Three goals and three points for the Rooks

An impressive team performance and an early goal of the season contender from Nick Wheeler helped Lewes maintain their unbeaten home league record and consolidate their position in the play-off places with a comfortable victory over Margate at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.

Garry Wilson made one change to the side which had beaten Enfield in their previous game, with Fraser Logan replacing the unavailable Matt Crabb in the starting line-up.

photo (14)Lewes started the game brightly and were ahead after just four minutes thanks to a superb strike from Wheeler, who cut inside from the left wing and sent a curling effort across Craig Holloway in the Margate goal and into the top corner.  The Rooks were playing some of the best football they have played all season and went close to adding to their lead, with Logan sending an effort from the edge of the penalty area just over and Wheeler seeing a close-range effort tipped round the post by Holloway.

Things got even worse for the visitors after 26 minutes, as Joe Vines was shown a straight red card for catching Sam Crabb with his elbow while challenging for a header.  Lewes spent much of the rest of the half on the front foot as they looked to make the most of playing against ten men, with Nathan Crabb having a close-range strike disallowed for offside and then seeing a cross from the right cleverly flicked just wide of the near post by Logan.

Margate were unable to create any chances of note throughout the first half, but the pace of Charles Ademeno and Matt Bodkin meant that Lewes always had to be alert to the potential of a counter-attack.

The Rooks doubled their lead just two minutes into the second half, as Jack Dixon sent a close-range volley from a superb first-time Reece Hall cross past Holloway and into the back of the net.

The tempo of the game began to drop at this stage, with Lewes not looking like adding to their lead and Margate unable to create any chances of note.  The points were made safe after 79 minutes, as substitute Dan Smith deflected a powerful Wheeler cross-shot into the corner from close range for his first league goal for the Rooks.  Smith could have scored again in the final few minutes, glancing a header wide from another superb Wheeler delivery when he should have hit the target.

This victory was as convincing as the score line suggests, with Lewes rarely looking troubled by a Margate side who were only three points below them heading into the game.  The pace of Wheeler caused the visitors back four – particularly right-back Elliott Cox – problems all afternoon and on another day, the Rooks could easily have scored another goal or two.

Lewes have a free weekend next week, with their next game coming on Saturday 9th November at Grays Athletic.

Lewes: Banks, S. Crabb, Gore (Vickers 73), Pearson, Austin, Walder, Wheeler, Dixon, Hall (Smith 70), N. Crabb (Hendon 84), Logan.

Unused Subs: Olorunda, Treleaven.

Booked: Walder.

Margate: Holloway, Cox, Dolby, Avery, Beales, J. Vines, Whitely, Sammoutis (Fakinos 53), Walsh, Ademeno (P. Vines 53), Bodkin.

Unused Subs: Kinch, Corr, Osborn.

Booked: Dolby.

Sent off: J. Vines.

Referee: Craig Green

Attendance: 570


Ladies v. Charlton POSTPONED

Due to current pitch and weather conditions, the Lewes Ladies match v. Charlton, scheduled for Sunday 27th Oct, has been Postponed.

Seventh Heaven

Lewes girls made it 7 wins from 7 games with a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to a strong Ridgewaye (Tunbridge Wells) team

The girls started slowly with Ridgewaye closing down well and having more possession in the initial stages. However Lewes gradually found their way into the game and went close a number of times; including a Chloe Evans header which clipped the bar. However there were few clear chances and the teams went in at 0-0 at half time.

Lewes were immediately rewarded in the 2nd half, when Evans broke clear and despite a good stop by the goalkeeper; followed up well and finished from a tight angle. Lewes were beginning to see more of the ball at this stage; with full backs Holly Currier and Lily Smith influential in breaking up Ridgewaye attacks and building play up from the back. The girls went close with Evans again hitting the post and a long range Charlotte Russell effort also found the woodwork. Despite monsoon conditions in the final few minutes; the girls closed the game out well to put another 3 points on the board.

Coach Mark Currier felt that the girls just about deserved their win. “Overall we just about had the better of the play. Ridgewaye are a good team and pushed us all the way. We beat them 7-1 earlier in the season which flattered us to be honest and was one of those games where everything goes in. Today was different and we had to dig in and do the basics well to get through.”

Player of the Match – Nadine Martin – Heartbeat of the team on Sunday. Disciplined midfield performance, broke up the opposition play well and good distribution on the ball.

