LANCING Football Club continue to lead the way in the Southern Combination League after victory at home to a robust Chichester side on Saturday.
It was a hard-fought win and one that Lancers boss Ash Bailey will be particularly pleased with, having lost three players to injury during the warm-up.
Chi, unbeaten in 12 games, began the game on the front foot and created a chance in the sixth minute. Graham Bush flicked on to Jimmy Wild; Callum Fidler rushed out of his box but his attempt at a hacked clearance was late and only just outside the box but the referee rightly adjudged that there were covering defenders and only awarded a yellow card. The resulting free kick was spilled by Fidler but Lancing’s Will Berry met the rebound just ahead of Bush.
Lancers took the lead in the 16th minute as Ross Adams out-muscled Ruben French before laying off to Richard Greenfield, who placed a left-footed curler in the top corner.
That lead could have been extended in the 27th minute as Callum McHale crossed from the right only for George Fenton to volley wide.
Chichester’s equaliser came on the half-hour as a Josh Clack corner found the run of midfielder Dan Hegarty at the near post and his powerful header gave the man on the post no chance.
Clack almost gave Chi the lead just before half-time with a fierce free kick from 30 yards that went just wide.
The hosts retook the lead nine minutes into the second half. Berry’s clearance was allowed to bounce by both Chi keeper Dave Hook and French, which allowed Adams to poke the ball into space before slotting into an empty net.
Victory was assured just before the hour as Berry rifled home a volley following his central defensive partner Josh Spinks’ header from a corner being cleared off the line.
Chichester piled numbers up front without ever threatening to score as Lancing maintain their push at the top.
Bailey said: “A win in adversity in a sense with Naim Rouane, Max Howell and Lewis Finney dropping out in the warm-up but it shows the strength in depth that we have and credit to the lads who stepped up to the plate so well.
“Chichester were on a great run, so it was always going to be tough but we grafted and got our reward.”
LANCING: Fidler, Mills, Fenton, J.Spinks, Berry, Hendy, McHale, E.Finney, Adams, Greenfield, Williamson. Subs: Whitmore (Finney 77), Fair (Greenfield 83), Sharman (Adams 85), L.Finney, Howell.
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