LANCING Football Club edged past local rivals Shoreham on Saturday when substitute Lewis Finney gave them a 2-1 victory in County League Division 1.
Lancers had taken the lead through Owen Callaghan and should have had the game wrapped up by half-time, only for Alex Laing to equalise for Shoreham.
Mussels battled hard but were unable to prevent an eighth successive defeat as they slipped closer to the division’s bottom three as Finney’s superb volley earned all three points for Lancers.
Lancing started the encounter on the front foot and went close early on through captain Naim Rouane, who saw his drive across goal well saved by Shoreham stopper Tom Betts.
Lancers’ team included three ex-Mussels players and two of them – Ollie Davis and Alex Fair – struck the woodwork before the third, Callaghan, put the visitors ahead.
Callaghan fired home a curling effort from 25 yards inside the near post in the 40th minute to cap a first half in which Lancing dominated.
Shoreham’s only effort of the opening period had come on the counter-attack through Craig Anderson, who had his effort well saved by Lancing keeper Darren Ford.
Mussels were much improved after the interval though, with Laing, dual-signed with Ryman League Worthing, their most dangerous attacking outlet.
After he forced Ford into a good save and then fired into the side netting when well-placed, he won and then scored the penalty from which Shoreham equalised midway through the half.
The award of the spot-kick looked soft as Laing went down under minimal contact with Ford but he dusted himself down to send the keeper the wrong way and set up an intruiging last 20 minutes.
Parity was intact for only five minutes, though, and Lancers restored their slender lead in fine style through substitute Finney. The forward had only just joined the action from the bench but he had the desired impact when he met a Finn Bowra cross on the volley 25 yards from goal and crashed the ball home past the helpless Betts.
Laing had an effort cleared off the line by George Fenton and Finney and fellow substitute Jake Mills then went close to a third goal late on, but there was no further drama and Lancers held on to record a second successive win.
Mussels host Arundel on Saturday, while Lancing travel to Crawley Down Gatwick.
SHOREHAM: Betts; Cole, Garrivier, Edwards, Gregory; Anderson, Laughlin, Allan, Buggy, Myers; Laing. Subs: Best (Laughlin 45), Magwidi (Anderson 72), Godstone (Cole 84), Stevens, Kallon.
LANCING: Ford; Fenton, Spinks, Hendy, Bowra; Adams, Davis, Rouane, Williamson; Fair, Callaghan. Subs: Robertshaw (Fair 64), Finney (Williamson 70), Mills (Callaghan 82), Rose, Phillips.