Rooks draw an encouraging blank against Charlton

A solid display saw Lewes pick up an encouraging draw against a Charlton Athletic development side managed by former Premier League player Jason Euell reports Tom Harper.

With Henry Muggeridge available after picking up an injury in the friendly at Whitehawk last week, Garry Wilson was able to name an almost full-strength squad with the exception of Jack Walder and Nathan Crabb, who both remain unavailable through injury.

The visitors started brightly, with the pace of Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Anthony Jeffrey down the left causing the Lewes back four one or two problems early on.  It was a purposeful run down the left from Jeffrey that created the first chance of the game, with Rikki Banks forced to push a powerful cross-shot away from danger.  Just minutes later though, Lewes could have taken the lead with their first chance of the game, as a deflected free-kick from Jack Dixon found its way to Terry Dodd in front of goal, but the in-form striker was denied by a smart save from Dillion Phillips.

Both sides were trying to keep the ball on the ground, with Lewes looking particularly dangerous when they got the ball out wide and looked to aim crosses towards Dodd and Luke Blewden in the penalty area.  Despite this, it was the visitors who had the better chances before the break. Fortunately for the Rooks, Banks was alert to keep out two powerful long-range efforts from Zak Ansah.  Both sides used the early stages of the second half to make changes, with this leading to a slight drop in tempo from what had been an entertaining first half.

Charlton had the first clear-cut opportunity of the second half and arguably their best chance of the game 20 minutes after the break, as a rare moment of hesitation in the Lewes defence allowed Ansah run through on goal, only to be denied by another fine save from Banks.  The visitors were continuing to look dangerous in the final third, and had another opportunity to go ahead minutes later when Karlan Ahearne-Grant dragged an effort wide of the far post from a tight angle. Lewes had their best opportunity of the second half with about 15 minutes remaining, as Blewden saw a powerful snap-shot from a difficult angle just inside the penalty area parried by Phillips.

Both sides had half-chances to win the game late on, with substitute Stephane Valcy sending a presentable chance across the face of goal for Charlton before Blewden saw an effort from the edge of the penalty area comfortably saved by Phillips, but the match finished as a stale-mate.

This was an encouraging performance from Lewes, who matched their professional visitors for long periods and might even have won the game had they been a bit sharper in the final third.  The Rooks were also grateful to Banks for several fine saves though, especially in the first half, to ensure they picked up their first clean sheet of pre-season.

Lewes conclude their pre-season preparations on Saturday, when they travel to Conference South side Eastbourne Borough for a 3pm kick-off.

Lewes: Banks, Malins, Cole (Brinkhurst 46), Rowe, Elphick (Stinson 70), Logan (Branford 60), Wheeler, Dixon (Napper 52), Dodd (Romain 70), Blewden, Muggeridge (Treleaven 60).

Unused Subs: None.

Charlton Athletic XI: Phillips, Nego, Holmes-Dennis, Munns, Dawa (Osbourne 46), Thomas, Muldoon, Browne (Gerard 46, Valcy 77), Ansah, Ahearne-Grant, Jeffrey (Cumberbatch 68).

Unused Subs: Beeney, Lee, Pyke.

Attendance: 275


Specsavers become Official Club Sponsors

Lewes Football Club are proud to announce that Specsavers will be the Official Club Sponsors of the Ryman Premier League outfit for the forthcoming 2014/15 campaign.

Specsavers Launch July 2014 26The company, who have sponsored the first team home shirts for the last two years, will feature on the home and away shirts of the men’s first team, and the club’s new under-21 squad shirts for the new season.

With the Lewes based store also sponsoring the Rook’s, ‘Kids Go Free’ package for the forthcoming two seasons – enabling Lewes Football Club to provide free entry to every match at the Dripping Pan for under 16’s – this new sponsorship deal represents the biggest, and most comprehensive club sponsorship in Lewes Football Club’s 129 year history.

Specsavers Store Director, Trish Lofting said, “I am absolutely delighted to sponsor the club for the forthcoming season. Over the last few weeks I have been really impressed with the club’s ambition, notably with the regeneration project, and with some of the wonderful community projects that the club are planning going forward. We have already achieved a tremendous rapport with the fans of the club and I am really looking forward to working with the new team at the Dripping Pan to enhance that and provide as much support as we can over the course of the new season”

For Lewes Football Club, Commercial Manager Kevin Miller said, “Trish and the staff at Specsavers Lewes have been fantastic supporters of the club for a number of years, and its great that we have now built a new platform and partnership to provide even more support to our first team as well as our under 21 squad. These are exciting times here at Lewes Football Club and I am really looking forward to working with Specsavers, and thank them once again for their support for the forthcoming campaign.”

