Lewes battle back to share spoils with Spurs

Glorious sunshine and a strong Spurs side left Lewes chasing shadows in a one-sided first half at the Dripping Pan. Only a string of smart saves from Rookettes ‘keeper Michelle Beazley kept the contest alive at the break, yet Lewes battled back to take a hard-earned point after an improved second half display reports Ash Head.

Both sides struggled to get their passing going in the early stages. Sian Heather chased a series of early passes but was unable to trouble Chloe Morgan in the Tottenham goal. On 12 minutes the Martin turned the Lewes defence to shoot low towards the bottom right corner. Somehow Beazley got down to palm the ball away.

With more possession Spurs took control, forcing Beazley into a series of saves. One, bravely at the feet of Martin, is certain to cost her a tasty bruise. On 34 minutes Palmer appeared to have cut out a slick passing move. Marcoci scrambled to reach the ball, the blocked clearance bobbling past Beazley and agonisingly over the line. 0-1. The goal stung Lewes into life. Nikki Payne cut inside her full-back to shoot narrowly wide. McIntyre saw a long range effort clatter into the Rook Inn. Spurs held firm and went into the break with a slender, if deserved, advantage. HT 0-1.

Shortly after the restart skipper Kelly Newton took a blow to the head and needed treatment. Heather hounded the Tottenham back line with support from O’Hagan but Spurs stood strong, using their strength to shield the ball. On 55 minutes Lewes made a double change which turned the match. Char Bennett replaced McCullock with Clare Trafford on for Heather. Bennett made an immediate impact, bursting through to shoot wide. Tash Wells danced through the Spurs midfield before releasing O’Hagan who shot into the side netting.

13045228933_3fa10c181f_bOn 62 minutes Agnew brought on Spice for the tiring Payne. The home crowd howled in vain as Freddie Baker was cynically taken out on the byline. Bennett continued to show what Lewes have been missing, running at the Spurs defence, playing in first O’Hagan and then the lively Trafford. On 73 minutes Lewes produced their best move of the match. Wells, O’Hagan, Bennett, Newton and Baker combined, the final ball bouncing up to strike a Spurs defender on the arm. Penalty given.

O’Hagan placed the ball on the spot but waited a full minute whilst Spurs protested the decision, O’Leary booked for her trouble. Finally O’Hagan stepped up to slot coolly past Morgan. 1-1, 75 minutes.

Just as the Spurs goal lifted the home side, so the leveller rejuvenated the visitors. They made two changes, replacing the still smouldering 8, and we were treated to an end-to-end finale. Beazley cleared long, O’Hagan let it run and Bennett, relishing the physical battle, forced a shooting chance. Deft footwork from Trafford set up Spice to shoot from the D but Morgan held on. O’Hagan had a late chance to lob Morgan from a tight angle but the ball drifted wide. Deep into added time Spurs might have snatched all three points. First they had the ball in the Lewes net after clattering Beazley but the assistant flagged for offside, then Marcoci’s spinning cross narrowly missing the far post. FT 1-1. Honours even in the proverbial game of two halves.

MvP as chosen by match sponsors Lewes Estates: Katie McIntyre

Lewes: Beazley, Baker, Wells, Palmer, Smith, Newton, McCullock (Bennett, 55), McIntyre, Heather (Trafford, 55), O’Hagan, Payne (Spice, 62). Unused subs: Denny, Elcome

Spurs: Morgan, Smith, Squillaci, O’Hallorhan, Downie, Moloney, Cooper, O’Leary, Baptiste, Martin, Marcoci. Subs: Leon, Albertson, ‘Charlie’ (no surname provided)

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Grays see off tired Rooks

Logan GraysThe soaring Rooks had their wings clipped by Grays Athletic for the second time in 10 days, going down to a lacklustre 1-0 defeat, writes Barry Collins.

