Despite a Ben Bacon hat trick (his second hat trick of the season already) and an all round spirited and tenacious performance from a much changed Barrowmen it was four goals from Lancers hit man Lewis Finney which finally put us to the sword in this keenly fought Cup tie.
Gerry Murphy rang the changes for this tie, giving game time to a number of players that had not made the starting line so far this season for a variety of reasons (unavailability, injury or not selected) showing an improved strengh in depth this season that perhaps was lacking last campaign. We lined up on the Culver Road ‘3G’ with eight changes from the starting eleven from the previous two games (see ‘line up’ at bottom of report). Only Chad Milner, Charlie Romain and Ben Bacon remained in the line up.
We started the match promisingly, early on looking the more likely side to score first and it was against the run of play when we went a goal behind in the 13th minute. Keeper Darren Ford (standing in for Ben Rose) brought down Lancers’ Williamson to concede a penalty and Finney stepped up to stroke home the spot kick for 1-0.
We did not let the set back deter us as we stuck to our task and just three minutes later we were rewarded when a nice ball from Louis Clark found Bacon moving into their penalty area, who held off two defenders to shoot high into their net to level the score. 1-1.
The game then went ‘end to end’ with both sides creating chances but on 33 minutes we went behind again when Finney blasted home from the edge of our box. 2-1 Lancing.
On the run up to the break the home side applied a more consolidated spell of pressure and Ford had to save well on two occasions before almost right on the whistle Finney completed his hat trick, tapping in a low cross from the right at close range. 3-1 Lancing.
We also lost Ben Greer, in at right back, through injury. Replaced by Callum Court.
Half time – Lancing 3 Town 1
We started the second half in a determined fashion and one always felt we had goals in us. Chad Milner, Charlie Romain, Clark and Bacon all looking sharp.After absorbing some pressure on 66 minutes a great through pass from Karim Bukleb released Bacon to sprint clear and coolly slot under the home keeper to halve the deficit. 3-2.
However, the Lancers then upped their own game again and just eight minutes later we were two behind again when Finney netted his and their fourth. 4-2.
It could have got worse but for some stout defending and more good goal keeping from Ford, plus a cool goal line clearance by Tom Pickford.
Second half subs Alex Townley and Johnny Taylor put in strong shifts, both running and tackling well.
With a minute on the clock remaining Bacon bagged his hat trick, netting a close range rebound after a great effort from Milner. 4-3.
Yes, a very spirited display against a higher division side and with a little more luck we may well have got something, however probably a fair result on the night and the balance of play.
Bookings though for Ford, Bacon and Dominic Ozga.
Next up – back to League action this Saturday at home to Selsey (KO @ Shooting Field 3pm).
Next Tuesday evening (after bank holiday) – ‘local derby’ at Billingshurst (KO @ Jubilee Fields 7.30pm)
Final score – Lancing 4 Steyning Town 3
Town line up – Ford, Greer (Court), Bukleb, Fabber, Pickford, Martin (Townley), Louis Clark (Taylor), Romain, Bacon, Ozga, Milner Unused subs – Thompson, Hartley
Ref – Wayne Webb Assts – Chris Porter & Andy Higgins