Unlucky Thirteen? Not for the Rooks

The Rooks came through a tricky away FA Cup tie at Southern League Chalfont St Peter this afternoon thanks to a solitary early Dan Smith goal, reports Stuart Fuller.

With the injury list growing by the game, and suspensions kicking in for Jack Walder and Ade Olorunda, Garry Wilson was forced to change his starting XI with Steve Brinkhurst filling in at full back for Sam Crabb and Dan Smith playing the lone striker role. There was an even an opportunity to roll back the years with Dean Lightwood named among the seven substitutes.

Many of the Lewes fans were still making their way out of the bar when Dan Smith skipped around the Chalfont St Peter’s keeper and slotted into an empty net with just 90 seconds on the clock.  Memories of the 13-0 victory from some thirteen years ago flashed across the mind for many fans but the home side started playing with some confidence.  But the confidence of Austin and Lovett was there for all to see as they snuffed out any threat from the home side.  Just before half time Fraser Logan struck a post and came within a whisker with another chance.

Chalfont started the stronger in the second period, making progress down the flanks, but every time the ball was thrown into the penalty box Rikki Banks was alert enough to dominate his area.  Wilson threw on Callum Connor for his debut and within seconds he forced the keeper to make the save of the game to deny him a dream start to his Lewes career.

The final few minutes saw one final push by the home side but the Lewes defence showed why they are the meanest in the Ryman Premier League this season.  The referee’s whistle was greeted with a mixture of relief and joy.  Lewes are in the Third Qualifying Round for the first time in three seasons.

After the game Garry Wilson spoke about the performance here.

Next up for the Rooks is the Robert Dyas League Cup match versus Corinthian Casuals on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at The Pan, kick off 7:45pm.  Admission is £6 for Adults and £3 for Concessions.  Under 16’s admitted free.

Lewes: Banks, Brinkhurst, Gore, Austin, Lovett, Dollery, Wheeler, Dixon, Smith, Logan, Crabb

Subs: Treleaven (Dollery), Vickers (Logan), Hendon, Connor (Smith), Lightwood, Fergany

Rooks progress past Pebbles

The Young Rooks held their nerve to overcome Bognor Regis Town 3-2 in a cracking FA Youth Cup 1st Qualifying Round match to set up a home tie against Havant and Waterlooville in two week time.

Josh Marshall sparked the game into life after 11 minutes with a superbly placed 25 yard free kick which gave Lewis Tribe in the Bognor goal no chance. Lewes were decent value for their lead but Joe Grommett hit back for the Pebbles after cleverly slotting home from a tight angle just 3 minutes before the break.

Harry Millar’s 4th goal of the season just after the hour again put Lewes in the driving seat but a long range Callum Edwards curler levelled up proceedings in the 77th minute. The Bognor goal was leading a charmed life with the woodwork being hit on three occasions while Bognor’s dangerous front line was also keeping the Rooks’ backline on their toes.

With extra time beckoning, Callum Connor broke the offside trap with five minutes to go and coolly lobbed the ball past Tribe to send the delighted home side into the next round.

Next up for the U18s is the Ryman Youth League clash with Whitehawk next Thursday (3rd October) at the Dripping Pan.

Team: Markwick, Black, Hobbs, James, Badger, Stevenson (c), Madhani, Marshall (Colmer), Connor, Millar, Willis-Brown (Laughin). Subs not used: Johnston and Piper

Goals: Marshall 11, Millar 61, Connor 85

Referee: Duncan Brooker

Rookettes complete a double over Pompey

On Sunday the Rookettes recorded yet another fantastic result this time away to Portsmouth in the FA Women’s League Cup, thanks to a goal from Kirsty Spice.

In what was another highly competitive contest between the two sides, Lewes Ladies battled hard and defended magnificently to earn themselves the win. As expected after last week’s defeat Portsmouth came out the blocks from the start and created some good half chances and it would be fair to say that Lewes rode their luck on more than one occasion. The highly talented Lewes Goalkeeper Michelle Beazley commanding her box throughout the game denied Pompey any joy in front of goal . There were chances too for Lewes with shots from midfielders Veiga and Kelly Newton going just wide, although Beazley being the busy of the two Keepers in the first half. Portsmouth however were the more wasteful and should have gone in at half time, in front instead it was Lewes who took the lead when Kirsty Spice bundled the ball over the line from a great corner in from Naomi Cole on 45 minutes.

