Lewes put their recent poor run of results well and truly behind them with a commanding win over Met Police writes James Boyes.
The visitors came into the game in fifth place on a four match unbeaten run, which contrasted sharply with the Rooks who had only managed three points from the previous six games.
Lewes boss Garry Wilson made a number of changes to the starting line-up, bringing in much-travelled Leroy Griffiths to bolster the front line and replacing Jack Dixon in midfield with youngster Josh Marshall making his first league start.
A reshuffle in defence meant that Ollie Rowe, Lloyd Harrington and Gary Elphick formed a back three, with Sam Crabb and Sam Cole both very effective as wing backs.
Lewes were positive from the start and were worthy leaders after only 16 minutes, in a move which started as a result of a Met free kick.
Rikki Banks gathered the ball easily and his quick kick fell to Luke Blewden who managed hold off two challenges before getting a shot off.
Met keeper Zaki Oualah reacted quickly to parry the ball but could only push it to the far post where both Phil Appiah and Sam Cole lay await, but it was Cole who got there first to slot Lewes ahead.
The visitors almost had an instant response but Charlie Collins was unable to connect with a cross at the far post for the Met. Neat interchange play between Harrington and Griffiths saw the striker gain space for a low cross but Blewden was beaten to the ball by Oualah.
Cole’s persistence, which was a common theme throughout the game, allowed him to launch a dangerous cross from the left which was met by Crabb but his powerful volley narrowly missed the target.
The Met enjoyed their best spell as the interval approached with Collins and Ty Smith both having chances but the half ended under a cloud when the visitor’s bench was incensed with Matt Crabb’s tackle on Bradley Hudson-Odoi, which earned the veteran a booking.
Marshall’s industrious debut ended with an injury only five minutes into the second period and he was replaced by Jack Dixon in a like-for-like swap.
It didn’t take long for the sub to make his mark though following a corner routine which fell to him via Griffiths’ back heel in the six yard area. Dixon made no mistake despite the close attentions of two defenders and doubled the lead in the 56th minute.
Despite the two-goal cushion, Lewes remained lucid and confident which ensured the stinker the visitors were having looked even more stark.
Lewes continued to press and a neat passing move between Sam Crabb and Blewden’s ended with the defender stepping back from the byline before rifling a powerful shot narrowly too high.
The game lost its way in the final moments as the referee repeatedly brandished his yellow card for a variety of challenges but that did little to detract from the Rook’s best performance for weeks.
Lewes: Banks, S Crabb (Logan 81), Cole, Rowe, Elphick, Harrington, Appiah, Marshall (Dixon 50), Griffiths (Romain 84), Blewden, M Crabb.
Unused subs: Wheeler, Stinson.
Booked: Appiah, M Crabb, Dixon, S. Crabb, Cole.