Lancing winless league run stretches to six after Herne Bay defeat
Lancing were beaten 2-1 away at Herne Bay in the Isthmian South East on Saturday.
With gates averaging over 300 and a local derby against Ramsgate bringing in 473, there was the expectation of good vocal support for the home team, easily drowning out the five Lancing committee members who made the long trip to the Kent coast.
With Liam Hendy absent, Clayton Garner stepped in for his first game since his red card at Three Bridges to partner Conrad Honore at the centre of the defence.
James Rhodes and Gabe Robinson also made the starting line-up. It was also good to see Ashley Wadhams back in the squad after a long injury absence.
Herne Bay were quick out of the blocks with wide men Rory Smith on the right and Kieron Campbell on the left subjecting Harrison Parker and Mo Juwara to a challenging opening spell.
It was a dangerous cross from Smith which provided the first test for Alieu Secka but he responded well gathering the ball in at full stretch.
But it was Lancing who had the first real scoring opportunity. Rhodes rose well to head the ball on to Matt Daniel but he got underneath the ball and skied it well clear.
Campbell was taking on the Lancing defence at every opportunity. Secka was forced into making another good save, the ball falling to Honore who hoofed it clear from the goal line.
Campbell had Lancing defending desperately, forcing a succession of corners. Herne Bay were not making the best of their early domination but it was no surprise when their attacking play bore dividend with a goal on 21 minutes.
The ball had been played into the six-yard box and took an upward trajectory spinning downwards at the far post where Mo Juwara was stationed ready to clear it.
But Juwara seemed to be deceived by the away the ball was dropping and failed to make a good connection. The ball landed at the feet of Bode Anidugbe who hit a low shot goal ward.
It went through a melee of players, appearing to strike a defender en route past the unsighted Secka.
This had a positive effect on Lancing with Parker, Robinson and Juwara all getting forward well. Finn Daniels-Yeoman and Will Berry were battling hard in midfield and Rhodes was a good outlet, controlling the ball well and helping Lancing to keep possession.
Daniels-Yeoman tried his luck with a good drive from 25 yards which arrowed just wide of the upright. Juwara’s pace and tricky dribbling enabled him to reach the bye line and deliver a cross to the near post but keeper Jordan Perrin got his hands to the ball to prevent it reaching the head of Daniel.
Lancing appeared to have weathered the early storm with Garner and Honore coping well with every threat.
Lancing were enjoying more time in the opposition half. Campbell and Smith were still a threat but Lancing’s full backs were able to keep them at bay.
Lancing’s pressure towards the end of the half earned them a free kick for hand ball at the edge of the home penalty area. Ismaila Diallo’s dead ball kick rebounded to him off the defensive wall and he volleyed goal wards but his shot swerved narrowly wide.
Ryan Cooper gave Lancing a fright on the stroke of half time breaking clear and hammering a cross into the box but the ball evaded everyone and ran clear.
Lancing maintained their attacking momentum as the second half got underway and an early move involving Robinson, Rhodes and Daniels-Yeoman resulted in an effort on goal from the latter but he was unable to hit the target.
On 53 minutes, Lancing found themselves two down when an incisive move was finished off with a well struck shot from top scorer Zak Ansah.
This was disappointing because, moments before, Daniel was unmarked on the right touch line with acres of space to run into but Daniel, whose ability to bring the ball under control in an instant is one of his strengths, took his eye off the ball and despite his best efforts to regain control, could not prevent the ball running out of play.
Juwara received a yellow card shortly afterwards and, on 62 minutes, Lancing made a double substitution with Brad Campbell-Francis and Lorenzo Lewis replacing Rhodes and Daniel. Robinson took up a more central position with the two subs using their pace to get forward along the wide areas.
Herne Bay continued to pose a threat on the counter attack and it needed a timely intervention by Garner to bring an attack to end stretching to put the ball behind for a corner which Lancing were able to defend.
Campbell-Francis was full of energy and after a couple of good runs, which gave the home defence something to be concerned about. He got forward again and slipped a pass through for Robinson to score from a tight angle with 67 minutes gone.
Garner took his leave with a few minutes left as Mo Zabadne came on at right back with Parker switching to centre back.
Lancing managed to earn a few corners as they pressed for an equaliser but time ran out on them.
Once again Lancing acquitted themselves well as the game progressed, overcoming early pressure from a side with some fast and dangerous forwards.
Finishing strongly has been a feature of recent games. A new partnership pairing at centre back soon settled into a solid unit.
After conceding four goals in each of their first four games, Lancing have shown that they know how to defend. In eight of their last ten games, prior to this one, they have conceded only one goal or less.
They are also a side which does not flag in the latter stages. A midfield containing Berry and Daniels-Yeoman is as hard working as any other.
Chances are being created and it can only be a matter of time before the goals, which Lancing’s overall play deserves, start coming.
Tuesday evening saw Lancing beat Midhurst & Easebourne 4-0 in the RUR Charity Cup.
The Lancers entertain Hythe Town in the Isthmian South East this Saturday.