With a lot of competition from TV football coverage, Lancing were still able to attract a gate of 120 to watch the Lancers face the formidable opposition of Chichester F.C. in this cup match.
Chichester inflicted a 3-0 defeat when the sides met at Bognor Regis’ ground in the league on 26th August. They lie second in the table, one point behind Three Bridges, but with a game in hand. Chichester have not conceded a goal in the league. But David Altendorff had sufficient faith in some of his squad who have not enjoyed much game time. So, in came the young Fisher twins, Noel and Leon, Jacob Thompson, James Hull, Jaevon Dyer, Callum Dowdell and for his undoubted experience and composure, Will Berry.
Chichester were taking no chances and fielded a very strong team.7 of Tuesday’s starting XI also started in August, and 3 came on as subs that day.
Both sides adopted a cautious approach as the game got underway. Ben Pashley was dictating play from the back, playing the ball over the Lancing back line for the speedy wide men, Lee and Prichard but they were caught out by the offside flag. Lancing survived an early scare when ex-Lancer Conrad Honore dispossessed Noel Fisher and launched a swift attack leading to a cross which Dan Hull was able to cut out for a corner. This led to a header which flashed across the face of the goal. Shortly afterwards a defensive error allowed Chichester to come close to taking the lead but the ball connected with the far post and was easily cleared.
Pashley continued to orchestrate things for Chichester but Lancing were well marshalled by Will Berry, keeping their defensive shape and discipline.
After a quiet start, Jaevon Dyer, managed to get into the game, and was able to use his speed and close control to make progress into the heart of the visitors’ defence until being halted by a foul. Encouraged by this Jaevon was able to outpace his marker and deliver a threatening cross from the byline which was only half cleared to Charlie Gibson, who crossed into the six-yard box where it was met by a header, which was cleared from the goal line. This was Lancing’s first serious attempt on the visitor’s goal after 36 minutes
But, so far, neither keeper had had a save to make.
Lancing fell victim, yet again, to a goal on the stroke of halftime. Slack marking allowed a cross to be delivered to the far right of the goal, where Conrad Honore was well placed to head the ball across into the far corner. Joe Clarke almost added a second immediately afterwards but his fierce drive came back off the upright.
Lancing brought on Kyle Sim for Jacob Thompson for the second half. A promising start saw Tyrone Madhani receiving the ball from Jaevon Dyer before delivering cross into the six-yard box but James Hull’s header went straight into the keeper’s arms.
Ethan Prichard, always a threat, broke through and forced a good save from Alieu Secka. Dan Hull then did well to block a shot heading for the goal. Lancing were then hit by a two goal blitz in two minutes. On 51 minutes, Ethan Prichard cut inside his man and finished well. Two minutes later the Lancing defence was split open leaving Joe Moore to put Chichester three up.
Lancing then made a triple substitution, with Lukas Franzen-Jones, Harry Heath and Alex Plummer replacing Leon Fisher, Callum Dowdell and Noel Fisher, followed by Shay Matthews coming on for Charlie Gibson who had struggled to shake off an ankle injury.
Alieu Secka had to be alert to get down to seize the ball as Lancing were caught unawares with an attack down the right.
Lancing are not a team to give up the ghost and Shay Matthews did well to prevent the ball going out of play, slipping it forward to Jaevon Dyer. His pass set Harry Heath on a run towards goal but a sliding tackle intervened as he was about to pull the trigger.
Lancing were enjoying a good spell as Alex Plummer got in behind hitting a cross which flew beyond the far post and out of play When a side is pushing forward, any loss of possession can be fatal and this is how Ethan Prichard, so often the scourge of Lancing, was able to burst clear and hammer home a on 75 minutes. Lancing then had a let off when sub Kieran Jones blazed over. The hard-working Tyrone Madhani continued to get forward but was brought down. His free kick was curled around the wall but was narrowly wide. Good build up along Lancing’s left won a corner. The clearance was played back in and James Hull came close with a header which was fractionally wide.
The game entered 7 minutes of added time. Jaevon Dyer continued to run at the visitor’s defence and produced a cross which Lukas Franzen-Jones met with a volley, but it was off target.
Chichester added a fifth when Kieran Jones scored having benefitted from offside in the build up with the assistant referee caught out of position by the speed of the attack.
Lancing had the final say, giving their supporters something to cheer, when a quick free kick caught the visitors napping. Harry Heath was alert to the through ball, scampered at pace towards the goal and gave his side some consolation with a sublime finish.
Lancing by no means disgraced themselves with their performance. Valuable game time was earned and there were some good football on show, particularly from Will Berry and Dan Hull.
A small committee representation thought that Will Berry excelled at the heart of the defence in a pretty much flawless display. Sound positional sense, good timing of the tackle and accurate passing out from the back. A couple of supporters I spoke to thought that Dan Hull was Lancing’s outstanding man. Hard to argue that Dan had not had a good game we felt that the Player of the Match medallion should go to Will Berry.
Chichester are going to be force to be reckoned with this season. For long periods Lancing matched them but Chichester had the finishing power combined with a defence which was hard to break down.