Sometimes, I’m sure we have often wondered why we didn’t fall in love with a less stressful sport? Bowls perhaps. It would save a lot of grievance up and down the country at 5pm on a Saturday! Grievance was definitely the word of the day, as that’s what the Hill felt as the final whistle sounded in Lancing.
The men donning their blue third kit couldn’t have got off to a worse start when just 5 minutes gone, Isaiah Corrie was given time and space to run at the Hill back line which retreated and retreated and curled a left footed beauty past a helpless Huffer and right into the bottom corner. The good thing, if there is such a thing, about conceding so early is you have plenty of time to get back into it. The Hill were looking to do this at a rate of knots, some lovely play from Leon Moore down the right saw the ball drop to Lewis Taylor 18 yards out but he couldn’t keep his effort down. A nervy moment occurred for the Lancers keeper at the resulting goal kick. Secka played it short to his defence and got the ball back and then proceeded to wait and wait and wait before eventually, Martyn Box charged it down but alas, the ball went just over the crossbar instead of looping in. Since the goal went in, the Hill had been very much on top and pressing for that equaliser. Leon Moore and Hayden Skerry down the Hillians right were linking up nicely in the early going and Skerry found Boxy in the area, his first attempt was well saved before the follow up cross was also thwarted by Secka. The chances were coming thick and fast now for the Hillians, Hayden Skerry again found himself in behind, his cross to the back post looking for Box again was intercepted by a sprawling Secka who was keeping the Lancers ahead. Another minute, another Hill chance. You sensed a goal was coming. Lewis Finney back at his old stomping ground, did well to keep a corner alive, his cross landed at the feet of Josh Spinks who could only hook over from 10 yards. Not the man you want in those situations! Wave after wave of Hill pressure was relentless, Tom Chalaye tried to beat the as yet impenetrable Secka from distance and came mightily close but his effort arrowed just over the crossbar. I must give credit to our hosts, they defended very astutely amidst a swarm of blue attack and eventually they did weather the storm and fashioned a very good chance themselves to double the lead. The Hillians failed to clear a corner and it seemed for all the world that Matt Daniel was going to score with the goal at his mercy but a combination of a miss hit connection and a very good Will Huffer save denied the hosts.
Whatever Jay Lovett told his boys at half-time did the trick as within 4 minutes of the second half, the great Hill double act of Lewis and Lewis combined to get us level. Lewis Finney was brought down by a rash Liam Hendy challenge to give the referee an easy decision and award the Hillians a spot kick. Captain fantastic Lewis Taylor has been faultless from the spot all season and notched his 9th goal of the campaign, sending Alieu Secka the wrong way and getting us back level, deservedly. As the old saying goes, one brings two that was so almost the case for the Hill. Hayden Skerry had been tormenting the Lancers all game and he got a big chance to put us ahead when he burst into the box, beat his man and found himself one on one. Unfortunately, he dragged his effort agonisingly past the post. Lancing seemed quite happy to play on the counter attack during the second half and they were doing it effectively. The speedy Lorenzo Lewis powered his way down the left and his teasing cross just needed to be touched home but no one was on hand to do it. A very similar chance arose just moments later, this time Lewis found Daniel but he didn’t hit the target when perhaps he should’ve. Alieu Secka was not to be beaten from open play today it seemed, Skerry broke the offside trap and with Secka in no man’s land all he had to do was get it over him but Secka did well to prevent it happening and snuff out the danger. Was the scene set for Lewis Finney to hurt Lancing again? Very nearly. He received the ball on the edge of the box but after taking his time, failed to keep his effort down and the chance went begging. Will Huffer then did tremendously well to tip behind a ferocious free kick in a rare Lancers chance. Into the last 10 minutes and both teams were going for the jugular. You felt a winner was coming. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Hill’s way. A long free kick was launched into the area and Josh Spinks was adjudged to have fouled his man by the man in the middle. The 305 in attendance were all a bit taken aback by the decision as the Hill protested profusely but the Referee saw something illegal. Mahamadou Juwara kept his cool impressively to roll the spot kick past Huffer to put the hosts back in front. Would there be more late drama? Unfortunately not. It was actually the hosts who almost added a third on two separate occasions but a brilliant point blank Huffer save and a shot which was dragged wide mattered not to Lancing who got the win and the Hill were made to rue a sloppy start and lacklustre finishing.
The Hill condemned to defeat on an afternoon where it just didn’t quite click.
Next up, we welcome Whitstable Town to the More Than Tyres Stadium on Saturday afternoon.