LANCING Football Club were beaten by two quick-fire second half goals on Saturday as hosts Sevenoaks Town came from behind to advance into the first round proper of the FA Vase.
Alex Howell had given a patched-up Lancing side the lead over their Southern Counties East League opponents, but after an excellent first-half display from the visitors, Sevenoaks turned the tie around with two goals in three second half minutes.
Lancers manager Richard Whittington believed a number of factors was behind his team’s defeat and indifferent form, and said: “We haven’t got a settled side, which certainly doesn’t help matters as every week we’re having to make several changes for one reason or another.
“We are playing well in patches, but need to bring all aspects of our game together over the 90 minutes and we should have done better with both goals as they caught us cold.
“I think that’s what’s cost us the game, the fact they hit us twice so quickly and on a pitch that didn’t necessarily suit us and played into their hands, but we’ll remain upbeat and I’m confident we can turn things around.
“They weren’t great and certainly beatable which makes it even more frustrating, and after we were the better side in the first half it was disappointing to lose.”
Lancing started well and carved out the game’s first chance when Howell slipped in Owen Callaghan, with the winger denied by a good save from Town keeper Charlie Mann.
James Shaw, a late replacement for Elliott Flack who injured a hip in the warm up, then beat away a Nick Chrysanthou free-kick before Howell lobbed Lancers ahead in the 15th minute.
The striker then missed a golden chance to double the lead soon afterwards as the re-signed Michael Sims picked him out, but he could only shoot wastefully wide when unmarked.
Sevenoaks manager, former Spurs midfielder Micky Hazard, was heard laying into his side at half time, and it seemed to have the desired effect as they turned the tie on its head.
First, in the 50th minute, Harry Smith latched onto a long ball forward and lashed home from an acute angle, and then Ricky Hazard drilled home the second three minutes later.