The first game of the 2014/15 campaign begins at Witham Town on Saturday August 9th, and the first home game of season will be on Wednesday, August 13, where the club will entertain AFC Hornchurch.

Specsavers Lewes provide an exclusive 25% discount to all of the Club’s 1,000 owners, as one of 62 stores that are part of the ‘Support & Save scheme, one of the benefits of becoming an owner of the not-for-profit community club.

Rookettes start with a win

Lewes travelled to Essex last Sunday to open their pre-season campaign with a game against Brentwood Ladies.  The Rookettes took a very youthful side including two Under18s.  New signing Faye Rabson and Hayley West both started, the game was played in very hot temperatures with both teams started quite slowly passing the ball well.

It was Lewes who opened the scoring through Charlotte Lloyd who was first to the ball from a knock down in the box, hitting the target from a well executed volley.  Lewes continued to apply pressure,  looking very strong in defence with captain Katie McIntyre securing the midfield in front of them.  Faye Rabson was causing the right back of Brentwood problems,  producing crosses at will. It wasn’t until the 33rd minute when Lewes scored again when McIntyre took a corner finding Rabson free on the far post to head home on her debut.

Brentwood passed the ball well and scored a goal out of the blue from 25 yards in the 40th minute when the ball dropped from a clearance and their centre-forward took a gamble and hit the ball on the volley which flew into the Lewes net.   The Rookettes response was quick as Spice passed the ball first time after receiving a back pass to Sian Heather who knocked the ball into Rabsons path.  After a one-two between Heather and Rabson, the youngster calmly chipped the ball over the on rushing keeper for her second of the game.

Several changes were made at half time with our two sixteen year olds,  Beth Jago and Ellie Bonwick, taking the field.  Just four minutes into the second half the impressive Rabson completed her hat trick after she cut in from the left and drove the ball past the Brentwood keeper.

The game was controlled by Lewes in the second half, making sure they didn’t concede another goal and dictating the pace of the game through long spells of passing.

Overall, an excellent start to the pre-season campaign.

LEWES: Spice, West, Carter, Noakes, Palmer, McIntyre, Turner, Dawson, Rabson, Lloyd, Heather. K Bonwick, Jago , E Bonwick

Ryman U21 fixtures announced for the Development Squad

Gary Croydon’s brand new Development Squad (DS) kick off their 2014/15 Ryman U21 League South season by welcoming Kent rivals Margate to the Dripping Pan on Wednesday 27th August. Stand out ties include home Sussex derbies against Burgess Hill Town on Wednesday 22nd October, Worthing on Wednesday November 6th and Hastings United on Wednesday 17th December.

The DS squad is now in place to provide a natural pathway for our U18s and Academy players who move on from youth football to give them time to adjust to the demands of adult football, allow the management to cast their eye over any exciting trialists and for Gary to provide a platform for some of the best young players in Sussex to break into the first team. And don’t forget, with three over aged players allowed in a Ryman U21 match day squad it’s also a chance for first team players to maintain or regain match fitness.

Lewes lifted the first silverware of the season by beating Ringmer last Thursday to retain the Chandlers Cup at the Caburn. Gary Croydon led the boys to victory 5-4 on penalties, with skipper Jordan Badger fittingly scoring the winning penalty, after the match finished 4-4 in normal time. The goals came from Ronnie Conlon, Max Howell, Callum Connor and Jack Dixon.

The DS also have a home friendly this coming Friday (1st August) against Eastbourne Town. Kick off 7.45pm with admission at £3 for adults and U16 Free.


Wednesday 27th August – Margate (H) – 7:45pm

Monday 1st September – Hastings United (A) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 10th September – Whitstable Town (H) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 17th September – Faversham Town (H) 7:45pm

Thursday 25th September – Burgess Hill Town (A) – 7:30pm

Thursday 9th October – Faversham Town (A) – 7:45pm

Saturday 11th October – Three Bridges (A) – 3pm

Wednesday 15th October – Chatham Town (H) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 22nd October – Burgess Hill Town (H) – 7:45pm

Thursday 30th October – Whitstable Town (A) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 6th November – Worthing (H) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 12th November – Ramsgate (H) – 7:45pm

Monday 17th November – Maidstone United (A) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 26th November – Three Bridges (H) – 7:45pm

Saturday 6th December – Margate (A) – 3pm

Saturday 13th December – Worthing (A) – 3pm

Wednesday 17th December – Hastings United (H) – 7:45pm

Monday 2nd February – Chatham Town (A) – 7:45pm

Thursday 19th February – Ramsgate (A) – 7:45pm

Wednesday 25th February – Maidstone United (H) – 7:45pm

Wasps string proves too much for The Rooks

A disappointing performance saw Lewes suffer their fourth defeat of pre-season against Ryman South side East Grinstead.

