Lingfield 1 - 0 Lancing
By Jack Taylor
The Lancers lost by a single goal away at The Pavilion on Saturday.
Lingfield 1 - 0 Lancing
Lancing travelled to Lingfield for their final game of the 2018/19 season hoping to finish on a high after two disappointing draws with victory being snatched at the death on both occasions. It was a settled squad which Mark Pulling was able to call upon, although Finley Pittock was unavailable and Louis had not recovered from injury. Neil Munday started in attack alongside Daniel Momah and top scorer Matt Daniel. Dean Stewart Hunter was back on the bench, after serving his suspension, alongside Callum Jenkins and the manager himself.
Lancing began brightly with Daniel Momah continuing to cause defences a headache with his pace and determination. An early burst along the byeline by Daniel looked promising but he was unable to finish the move with a telling pass. He followed this with some good hold up play, slipping the ball through to Neil Munday who fired home via an upright only to see the "goal" disallowed for offside. Neil was then set goalwards by some good work by Noah Dudok van Heel but he blazed the shot high over the bar, when perhaps, there was an opportunity to pass to someone better placed. Neil was then put through only to be brought down just outside the box.
Lancing were showing some good forward movement with the back four Looking composed and solid again. Josh Clayman, in particular, was winning good possession and breaking forward at pace along the right flank. One good run produced an excellent cross, which Matt Daniel met with a firm header which flew just over the bar.The first half finished with a good strike from Michael Death which was narrowly wide.
Lancing began the second half where they had finished the first with another good run from Josh Clayman, who delivered another excellent cross which reached Matt Daniel but the ball just evaded his control. Dave Sharman then found Noah in space who picked out Matt with a perfect cross. The normally deadly striker who rarely misses a scoring chance got underneath the ball which cleared the cross bar from a few yards out.
Lingfield were looking more of a threat in the second half, having been outplayed in the first and got their reward on 70 minutes when a well struck shot by Samuel Clements beat Matt Evans to put the home side one up. Neil Munday was again on a good forward run only to be brought down as he looked to get the ball to Matt Daniel. Dean Stewart Hunter came on for Michael Death, Callum Jenkins for Dave Sharman and Mark Pulling for Neil Munday. Callum was soon in the action being picked out with a precise pass inside the full back by Mike Williamson but his attempted cross was blocked for a corner.
As Lancing continued to throw men forward Lingfield seized the opportunity to hit on the counter attack and twice Matt Evans was forced to make important saves. With added time mounting, Lancing looked to have snatched an equaliser when Matt Daniel volleyed home from 10 yards. Unfortunately he was correctly adjudged to be marginally offside. This was the final throw of the dice.
Pitch conditions may be said to be the same for both sides but the poor quality surface did not suit Lancing's style of play and, obviously, the home side are used to the conditions. We are not looking to make this an excuse as the Lancers adapted well enough to have got a result but, although chances were created, the finishing touch was missing.
All in all, we have witnessed some very good performances this season. There were only a few occasions when the performance was below par and we supporters will never forget the great memories of that superb FA cup run. So a big thank-you to Mark Pulling and his coaching and physio team, to the players and to all who do sterling work on match day and who work behind the scenes. You know who you are.
Post match discussion by the"committee" resulted in a unanimous selection of Josh Clayman as MOM. Josh defended as if his life depended on it and was a constant threat along the right flank, supporting midfield and attack with boundless energy and enthusiasm