Sussex Transport Senior Cup 2nd.Round
Lancing 1. V Eastbourne Utd 2
Despite the competing temptations of England v Italy and Worthing at home to Crawley Town, there was still a reasonable number of loyal fans from both teams to witness a major upset as SCFL side Eastbourne United overturned a 1-0 deficit to advance to the third round of the longest running cup competition in Sussex, first played for in 1882/83. (If you would like more information about this tournament, Ron George is the man to ask. He seems to have been around in Sussex football circles, for ever !!!)
You had to look twice to make sure your eyes were not deceiving you, but the familiar figure between the sticks was not the ever-present Alieu Secka, but new signing from Hastings, Louis Rogers. Sam Bull lined up in his more accustomed position as a left sided centre back. Tyrone Madhani was in at right back with Alex Plummer in for skipper Alex Laing, who was on the bench. Lukas Franzen-Jones wore the captain’s arm band. The Hull brothers were in their usual positions, James as a central striker and Dan at left back.
Eastbourne attacked from the off, with Hayden Beacons winning a corner but this proved to be a rare attack of any threat as Lancing dominated possession. Alex Plummer was at the heart of Lancing’s midfield, picking up the ball from the defence and finding willing support from the hard-working Andrew Briggs and the dynamic George Taggart.
An accurate long clearance from Louis Rogers found its way to Charlie Bennett, wide on the right who whipped in a cross into the box which just eluded Lukas Franzen-Jones. This was to be the pattern of Lancing’s play. Dan Hull was constantly linking up with Lukas Franzen-Jones and overlapping, driving crosses into the penalty area. Charlie Bennett and Tyrone Madhani were a real threat, working the ball into good positions down the Lancing right. James Hull had the first attempt on goal with a header from his brother’s cross, followed by two successive low drives from the edge of the box from George Taggart which were well held by keeper James Broadbent. Tyrone Madhani perfectly controlled the ball, switched from Sam Bull on the left, and delivered a swift cross, which ran just too far in front of Lukas Franzen-Jones, allowing Broadbent to gather it in. James Hull got on the end of a cross from the right but his effort flashed the wrong side of the upright. Clever footwork by Dan Hull sent Lukas Franzen-Jones on a run along the by-line but his rather ambitious drive from a tight angle looked to be heading towards the far top corner but failed to curl in and sailed wide.
James Hull and Lukas Franzen-Jones worked together to create an opening for Lukas whose effort on goal could not be held by Broadbent, the ball coming off him for a corner.
Eastbourne were struggling to put any pressure on the Lancing defence. Centre forward, Callum Barlow was a good outlet for the visitors, holding the ball up well, but support for him was lacking. It was late in the first half before Eastbourne were able to test Louis Rogers. Another determined run from Hayden Beacons got him close to the bye-line from where he laid on a pass for Max Thompson who had Louis Rogers at full stretch to keep the ball out. Lukas Franzen-Jones received a quick lay off from James Hull but he could not get enough power into his shot and keeper Broadbent was able to easily gather in a low drive. Three more efforts on goal, a header from Dan Hull, a shot from Charlie Bennett and a ballooned effort from Tyrone Madhani were all unproductive.
Callum Barlow was proving a handful for Lancing to contain. Sam Bull conceded a foul on Barlow as he tried to take the ball from him but the centre forward was proving difficult to dispossess.
A frustrating first half for Lancing as their domination produced plenty of promising attacking moves with the ball being crossed into the visitors’ box on many occasions but no goals to show for their efforts.
Barlow was able to launch a swift counter attack early in the second half, as Lancing lost possession in the opposing box. But the Lancing goal was not threatened.
An early substitution for Lancing brought on Alex Laing for James Hull.
Callum Barlow made good progress down the right, winning a corner. This was taken short, and Lancing conceded a free-kick. The ball in was a challenge for Louis Rogers but he was able to punch it clear.
A clever touch by George Taggart, put Dan Hull, ever -willing to make forward runs, in behind but a well driven cross from him flashed across the face of the goal and harmlessly out of play.
Lancing then came close to being carved open but Sam Bull was able to stretch and prevent the ball reaching Barlow, who would have been in the clear.
The breakthrough finally came for Lancing on 67 minutes with George Taggart producing probably the best goal seen at Culver Road this season. George won the ball in the D, resisted a couple of tackles and curled a left foot beauty into the top right corner.
It is often said that teams are at their most vulnerable immediately after scoring. Research has shown that this football cliche is something of a myth. It may be just that a team’s concentration level drops momentarily just after scoring, or the losing team raises its game to get back on level terms. Whatever the explanation is, Lancing certainly succumbed to conceding a goal just after scoring. Barely two minutes had elapsed before danger man Callum Barlow seized upon something a of a mix-up in the Lancing defence to put his side level.
Lancing strived to restore their lead. Charlie Bennett finished off a good attacking run by firing above the far post. Alex Laing hit a superb pass from wide on the right where it was met by Charlie Bennett, timing his run well but not his volley which flew high. Andrew Braggs was baulked at the edge of the box, but was able to set up George Taggart but he was off target.
Lancing then suffered a fatal set back. Barlow’s hold up play led to a corner and he was on the end of the ball as it came into the six-yard box and put his side in front on 69 minutes. A few more changes saw Charlie Gibson and Noel Fisher replacing Dan Hull and Alex Plummer.
The last 10 minutes of normal time plus 7 minutes of added time saw Lancing putting Eastbourne under sustained pressure. Numerous crosses were driven into the box from left and right. A fine corner from Charlie Gibson, curled in from the left was met at the far post by Sam Bull but he got underneath the ball putting it over the crossbar. Try as they might Lancing could not manufacture a clear opening before time ran out.
So, a triumphant solo display from Callum Barlow produced the goods to eliminate a Lancing team full of attacking momentum but lacking that clinical touch in the opposing box.
The only bright spot for the home supporters was the magnificent strike from George Taggart. A good majority for Dan Hull as Player of the Match. He was outstanding in the first half receiving the ball deep in his half and frequently linking up with Lukas Franzen-Jones and driving into the final third.