Lancing 3 - 3 Saltdean United
By Jack Taylor
The Lancers were gutted to concede a late goal and be denied all 3 points.
They say lightning does not strike in the same place twice but it did in the case of Lancing’s last two games. Lancing were leading 3-2 away to 5th place Saltdean and looking to complete the double over them when they conceded an equaliser 4 minutes and 55 seconds (according to my stop watch) into added time. Lo and behold, with Lancing looking to leapfrog Hassocks in the table, their 2-1 lead was cancelled out at almost exactly the same period into added time. Disappointment for the players to have picked up 2 points when 6 were almost in the bag.
Lancing 3 - 3 Saltdean United
Manager Mark Pulling made a few changes for the Saltdean game, bringing in Ben Purkis, in goal, Neil Munday and himself, after a long injury lay off. Lancing had a dream start, Neil Munday volleying home superbly after 10 minutes. Saltdean came close to equalising on 20 minutes when a goal bound shot was headed clear by the alert Josh Clayman. Saltdean kept up the pressure when former Lancing midfielder Will Berry got into a good position but his strike on goal only found the side netting.
On 29 minutes Lancing went further ahead. Mike Williamson won possession, instantly switched the ball to Matt Daniel, who put it over the top of the Saltdean defence for Neil Munday to use his pace to get behind the backline and coolly lob the ball into the empty net over the head of the advancing keeper, Nathan Stroomberg. As the first half progressed Matt Daniel was a threat to the home defence, coming close with a fierce drive which the keeper pushed away for a corner and after great work by Mike Williamson, winning the race for the ball to left bye line and crossing from the for Matt to meet with a point blank header which the keeper did well to parry to safety.
Early in the second half, there was almost a carbon copy of a goal for Neil Munday as he again lobbed the goalkeeper, who made a desperate scramble to reach the goal line and palm the ball away. Impossible for anyone to say whether or not the ball had crossed the line. 10 minutes into the half Saltdean got themselves a lifeline when James Waters chested the ball down and fired into the corner of the net.
Saltdean had their tails up at this point and came close with a thunderous shot which struck the crossbar before an unfortunate own goal by Liam Hendy deflecting in a shot by Jordan Pryor, enabled them to draw level. Barely 2 minutes later, Lancing were back in front. Matt Daniel showed great close control jinking his way into the box and laying on a perfect pass for youngster Daniel Allen, on for the injured Louis Pittock, to lash the ball high into the net from 10 yards.
Noah Dudok van Heel came on for Neil Munday and Callum Jenkins for Matt Daniel late on. Mark Pulling came close to increasing Lancing’s lead cutting in from the right and firing narrowly wide, followed by Mike Williamson making a good run to the bye line but his attempt to score from an acute angle was easily dealt with by Stroomberg.
With the game drifting into almost 5 minutes of added time, Luke Doherty got an equaliser for Saltdean. There was still a further 2 minutes of added time played but neither side could get a winner.
A sense of disappointment pervaded the Lancing dressing room. A draw at Saltdean (also achieved this time last season with another late equaliser by Saltdean) is no mean achievement but to be denied three points so late in the game was hard to swallow.
Lancing 2 - 2 Hassocks
Easter Monday provided Lancing with the opportunity to go above Hassocks. Daniel Momah, Noah Dudok van Heel, Michael Death, Finley Pittock and Matt Evans were back in the starting line up. Tactics were clear early on as Lancing were looking to exploit the pace of and determined running of Daniel Momah. The home side were getting forward and creating scoring opportunities without seriously testing keeper Josh Green , who with Brad Tighe, Liam Benson and Lewis Westlake once wore the colours of Lancing F.C.
Daniel Momah was proving a handful for the visitors, having his best game in a Lancing shirt. Matt Daniel oozed class as usual and with the back four of Clayman, Bygraves, Hendy and Sharman looing impregnable, it only seemed a matter of time before Lancing made a breakthrough. However they had to wait until the 43rd minute when Momah’s pace got him to the bye line and he squared the ball for Matt Daniel, who made no mistake from close range.
3 minutes into the second half Mike Williamson won possession in midfield and set Momah clear with a precision pass. Daniel kept a cool head picking his spot in the bottom corner to give Lancing a 2-0 lead. Daniel was soon in the action again, winning the ball at the edge of the penalty area, but with more time at his disposal than he realised to bring the ball down before shooting, he opted for a hurried volley, which was easily dealt with by Josh Green.
Finley Pittock, who had been lively along the right flank had to leave the field through injury, which gave Neil Munday the chance to get on the score sheet again, coming on as his replacement.
Lancing looked to have increased their lead when Daniel Momah got the ball in the net, only for it to be disallowed for offside. On 61 minutes, Will Broomfield gave Hassocks a lifeline with a well struck shot after Lancing had struggled to clear the ball. Dan Allen replaced Michael Death as Lancing fought to increase their lead. Neil Munday got his head to a Matt Daniel cross but it was slightly too high for him to get his header on target. Momah continued to harass the Hassocks defence and was holding the ball up well. He found Mike Williamson who won a corner on Lancing’s left. Neil Munday whipped an in swinging corner, which evaded Josh Green but landed on the crossbar before dropping behind. Neil had another close range header which was scrambled away by Josh Green.
Matt Daniel made a good run into the box and looked to have been brought down. Lancing appealed in vain for a penalty but got no joy from the referee or his assistant. Callum Jenkins came on for Daniel Momah, who had run himself into the ground. As time ticked on, Lancing supporters were looking anxiously at their watches, fearing a repeat of the Saltdean experience.
These fears were realised as Don Stokes curled in a deep cross from wide left, which just evaded Matt Evans to drop in just under the cross bar. To add insult to injury, skipper Alex Bygraves received a red card after the final whistle for what we understand was something referee Andrew Senior thought was said.
It was a case of what might have been were it not for time added on by the referee.
MOMs chosen by committee members present:
SALTDEAN game: Mike Williamson for his energy, winning numerous tackles and non stop running and Neil Munday.
HASSOCKS game: Daniel Momah, using his pace and direct running to good effect. Creating one goal and scoring another and showing much better ball control and awareness.