The second half again saw both teams create chances and again Portsmouth were denied by either poor finishing or great defensive work by Lewes. Bodies were being put on the line with every Portsmouth attack and the CH pairing off McIntyre and Palmer looked impressive throughout as did Denny and Carter at FB. The Rookettes captain Kelly Newton continued to marshal her team as the clock ticked down in what was another battling performance from the players. Passion’s grew high and four minutes from time one of the Portsmouth Coaches was sent off for violent conduct towards the Lewes bench in what was a thriller of a game and what turned out to be Lewes’s fourth game undefeated. Head of Football Dave Cole commented’ the plan worked today and yes we rode our luck at times but this team will battle all day long and it’s no fluke that we are getting results at the moment.’

MVP was Michelle Beazley

Attendance 60 at Havant & Waterlooeville FC

Next game 6th October v Brighton & Hove Albion KO 2pm at The Pan entrance £3 kids go free

Under16’s are in seventh heaven

After their 11-2 win last week, the Under16’s continued their winning ways on Sunday against Ridgewaye.

Lewes started the game well and were 3-0 up midway through the first half. Amy Perkins opened the scoring when she finished off a good move down the left and Lewes quickly added to this with 2 goals from Chloe Evans including a stunning volley which is an early goal of the season contender. Ridgewaye pulled a goal back towards the end of the half, but Lewes immediately restored the 3 goal advantage when Evans completed her hat trick and Katie Burr crashed home a long range drive on the stroke of half time to give Lewes a 5-1 lead at the interval.

The second half was a quieter affair with Ellie French and Nadine Martin adding to the scoreline to give Lewes a 7-1 win.

Coach Mark Currier praised the girls for their performances in recent weeks. Although we had some success last season, the girls have been working hard to improve in a number of areas and its good to see this coming through in games. We’ve also made a number of positional and tactical changes in the course of the past few matches and the girls have been great in understanding the requirements and adapting to different roles withn the team which can only help their development going forward. I’m pleased with the start to the season, although we have some tough challenges coming up in the next few weeks.

Next game is at 2pm this Sunday (29th) at home to Crawley.”

Late drama maintains unbeaten run at Wealdstone

A sensational last-minute escape helped Lewes cling on to their unbeaten record after a tough night at Wealdstone.

JayLewes lost two of the Crabb brothers – Sam and Nathan – to hamstring injuries, and lost two first-half goals that looked likely to end their 11-match unbeaten streak. But this team doesn’t roll over, and a brace of last-gasp strikes from Logan and Lovett saw the Rooks steal a point from the only other team in the Ryman Premier to still have a zero in their matches lost column.

Garry Wilson rang the changes for Lewes’ second visit to London in three days. Goal-machine Jack Dixon was injured, while Wheeler and Olorunda dropped to the bench, despite the latter’s forthcoming three-match suspension, clearing space for Treleaven, Dollery and Dan Smith to stake their claims.

Yet, if Wilson was looking to avoid fatigue setting in after a fixture-crammed start to the season, he was to be sorely disappointed. The game had barely kicked-off before Lewes suffered their first serious injury of the evening. Sam Crabb set off on one his scurrying runs down the right, but was soon lying on the turf clutching his thigh. He was stretchered off, and later confirmed that a torn hamstring would keep the energetic right-back out for a few weeks.

Steve Brinkhurst replaced Crabb at right back, and Lewes set about their task with purpose, matching Wealdstone’s industry. Matt Crabb’s long-range drive forced the Wealdstone keeper into a smart save, and Lewes were beginning to grow into the game as the mid-point of the first-half was reached.

That early good work was undone on 26 minutes, however, as a deep cross from Wealdstone’s impressive left-back, Jey Siva, wasn’t dealt with at the back post, allowing Moore to stab the ball home past the helpless Banks.

That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Rooks, and it was no surprise when Wealdstone doubled their tally ten minutes later, after a poor clearance from Lovett landed at the feet of Tom Pett, who lashed the ball past Banks before he even had time to see it. 2-0 and it was beginning to look like even a Wilson half-time rocket might not be enough to save this mission.

Lewes began the second half much as they ended the first: chasing hard, but failing to create any meaningful possession and rarely threatening the Wealdstone goal. Hopes of an unlikely comeback faded even faster when Nathan Crabb caught the family bug, snapping his hamstring in near identical fashion to his brother and disappearing down the tunnel on a stretcher.

