Friendly Sat 7 August The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Pearce (54')
  • Meekums (89')

With our trialist (Danny Cashman, if you didn’t already know) having gone to Coventry, so to speak, it fell to Ansu Jannah, who’d turned out against us for Welling United last week, to impress the management. He was joined on the bench by youngsters, Owen Worsdell and Frankie Perry alongside another, for the first time, in the shape of Lewis Thorn.

The visitors included a number of familiar faces, namely Will Berry, Daz Goldsmith, Matt Daniel, Mark Goldson, Ollie Read and George Bentley who had all worn the home shirt in recent times.

Those arriving early were treated to a bonus in-house game that featured several first-teamers either coming back from injury or simply requiring more minutes under their belts, complimented by our under-eighteens.

In a quiet opening half, penalty appeals were waved away by referee, Barrie Small when Shaq Gwengwe went down in a tangle of legs with a Lancing defender four minutes in.

Dean Cox was then denied by a brave block from former Woodside hero, Berry who threw himself in front of the midfielder’s low drive at the edge of the box, after Gwengwe had headed the ball down to him.

Visiting goalkeeper, Mitch Bromage kept out a free Will Seager header via a Cox corner moments later and promptly pushed the effort over the bar, at the second attempt.

Three more chances were created before the break; the first initiated by a Marvin Armstrong run down the middle, which led to Gwengwe finding Ollie Pearce but he could only drag his shot the wrong side of the far post.

A weaving run by Joel Colbran wasn’t quite matched by the finish, thanks to his final effort bouncing past the back stick.

Gwengwe came close to finally breaking the deadlock, after Pearce had slipped him in, almost on the stroke of half-time; when it took an outstanding tackle by Captain, Liam Hendy to deny the livewire centre-forward a clear sight of the target.

Unfortunately, Hendy was less accurate with a challenge on the same player in the early exchanges following the change of ends. After showing tremendous energy and awareness to stop the ball on the byline and running back onto the pitch to beat the away side’s Skipper, he proved to be too quick for his marker who brought him down for a spot-kick and a yellow card.

Regular taker, Pearce did the business from twelve yards; confidently stroking home while sending Bromage the wrong way to give his team the lead.

It nearly became two shortly afterwards, as Captain and new Dad, Aarran Racine played an inch-perfect pass over the top to Reece Myles-Meekums, that the number seventeen scuffed straight at Bromage.

The Big Man then spurned an even better opportunity himself; arriving late to meet Cox’s left-wing flag-kick, only to power his header out the other side for a goal-kick.

A rare opening for Lancing saw substitute, Lorenzo Lewis slash wildly behind from a good position up the other end, before a stretching Myles-Meekums discovered he wasn’t quite Inspector Gadget, being inches away from getting a more solid contact on Pearce’s right flank delivery, which ended up going over the crossbar rather than under it.

More on-a-sixpence crossing from the trusty right boot of Cox resulted in Gwengwe glancing one wide, with twenty to go.

Sixty seconds remained when Myles-Meekums put the seal on a hard-earned victory by pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area, as the travelling Yellows struggled to clear their lines, to slot home into the bottom corner.