3G pitch begins construction

3g-pitch-1And we’re off!

Construction work has now begun on the club’s new 3G all-weather pitch, situated on the western end of Priory School playing field. The first sod was officially turned this week by Derrick Parris and Peter Hiscox who have been supporters and volunteers at the club since the early seventies. Back then, there was no Philcox Stand, no Terry Parris Terrace and the South Stand was just a simple, elongated wooden shed. Lewes were in the Athenian League and people would watch the game from the grass banks. Now, the club is looking forward to having its own 3G all-weather pitch for all its teams to train on as well as for local schools, junior football clubs, community groups and private hires to use.

We were delighted to ask Derrick and Peter to mark the beginning of construction – their unceasing work at the head of our Supporters Club has been the backbone of the club for many years and vital in creating the platform for the club’s new phase of development. We did ask them if they wouldn’t mind digging over the whole field, but they pointed out that it might take a little too long (and they’ve only got one spade between them). Thanks to the use of big diggers however, work is scheduled to finish by late May. We’ll publicise the official opening date as construction nears its end.

We will also shortly be putting a new page up on the club website where you can follow the progress of the construction work courtesy of a time-lapse camera.

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Impressive Rooks book Final place

An impressive display from Lewes saw them comfortably beat Loxwood and set up a trip to the Amex for their first Sussex Senior Cup final since 2006 reports Tom Harper.

With interim manager Martin Hinshelwood unavailable, Steve Eke took charge and made three changes to the side from the 1-0 win against Dulwich Hamlet last week.  Two of the changes were enforced, with the cup-tied Jordan Badger and James Fraser being replaced by Gary Elphick and Tom Davis. Ollie Rowe replaced Sam Cole at left-back in the other change to the side.

The Rooks started the game brightly and controlled the opening stages, with the pace of Arron Hopkinson and Nick Wheeler out wide causing the Loxwood defence plenty of problems early on.  Davis forced Billy Bishop in the Loxwood goal into a smart save to tip over a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the area, before Rowe headed a Matt Crabb corner over from close range.

Matt Crabb went close himself minutes later, seeing a curling effort clip the top of the bar before Rowe went close again with a header from a Wheeler corner.  Lewes finally got the goal their first-half pressure had deserved after 37 minutes, as Wheeler met a Matt Crabb free-kick at the far post with an acrobatic volley back across Bishop and into the corner.

The Rooks started the second half well and doubled their lead within seconds of the restart, as Hopkinson cut in from the right and sent a low effort across Bishop and into the bottom corner to put Lewes in control.  Loxwood were angry at the manner of the goal though, as they had been unable to bring on a substitute at half-time meaning they started the second half with only ten players on the pitch.

The game became more even at this stage, with Loxwood continuing to work hard and restricting Lewes to fewer opportunities than during the first half.  The Rooks continued to look like adding to their lead however, as Elliott Romain forced a fine save from Bishop as he deflected a low cross from Rowe towards goal.

Lewes enjoyed another good spell in the closing stages, with Matt Crabb seeing a corner headed off the line by Tom Summerfield, and Davis hitting the post with the rebound.  The pressure told as the Rooks added a third goal with nine minutes remaining, Rowe heading home a Matt Crabb cross from the right after a short corner had caught out the Loxwood defence.

There was still time for Lewes to almost score again, as Wheeler broke clear only to see his effort well saved by Bishop.  The final chance of the game fell to Loxwood, with Mark Cave seeing a close-range header deflected just wide after good build-up play down the right.

This was a dominant display from Lewes, who always looked in control of the game after going ahead and could have scored more had it not been for some impressive defending from Loxwood and several fine saves from Bishop.

The Rooks can now look forward to a trip to the Amex for the final on the 16th May whilst continuing to try and pull clear of Ryman Premier relegation zone.

Next up for Lewes is a league trip to Canvey Island on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Hall, S. Crabb, Rowe, Marshall, Elphick (Malins 78), Breach, Hopkinson, Davis (Willock 81), Romain, M. Crabb, Wheeler.

Unused Subs: Blewden, Robinson, Burbridge.

Booked: Elphick.

Loxwood: Bishop, Holvey (Hoyte 29), Summerfield, French, Familton, Swaine, Wood, Gill, Martin (Wright 74), Cave, Findlay (Elkana 47).

Unused Subs: Pritchard, Scally.

Booked: French, Swaine, Findlay.

Referee: Leigh Crowhurst

Attendance: 392

Rooks bounce back with debut win for Hinshelwood

An impressive team performance and a late goal from Elliott Romain helped Lewes to an excellent 1-0 win over Dulwich Hamlet in Martin Hinshelwood’s first game as interim manager, reports Tom Harper.

Lewes started the game brightly, keeping possession well and looking relatively untroubled against a Dulwich Hamlet side who could have gone second with a win.  The new formation used by Hinshelwood was working well for the Rooks, with Josh Marshall and Matt Crabb sitting in front of the back four and allowing the likes of James Fraser to get forward and support Romain.

The first half was one of few chances however, with the best opportunity falling to Marshall, who shot wide from 25 yards after good build-up play from Lewes in midfield.  Dulwich played with more purpose after the break and could have gone ahead early on in the second half, as Harry Ottaway headed a Michael Abnett cross wide at the near post.