Yet, once again, Wilson’s subs helped turned the game. Ade Olorunda replaced Smith, and Nicky Wheeler came on for the second crocked Crabb, and Lewes took full advantage of Wealdstone’s complacency. Wheeler dinked down the right and stroked a lovely ball into the path of Treleaven, who flashed the ball across the face of the Wealdstone goal. Olorunda, Logan and a Stones defender all seemed to get in each other’s way, but Logan stabbed the ball home at the second attempt and with eight minutes to go it was game on.

Caution was necessarily scattered into the breeze, but despite forays forward from Walder and Lovett, Lewes looked to be going back to Sussex without anything to show for it, until a minute from the end of time added on, when a deep ball found Lovett at the back post, and he swung a leg to sweep the ball past the furious Wealdstone keeper.

Cue delirium from the Rooks’ faithful behind the goal, quickly followed by confusion as Treleaven was sent-off for a second bookable offence amid the celebrations, before the game had even restarted, reportedly for kicking the ball away.

So, a joyous, if expensive night in West London, that will leave Garry and Danny scrabbling to find enough fit bodies for Saturday’s trip to Chalfont in the FA Cup. Bring your boots. You never know…

Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Siva, Parker, Cronin, Godfrey, McCubbin, Brooks, McGleish, Moore, Pett, Little.

Lewes: Banks, S Crabb (Brinkhurst 7), Walder, Lovett, Gore, Treleaven, M Crabb, Logan, Dollery, N Crabb (Wheeler 70), Smith (Olournda 61)

Cautions: Lovett, Gore and Vickers. Sent off: Treleaven.

Attendance: 602

Highlights thanks to Wealdtone FC TV…

 

Olorunda double brings all three points home from North London

Lewes turned on the style after half time in a stormy game against Wingate & Finchley to bring home all three points, reports Stuart Fuller.

9857466845_a0802778e3_bWith Ben Austin ruled out due to a hamstring injury, Garry Wilson was forced to shuffle the team that won at Peacehaven last week, bringing in Tom Vickers for his debut in midfield and Jack Walder dropping back into the centre of defence alongside Jay Lovett.

The early exchanges saw little in the way of attacking intent, with the home side shading it in terms of possession.  They could have easily taken the lead when Josh Kennett sliced a chance into the side netting when it seemed easier to score.  Fifteen minutes later Kennett should have done better again, forcing Rikki Banks into his first save of the game.

As the Lewes faithful were thinking about their half time cup of tea, Walder is caught in possession on the edge of the box by McCall whose first time shot sails over Banks to give Wingate & Finchley the half time lead.

Just like last week, Wilson and Bloor earned their money by an inspirational team talk, sending the side out with a real sense of purpose and urgency.  After two of the Crabbs go close, the impressive Wheeler puts Ade Olorunda in on goal and the big man dinks the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net to the delight of the Lewes fans behind the goal.

Ten minutes later Tom Vickers makes way for Jon Dollery, and the change moves the team up another gear.  Nicky Wheeler chased a seemingly lost cause down to the touchline, whipped in the cross to the near post where Nathan Crabb threw himself at the ball and headed home at the near post.  There would only be one winner at this point.

A few flashpoints followed in the next ten minutes as the officials struggled to take control of the game.  However, the result was made safe when Dixon’s corner finally made its way to the far post where Olorunda got to the ball first before the Wingate keeper and headed home.

As the game entered the final few minutes a reckless late tackle by a Wingate & Finchley substitute on Nathan Crabb in front of the linesman resulted in an ugly flare up between most of the outfield players.  With most of the crowd (and players) expecting a red card, the punishment was only a yellow.

Full time brought a huge cheer from the 40 or so Lewes fans who had made the long journey.  Ten league games unbeaten hasn’t come about by luck.  However, the next seven days will be a massive test for the Rooks as they face fellow unbeaten side, and league leaders, Wealdstone away on Monday night, before travelling to Chalfont St. Peters in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round next Saturday.

Lewes: Banks, S.Crabb, Gore, Lovett, Vickers, Walder (c), Wheeler, Dixon, Olorunda, N. Crabb, M. Crabb

Subs: Dollery (for Vickers 60), Treleaven, Brinkhurst (S. Crabb 89), Smith (Olorunda 80), Logan