‘Be A Friend’ at the Rooks v Leatherhead game!

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Lewes Football Club is proud to support Friends of the Elderly’s Be a Friend campaign and is inviting fans to bring an older friend, neighbour or relative for free, to the last home game of the season against Leatherhead on Saturday, April 18th.

The Club is inviting the over 65’s to join David Arnold – local historian, newspaper columnist and Rook’s Supporters Club committee member – to share stories about Lewes FC and the local area, as a way of celebrating the last home game of the 2014/15 Ryman Premier League season.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served in the boardroom from 12:00pm until12:45pm; guests will then have the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere at the famous Dripping Pan Stadium before the match kicks off at 3pm.

The Dripping Pan

Rook’s Commercial Manager Kevin Miller said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Friends of the Elderly on this special day. As a fan-owned, not-for-profit Community Club, we exist to serve the whole community, and we are looking forward to welcoming our local senior citizens and to hear some great stories. Let’s hope that the team can sign off our home campaign in style and give them a win to savour!”

 Friends of the Elderly’s Chief Executive, Steve Allen added“We are thrilled that Lewes FC has come forward to support our Be a Friend campaign, which aims to end loneliness and isolation in the older population. Football is a wonderful way of bringing people together – something as simple as a brief chat at the game can make the world of difference to an older person who has no family and friends nearby.”

 For more information and to reserve your place please contact Kevin Miller on 01273 470820 between 10 am and 5pm, or e-mail kevin.miller@lewesfc.com, or visit www.lewesfc.com. Places are limited to just twenty people and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Only one complimentary place will be offered per paying adult. Adult prices are £11, Concessions £6 and Kids under 16 go free.

Deadline for registering is Wednesday, April 15.

Together we can make a difference to the lives of older people where we live. Be a Friend today with Friends of the Elderly and Lewes FC.

LEWES FC final

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Lewes fail to take advantage of chance of survival

A below-par display after the early sending off of Jack Rowe-Hurst saw Lewes suffer a disappointing defeat at struggling VCD Athletic reports Tom Harper.

Steve Brown made one enforced change to the side that had beaten Enfield in their previous game, with Matt Crabb replacing the unavailable George Brown in midfield.  Both sides started slowly, but Lewes had the best of the early chances when Emmett O’Connor cut in from the left and saw his effort well saved by Nick Blue in the VCD goal.

This seemed to wake up the hosts, as they forced Rikki Banks into a fine save to push a Lea Dawson header over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Banks was unable to get enough distance on his punch clear and the resulting effort on goal hit Rowe-Hurst’s arm a few yards out.

There was no debating the awarding of the penalty, but the dismissal of Rowe-Hurst seemed harsh with there being other Lewes defenders covering behind him. Michael Power sent Banks the wrong way from the spot to give VCD the lead after 15 minutes, and give the Rooks a mountain to climb.

The task got even tougher for Lewes just eight minutes later, as they fell further behind. James Duckworth was the scorer, capitalising on some hesitant defending from Sam Crabb and seeing his low finish from the left hand-side of the penalty area appear to bounce over Banks’ dive and find the bottom corner.

Lewes were struggling to get a foothold in the game, and more disappointing defending allowed both Power and Nick Reeves to go close with volleys in the space of a few minutes. The Rooks enjoyed arguably their best spell of the game just before-half-time though, with James Fraser and Jordan Badger both seeing efforts saved by Blue, before substitute Nick Wheeler headed against the crossbar from a Fraser cross, with Sam Crabb completely missing his kick in front of goal on the rebound.

Lewes were then handed a lifeline just five minutes into the second half, as VCD centre-back Reeves was shown a straight red card for bringing down Calum Willock when he looked to be through on goal. Fraser saw the resulting free-kick tipped over the crossbar by Blue, as the Rooks looked to find a route back into the game.

The sending off seemed to change very little for the hosts, who continued to look dangerous going forward and saw Duckworth send a powerful header against the top of the crossbar after a good cross from the left by substitute Lanre Azeez.

