Pitching In Isthmian League

South East Division

Saturday 7th October 2023

Lancing 1 v Sevenoaks Town 2

Attendance 234

The last time these two sides met at Culver Road, on 22.1.2023, my match report praised the performance of Fumnaya Shomotun as follows:” Shomotun, a player of experience at National League level, was a thorn in the flesh for Lancing, as he showed some mesmerising close ball control at pace, the ball seeming to be glued to his boot as he twisted and turned along Lancing’s left flank. Fortunately, his finishing was not quite at the same level. …..” 9 months on and this description remained pertinent.

Dan Hull had his work cut out to contain him, but with Lukas Franzen-Jones dropping back in support, they were able to nullify the threat he posed, at least for most of the first half.

Lancing were in control for the early part and deservedly went in front on 6 minutes. Alex Laing and Dan Hull exchanged passes enabling Dan to get forward and hit a cross into the six-yard box but he was fouled in the process. George Taggart hit a curling cross from the free -kick, which was not cleared, and Lukas Franzen-Jones reacted quickly to fire a left shot into the net. Lancing looked full of threat down their left with Dan Hull and Lukas Franzen-Jones winning the ball deep in their half and launching counter attacks.

Sevenoaks first attack of any menace came just after 10 minutes with a penetrating pass driving the ball through the middle of the Lancing defence. It looked as if the Sevenoaks number 9, Daniel Carr, was offside but this was of no consequence as Alieu Secka had anticipated the danger and was off his line to clear.

Shomotun reminded Lancing of his threat, with a pacey run down the right and, from close to the bye-line, bringing a good save from Alieu Secka. A throw in followed from which a header fell nicely for Alieu to gather. Lukas Franzen-Jones was holding the ball up well for Lancing, drawing a foul. Andrew Briggs picked out James Hull from his free-kick but James could only direct his header straight at Sevenoaks giant of a keeper, Amadou Tangara.

Good build up play between Lukas Franzen-Jones and George Taggart continued to make life difficult for the visitors and they  worked an opening for George Taggart to hit a deep cross from the left, which reached Alex Laing wide on the right. He returned the ball back towards the far post. George Taggart had continued his run and got his head to the ball but could not direct it into the goal.

Sevenoaks thought they had equalised on 20 minutes with the ball being deflected in from close range from a free-kick but it was disallowed for offside.

Sevenoaks were starting to enjoy a good spell. A cross in from the right was met at the far post but Alieu Secka was able to get his body in the way, conceding a corner. Lancing then failed to deal with a cross from the left. The ball fell invitingly to Carr, a couple of yards out but his shot on the turn was well clear of the cross bar.

Sevenoaks tried to manoeuvre themselves into a shooting position on the edge of the box with some short interpassing but Lancing were quick to shut them out. Sevenoaks were resorting to high balls to allow their speedy front men to get in behind. Alieu Secka showed safe handling to deal with anything which came his way. Jack Meeres was unable to reach a lofted pass and this allowed Shomotun to get in behind. Jack was able to recover to prevent the winger from threatening the goal but conceding a corner.Shomotun was fed the ball from a short corner but Lukas Franzen-Jones showed his tackling prowess stopping Shomotun from breaking in to the box.

Half time came without Sevenoaks being able to capitalise on some good movement towards the Lancing goal.

A change was made to the Lancing defence for the second half with Sam Bull, recovered from injury, replacing Kyle Sim.

Sevenoaks were immediately on the offensive with Shomotun evading a couple of tackles and hitting a ball low towards the goal. Alieu Secka had to stretch to keep the ball out with his feet. Lancing were then under pressure from a free kick and had to get bodies in the way to block efforts on goal. Sam Bull made a vital interception and Lancing were living dangerously having to defend more balls into their box.

Kieran Cadogan was coming more into the game on Sevenoaks left and a dangerous run on goal was halted by Charlie Bennett, for which he received a caution. Cadogan’s free-kick came close to dropping in under the cross bar but landed on the top of the net.

Cadogan then earned a corner on the left which was played short leading to a shot which Alieu Secka did well to keep out. Sevenoaks were rewarded for their second half play with an equaliser on 60 minutes. Secka was drawn from his line but unable to reach the ball and Carr was able to plant the ball into an unguarded net. Lancing then brought on Jaevon Dyer for Tyrone Madhani

Lancing managed to restore some control and make some inroads into the final third. Alex Laing had the ball laid back to him but his long-range strike on goal was well clear of the cross bar. A promising move on the right between Lukas Franzen-Jones and Andrew Briggs came to an end with a foul on Briggs. George Taggart’s free kick was cleared to Shomotun who raced from deep in his half towards the Lancing goal. His finish on goal was a let -off for Lancing as the ball flew clear of the far upright. A penetrating run from George Taggart ended disappointingly with a final shot which cleared the bar. Dan Hull then missed a tackle as Shomotun ran at him at speed, but the number 7’s final pass went astray.Shomotun then completed another good run ,cutting in with the ball on his left foot ,hitting for goal but the ball was deflected behind for a corner. Alex Laing was attempting to hit some searching passes in behind the Sevenoaks defence but was guilty of over hitting them. He was then put in difficulties with a ball played out to him from Alieu Secka.This was to prove a decisive moment as Laing was dispossessed, allowing Matthew Attenborough -Warren to bust through and fire home. This came on 79 minutes, with 7 minutes of added time as well, still time for Lancing to hit back. On 86 minutes Charlie Gibson came on for James Hull. Lancing came close with a header from a free-kick which flew wide and Jaevon Dyer did well to reach the bye-line but his cross flew across the face of the goal beyond everyone. The final minutes belonged to Shomotun who continued to torment the Lancing defence, forcing another good save from Alieu Secka.

A disappointing second half from the Lancers. Not a single effort on goal to trouble keeper Tangara. Too many passes failed to reach their target and it was a self-inflicted wound which led to the winning goal. Despite their attacking threat, principally from Shomotun but also from Cadogan on the left, Sevenoaks did not show a great level of competence in the finishing department.

Lancing drop to 13th place but still only one point behind Cray Valley in 6th. Next opponents are Herne Bay, lying fourth.

More opinions  than usual were available for the selection of Player of the Match. So more diverse results. In the frame were Charlie Bennett and George Taggart but most votes went to Lukas Franzen-Jones, my personal selection, I might add. Apart from a well taken goal to keep him top of the Lancing goal scoring charts, I was impressed with his willingness to drop back and assist the defence, when necessary, his strength in the tackle and his ability to shield the ball from defenders.


Dave Wilmott


Lancing Starting XI:

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

Substitutes: Will Berrry, Jaevon Dyer, Sam Bull, Charlie Gibson, Alex Plummer.