Abnett was seeing a lot of the ball down the right-hand side and was unfortunate to see his low cross somehow evade everyone right in front of goal in a crowded penalty area just moments later.  The visitors missed another chance to take the lead soon after, as substitute Dean McDonald scuffed a close-range effort wide when he should have hit the target at least.

Lewes soon enjoyed their best spell of the game though, with Hopkinson sending a low cross-shot just wide of the far post after a good run down the right.  The Rooks took the next opportunity that came their way with eleven minutes remaining, as Romain was on hand to meet a dangerous Wheeler cross with a close-range diving header into the bottom corner to give Lewes the lead.

Lewes were always going to need to defend during the closing stages, but the back four, marshalled by the impressive Jordan Badger and Chris Breach, restricted Dulwich to very few opportunities.  The best chance the visitors created came deep in stoppage time, as a long ball from Terrell Forbes found its way through to Ottaway, who was only able to send a half-volley from a tight angle into the side-netting.

The final whistle saw celebrations from Lewes players and supporters, with the victory moving the Rooks eight points clear of the bottom four and also showing that there is still plenty of spirit within the squad heading into a vital final 12 games of the season.

Next up for Lewes is the visit of Enfield Town on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Hall, S. Crabb, Cole, Marshall, Breach, Badger, Hopkinson (Blewden 90), M. Crabb, Romain, Fraser, Wheeler.

Unused Subs: Malins, Griffiths, Willock, Stroomberg.

Booked: S. Crabb, M. Crabb.

Dulwich Hamlet: Wilson, Abnett (Vidal 83), Shaw, Dixon, Forbes, Pinnock, Wanadio (McDonald 67), Carew, Ottaway, Makofo (James 67), Samuels.

Unused Subs: Hibbert, Kamara.

Booked: Dixon.

Referee: Daniel Bonneywell

Attendance: 480

Hinshelwood in the dug out tonight

Further to yesterday’s announcement that Garry Wilson, Danny Bloor and Dean Lightwood have stepped down by mutual consent, we are pleased to announce that Martin Hinshelwood will take temporary charge of the first team for the game this evening versus Dulwich Hamlet, and Saturday’s home game against Enfield Town.

Martin has been working with the club’s Academy for several months and has a wealth of experience, both in non-league football as well as the Football League. He has been manager and caretaker manager of Brighton & Hove Albion on three occasions, and has also taken temporary charge of Crawley Town.

The search for a new management team is underway, but in the meantime I am sure you will join us in wishing Martin well for the next few games.

Club announcement regarding Management Team

Lewes Football Club announces that manager Garry Wilson, assistant manager Danny Bloor and first team coach Dean Lightwood have stepped down by mutual consent.

The club would like to place on record its thanks to Garry, Danny and Dean, who have managed the club in a professional manner since taking the roles in June 2013, and take this opportunity to wish them every success in the future.

There will be an interim team in place for the game against Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow night whilst the search for a new management team begins.

There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.

Huet’s four goal show punishes Town

Lewes were looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Bognor and a superb second half display which saw goal machine Dan Huet bang in four gave all three important points to the Rooks.

Town had other plans early on and took advantage of the home side’s slow start and dominated the first 15 minutes of the match. It took the 20 minutes for Lewes to have their effort on target which was soon followed by a short period of good play but they still looked sluggish.

It was sloppy marking at the far post which saw Eastbourne take a deserving lead. This turned into a double blow when Jarvis Kelly had a relapse from an injury and was replaced by young Kyle Woolven. it was Woolven though who injected that missing spark and just before half time Huet got back to scoring ways and slotted home an equaliser as the half finished even.

After an open and honest half time team talk, David Carruthers produced a fantastic save before the youngsters took control of the match. With 48 minutes gone Huet scored his and Lewes’ second and soon after completed his SEVENTH hat-trick of a magnificent season. 3-1.

The young Rooks showed great character and produced a fantastic period of play and play maker Tom Caplin finished off a great move for number four. Marcus Redmond making his debut up top with partner Kyle Woolven enjoying the space and show great running at the Town defenders and it was Redmond who was the provider for goal number five for Lewes and allowed man of the match Huet to score his 27th of the season. Youngster Matt Gunn replaced Adam Christian and Jack Meeres replaced hard working skipper Jack Whitmore in midfield, both slotted effortlessly into their roles.

Manager Dave Amiet commented “we were disappointed with the first half performance but were extremely proud of how the boys turned the match around and produced a fantastic footballing display, which was one of our best halves of the season. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday!”

The Rooks have also strengthened their squad by signing George Harwood who will join his former Brighton team mates at the Pan and goes straight into the squad to face a tough trip to Herne Bay in the quarter finals of the Ryman League Cup on Tuesday 17th February.

Team: David Carruthers – Craig Avens – Teddy Bloor – Rhys Smith – Rabbit Kiabalenga – Adam Christian ( Matt Gunn 80) – Jack Whitmore (Jack Meeres 80) – Tom Caplin – Jarvis Kelly ( Kyle Woolven 40) – Dan Huet – Marcus Redmond. Subs not used: Reece Markwick – Tom Crossman.

Goals: Huet 41, 48, 59, 82, Caplin 64.