OWEN CALLAGHAN’S early goal was enough for Lancing Football Club to beat Shoreham 1-0 on Tuesday evening.
With Lancing a single place and single point above their local rivals, Shoreham, and with both sides not yet assured of County League Division 1 safety, the contest was always going to be a tight, tense, cagey affair and so it proved.
Having beaten leaders Dorking on Saturday, Shoreham boss Kane Louis believes his side may have become complacent, and said: “We had a cracking win at the weekend but maybe that actually worked against us as we rested on our laurels and seemed to suffer a hangover from that.
“Our work-rate and intensity was just not there in the first half. The second half was much better, we created chances and I think, overall, we were probably worthy of a point but our inconsistency is incredibly frustrating.”
Ex-Mussel Callaghan’s 11th-minute goal proved the difference, although Lancers also hit the bar through Josh Spinks and Callaghan had an effort deflected narrowly wide.
Shoreham’s Ross Myers had a potential leveller chalked off by the linesman’s flag in a half of few opportunities, but Mussels started the second half strongly.
Myers almost profited on a defensive mix-up when his lob narrowly dropped over the bar, substitute Craig Anderson pulled a difficult effort wide and Baris Bozyigit’s half-chance was easily saved by Calum Fidler.
Mike Williamson then almost sealed the win for Lancers when his header had Fraser Trigwell in the Shoreham goal beaten, but Matt Fleming mopped up and cleared off the line.
Shoreham then had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Myers went down as Lancing held on for the win.
Lancing manager Richard Whittington felt his side deserved to win an edgy affair, and said: “I thought we were much the better side in the first half, we scored early and then hit the bar and should really have been out of sight. In the second half, we didn’t keep possession as well as I would have liked, so we sat back a bit.
“As a result, they had more of the ball but I always felt we were comfortable and, although they will feel they deserved a point, we deserved to win.”
The result moved Lancers up a place into 13th, eight points clear of the relegation places, while Mussels remain sixth from bottom and four points clear of third-from-bottom Hailsham.
LANCING: Fidler; Mills, Spinks, Fenton, Sharman; Hendy, Rouane; Williamson, Callaghan, Finney; Fair. Subs: Adams (Fair 77), Singers (Callaghan 80), Church (Fenton 90), Porter, Purkiss.
SHOREHAM: Trigwell; Lombard, Fleming, Gregory, Richardson; Bozyigit, Allen, Rudwick, Myers; Laing, Bichard. Subs: Goldson (Bichard 55), Anderson, Damario (Rudwick, Richardson 67), Measor, Laughlin.