LANCING Football Club’s hopes of causing a major cup upset were over by half-time on Monday (February 18) when they were 5-0 down to Brighton & Hove Albion in the Sussex Senior Cup.
In front of a crowd of 351 at Culver Road, Albion’s development squad, which included four players who have featured for the first team, were simply a class above their County League Division 1 opponents.
There was no shame in defeat for Lancers, and, to their credit, Martin Gander’s side at least kept Luke Williams’ young Seagulls scoreless and competed better in the second period.
Right from the kick-off, Albion’s class and quality was obvious in abundance, as they stroked the ball around and, when Lancing did manage to gain possession, they were quickly crowded out, hussled and forced into giving it straight back.
It was Lancers, however, who went closest early on when Shaheen Sadough’s well-hit effort whistled past Grant Smith’s left-hand post.
An early Albion goal did little to help Lancers’ cause and it arrived after only 10 minutes. Courtney Richards and the excellent Shamir Goodwin linked up to play in Latvian international Vitalijs Maksimenko, who rifled in first time from close range.
Lancing’s Dan Taylor was then forced to clear Solly March’s effort off the line as Lancing were carved open again, but it was only a temporary reprieve.
Brennan Dickenson, who has been on loan to League Two Chesterfield this season, fired narrowly over before Albion clinically struck again 25 minutes in. Anton Rodgers, son of Liverpool manager, Brendan, and Theo Jones played a neat one-two on the edge of the box before Rodgers’ dinked pass fell to Torbjorn Agdestein, who has made six first-team appearances, to tidily slot in from 10 yards.
It looked game over already, but Brighton were in no mood to go easy on a ragged Lancers and went 3-0 up nine minutes later.
It was pure individual brilliance that undid them when Goodwin picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, dribbled through a thicket of Lancers players and smashed in a dipping drive from the edge of the box.
Now it was a question of how many Albion would get and the fourth arrived virtually straight from the re-start as Goodwin was fouled by Sam O’Regan after a seven-pass move and Rodgers slotted the penalty down the middle for 4-0.
Norwegian captain-for-the-night Agdestein added the fifth, and as it turned out, final goal of the tie two minutes before the break after more neat interplay between himself and Goodwin, before he coolly applied the finish.
He went close to adding his team’s sixth, and his hat-trick, shortly after half-time but his lob dropped just wide.
The introduction of Declan Lunn on the hour livened Lancers up and they certainly improved from then on, and went close to a consolation through first Lunn and then Sadough.
There were no further goals, and although the second half had restored a semblance of pride for Lancing, it was the Seagulls who soared into the quarter-finals where they will host Three Bridges.
LANCING: Harding; Fenton, Gainsford, O’Regan, Taylor; Berry, Hunt; Boswell, Day, Joseph; Sadough. Subs: Lunn (Boswell 60), Bradshaw (Day 78), Skipper (Joseph 86), Neale, Sharman.
BRIGHTON: Smith; Akubuine, Richards, Jones, Hunt; Maksimenko, Rodgers, March; Agdestein, Goodwin, Dickenson. Subs: Barry, Battipiedi (Hunt, March 46), Ince (Maksimenko 56), Walton, Sampayo.