LANCING Football Club boss Martin Gander described his side as “relegation certainties” on current form immediately after the game on Tuesday evening as his side, for the second game running, squandered a lead and ended up pointless.
Lancers took the lead in only the eighth minute in their 2-1 defeat at Arundel on Tuesday after Darren Boswell picked up a half-cleared free kick and sent a cross to the back post, where Lee Denyer was afforded the freedom to nod home.
There was little of note in the rest of the first half but Arundel began the second half a lot brighter and nearly levelled the scores just a minute in when substitute Dale Campbell’s cross found Ashley Hunter at the back post, but the full-back’s finish went just wide.
Boswell then had a long-range effort tipped over by Betts, before Hunter once again proved a threat with his cross finding Dave Herbert’s head, but the Arundel frontman’s effort was straight at Alex Bryant.
The 57th minute of the game proved the turning point as Sam O’Regan had a long shot well saved but immediately went back to his defensive duties only to sell Bryant short with a back-pass. Bryant’s attempted clearance was charged down by Josh Biggs and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Lancing should have had a penalty in the 72nd minute when Biggs clearly wrestled Adam Hunt to the floor at the far post, but the claims were waved away by the referee – presumably because Biggs only had one arm around Hunt’s neck rather than both, and Hunt received a yellow card for his protestations.
The winner came with just six minutes left as the lively Lewis Jenkins ran onto a crossfield ball, played onside by the injured Dan McLoughlin, and slotted the ball past Bryant and inside the far post to give the hosts all three points.
Gander said: “We are expecting to just carry on from last season, without last season’s spark.
“Having finished second in the league, the opposition are going to up their game against us and we’re not reacting. We’ve got the squad to do well, but maybe I need to change it around a bit or bring in some fresh faces.”
Lancers went down at Hassocks on Saturday despite taking a ninth-minute lead through debutant Tyler Goatcher.
Hassocks levelled through Nathan Miles on 27 minutes and then broke from a Lancing corner to take the lead through Phil Gault 10 minutes later.
James Westlake made it 3-1 on 64 minutes, before Lancing were reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards when substitute Dan Turner was harshly sent off for a foul.