Lancing win at Wasps’ nest … Broadbridge Heath defeated by Deans

Lancing and Broadbridge Heath were in Isthmian south east division action in midweek – the Lancers chalked up another win, at East Grinstead, but the Bears were beaten at Horndean.
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East Grinstead 0 Lancing 2

Both sides came into this re-arranged fixture looking to bounce back from defeats in their previous game. The Wasps were smarting from a surprisingly heavy 7-1 defeat away to Chichester and Lancing had suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Herne Bay.

Skipper Alex Laing was back for the Lancers and Ben Pope, who had suffered an injury and had to be replaced in the first half of the Herne Bay game, was fit enough to take his place on the bench. Charlie Pitcher was still not ready to return.

Lucas Franzen-Jones opened the scoring for Lancing at East Grinstead | Picture: Stephen GoodgerLucas Franzen-Jones opened the scoring for Lancing at East Grinstead | Picture: Stephen Goodger
Lucas Franzen-Jones opened the scoring for Lancing at East Grinstead | Picture: Stephen Goodger
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Two former Lancing favourites Matt Daniel, now recovered from a broken leg, sustained playing for the Wasps at Hythe in March 2023, and Harrison Parker, skippering his side, lined up against the Lancers.

Lancing began with a determination to show that their dip in form against Herne Bay was a mere aberration, as they used their left flank to good effect. Crosses came in from George Taggart and Sam Bull but too much elevation took them out of reach beyond the far post.

Knory Scott was enjoying good possession and his attempt to deliver a clever through ball, which would have put Lukas Franzen-Jones within striking distance of the goal, caught a deflection off a defender but as the defender did not deliberately play the ball Franzen-Jones was correctly ruled offside.

A clever back heel by Scott set Bull in behind and his dangerous cross was headed clear for a corner. Lancing continued to dominate the early play and earned the reward for some enterprising play with a superb goal after 11 minutes. Jack Meeres combined with Franzen-Jones on the left and this allowed Lancing’s top scorer time to look up and pick his spot curling a right foot shot into the far top corner.

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Noel Fisher and Laing combined on the right with Laing being set up for a cross which culminated with a low drive from Bull, which keeper Matte Pierson dealt with comfortably.

The Wasps had their first serious attempt on the Lancing goal with a burst in behind with Lancing looking for an offside decision which did not come. The ball was delivered across the penalty area where Camron Lawson stretched to reach it but it struck a defender and was deflected for a corner.

Daniel, who, over the years, has made a habit of scoring against his former club, looked as if he would keep up that record but Louis Rogers came to his side’s rescue coming off his line in a flash, spreading himself to keep the ball out.

Laing was making good progress from the right back position and laid the ball into the path of Charlie Bennett with only the keeper to beat but he was thwarted by Pierson, the ball coming back to him. Scott received the ball from Bennett and brought another save from the keeper. Laing continued to get forward on the right hitting a deep cross to Scott but he was closed down, winning a corner.

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Laing latched on to a fine pass, running from deep, and turned in from the right and struck a left foot drive heading towards the top corner which had Pierson stretching to get a hand to the ball, conceding a corner.

An accurate cross from Dan Howick from the right touchline reached Bull wide on the left. Bull responded with a delicate flick of the ball to Bennett but he mishit his effort on goal, the ball lacking any power as it rolled towards Pierson.

For the second time, Rogers had to deny Daniel in almost identical circumstances with the keeper once again showing his speed off the line to block the effort on his goal.

The Wasps maintained some late pressure on the Lancing goal as half time approached with a mad scramble in the Lancing box as the ball ran loose before it was cleared away for a corner.

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Lancing were a danger along both flanks and were making threatening inroads into the final third but the Wasps created a couple of attempts on goal which could have punished Lancing but for the alertness shown by Rogers.

It took Lancing less than 10 minutes to increase their lead when Bennett turned goal-wards from the left and drove the ball low into the far corner. A third goal almost came shortly afterwards. Briggs lofted a well-judged pass into the path of Franzen-Jones who brought a good save from Pierson. Pierson did even better when his outstretched leg denied Fisher what looked a certain goal as he hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

The Wasps were making good use of Harrison Parker’s ability to deliver a long throw in but the Lancing’s defenders Howick, Bull and Meeres were able to win the ball in the air and repel any danger. A headed clearance found Bennett in space in middle of Lancing’s half. He seized the opportunity to use his pace to motor into the opposition half but he was brought down by Parker, earning a caution.

