rob Hutchings was able to get in behind the Lancing defence but Alieu Secka was able to get down to save low at his near post.

As the game reached the final stages of the first half, Lancing had not yet tested Kieran Magee in the Chichester goal but Ethan Prichard continued to pose a threat, with a clever turn inside onto his right finishing with a strike which flew just wide of the upright. Lancing had a fortunate escape on 42 minutes when Josh Clack mishit a ball in from the right, and it dropped invitingly to Haitham who blazed it well clear of the cross bar.

As the first half was coming to an end, Alex Laing showed a fine burst of pace racing on to a through ball from George Taggart. But before he could settle to get a shot away the ball was taken from him by a well-timed tackle

Ethan Prichard’s persistence paid off a minute into added time, cutting in from the left and hitting a curling effort which struck the far upright, the ball fell kindly to Josh Clack with the easiest of tasks to plant the ball into the empty net. A minute into added time and Chichester were in front.

A tough challenge grew even greater with just over a minute of the second half underway. Alieu Secka’s distribution seemed to put his defender in difficulties. Emmett Dunn won possession and curled a shot in off the upright to put his side two up.

Lancing made their first substitution on 52 minutes with new signing Jacob Thompson coming on for Charlie Gibson.

George Taggart was working hard, dropping deep to pick up the ball up and trying to get the ball to the front line but Lancing could not find the finishing touch to some promising moves. George Taggart was played through into a threatening position but play was halted with a dubious off side call.

Lancing changed their formation, adopting three at the back, Jacob Thompson occupying the right-hand side, Charlie Bennett pushing forward to support the midfield. Tyrone Madhani moved into a central position with Alex Laing wide on the right. James Hull came on for Callum Dowdell on 65 minutes but 4 minutes later Chichester were able to launch a counter attack. Josh Clack used his strength to force his way past Lancing’s last man and run through before finishing clinically.

Ethan Prichard continued to find an opening for a shot on goal but Alieu Secka was able to get two hands to the ball and turn it over the cross bar.

Lancing brought on Kyle Sim for Henry Watson for the last 15 minutes and he was quickly into the action clearing a dangerous ball into the six-yard box. Lancing had not given up the fight and Alex Laing sent a pass to James Hull close to goal but he was ruled offside. Alex Laing then produced the shot of the game hitting a superb drive, worthy of at least a consolation goal, but an acrobatic one -handed save by Magee was equal to it.

Alieu Secka was tested again but able to keep the ball out, it falling to Kyle Sim who was able to volley away from danger.

Alex Laing broke clear and laid the ball into the path of Lukas Franzen-Jones who hit a low drive but Magee was able to deal with it comfortably. Some excellent play by George Taggart created another opening for Alex Laing who attacked the goal at pace but his fiercely struck drive flew narrowly too high.

Chichester made the most of their scoring opportunities but for all their honest endeavour Lancing ‘s only serious goal attempt came very late in the game and would only have been a consolation at best.

After netting three times in their previous game to overturn a 2 -0 deficit, there was some hope that Lancing could reproduce that form but it was not to be.

We committee who were present to select our Player of the Match, debated the merits of Charlie Bennett and George Taggart but we opted for George by a slender margin. He beavered away, covering a lot of ground, and showed excellent ball control and an ability to twist and turn getting away from his marker.

Dave Wilmott