Lancing chairman: Huge challenges ahead - but we're ready
Chairman Steve Taylor toasted Lancing’s perfect season and declared: We’re ready for the huge challenges ahead.
The Lancers followed up last week’s news they have been promoted to the Isthmian League for the first time by lifting the SCFL Premier Division Shield after a shooutout win over Loxwood.
It was a fitting end to their time in the Southern Combination and Taylor said it set them up nicely for a busy aummer of planning for life at step four of the non-league pyramid.
Lancing join seven other Sussex sides in a competitive Isthmian south east division and say they are optimistic they can stay at that level.
Taylor said: “We’re on the up. We started two years ago under Naim, Dave and Kane and had a very good season that was made null and void with us top having played 75 per cent of the fixtures.
“We’ve campaigned for that to be taken into account and now the FA restructure of steps four to six has done that.
“It’s a big step up but we feel we’re ready for it. It will bring challenges but with the right people involved on and off the pitch it will be a challenge to relish.”
Taylor revealed Lancing had won promotion without paying players wages or travel expenses, but admitted they’d need to look at what ‘package’ they could offer players now they were at step four.
They hope the higher standard of football will attract new fans.
“When we were ground-sharing with Horsham there were local people coming in because it was Isthmian League football, so we hope to see some new faces among our loyal fans, who will be looking forward to a Covid-free season watching the team.” A good number of those fans were among a crowd of 300 who saw the shield final win at Steyning.
Loxwood came out determined to play at a high tempo and Luke Brodie put them ahead on 22 minutes.
Lancing levelled on 59 minutes when Mo Juwara crossed for Will Berry to power home a header.
In the shootout, Darius Goldsmith, Ebou Jallow and Mo Juwara scored before Lancing keeper Mitch Bromage became the hero of the day. He made a superb save to deny Jack Frankland, then stepped up to bury his spot-kick and hand the shield to Lancing amid joyous Lancers scenes.