Lancing will want to forget their visit to the Racecourse ground as they suffered a second half rout bringing their hopes of making further progress in this competition to an ignominious conclusion. Ascot United, current holders of the FA Vase having conquered Newport Pagnell Town at Wembley, were looking for a return to Wembley and showed this early on taking the lead through prolific goal scorer, Brendan Matthew, with the game only 4 minutes old. It was not a particularly spectacular goal as the no.10 ‘s effort crept slowly across the line. This was an early warning sign, not heeded by Lancing, as Matthew went on to hit the net on 3 more occasions, bringing his total to 13 goals in 11 games this season and 60 from 65 since joining The Yellamen last season.


Lancing were not unduly thrown off balance by falling behind so early and showed plenty of attacking threat, with Lukas Franzen-Jones forcing a one handed save from keeper Hugo Sobte before bringing his side level on 26 minutes. Kyle Sim won the ball in a solid tackle and delivered a fine pass to Franzen-Jones who cleverly curled the ball over the advancing keeper.


Ascot were full of threat down their left flank and it needed a desperate stretch from Dan Hull to prevent a cross from reaching Matthew who would have had a simple tap in to score. Alieu Secka was quick to assess the danger from a ball through the middle and raced from his line to head clear. Lancing were being carved open and Secka had to dive bravely at the feet of onrushing Harvey Killeen to prevent him reaching the ball. Secka was injured in the process and Killeen was given a caution. A little harsh, perhaps, for what appeared to be a 50/50 challenge. Alieu Secka was again called upon to head clear from the edge of the box, the ball falling to an Ascot player who lobbed the ball back towards the empty goal, but fortunately for Lancing Kyle Sim was in position to head behind for a corner.


Just as it looked as if Lancing had secured themselves a recovery from the early set back and could enter the half-time dressing room in a composed state of mind, the defence failed to cut out a cross from the left and Matthew pounced again to restore his side’s lead.


Tyrone Madhani replaced Shay Matthews for the second half but before Lancing could settle into any sort of rhythm the odds became stacked against them on 47 minutes, as Matthew broke through a rather porous defence, to complete his hat trick.


Lukas Franzen-Jones continued to cause problems for the home defence and Sean McCormack was forced to pull him back to prevent a clear run on goal, for which the Ascot no. 7 receive a caution. Alieu Secka kept Lancing’s hopes of a fight back alive, with a save at full stretch. Shortly afterwards, Ascot again showed a willingness to resort to foul means to stop any likely threat on their goal as Harry Tucker received a caution for halting Harry Heath’s attempt to get in behind the central defender. Jaevon Dyer came on for Alex Plummer on 58 minutes to bolster the Lancing attack but a minute later, if there were any realistic hopes of a Lancing revival, they were finally dashed as Harvey Killeen took advantage of an unfortunate howler by Secka,putting the ball on the plate for Killeen to plant into an empty net. A minute later it was 5-1 to the hosts as Matthew rounded Secka for his fourth. Before Lancing could gather their breath it was 6-1 .Lalustini forced a save from Secka but the ball fell to McCormack to round off the scoring with a simple finish. It was almost 7 minutes later but for a fine save from Secka with his outstretched leg. Lancing brought on recent signing Noel Fisher on 64 minutes for Charlie Gibson.


Lukas Franzen-Jones had more to say, however, as the game came to a close. Andrew Briggs provided him with a shooting opportunity but his effort was blocked. Franzen-Jones then struck the cross bar but in added time was rewarded for his persistence with well struck shot after good work by George Taggart. No more than a consolation goal with little time left.


The least said about this game the better. Too many errors and a failure to match the effort shown by the trophy holders in the second half. Credit to Lancing for not throwing in the towel. With a bit of luck their late efforts might have produced less of painful score-line.


Only one possible candidate for committee and supporters ‘Player of the Match, Lukas Franzen-Jones, scorer of two well taken goals and, but for a fine one-handed save and a cross bar, might have matched Matthews 4 goals.


Dave Wilmott


Lancing Starting XI :

Alieu Secka, Shay Matthews, Kyle Sim, Dan Hull, Charlie Gibson, Andrew Brigs, Harry Heath, Alex Plummer, Alex Laing, Lukas Franzen-Jones, George Taggart.

Substitutes: Leon Fisher,  Noel Fisher, Tyrone Madhani, William Berry, Calum Dowdell, Jaevon Dyer, Jacob Thompson.