It's a dream return for Ashley

ASHLEY BAILEY marked his return to Culver Road on Tuesday night with a superb strike deep into injury time that saw off Mile Oak.

Wednesday, 14th March 2007, 1:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:47 pm

The goal came against his former side, whom he left only last week.

The clock ticked down frantically with the scores level, until Bailey struck a sweet free kick with virtually the last kick of the game to give new manager, Martin Gander, his first win in charge of Lancing Football Club.

It was the second time Lancers had taken the lead. Ben Reeves had initially put them ahead on 32 minutes, following a persistent passage of attacking play.

Skipper Lawrence Edwards forced Mark Stuart into a fine, fingertip save from a thumping 30-yard free kick. The visitors failed to clear the resultant corner and Reeves was on hand to chest and volley beyond Stuart from 12 yards.

The Oak stopper then turned a fierce drive from Ryan Loversidge round the post, as Lancing looked to double their advantage.

However, 10 minutes after the break, referee Dave Smith awarded Oak a penalty when Wayne Whittington went down in the box. Paul Eaton stepped up to confidently convert his 15th league goal of the season.

Scott Carden then spurned an ideal opportunity to put Oak in front, when he was put clean through by captain Eaton. Another former Oak player, keeper Richard Whittington, stood his ground between the sticks to deny the striker from point-blank range.

Nick Lansdale almost became Oak's hero late on when he trotted up field for a corner, but the centre-back saw his direct header cleared off the line.

Ironically, Lansdale took the title of "villain" away from the game. A blatant handball on the edge of the box gifted Lancing a free kick in a dangerous position. With only seconds remaining, Bailey curled left-footed into the top corner, leaving Stuart rooted to his spot.

Oak barely had time to kick-off, and the sound of the final whistle signalled their third defeat in five games.

LANCING: R.Whittington; Jacob, Ford, Bailey, McCabe; Loversidge, Reeves, Edwards, Partridge; Leete, Meredith. Subs: Boswell (Loversidge 71), Balmer (Leete 76), Aston (Partridge 79), Berry.

MILE OAK: Stuart; Henry, Lansdale, Martin, Sargeant; Ayre, Jackson, Pulling, W.Whittington; Eaton, Carden. Subs: Paterson (Jackson 27), O'Regan (Carden 73), Burnett (Pulling 80), Hasan.