Having dispensed with the top two in successive matches at the Pan, talk of a late play-offs push was the subject of Garry Wilson’s programme notes and much pre-match chatter in the Rook Inn. Yet, the Rooks sadly failed to show even a glimpse of the form that secured victories over Dulwich and Maidstone.

Garry Wilson sent out the same side that secured Tuesday’s night’s hard-won victory, but even though the Pan pitch was soaked in sun rather than the rainwater it’s been under for the past few weeks, both sides laboured through the opening exchanges.

The best of the early chances fell to the tireless Luke Blewden, who’s covered so much ground in the past few matches that it’s a wonder the soles of his boots don’t need replacing. First he anticipated a long ball over the top, and looked set to be rewarded with a clear strike on goal, only for Grays’ cumbersome centre-back to fall in his path, bumping Blewden sufficiently to see the ball trickle harmlessly off his thigh.

Blewden’s second chance was even better, capitalising on a mistake by Grays captain, Lee Flynn, but the shot merely interfered with satellite television reception in the South Downs region.

Grays didn’t wait for Blewden to get his eye in. Instead, just two minutes later, they broke down the right, and the unmarked Joao Carlos planted the ball into the far corner on 25 minutes.

The Pan waited for the seemingly inevitable response, but it never really arrived. Wheeler, Logan and Sam Crabb all had speculative efforts on goal in the second half, but they either dribbled wide, or left poor Sam Piper wishing the balls had been fitted with GPS receivers, as he went in search of them in the surrounding suburbs.

It took 85 minutes for the Rooks to even record a shot on target, but when it did arrive it was almost a point-saving beauty: Sam Gore launched a dipping volley from 30 yards out, but George Kamurasi in the Grays goal finally earned his match fee with an acrobatic, full-stretch save.

Substitute Jack Maloney had two shouts for a penalty in the closing stages. For the first he brushed off a late challenge before tumbling under a second, but the referee merely booked him for diving. For the second, on the opposite side of the box, Maloney remained resolutely upright as the Grays full-back repeatedly nibbled at his ankles, but he was perhaps punished for his honesty as referee Gary Parson’s saw no evil.

Yet, if Maloney could consider himself unfortunate not to earn a spot-kick, Jay Lovett was equally fortunate not to be given first dibs on the showers on 53 minutes, when he brought down the last man and was reprieved with a yellow card, when most of us (admittedly standing at the other end of the ground) felt certain it would be red.

“I felt we looked leggy,” admitted assistant manager Danny Bloor, in his post-match interview. “You can probably see the Dulwich Hamlet and the Maidstone games have taken a lot out of our players, and it could have been a game too many.”

Indeed, it was. But with an extra day to rub Deep Heat into aching legs, perhaps Hornchurch will feel the full force of the rejuvenated Rooks on Wednesday.

See James Boyes’ photos of the game here

Lewes: Banks, S Crabb, Gore, Lovett, Austin, Walder (M Crabb 82), Wheeler, Dixon (Treleaven, 62), Blewden, Brinkhurst (Maloney, 55), Logan.

Unused subs: Murrell-Williamson, N Crabb.

Grays: Kamurasi, Pope, Flynn, Yala, Kirby (Anderson, 53), Bunce (Benjamin, 69), Lalite, Beaney, Nouble, Griffiths, Carlos.

Unusued subs: Mbamarah, Moses, Greene.

Referee: Gary Parsons

Attendance: 425

Rooks seek Commercial Manager

Sales ManagersAn exciting opportunity has arisen for the right candidate to be an integral part of the future growth of Lewes Football Club, developing the commercial offering and building strong relationships with key partners.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the experience & capability to:

• Create, monitor and report against an annual Commercial Plan

• Deliver revenue to defined business targets through traditional and creative methods

• Support the positive development of the Lewes Football Club brand throughout the region

• Ensure excellent sponsor/advertiser service & relationships

• Be a good egg – you’ll be representing the club and its values on a daily basis

Roles and Responsibilities

Your principal duties and responsibilities will include:

