Little Common 1 - 3 Lancing
By Jack Taylor
The Lancers beat the Commoners 3-1 away from home on Saturday.
Little Common 1 - 3 Lancing
After two tough matches against top teams, Lancing were desperate for three points to put distance between themselves and the teams below. They travelled to the Oval, Eastbourne, to face Little Common, lying four places below them in the table, without the services of skipper Alex Bygraves and midfielder Dean Stewart Hunter, both of whom were suspended following the red cards received against Horsham YMCA. The previous encounter between the teams at Culver Road produced a goal feast with Lancing winning by 8-4.
After his fine showing as a late sub against YMCA, manager Mark Pulling kept faith with Daniel Momah. Noah Dudok van Heel came into midfield and another youngster Nicholas Di Arienzo filled in at left back as Louis Pittock was injured. There was also a welcome return to the back four for the ever reliable Dave Sharman, who partnered Liam Hendy in the centre of defence. There was an attacking look to the Lancing line up, with Finley Pittock joining Matt Daniel, skipper for the day, Michael Death dropping slightly deeper and Daniel Momah all looking to get forward.
There was a dream start for Lancing. They were awarded a free-kick with the game barely five minutes old. Michael Death floated a cross to the far post and Noah Dudok van Heel was able to get his head on it to nod it in at the foot of the upright.
This lead was short-lived, however, as less than five minutes later, Lewis Hole found himself un-marked in the box with time to pick his spot and bring the sides level. There was some end to end play with Daniel Momah and Fin Pittock looking lively. Lancing won a series of corners but could not bring the pressure to bear.
At the other end Lancing were indebted to Liam Hendy, who twice came to his sides rescue to cut out danger. Lancing restored their lead on 29 minutes.
Michael Death set up Matt Daniel who broke into the penalty area, beat his man before lashing the ball home. This prompted a bit of a protest from the home team, who seemed to be aggrieved that a throw in awarded to Lancing which played a part in the build up to the goal, should have been given the other way.
Lancing caused some panic in the Little Common defence with a couple of attempts on goal in quick succession, which both missed their targets. Daniel Momah continued to chase and harass defenders, causing them to make some wild clearances.
Little Common raised their game at the start of the second half and it needed some stirling work and non stop running from Mike Williamson to keep Lancing competing to regain the initative. It was also fortunate that Liam Hendy was managing to be in the right place at the right time and used his experience to good effect. Lancing also had a lucky escape when Ben Purkis was forced to race from his line but was beaten to the ball. Relief all round as the attacker’s shot was narrowly wide.
Neil Mundy came on for Michael Death and not long afterwards, on 69 minutes, Matt Daniel showed what a deadly finisher he is. The ball was played in to him, he controlled it with his chest before turning and firing the ball home. This provided Lancing with the two goal cushion which enabled them to introduce two more youngsters, Callum Jenkins and Daniel Allen to help them see the game out. There was still time for Little Common to cause a final scare when Ben Purkis was beaten to the ball as he came off his line only for the ball to nestle on top of the net and not in it.
A well deserved three points in the end with good performances all round. Lancing were a real threat along the flanks with Nicolas Di Arienzo, one on side and Josh Clayman, on the other making attacking runs at will.
The team’s display caused a bit of soul searching for the committee members present who debated the selection of MOM, over a beer in the Little Common clubhouse. There were a few good candidates but, in the end, the vote went by a narrow margin to Mike Williamson, just edging out Liam Hendy .