A DEFLECTED Ashley Rees winner midway through the first half was all that separated leaders Peacehaven and out-of-form Lancing on Tuesday night.
For unlucky Lancers, it was their fifth consecutive County League Division 1 defeat and their lack of a recognised striker again proved to be their undoing.
Peacehaven were to made to work for a hard-fought win in a well-contested game which saw both Peacehaven’s Wes Millis and the home side’s Dan Turner sent off in the second half.
Early on, Lancers’ Wayne Joseph fired wide after an excellent run and then the returning Dan McLoughlin lashed an effort narrowly off target.
Peacehaven began to create chances of their own and went ahead on 33 minutes when Rees rounded Lancers keeper Joel Harding, before his shot struck Dan Taylor and rolled into the net. Dryer then almost made it 2-0 straight away, but Harding plucked the winger’s clever lob out of the air.
Lancers pressed for an equaliser in the second half and had several opportunities. Turner was denied by the legs of Peacehaven stopper Joe Adams, make-shift striker Will Berry had a shot blocked, and Kit Tregear had another effort saved by Adams.
Danny Gainsford then headed wide, before the momentum seemingly swung Lancers’ way with the dismissal of Millis, albeit rather harshly, after he was adjudged to have caught Adam Hunt for a second booking.
Peacehaven continued to create chances and Rees and Wes Tate were denied by Harding, before Lancers were reduced to 10 men when Turner was dismissed for violent conduct, after a coming together with Ashley Jones.
Lancing manager Martin Gander said: “We played very well against the best side in the league and deserved at least a draw, which is positive, but it’s another defeat and the same old story.
“Things just aren’t going our way at the moment, we need a striker but Shaheen Sadough is out for the season, and we’ve got two others who need to prove themselves at this level.
“I thought both sending offs were harsh, but I’m very disappointed and frustrated at the poor nature of the goal we gave away, and in many ways tonight sums up how this season has gone for us.”