• Building relationships with local business communities and networking groups

• Selling sponsorship and advertising opportunities

• Identifying & maximising other commercial opportunities through traditional and emerging channels

• Delivery of outstanding service levels

Skills & Experience

As the successful candidate you will ideally be able to demonstrate the following:

• Strong interpersonal skills

• Experience in sales

• History of relationship development

• Financially adept with the ability to produce Sales reports

The ideal candidate might be:

Someone who took time out of their career to bring up a family but is now seeking a new, flexible working opportunity

Or

A mature candidate who had a good previous track record in sales but lost their job in the economic downturn

Or

A recent graduate who can demonstrate maturity as well as enthusiasm.

Competencies

• Excellent planning and organisational skills

• Creative and innovative in approach

• Ability to communicate at all levels, both written and verbal

• Ability to confidently interact at all levels of the business with the capability to report clearly and concisely at board level

• Teamworker who supports others in the club

PLEASE EMAIL CHARLIE@LEWESFC.COM WITH A CV AND COVER NOTE EXPLAINING WHY YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THE JOB

Closing date: Sunday 30th March

Magpies outgun Rooks in eight goal thriller

Peacehaven ran out 5-3 winners in an open and attacking match at the Dripping Pan last night which left the Rooks with much to contemplate with only five games of the season remaining.

The Lewes management were dealt a blow in the warm up when Josh Marshall had to pull out of the starting line up but it was better news for James Fergany who made his first appearance for over a year after recovering from the serious injury he picked up last season. Jordan Badger and Hal Colmer also returned to the side as the only changes from last week’s 3-3 draw against the same opposition.

Despite the expended spell on the sidelines Fergany couldn’t have made a greater impact on his return scoring his first of the night to put Lewes ahead up on 7 minutes with a beautifully struck low drive from outside the box. The Magpies rallied and were level ten minutes later via a stunning long range dipping effort from left back Lewis Hallet but the game once again swung in the young Rooks favour after a Fergany cross was comically headed into the top corner by Peacehaven centre back Billy Pout. Within a minute a surging Peacehaven attack resulted in Tabi Moloi hitting the outside of the post and at this stage of the game it seemed both attacks could score at will.

The lead only lasted 9 minutes though when the much touted Magpies forward James Hammond was put through in the 36 minute and made no mistake with the finish despite picking up the ball in an offside position. The away side should have further extended their lead after they were awarded a harsh penalty when James Hobbs clearly cleanly won the ball. It mattered not, as David Carruthers in the home goal pulled off a superb save from Hammond. It was only a matter of time before the next goal and after a sloppy foul outside the box, Billy Pout redeemed himself with just 2 minutes left on the clock until half time when he slammed home a trademark 25 yard free kick which no goalkeeper would have got near. The action was far from over when Fergany headed home a pin point Harry Millar cross to level it up at 3-3 on the stroke of half time.

Unfortunately for the Rooks the second half didn’t go as planned and despite going close through Callum Connor and Millar, Peacehaven scored twice without reply and fully deserved the 3 points. Their first was a lovely passing move rounded off my Mitchell Hamilton on the hour and another 9 minutes later after a weak back pass was seized upon by Hallet for his second of the night.

The big plus for Lewes was the long awaited return of James Fergany who despite being a little rusty gave a great man of the match performance with couple of well taken goals and an assist.

The U18s don’t have a game next week but entertain Worthing U18s at the Dripping Pan on Thursday 20th March, 7:45pm kick off.

Team: Carruthers, Bassett, Wilson, Stevenson (c), Hobbs, Badger, Colmer (Okafor 83), Laughlin, Connor, Fergany (Kelly 69), Millar (Huet 64). Sub not used: Markwick.

Goals: Fergany 7, 45, Own Goal (Pout) 28.

Cautioned: Laughlin.

Lewes FC owners say YES to Regeneration Scheme!

