Pitching In Isthmian League
SOUTH EAST DIVISION
Sheppey United 3 v Lancing 0
Lancing made the long trip to Holm Park to face a Sheppey Side, whose priority at the moment was preparation for the televised first round proper of the F.A. Cup home draw against League two Walsall. The pre-match chat in the boardroom and amongst supporters was about the absence of some regulars. Lancing were also missing leading goal-scorer, Lukas Franzen-Jones, Sam Bull and Jack Meeres from the side who picked up three points away to Phoenix. Once the game got under way, there was no evidence that either side had been seriously weakened.
The main threat to Lancing came from two pacy and direct wide men, D’Jean Spencer on the left and Oladipo Durowoju on the right. Skipper Connor Wilkins had the first shot on target but it was well held by Louis Rogers. For Lancing, James Hull came close to getting on the end of a ball played into the six -yard box but took a tumble. Durowoju, ghosting in behind the Lancing back, line tried his luck with a spectacular volley but his effort from a few yards out was well clear of the cross bar.
Lancing looked to be under threat from a quick dart through the middle, which would have led to a one-on-one situation with Louis Rogers, but Kyle Sim came to the rescue with a vital interception.
A well placed free-kick from Charlie Gibson found the head of Charlie Bennett coming in at the far post but his header was buried into the side netting. Andrew Briggs came out on top in a tussle for the ball and drove the ball towards goal from some distance but it rose above the bar. Just after the half hour mark, Sheppey took the lead with a superb volley from Joshua Wisson, as he met a corner from the right sending the ball like a rocket into the fear top corner. Minutes later, he was the focus of attention for a more unsavoury reason going into referee David Spain’s note book for a rather nasty tackle on George Taggart.
A Sheppey free kick from wide on the left bamboozled both attackers and defenders as it fizzed across the goal mouth before running out of play.
Sheppey then came close to capitalising on a misplaced pass out from Lancing’s defence but, fortunately, the shot was off target.
Knory Scott was involved in a clever one two with Charlie Bennett, getting himself into a good shooting position but he could not keep the ball down and on target.
In added time at the end of the half, Wisson again found space at the edge of the box but this time his volley struck a defender and was deflected behind.
Sheppey had looked very dangerous at times with the speed and directness of their forward play but, apart from the Wisson volley, had not greatly troubled Louis Rogers. Similarly, Lancing were able to get into the final third but did not threaten Aidan Prall in the home goal.
The second half got under way with Lancing making early inroads into the home defence. Charlie Bennett tried to turn towards goal but lost possession. Tyrone Madhani broke from deep on the right, delivered a pass towards James Hull, pressurising keeper Prall into losing control of the ball, before it was cleared.
Lancing were enjoying some good spells of possession and were building up some pressure but attempts on goal were scarce. Alex Laing let fly from some 30 yards, but was narrowly off target and his next effort saw him scuff his shot.
James Hull made way for Noel Fisher as Lancing continued to spend time in the opposing half but there seemed to be a reluctance to aim for goal with openings not used to their advantage, the ball being recycled.
Sheppey still threatened on the counter attack but found Kyle Sim in their way with some resolute defending.
Sheppey finally put paid to any hopes of Lancing at least securing a point with two late goals, both arising from defensive lapses as Sheppey attacked down Lancing’s left, evading tackles and sending the ball into the six-yard box. Kyle Sim did his best to keep the first effort out, sliding to try and reach the ball as it was heading for the goal, but only succeeding in helping it on its way. This came on 87 minutes and the final goal on 90 minutes. A cross beyond the far post was kept in play, the ball being pulled back to Alexander Willis who had a simple task to side foot home from close range.
6 minutes of added time were played and, to their credit, Lancing did not let their heads drop, continuing to work hard, if only to secure a consolation. Alex Laing had the last word with a shot on target, as the final whistle blew.
A disappointing end to a second half in which Lancing enjoyed some good spells of possession without being able to turn this into attempts on goal. At times, there was a reluctance to be more daring around the penalty area as the emphasis appeared to be on not giving the ball away, which Lancing managed successfully.
With a one match suspension looming for Kyle Sim, he made the most of this occasion with his best display so far this season. He was solid throughout, breaking up attacks, winning the aerial battles, intercepting through balls and delivering the ball out with accuracy. So, the small band of committee and one of our supporters had no hesitation in selecting him as Player of the Match.