Lancers book spot in quarter-finals

Lewis Finney celebrates Picture: Phil Westlake
Lewis Finney celebrates Picture: Phil Westlake

LANCING Football Club booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Peter Bentley Cup with a thumping win over divisional rivals Hailsham Town at Culver Road on Tuesday evening.

The home side started quickly and went ahead after just six minutes when Will Berry fired home a rasping drive from 30 yards that nestled in the bottom left corner.

Hailsham refused to allow the hosts to build on their lead and thought they had levelled midway through the first half. Adebola Sotoyinbo’s drive was spilt by Lancing keeper Josh Green, but Emmanuel Okinja’s follow-up came from an offside position.

The visitors built on this, with Danny Leach in particular looking to make something happen, forcing Green into a smart save when one-on-one.

Leach was rewarded for his endeavour when Sotoyinbo beat right full-back Jake Mills and crossed for the forward, who steadied himself before slamming the ball in to level the scores.

Within a minute, Lancing were ahead once again. Lewis Finney collected captain Naim Rouane’s pass on the edge of the area before placing a delightful shot over the outstretched hand of Sheldon Levett that flew into the top corner.

Before the interval, Lancers extended their advantage when Richard Greenfield crossed in low from the left and Finney fired the ball back across into the top corner for his second.

The goal was a bitter pill to swallow for Hailsham, who had matched their promotion-hopeful opponents in every department and did not deserve to be trailing by two goals.

The game continued in the same manner after the break as Sam Divall rattled the Lancing crossbar from 25 yards as the Stringers tried to get a foothold back in the game and set up an exciting finish.

Instead, it was the home side that extended their advantage. Young substitute Toby House broke down the right wing before crossing for Callum McHale, who settled the tie with a strike from inside the area that took a deflection before looping over Levett.

Lancing boss Ash Bailey said: “I thought it was a good win, we were sloppy at times but we got the job done and that’s the main thing.”

LANCING: Green; Mills, Sharman, Cochrane, Fenton; Greenfield, Berry, Rouane, McHale, Finney; Fair. Subs: Williamson (Finney 45), House (Fair 60), Whitmore (Berry 75), Hendy, Adams.

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