LANCING Football Club manager Martin Gander believes his side are still to find their best form despite sitting sixth in County League Division 1 after an impressive start to life in the top level.
Lancers won 2-1 over Ringmer in the league on Saturday, and have lost just one of their eight Division 1 matches all season.
They have won four and currently sit on 15 points, but despite being pleased, Gander was eyeing room for improvement from his side after Saturday’s result – which they seemed to oblige with on Tuesday night as they smashed Hassock’s 6-1 in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup.
On Saturday, he said: “It was a good, well-deserved win over a good side, but we’re still yet to hit our top form and it wasn’t the best of games.
“We’ve got big players coming back from injury who are still finding fitness so we’re not as fluent as usual, but we have to be pleased with our start, we know we’re not going to roll teams over like we did last year, there’s no easy games in this league.
“We’re enjoying it and once all our players are fit and firing, hopefully we’ll play our best football.”
The in-form Darren Boswell slotted Lancers ahead from a Richard Hudson cross in the fourth minute.
Aaron Phillips scrambled Ringmer level on the half-hour but was then sent off for a second booking.
It stayed that way until 14 minutes from time, when a Mark Price foul on Darren Annis saw Ringmer reduced to nine men and facing a penalty, which was subsequently smashed home by Hudson and, despite a late charge from Ringmer, Lancers held out.
Gander added: “We’re pleased to win, enjoying Division 1 and it’s onwards and upwards from here.
“We weren’t at our best, but it’s the result that counts.”
On Tuesday night, however Gander got his wish as Lancers hit six past Division 1 rivals Hassocks in the Senior Cup.
Having gone behind in the first minute Lancing hit back in style and where 3-1 up at half-time thanks to a fine 15-minute spell.
Lee Denyer equalised on 28 minutes, Boswell put them ahead just two minutes later, while Hudson made it three on in the 42nd minute.
Things continued in the same vein after the break and Annis netted just after the hour mark, before late goal from substitute Dan Turner and Titus Paterson completed the rout.
Lancers also handed a debut to goalkeeper Tony Di Bernardo after signing him from Ryman League side Met Police.
Joint boss Jason Rutherford said: “To be honest, we really didn’t expect it, especially after they had beaten Rye.
“They scored first and that geed us up, I think, but it was an excellent performance with us playing some great football.”
LANCING: v Hassocks: Di Bernardo; Taylor, O’Regan, Denyet, Elliott; Hudson, Martin McLoughlin, Paterson; Boswell, Annis. Subs: Joseph (Boswell 50), Hayward (McCloughlin 75), Turner (Hudson 72).
v Ringmer: Banasco-Zaragoza; Taylor, Elliott, O’Regan, Denyer; Boswell, McLoughlin, Martin; Hudson, Paterson, Joseph. Subs: Turner (Joseph 68), Annis (Paterson 72), Hayward (Hudson 80), Sadough, Sharman.