With only Jack Walder, Henry Muggeridge and Nathan Crabb missing through injury, Garry Wilson was able to name a strong side after the encouraging second-half display at Whitehawk three days previously.

East Grinstead started brightly and could have gone ahead early on, when George Hillier-Jones put an effort from the edge of the penalty area wide after latching onto a through-ball from Matt Geard.   The visitors took the lead after 16 minutes, with former Lewes player Layton Schaaf sending a superb volley from 25 yards over Rikki Banks and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Having produced their best performance of pre-season during the second half against Whitehawk in their previous friendly, Lewes were unable to reach this level against East Grinstead, with passes going astray and almost no goal-scoring opportunities.
The closest the Rooks came to equalising before the break saw George Branford have a an effort from just inside the penalty area deflected wide after Lewes’ best move of the half.

The start of the second half saw much of the same from Lewes, with the players working hard but unable to create any chances of note against a well-organised and committed East Grinstead side.

That was until the hour mark, when the Rooks were handed a route back into the game. A through-ball from Nick Wheeler was misjudged by Drew Cooney, allowing Terry Dodd to run through and beat Callum Christie from close range to score his second goal of pre-season.

Just two minutes later, the visitors regained their lead after static defending allowed substitute Michael Death to run through and send a powerful finish from a tight angle past Banks and into the roof of the net.

Both sides made several changes during the closing as more players were required to get through 90 minutes with the new league season now just two weeks away.

Lewes were unable to create a chance to salvage a draw in the latter stages, but the visitors came close to doubling their lead as Dan Turner lifted an effort just wide of thefar post from a tight angle with only Banks to beat.

This was a disappointing display from Lewes, who never really troubled their Ryman South visitors despite the best efforts of the players. Results in friendlies aren’t important though, and there is still plenty of time for the management and players to improve performances before the start of the competitive season.

Lewes face a Charlton Athletic XI in their next game on Tuesday at the Pan, kick-off at 7.45pm.

Lewes: Banks, Stinson (Cole 74), Brinkhurst, Rowe, Elphick (Logan 56), Malins, Wheeler (Conlon 85), Branford (Treleaven 56), Dodd (Dixon 74), Blewden, Romain (Napper 56).

Unused Subs: None.

East Grinstead Town: Christie, Sargent, Hampo, Sinclair, Cooney, Graves, Pamment, L. Schaaf, Bichard, Geard, Hiller-Jones.

Substitutes: Turner, Death, White, Akehurst, Morrison, Wilson, S. Schaaf, Bant.

Attendance: 250

Young Rooks start with a win

The young Rooks started their pre season programme with a trip to Buxted to play a strong and well organised Barcombe first team. This was the first time the majority of the boys had played together which showed early on as they seemed to show too much respect for the Barcombe players and their obviously physical presence. The game was played in four quarters to allow squad rotation and breaks in the hot conditions and the first two periods finished goalless with neither side managing to find that finishing touch on a hard and bumpy pitch.

With the teams fully rotating the coaching staff had the opportunity prepare the players for the next quarter which paid dividends when Jarvis Kelly drilled home following a corner to break the deadlock. The second came shortly after when Skipper Jack Whitemore’s header hit the post and rebounded out to George Amiet-West who rifled the ball against the underside of the cross for make it two nil. The young Rooks settled and grew in confidence and it wasn’t long before Alfie Yates finished off another great move for the visitors third. Barcombe pulled a goal back following sloppy defending and despite chances for both teams in the final quarter the game finished 3-1.

Both teams were a credit to their respective clubs and gave a great display of football despite the conditions. Lewes would like to wish Barcombe all the best for the season and thank their players and coaching team for a great evening of football.

Development Squad (U21’s) KO on Thursday

Gary Croydon and his fledgling Development Squad kick-off their season tomorrow night (Thursday 24th July) with a short trip to local neighbours Ringmer, 7.45 KO.

Although this is only their first competitive game together there is added spice as the winners will take home the prestigious Chandler Cup, currently held by Lewes.

Gary has been working hard over the past few months to bring in a batch of young, talented and exciting players to play in the Ryman U21 League for the first time this season, all with the potential to eventually move up to the full First Team squad. Some have come through from the Under 18’s and the Academy, some have returned from spells at other clubs and some are new to Lewes, but they have been training hard alongside the First Team and are eager to get their season under way.

So please do get along to Ringmer and show the boys what great support they can expect, and help put the first silverware of the season in a Lewes FC cabinet.