Lancing 2 - 0 Saltdean United
By Jack Taylor
The Lancers returned to winning form on Saturday, with a great 2-0 victory against Saltdean at Culver Road.
Match Report written by Lancing FC committee member, David Wilmott.
Man of the Match: Liam Hendy
Lancing 2 - 0 Saltdean United
After two successive defeats, Lancing manager, Mark Pulling, faced the daunting task of trying to pick up points from 4th placed Saltdean with several first team regulars either injured or unavailable. Mark placed his faith in promising players emerging via the Under-18s and Under-23s. Nicolas Di Arienzo, Tom Butler and Noah Dudok van Heel found themselves in the starting line-up. Making a return to Culver Road was a stalwart from 2017/18, former Lancing midfielder Will Berry, in the colours of Saltdean.
A defensive looking line-up featured the experience of Dave Sharman, Louis Pittock and Josh Clayman supported by Di Arienzo and Butler in a back five. It soon became clear that Lancing would be at full stretch to contain Saltdean and although the visitors looked threatening down the flanks, the home defence stood firm with Tom Butler in particular making some well-timed interceptions to clear danger.
Luc Doherty at right back for Saltdean posed a threat but Matt Evans in goal was never seriously tested. A mis-hit cross from Doherty landed on the crossbar, but the best opportunity fell to striker Alfie Rogers who was on the end of a good cross from the left and with the goal gaping, he headed over.
Lancing finished the first half strongly with penetrating runs into the opposing penalty area, firstly from Noah Dudok van Heel and then Nicolas Di Arienzo. Saltdean continued to apply pressure along their right flank but Dave Sharman used all his experience to good effect, supporting Nick to nullify the threat.
It was vital for Lancing to stay in the game as the second half began. Matt Evans did well coming off his line to clear the ball with Jamie Brotherton closing him down. Matt Daniel and Robin Deen were able to build up some good interplay as the half went on. Saltdean were frustrated by their inability to test Matt Evans and it was the same story at the other end with a lack of scoring opportunities for Lancing.
The breakthrough eventually came on 63 minutes.
Good work by Matt Daniel, now having a greater influence, resulted in him firing the ball across the face of the goal and Noah Dudok van Heel was quickest to react, tucking the ball home at the far post. A few minutes later, Matt Daniel was chasing a through ball into the penalty area and had his shirt blatently pulled back by Saltdean’s Harry Shooman. He was instantly shown the red card. Lancing were unable to benefit from the resultant free kick.
Jonathan Lansdale, continuing his recovery from several weeks absence through injury, replaced Noah. Within minutes it looked to many that he had fired a free kick into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, but, in fact, it had struck the outside of the side netting. Lancing then increased their lead on 73 minutes when Matt Daniel coolly rounded keeper Nathan Stroomberg to stroke the ball into an empty net. Dillon Nagle replaced Robin Deen on 75 minutes. His speed and energy kept Saltdean’s defence busy and he was unlucky not to score when he won possession of the ball and raced towards the goal. Stroomberg was quickly off his line to bring off a smart save. Saltdean were reduced to hopeful long range efforts but Matt Evans was hardly tested.
Mark Pulling came on for Matt Daniel to provide midfield support for the hardworking Liam Hendy and Dean Stewart-Hunter, and enable Lancing to see out the game and earn three valuable points as 2018 came to a close.