Lancing 0 - 1 Crawley Down Gatwick
By Jack Taylor
The Lancers struggled to make it 3 wins on a trot, following Saturday's defeat to Crawley Down Gatwick.
Lancing 0 - 1 Crawley Down Gatwick
After two away wins against lower opposition, Lancing faced a home game against Crawley Down Gatwick, lying four places above them in the table. Lancing fielded an attacking line up again as they looked to secure a double as they beat their visitors 2-1 in the away fixture, earlier in the season.
Dan Turner and Nicholas Di Arienzo were unavailable, but Mike Williamson, Louis Pittock and Josh Clayman were back. Dave Sharman continued at right back with Josh Clayman lining up in front of him, completing an energetic midfield trio with Mike Williamson and Noah Dudok van Heel.
Lancing were looking to use the pace of Daniel Momah to catch Crawley Down cold in the early stages but frequently passes were slightly over hit. The visitors were themselves breaking forward quickly and were putting the Lancing defence under pressure. Matt Evans made a good save from a close range shot and Liam Hendy twice came to his side's rescue to clear danger before it was Lancing's turn to apply some pressure.
A free kick was awarded for a foul on the right touchline. Michael Death's deep cross into the six yard box was only half cleared by the keeper. The ball ran to Matt Daniel on the left whose attempted cross was block for a corner. He played the ball to Mike Williamson who floated the ball high into the box. Josh Clayman was close to making contact but could not get a shot away. Both sides were working hard to win possession. Mike Williamson, in particular, was giving the opposition midfield no time to settle on the ball. Daniel Momah was chasing down defenders and making life difficult for them. Dave Sharman and Josh Clayman were combining well on the right hand side for Lancing.
Crawley Down were quick to counter attack and Matt Evans was called into action twice. First, with a good save forcing the ball wide for a corner. Secondly by racing from his line to make a vital tackle near his right touchline.
The second half began with some end to end football. Crawley Down had an early strike on goal, which drifted wide and,at the other end, Dave Sharman and Josh Clayman worked themselves into a good position leading to a foul on Josh. Michael Death's free kick was well struck but was comfortably cleared. It was the turn of Crawley Down to win a free kick out wide, near the bye line. The ball was hit low and hard and seemed to go through a number of players before catching Liam Hendy unawares and entering the net via his knee and the upright with the second half barely 5 minutes old.
Lancing looked to bounce back quickly. Daniel Momah mis-kicked with the goal gaping. Matt Daniel tested the keeper who pulled off a good save and Michael Death fired narrowly wide. Finley Pittock replaced Josh Clayman hand Neil Munday came on for Michael Death on 60 minutes.
Finlay was soon actively involved and getting into good forward positions on the right hand side. With 15 minutes to go Kieran Small, one of the star performers for the Lancing under 18 cup winning side, scoring twice in midweek, replaced Noah Dudok van Heel. Lancing kept up the pressure and a great turn by Matt Daniel in the box deserved better as his shot flew narrowly wide. Neil Munday worked himself into a good position but, again, his shot was just wide of the upright.
Try as they might, Lancing just fell short by not being able to find the net despite creating some good opportunities. It was tough for players and supporters to lose by such a scruffy goal. There were a number of excellent performances from our players. Mike Williamson ran himself into the ground. Noah competed for every ball. Josh did well on the right of midfield.
The back four were solid and gave little away and every player gave his all. Could not be faulted for their hard work. Another difficult decision, but we selected Liam Hendy as our MOM. Liam made some really important tackles and showed great composure with timely interventions and faultless passing out of defence.