The new entrance to the Dripping Pan and SYNC facility.
The new entrance to the Dripping Pan and SYNC facility.

Voting closed on Wednesday 5th March on the Lewes FC ‘Regeneration Scheme’ ballot and the result was an overwhelming YES from the club’s owners.

The football club asked its owners to vote on the club’s plans to build a new 3G all-weather community facility and a new Clubhouse. Owners were also able to view the intended designs as part of the vote to make sure they met their wishes.

A total of 551 votes were cast online and by post, representing a turnout of 61% of eligible (over 16s) voters. The result was a resounding 98.9% of people being in favour. And 99.4% voted in favour of the club adopting a new set of Rules that enabled it to raise money via a special Regeneration Share Offer (RSO) – details of this are to be announced at the beginning of April.

Board Director Charlie Dobres commented: “We are absolutely delighted to get such a huge thumbs-up from our owners. This is what it means to have fans own their own club – they get to vote on the big issues. While other fans have to sit and watch as their owners change the club’s name or shirt colour or rack up huge debts, Lewes FC fans ARE the owners and know that this will always be THEIR club.”

Rooks rise to flatten the Stones on Pancake day

Another superb team performance and a first-half goal from Fraser Logan helped Lewes make it six points from consecutive games against the top two sides in the Ryman Premier at the Pan reports Tom Harper.

Garry Wilson made one enforced change to the side that had beaten leaders Dulwich Hamlet 2-0 in their previous game, with Steve Brinkhurst replacing the injured Nathan Crabb in the starting line-up.

Maidstone controlled possession in the opening 20 minutes, spending most of their time in the Lewes half without really stretching the back four. It was the visitors who had the first opportunity of the game, with Alex Flisher seeing a hooked effort from the edge of the penalty area pushed wide by Rikki Banks when it seemed destined for the bottom corner.

It therefore came against the run of play when Lewes took the lead after 27 minutes. Fraser Logan was the scorer, as he floated a free-kick from 40 yards out into the danger area, where it evaded everyone including goalkeeper Lee Worgan and ended up in the back of the net. The rest of the half passed without incident, as the Rooks enjoyed a greater share of possession and contained Maidstone comfortably.

Lewes started the second half brightly and could have doubled their lead within minutes of the restart, as the impressive Luke Blewden saw a powerful effort well saved by Worgan after latching onto a Nick Wheeler through-ball.

It was Banks’ turn to be alert moments later though, as he reacted quickly to save at the feet of Charley Robertson after a Flisher effort deflected into his path. The Rooks continued to look dangerous going forward, with Wheeler seeing a close-range effort from a tight angle deflected into the side netting by Jerome Sobers before Jack Dixon saw a half-volley from 12 yards kept out by Worgan.

Blewden was epitomising the Lewes performance, with his tireless work rate and clever use of the ball turning defence into attack and worrying the visitors defence on numerous occasions. If anything, Lewes got stronger as the game wore on and continued to look like adding to their lead.

Had it not been for two more fine saves from Worgan to deny Sam and Matt Crabb, the Rooks could even have won more convincingly. Unlike their previous game though, Lewes were unable to find a second goal to make the closing stages more comfortable, but were still able to see out the last ten minutes or so without any problems to record another impressive victory.

This performance was one of the Rooks most complete displays of the season, as they rarely looked like conceding against one of the league’s best sides and could easily have scored another two or three goals had it not been for several fine saves from Worgan in the visitor’s goal.

Lewes will be hoping to build on their last two displays in their next game against Grays Athletic at the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Banks, S. Crabb, Gore, Lovett, Austin, Walder, Wheeler (Maloney 90), Dixon (Treleaven 89), Blewden, Brinkhurst, Logan (M. Crabb 78).

Unused Subs: Murrell-Williamson, Badger.

Booked: Austin, Walder, Dixon.

Maidstone United: Worgan, Cox, Mills, Sobers, Andrews, Rooney, Robertson (Woolery 69), J. Parkinson, Attwood, Brown, Flisher.

