Lancing captain Lewis Finney could be thwarted in his attempts to break the record set by Lionel Messi for the most goals in a single season.

The record was set in the 2011/12 season, when the Barcelona star hit a mind-blowing 73 goals.

Finney has already netted 49 goals in 42 appearances this season and Lancing have still got 11 games to play this season.

However, with the Southern Combination League like all football leagues across the country being postponed until at least April 3 Finney could find himself stuck on 49 thanks to coronavirus.

Nine of those 49 goals have come in Lancing’s last five matches and in two of those games Finney scored hat-tricks.

The 26-year-old, who is a telephone engineer by trade says he is focussing on trying to break the record that was set by the Messi (pictured) if this season gets back underway.

The Argus:

He said: “I have had friends sending me things saying that if you score 74 goals then you can break the record of Messi and that was when I was miles away from it.

“Now I am just aiming to score as many goals as I possibly can in order to try and get as close to the record as possible or if I am being ambitious I could even break it.”

What makes Finney’s goalscoring record even more impressive is the fact that this his first season back in football.

Finney was playing for Haywards Heath last season, but left three or four months into the campaign after he fell out with both the manager and owner, but he thinks the break from football has spurred him on to make the impact he has this season.

He said: “This is my first season at Lancing.

“I was at Haywards Heath but quit after three or four months as I did not get on with the manager or the owner.

“Instead I ran the Brighton marathon, but was quite eager to get back into football which is why I think I have done so well.

“When Naim (Rouane) called me and said to come to Lancing I did and I have never looked back.”

Finney is an astonishing 22 goals clear at the top of the scoring charts in the Southern Combination Premier League, which would be quite an impressive tally for any striker in a season.

However, he admitted he has surprised himself with the amount of goals he has scored considering he is not even a striker.

He said: “To be honest it is mad how many goals I have scored because I am not even an out-and-out striker, I’m a No.10.

“There are so many good strikers in this league like Lee Robinson, who score lot of goals every season so to be that far ahead of them is amazing.

“I think our style of play has been key to how many goals I have scored as we like to keep the ball, which means that we create plenty of opportunities and luckily I have been able to put most of them away.

“I have scored six or seven hat tricks this season which is very rare.”

Is it not just Finney who is topping the charts his club Lancing are currently top of the league six points clear of second place Eastbourne Town.

However, there are still five teams who will be in the hunt for the title if they get back underway with Horley, Newhaven and Peacehaven all within ten points of Lancing.

With the title within their grasp Finney says they are taking it one game at a time.

He said: “I mean with Naim I knew the style of play was going to be completely different style and it is one of the best sides I have played with not only at Lancing but in my whole career.

“I think that a lot of sides at the start of the season were surprised by us and hence why we have done so well this season.

“However, with the pitches having deteriorated over the winter is has made it difficult to sometimes play our style of football.

“At the minute we are just taking it game by game that is what our team talks consist of.”