Rooks back to winning ways

An impressive first-half display including two goals from Ben Austin helped Lewes to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Enfield Town at the Pan to bring a run of three straight defeats in all competitions to an end, reports Tom Harper

Garry Wilson made four changes to the side which had lost 2-1 against Leatherhead in their previous game, with Andy Pearson, returning to the Rooks on dual-registration forms with Whitehawk, Reece Hall, Matt Crabb and the fit-again Nathan Crabb replacing Jay Lovett, Tom Vickers, Ross Treleaven and Dan Smith in the starting line-up.

Lewes started the game brightly and went ahead after 14 minutes. Austin was the scorer, as he sent a free header from a Matt Crabb corner past James Chalk in the visitors goal after being left unmarked in the penalty area.

The Rooks did not take their foot off the pedal, and were unfortunate to see Jack Dixon have a 25-yard free-kick superbly tipped over the crossbar by Chalk.

Lewes were controlling possession and causing Enfield plenty of problems, particularly down the right-hand side where Sam Crabb and Hall were combining impressively.

The lead was doubled five minutes before the break, as Austin sent a towering header into the top corner from an inswinging Matt Crabb corner in almost identical circumstances to his first goal.

However, Enfield found a route back into the game just two minutes later, as Mark Kirby bundled the ball home at the far post from a Lee Allen free-kick after a moment of uncertainty in the Rooks defence.

This goal had come almost completely against the run of play, but Lewes responded in positive fashion and regained their two-goal lead a minute before the break.

Nathan Crabb was the man in the right place to convert a perfectly-weighted Sam Gore cross from the left after an intricate passing move on the edge of the penalty area.

Lewes started the second half on the front foot, and saw both Matt Crabb and Dixon go close within minutes of the restart.

They came even closer to going further ahead just minutes later, as Nathan Crabb sent a glancing header wide from a Nick Wheeler cross when well placed to hit the target.

The game began to peter out during the final 25 minutes, with the effects of an impressive first-half display and the prospect of another tough home game against Margate on Saturday seeing the Rooks sit back and not commit as many players forward.

Despite this, Enfield were only able to create half-chances for much of the half, with Tyler Campbell missing the target with two close-range efforts.

The visitors best chance of ensuring a nervous final few minutes saw Chris Wild send a free header from an Anton Olondo free-kick wide.

Apart from this, Lewes were able to negotiate the closing stages comfortably and record a victory which takes them up to fifth in the table and into the play-off places.

This was a deserved victory for the Rooks, who dominated the first hour or so and looked solid defensively in the closing stages as the game started to peter out.

Next up for Lewes is a home against Margate on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Banks, S. Crabb, Gore, Pearson, Austin, Walder (Vickers 69), Wheeler, Dixon, Hall, N. Crabb (Olorunda 75), M. Crabb (Logan 81).

Unused Subs: Treleaven, Smith.

Booked: Walder.

Enfield Town: Chalk, Lockie, Stevens, White, Kirby, Wild, Allen (O’Brien 61), Olondo, Hope (Kalu 69), Osei (Hahn 74), Campbell.

Unused Subs: Kendall, McCluskey.

Booked: None.

Referee: Harry Lennard

Attendance: 287


2013 Lewes CFC AGM

The AGM for Lewes Community Football Club Limited is being held this Friday 25th October 2013 at 7.30pm at The Rook Inn, The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Road, Lewes, BN7 2XD.

The AGM is also where the club’s annual elections to the Board take place. However, since there were three vacancies and exactly three candidates came forward by the 10th October deadline, the club can announce that Eddie Ramsden and Charlie Dobres are duly re-elected to the Board and they are joined by Jacquie Agnew. The candidates election addresses can be read here.

Other business of the AGM will include:

Presentation of Annual Board Report

Presentation of Accounts

Announcement of new Board members

Any Other Business

Please remember to bring your owners card or proof of ID to the AGM, as you will NOT be able to attend without it.

The Supporters Club will also be running a curry meal deal on the night – £10 for a chicken curry with all the trimmings and a drink which can be ordered until 7pm, and served around 9pm.

Kevin Brook

Club Secretary

Lewes on the receiving end of a storm in more ways than one

It would be fair to say that the score line on this occasion didn’t reflect the performance put in by Lewes Ladies, in near hurricane conditions. With the wind on their side Portsmouth made of the most of the blustery conditions and went 2 up in what was an pretty even game possession wise. The first from a corner and the second from a cross delivered in from the left hand side. Lewes had chances too, they huffed and they puffed but couldn’t quite test the GK going into the wind. Lewes continued to battle every ball and mid way through the first half had the better of possession but once again Pompey were more clinical in front of gaol and at the end of the 45 were 4 goals up and in the driving seat.