Unused Subs: D. Parkinson, Sullivan, Swift, Godmon.

Booked: Sobers, Andrews, J. Parkinson, Brown.

Referee: Alex Neil

 

Rooks shoot down league leaders

An outstanding team performance and two second-half goals saw Lewes achieve arguably their best result of the season by beating league leaders Dulwich Hamlet 2-0 at the Pan reports Tom Harper.

Garry Wilson made one change to the side that had lost 4-2 at Grays Athletic in their last game less than 48 hours earlier, with Ben Austin replacing Andy Pearson in the starting line-up.

There were few chances in the opening stages, with the visitors seeing plenty of possession without testing a well-organised Lewes defence.  It was the Rooks who had the first opportunity of the game, as an excellent in-swinging left-wing cross from Jack Dixon was met with a glancing header by Luke Blewden, who saw his effort hit the foot of the post before Nathan Crabb headed the rebound over.

Blewden went close again soon after, as an improvised flick from close range was parried by Chico Ramos in the visitors goal after impressive play down the right from Sam Crabb.  Despite being the league’s top scorers heading into the game, Dulwich were restricted to very little in the final third by a Lewes defence superbly marshalled by Jay Lovett and Austin.  The Rooks had the last opportunity of the half, as Austin sent a towering header from a Nick Wheeler corner onto the roof of the net.

After a first half of very few chances, it took only two minutes of the second for Lewes to take the lead. There was more than a slice of fortune about the goal, as an in-swinging Wheeler corner from the left was dropped over the line by Ramos, who was under no pressure when trying to claim the ball under the crossbar.  Dulwich nearly found a route back into the game immediately, as Ian Daly saw a close-range effort beaten away by Rikki Banks with the visitor’s only clear-cut chance of the game.

The work-rate of every Lewes player did not falter as the game progressed, even after playing so recently and if anything, it was the Rooks who looked more likely find the net again.  First, Dixon saw a low effort from the edge of the penalty area pushed wide by Ramos, with the referee somehow failing to notice the goalkeeper’s save and award a goal-kick.

Ramos was called into action again moments later, as he was only able to get a hand to a close-range attempt from Blewden and was saved by Peter Adeniyi clearing the ball off the line.  Lewes made the game safe after 81 minutes through substitute Steve Brinkhurst, as he raced onto a through-ball from Fraser Logan, rounded Ramos and passed the ball into the empty net from just inside the area.

(2nd goal as captured by Finn Carlow – age 11)

This did not go down well with Dulwich manager Gavin Rose, who was sent from the dug-out by referee Louis Marks after complaining that he did not have time replace Mathieu Boyer after taking him off just moments earlier, leaving the visitors with ten men temporarily.  This incident and Rose’s initial refusal to leave the dugout saw six minutes of injury time added, but the Rooks saw them out comfortably to pick up a superb three points.

In terms of the work-rate and all round performance, Lewes have laid down a marker and set a bench mark for the rest of this season and beyond.  There were excellent individual performances all over the pitch, and the Rooks could quite easily have won by more had they converted more of the presentable chances they created over the course of the game.

Danny’s post match thoughts can be seen and heard here.

Next up for Lewes is a visit from second-place Maidstone United on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.45pm.

Lewes: Banks, S. Crabb, Gore, Lovett, Austin, Walder, Wheeler (Maloney 80), Dixon (Brinkhurst 77), Blewden, N. Crabb (Treleaven 87), Logan.

Unused Subs: Murrell-Williamson, Pearson.

Booked: Austin.

Dulwich Hamlet: Ramos, Boyer (Clarke 85), Deen, Vidal, Adeniyi, Gonsalves, Clunis, Crook (Green 68), Daly, Oztumer, Lodge (Walker 45).

Unused Subs: Pinnock, Weir.

Booked: Adeniyi, Green.

Referee: Louis Marks

Attendance: 801