Lancing set for Loxwood showdown in final after beating Lingfield
A single goal was enough to put Lancing into next Satruday's SCFL Premier Division Shield final against Loxwood, writes Dave Wilmott.
This semi-final provided both teams with the opportunity of extending their season with a final to be played on May 22 against Loxwood at Steyning’s The Shooting Field.
A last-minute change of colours saw Lancing having to swap their yellow shirts for blue to avoid a clash with Lingfield’s yellow and red.
The sides called keepers Johnny Thurbin, for Lingfield, and Mitch Bromage of Lancing into early action but both were comfortable on the ball, playing out from the back.
Lancing were making good use of the pace on the flanks of Mo Juwara and Bradley Campbell-Francis and Lingfield had Steve Hodge, an attacking right back and Albert Lubango, backed up by Tyler Cox, providing width on the left.
Lingfield’s No.9 James Allen managed to force his way past Liam Hendy but found Will Berry blocking his attempt on goal. At the other end, Bradley Campbell-Francis was quickly on to a fine lofted pass from Matt Daniel. His pace took him to the bye line but good defending closed him down forcing the ball out for a throw in.
Hodge breached the Lancing left flank but his cross was wasted, falling nicely to Berry who was able to clear under no pressure. Bradley outpaced the visitors' defence again but pulled his shot wide of the far upright. Allen was a threat in the Lancing box, but his final pass across the six-yard box failed to reach a team mate.
Lancing needed the composure and experience of Darren Budd to bring some order to the midfield as Finn Daniels -Yeoman and Tom Caplin provided the drive and energy to keep Lingfield at bay .
Juwara was gradually exerting his attacking impetus along Lancing’s left. A swift move initiated by Budd and continued by Matt Daniel gave him the space in behind the defence to deliver a cross but it cleared everyone.
On 32 minutes Lancing had the ball in the net. Hendy broke from the back, picking out Juwara who switched the ball to Daniel. He squared the ball into the path of Ebou Jallow who sidefooted the ball home at the far post. All to no avail, as the flag was raised for an offside.
Lancing had their best goal scoring chance on 38 minutes. Bradley Campbell-Francis broke forward and found the unmarked Caplin who was able to get his shot away but keeper Thurbin was quick to get his body in the way.
Lancing finished the half looking the most likely to score but couldn't force the breakthrough.
Lingfield came out strongly in the second half to reassert themselves. An early break down the right produced a difficult cross but the danger was cleared.
Play continued to flow from end to end and Lancing hit back with a volley from Daniel which led to a corner as it deflected via a defender. A second corner followed immediately which Thurbin palmed away forcefully. Centre back Johnson seized on the clearance but was impeded by Hendy as he threatened to open up Lancing’s defence with a pacy run. This resulted in a yellow card for Hendy.
Caplin latched on to a quick pass from Budd but was crudely upended on the edge of the Lingfield box by Johnson which earned him a yellow card. The wall did its job to prevent Budd’s dead ball kick from reaching its target. Lingfield brought on Josh Biddecombe and Lancing introdiuced Mitch Hewens and Hewens posed a problem for Lingfield with his close control and pace.
Hewens was soon testing Thurbin with a well struck left-foot drive which had the keeper at full stretch to his right to keep it out. Lingfield’s Connor Leach came on for David Heaton.
Ben Connolly and Josh Gould came on for Lancing. Johnson was fractionally short of connecting with a header from Lingfield free kick. Lingfield replaced Jake Horn with Sammy Clements but the Lancing substitutions had a greater impact.
Joe Kennard added his defensive strength with Will Berry taking the place in midfield of Caplin who had run himself into the ground. The breakthrough came on 77 minutes. Darius Goldsmith floated a superb pass over the top of the Lingfield back line, Connolly timed his run perfectly to avoid being given offside, drew the keeper off his line before curling the ball home.
Juwara raced forward before feeding the ball to Hewens whose careful curling drive flew narrowly wide of the keeper’s right upright. Juwara then set up Connolly but it came to nothing - and there was just time for Lingfield to threaten the Lancing goal. A drop ball to Lingfield was instantly fired into the Lancing six-yard box. Johnson got on the end of it but could only send it well wide. Lingfield continued to battle until the end but Lancing held firm.
Those present witnessed a well contested game with little to choose between the sides. There was a good atmosphere created by the vociferous Lancing committee members, led by Terry Cartwright and backed by the young supporters who were able to view from outside the ground behind the goal.
Spare a thought and some sympathy for Lancing joint manager James Rhodes suffering some pain with some broken ribs, unable to physically celebrate the Lancing win and join in the post-match embraces.
Lancing supporters were grateful for the opportunity to view the live game at home, and they would have appreciated the excellent commentary from Drew Matthews. And so to the final when spectators will be allowed and a good crowd of Lancing folllowers is expected.
There were several good candidates for MoM, Juwara, Caplin, to name but two. Chairman Steve Taylor made the choice, which went to Daniels-Yeoman. He covered so much ground, linked the play very well, was active in both penalty areas... non-stop motion.
Lancing: Mitch Bromage, Darius Goldsmith, Liam Hendy (Capt.), Will Berry, Mo Juwara, Ebou Jallow, Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Darren Budd, Matt Daniel, Tom Caplin, Bradley Campbell-Francis. Substitutes: Ben Connolly, Joe Kennard, Josh Gould, Mitch Hewens, Dave Sharman