Alex Fair bagged a double as Lancing came from behind to beat Chichester at Oaklands Park 2-1 in the SCFL premier division in City’s last home league game of 2016-17.
Alex Collard’s opener wasn’t enough to prevent City suffering their third defeat in a row in a poor ending to an otherwise-impressive season.
The game started slowly on a sunny afternoon and had something of a pre-season feeling about it.
City were without many of their regulars but Josh Clack brought life into the first half with a mazy run that left defenders for dead before forcing a top save from Lancing’s shot-stopper.
Clack had the two other stand-out chances of an otherwise tame first period, one coming from a well-worked free kick when he fired wide and another golden chance when he couldn’t keep his shot down after going through one on one.
Lancing forced an opportunity of their own but Jamie Horncastle made a timely goal-saving challenge on Fair.
Then with five minutes remaining in the first half, Lancing were forced to make a substitution in odd circumstances after their goalkeeper stormed out of the stadium, with rumours it was because of domestic issues.
Moments after the restart, City took the lead. Clack and Collard linked up superbly on the counter-attack with the latter putting the ball beyond Lancing’s helpless keeper.
Max Thoms had two chances to double the home side’s lead, seeing one effort hit the woodwork and another unfortunately deflected wide.
Lancing took full advantage of a good spell, with Fair equalising in the 57th minute after a good build-up, leaving Dave Hook no chance in the City goal.
The game was turned on its head on the hour as Fair calmly placed a shot past Hook for his and Lancing’s second.
City pushed for an equaliser and Thoms and Omar Barry went close from two separate corners, Barry being denied by an impressive save.
There was still time for both sides to hit the woodwork. Lancing first, through a fierce effort from their tricky number 7 and then late on Thoms, who had a lively game, struck the post with a header.
City, guaranteed to finish third behind Shoreham and Haywards Heath, are away at Hailsham Town in their final game this Saturday.
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