Emirates F.A. Cup

1st.Qualifying round.

Saturday 2nd.September.

Lancing 1 v Carshalton Athletic 1

Attendance. 263

Lancing Starting XI:

Alieu Secka, Charlie Bennett, Kyle Sim, Jack Meeres, Dan Hull, Andrew Briggs, Alex Laing (captain), George Taggart , Jaevon Dyer, Tyrone Madhani, Lukas Franzen-Jones.

Substitutes: James Hull, Sam Bull, Callum Dowdell, Charlie Gibson, Shay Matthews, Jacob Thompson, Alex Plummer.

With Henry Watson and Harry Heath unavailable, the way was open for the first appearance in a competitive match for Jack Meeres, fit again after an injury, and Jaevon Dyer who had not played since sustaining an ankle injury in the previous cup round.

With the scalp of a Premier League side already under their belt, albeit a pre-season win in a friendly away to Horsham, Lancing showed no fear of the in form Carshalton Athletic as they hoped to advance further in this prestigious tournament and looked confident on the ball as the game got underway.

An early run from Alex Laing, after a fine build up, looked promising but he was halted on the edge of the box by a dubious tackle. The Athletic responded with Danny Bassett delivering a dangerous cross from the left which just eluded a team mate. Both sides early play was a mirror image of each other as they both made good use of their keepers to retain possession as they tried to create openings but were reluctant to risk giving the ball away. So, the ball was passed sideways and back to the keeper who then got the ball rolling forward again. This is the modern way of playing, which can frustrate the old school who wish to see the ball hit long from the keeper. But retaining the ball and manoeuvring players into position is the way to progress in possession.

Carshalton showed how well coached they are with a cleverly worked short corner. It almost caught the Lancers out but they were able to survive and clear the ball. Jaevon Dyer and Tyrone Madhani were involved in a tussle for the ball in Carshalton’s left corner and were awarded a free kick. Andrew Briggs shaped up to take it but dummied to George Taggart whose effort came close to going in. George Taggart then came through a tackle with the ball and laid on a pass to Alex Laing who let fly goal-wards but over the bar. Jaevon Dyer was lively for Lancing on the right flank, twisting and turning at pace, while keeping the ball under close control.

Lancing were well in the game and a good break by Alex Laing saw him get forward before pulling the ball to Lukas Franzen-Jones, whose shot on the turn was blocked by a defender.

Carshalton were a threat from corners and Alieu Secka was on hand to save as the ball was headed clear from the goal line but hit back towards goal.

Jaevon Dyer embarked on a mazy run and looked to be about to break into the box but he hit a wall of defenders and the run came to an end. For the first 30 minutes Lancing matched the skilful Carshalton side and were making inroads into the final third. But the defence had to be alert as the visitors had pace and movement and this showed itself when Danny Bassett fired on target. Alieu Secka was only able to palm the ball away but was fouled as he attempted to recover it.

Lancing were rewarded for their hard work and confident play going forward with a goal on 37 minutes. Andrew Briggs carved open the visitors’ defence with a superb pass. Alex Laing timed his run perfectly, his pace taking him clear to finish with a coolly taken low drive.

Immediately after the restart, Danny Bassett again tested Alieu Secka but the Lancing keeper pulled off a fine save to keep out a low hard drive. Carshalton were showing determination to get back on level terms and it needed a good interception by Alex Laing to put a dangerous looking cross behind for a corner.

Alieu Secka was able to hold on to the ball as it was falling close to the cross bar. He was injured in the process but able to recover after treatment from physio Callum Morin.

As the game entered added time, Carshalton were awarded a free-kick at the edge of the Lancing box. Lancing were not deceived by a sideways tap before the ball was struck and quick reaction from Tyrone Madhani allowed him to block the effort.

A half time lead was well earned but Lancing knew that Carshalton were a side who finished strongly and their defence was under pressure from the start of the second half. Dan Hull was on hand to clear an early threat and Kyle Sim was able to stifle another attack by calmly shielding the ball out of play.

Carshalton forwards were able to move the ball around quickly inside the Lancing box and a toe poke from close range was brilliantly saved by Alieu Secka.

With 12 minutes of the half gone, Jaevon Dyer, who had been unable to shake off an ankle knock was unable to continue and was replaced by Callum Dowdell.

Lukas Franzen-Jones was played in behind the visitors’ back line but was tackled to the ground as he was about to deliver a shot.

Carshalton were penning Lancing back at times with some clever movement but Lancing still had opportunities themselves when a cross field pass reached Alex Laing, who hit a good shot on the turn but into the arms of keeper Huffer.

Jack Meeres, who had shown that his long absence had not adversely affected him, was involved in a challenge for the ball on the bye-line. Both players ended up on the ground in what appeared to be a 50/50 tackle but Jack found himself, rather harshly, being penalised. Carshalton again showed how dangerous they could be from dead ball situations as the free-kick was pulled back, well clear of everyone but to an unmarked Lexus Beeden who drove the ball low into a wall of players. The ball was deflected upwards before being half cleared, the rebound being scooped over the bar.

Pressure was mounting on the Lancing defence. Kwaku Frimpong hit a cross which landed perilously close to the cross bar but Alieu Secka was able to get a hand to it and keep it out.

On 66 minutes James Hull came on for Lukas Franzen-Jones and Lancing enjoyed a brief spell of possession to quieten down the opposition but not for long as Alieu Secka was again busy to keep out a shot low to his upright. From the resultant corner, an overhead kick dropped the ball on to the cross bar before being hacked clear.

Lancing were down to 10 men for a few minutes as Jack Meeres was forced off with an injury and before substitute Sam Bull, making a welcome return after injury, could enter the field of play, Carshalton’s pressure paid off with an equalising goal on 74 minutes. Tommy Bradford was able to hook the ball into the corner from close range.

The last 15 minutes, plus 5 minutes of added time, put the Lancing defence under real pressure but thanks to a series of fine saves from Alieu Secka and some sound defending Lancing were able to hold out.

There was almost a dramatic conclusion to the game as a superb cross into the box from Charlie Bennett was well read by James Hull who beat keeper Huffer to the high ball but could not steer it into the net. It was not an easy chance and James did well to reach the ball.

A game of two halves. Lancing were good value for their half time lead but had Alieu Secka to thank for some outstanding second half saves and safe handling of crosses and dead ball kicks to give Lancing a fighting chance in a replay.

A unanimous choice of Alieu Secka as the Committee’s Player of the Match.

Dave Wilmott