Lancing needed to show some good game management to preserve their lead and maintain control. Fresh legs would help, so two substitutions were made around the 70 minute mark. Pope and Harry Heath came on for Franzen-Jones and Fisher, both of whom had worked hard, particularly in closing down the opposition. Briggs patrolled the centre of midfield, just in front of the back line to stifle Wasps’ attempts to play through the middle.

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Heath had an early effort on goal with Pierson down low to make a save.

Bull was on hand to make a vital tackle as a gap opened up which could have proved fatal. Lancing benefitted from a good decision from referee Oliver Morris -Sanders to allow advantage after a foul on Pope, the ball running to Scott who hit a powerful left foot shot which Pierson just managed to push behind for a corner.

Lancing made their final substitution on 78 minutes with Leon Fisher coming on for Taggart. Wasps sub Jerson Dos Santos showed some good control to give himself a shooting chance but fired his effort over the bar. Lancing’s final effort on goal came after Heath had made a good break winning a corner from which it looked as if a Lancing header had found the net. It did but the side netting!!

Parker had the last word for the Wasps finishing off a strong run with a shot, bent with the outside of his left foot and grazing the outside of the upright, after a deflection.

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Lancing thoroughly deserved their three points, which keeps them in fourth place on 47 points, seven more than fifth place Sheppey. East Grinstead languish in 16th place with 24 points. For once, Daniel came off the pitch goalless against his former club. The Lancing defence looked assured and confident on the ball from start to finish. MoM was named as Howick.

Lancing: Louis Rogers, Alex Laing (Capt.), Dan Howick, Jack Meeres, Sam Bull, Andrew Briggs, George Taggart (Leon Fisher 78), Charlie Bennett, Noel Fisher(Harry Heath(69), Knory Scott, Lukas Franzen-Jones(Ben Pope 68). Unused substitutes: Alex Plummer, Charlie Gibson.

Horndean 4 Broadbridge Heath 0

This was a case of third time lucky with Heath’s two previous matches at Horndean both falling foul to the weather, but they arrived on a cold winter’s evening with gale-force winds welcoming them.

Heath manager Chris Simmons was forced to make several changes to the team that played on Saturday with Louis Evans, Matt Penfold, Mason Doughty, Szymon Kowalczyk and skipper Ryan Brackpool all unavailable.

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The teams lined up with the Bears kicking down the slope, and the strong swirling wind was soon joined by driving rain making it difficult for both sides – but it was the home side who adapted better to the conditions and after going close twice in the early stages the Deans took the lead on 14 minutes when a corner from the left was headed home at the far post by Ethan Robb.

Things got even better for the hosts six minutes later when Rudi Blankson advanced down the left flank and left several Heath players in his wake before striking a right foot shot from the edge of the box that curled around goalkeeper Alfie Hadfield into the bottom corner of the net and it remained that way at the break.

Heath started the second half much better without troubling the Horndean keeper but on 57 minutes with their first attack of the half it was 3-0; a long ball down the right flank was chased down by substitute Zackary Willet, he cut inside Tad Bromage and drilled a ball across the face of goal which struck Heath defender Kyle Sim and went in at the near post.

With conditions deteriorating and a few Heath players slipping around the wet, heavy surface like Bambi on Ice, a comeback never looked likely and the hosts wrapped up a well-deserved victory in injury time when a free kick was awarded wide on the right, the ball was played into the Heath six-yard box where it skimmed off the wet surface under the diving body of Hadfield to Willett at the far post who stooped down to head the ball into the net.

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A disappointing evening for the Bears who for once were just not at the races. Next up is a trip to Herne Bay on Saturday.

Heath boss Chris Simmons said afterwards: “Simply not good enough from us. Yes we were missing important players and yes the conditions were horrendous, half the team could hardly stay on there feet, but this is no excuse, we were quite simply outworked and outplayed because we didn’t adapt to the conditions, Horndean did and fully deserved the 3 points.”

BBH: Hadfield, Chesworth, Acheampong, Sim, Bromage, Buchanan (Barlow 88), Lemon, Mutongerwa, Lindsey, Waddingham (Hay 79), Aubrey (Berry 45).

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