The second half saw the weather vastly improved and the wind drop as conditions settled down. Lewes were very much on the front foot and looked to find a way back into the match, and on 52 minutes Cath O Hagan scrabbled the ball over the line from a ball in wide to give them a slight glimmer of hope. They should have got a second when Naomi Cole’s header went inches wide from a well executed free kick from Kate McIntyre. Lewes did create lots of chances and at times pinged the ball around nicely but just couldn’t convert . Again against the run of play Pompey got their 5th with a superb shot from 25 yards out to seal the win.

Manager Jacquie Agnew commented ‘ my team put in a great shift today and we competed well and IMO there wasn’t much between the two sides, the weather really helped them with the first 2 goals and from there it was always going to be difficult but we did create some good chances which gives me confidence going forward. We have to remember that Portsmouth were in the league above last season and we have beaten them twice already, so we are progressing.’

MVP Nikki Payne

Next Game 27th Oct home v Charlton League CUP KO 2pm

Rooks tumble out of the FA Trophy

FA TrophyWhat a difference a fortnight makes. Two weeks ago we were basking in the glory of a 14-match unbeaten run and were still in every cup competition going. Now, we’re on a three-game losing streak and out of the two biggest cup competitions, writes Barry Collins.

Nobody could accuse the management of not taking the FA Trophy or Ryman South opponents, Leatherhead, seriously. Garry Wilson fielded a full-strength side, with only Ade Olorunda’s demotion to the bench for Dan Smith raising any eyebrows.

Lewes couldn’t have asked for a better start, either. Only six minutes had ticked by before Nicky Wheeler scored his first goal in a Rooks shirt, and what a strike it was. Treleaven found Wheeler on the edge of the box, and he unleashed a curler into the top-left corner that was truly unstoppable.

For that opening period, the Rooks looked the superior side, and arguably should have converted sustained periods of possession into further goals. Yet, as the half wore on, Lewes lifted their foot off their accelerator, giving away a succession of cheap free-kicks that allowed Leatherhead to settle and reacquaint themselves with the ball. An injury to Ben Austin on 35 minutes further disrupted the Rooks, with Matt Crabb coming on and Jack Walder dropping back alongside Jay Lovett at centre-back.

Minutes into his new role, Walder was guilty of a mistimed lunge in the box, and none of the home team put up much of a protest when referee Ian Fissenden pointed to the spot. Tanners captain Darren Smith beat Banks from the spot.

With a Glasweigan rollocking no doubt still ringing in their ears, Lewes emerged for the second-half with renewed purpose. Matt Crabb jinked his way into the box but took a half-second too long to pull the trigger, his shot eventually cannoning out of play off a Leatherhead defender. Lewes came even closer moments later, when a Jack Dixon volley ricocheted off the inside of the post.

The warning shots startled Leatherhead into action, and they too struck the post only a minute later, when a foul on Dixon went unpunished, putting Tom Bradbrook clear through, but Banks got just enough glove on the ball to divert it onto the upright.

Lewes didn’t heed the warning, and the game was settled with just over ten minutes on the clock, when left-back Dan Parkinson unleashed a fierce shot from distance that agonisingly eluded Banks’ outstretched arm.

The Rooks, to their credit, didn’t down tools, and they came mightily close to forcing a replay when they managed to hit the post, have a decent shout for a penalty, and sliced a shot narrowly wide in the same injury-time move.

Yet, they could only thank the punctilious timekeeping of Mr Fissenden for not losing the match by a greater margin, the referee blowing the final whistle as a Leatherhead striker was planting the ball into an empty net after a slip-up by Banks.

Click here to see a post-match interview with assistant manager, Danny Bloor 

Match stats (provided by Kevin Brook):

Goals: 1/2 (Lewes first)
Shots on target: 2/3
Shots off target: 10/4
Corners: 5/1
Fouls committed: 11/8
Offsides: 2/8
Yellow cards: 0/1
Red cards: 0/0

Lewes: Banks, S Crabb, Gore, Lovett, Austin (M Crabb 33), Walder, Wheeler, Dixon, Treleaven, Vickers (Logan 68), Smith (Olorunda 60)

Unused subs: Hall, Hendon

Leatherhead: Ibrahim, Allen, Parkinson, Smart, Coyle, Nnamani, Terry, Smith, Bradbrook, Draycott, Griffiths

Subs: Kayeembe, Burchell, Downs, Pleau, Parkinson

Referee: Ian Fissenden

Attendance: 417