Lancing Football Club were sunk by two extra-time goals as they lost 2-0 to Chichester in the semi-finals of the Sussex RUR Cup at Culver Road this evening.
Chances were few and far between in the first half but it was Lancers’ who created the first clear opportunity on 20 minutes.
Richard Greenfield won a tackle on the halfway line and the ball broke for Lewis Finney, who spread the ball crossfield to Mike Williamson and he burst into the penalty area but then fired into the side netting from 15 yards.
Chichester’s Josh Clack had a couple of efforts blocked, before he crossed from the right and Jamie Horncastle, stretching to reach the ball at the back post, could not divert the ball on target.
Clack then had a shot from 25 yards deflected over with Lancing keeper Callum Fidler rooted to his spot on 30 minutes, before Chi keeper David Hook was quick off his line to get to the ball just before Williamson after an under-hit back pass by Lewis Edwards.
Fidler then comfortably saved Kieran Hartley’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area after Jimmy Wild had beaten the offside trap and laid the ball off.
The best moment of the half came just before the break as Wild threaded the ball through for Dan Hegarty, whose fizzing shot from 20 yards was brilliantly kept out by Fidler.
Lancers began the stronger of the two sides in the second half and had a couple of half-chances, before Lewis Finney skipped down the left on 57 minutes to get through on goal but his low effort was saved by the legs of Hook.
Chi’s keeper then easily kept out low shots from Elliot Finney and Ross Adams, before Chichester replaced left-back Edwards on 69 minutes, moments after he had avoided a second caution for a foul on Williamson.
Lancing sub Alex Fair curled the ball wide of the far post from 22 yards on 73 minutes and Williamson then cut in from the right and fired straight at Hook moments later.
Lancers went even closer on 75 minutes but Will Berry glanced a header over from Fair’s free kick as opportunities continued to come Lancing’s way.
Lancing then had a penalty appeal waved away when George Fenton went down in the area, before Chichester threatened for the first time in the half but Hartley headed sub Graham Bush’s right-wing cross just wide on 81 minutes.
Chichester created another opening two minutes later when they broke quickly and Wild found Hartley, who crashed a shot just over from 18 yards.
It was then Lancers’ turn to go close as Berry carried the ball forward from defence and played in Fair, who curled an effort just wide from the edge of the penalty area.
On the stroke of full-time, Lancing almost won it as Chi defender Harry Williams headed Fair’s inswinging free kick inches past his own post.
Chi had a penalty appeal of their own waved away when Clack went down in injury-time as the match went to an additional 30 minutes.
Lancers were the first to create an opening as Callum McHale broke forward but opted to cut onto his right foot, instead of going into space down the left and his low shot was comfortable for Hook.
Fair then crashed an effort inches over from 20 yards, before the same player was denied by a superb save by Hook, diving low to his right after McHale pulled the ball back.
Lancers defender Josh Spinks then headed a teasing Chichester left-wing cross just wide, with Wild waiting behind for a tap-in, before McHale sent a low effort into the side netting from Adams’ low centre at the other end.
Chichester took the lead from the penalty spot in the last minute of the first half. Wild latched on to Jamie Horncastle’s low cross from the right and went down under the challenge of Fidler, who looked to claim the ball. Clack then sent Fidler the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Lancers went agonisingly close to a leveller on 110 minutes when Fair’s cross was met by Berry but his glancing header flashed across goal.
Chichester almost sealed the win three minutes from time when Bush’s shot curled just away from the far post, before Lancers could have equalised a minute later but sub Tom Caplin’s low drive went just the wrong side of the post from 12 yards.
Chi did seal their place in the final against Newhaven on March 15 when Bush emphatically rifled Clack’s right-wing cross into the roof of the net in injury-time.
There was still time for Chi sub Jack Bingham to be sent off for a foul in the closing seconds, with Fair blazing over from the resulting free kick.
LANCING: Fidler; Mills, Berry, Spinks, Fenton; Williamson, E.Finney, Hendy, L.Finney; Greenfield; Adams. Subs: Fair (Greenfield 64), McHale (L.Finney 74), Caplin (E.Finney 108), Green, O’Callaghan.
CHICHESTER: Hook; Williams, Horncastle, French, Edwards; Clack, Hegarty, Ansa-McIntyre, Way, Hartley; Wild. Subs: Bush, Bingham (Edwards, Ansa-McIntyre 69), Pearce (Way 114), Smith, Selden.
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