Lewes were unable to build any pressure during the closing stages, and the hosts were able to see out the game comfortably to keep them in with a chance of staying up and prevent the Rooks moving ten points clear of the relegation zone.

After such an impressive performance and result against Enfield just three days previously, this was a disappointing result for Lewes, who never seemed to recover from the early dismissal of Rowe-Hurst and were unable to test the visitors for a sustained period at any point during the game.

The Rooks remain seven points clear of the relegation zone after most of the other sides near the bottom lost, but know that they still need another win or two to guarantee Ryman Premier football next season.

Next up for Lewes is a crucial game at home to Harrow Borough on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

VCD Athletic: Blue, Cox, Roberts, Reeves, Payne, Dawson, Carpenter, Dent (McDonagh 51), Power, Ouani (Azeez 42) (Bremner 74), Duckworth.

Unused Subs: Powell, Penfold.

Booked: Payne, Dent.

Sent off: Reeves.

Lewes: Banks, S. Crabb (Rowe 50), Badger, Davis, Elphick, Breach, Rowe-Hurst, M. Crabb (Blewden 68), Willock, Fraser, O’Connor (Wheeler 41).

Unused Subs: Hopkinson, Taylor.

Booked: None.

Sent off: Rowe-Hurst.

Referee: Oliver Jackson

Attendance: 135

VCD Athletic Preview

It’s very rare that we have to write a preview on a team that we have never visited, but that’s exactly what we do in Saturday when we head to the Kent borders to take in Vickers Crayford Dartford or VCD Athletic as they are more commonly known.  This is the highest level VCD have played at and consequently this is the first season where our paths have crossed.  In the first ever meeting between the two sides back in September it took a late Terry Dodd goal to earn the Rooks a point at The Pan after the visitors had looked to snatch a victory.

P 1 W 0 D 1 L 0 GS 2 GA 2

VCD won the Ryman North League last season, sticking to a philosophy of passing football and building from the back.  This year they’ve stuck with that style of play, and whilst they’ve rarely moved out of the bottom four, they’ve won lots of fans with their style of play.  They recorded their result of the season a few weeks ago when they beat Dulwich Hamlet away.  The good news is that their home record isn’t particularly good. In fact bar Bury Town it’s the worst in the division. They’ve conceded at least one goal in 95% of their home games, and at least one in each of their last 15 home games.  Over 60% of their home games have featured three goals or more this season.  However, Lewes have been very shy in front of goal away from the Pan this season, scoring just 13 times away from the Pan although they will take heart from the most recent away trip at Hornchurch where Jack Rowe-Hurst’s goal gave them all three points.

VCD lost on Tuesday night in their 6 pointer against Harrow Borough on Tuesday night whilst Lewes recorded a 2-1 win against Enfield Town, meaning the pressure is right on the hosts to try and overcome a confident Rooks team.

Matt Crabb is available again after suspension whilst Sam Cole and Elliott Romain are still serving their bans.  After missing out against Enfield Town due to injury, Ollie Rowe is back in contention although the mature performances from new signings Jack Rowe-Hurst, George Brown and winning-goal scorer from Wednesday night Emmett O’Connor will give boss Steve Brown a selection headache.

For those making the trip to Crayford on Saturday there is the bonus of a Saturday morning greyhound meeting at the Ladbroke Stadium, just a five minute walk from the station and enroute to VCD’s quaint ground at Oakwood Avenue.  First race is 10.32am and the last one is at 1.48pm and admission is free of charge.

Awesome strike gives Rooks vital home win

Goals from recent signings Jack Rowe-Hurst and Emmett O’Connor helped Lewes to an impressive 2-1 win over in-form Enfield Town at the Pan, and saw the Rooks move seven points clear of the relegation zone reports Tom Harper.

Steve Brown made two changes to the side that had lost 2-0 at home to Leiston in their previous game, with O’Connor and George Brown replacing Nick Wheeler and Arron Hopkinson in the starting line-up.  After winning their previous four games, it was no surprise to see Enfield start the game brightly and cause the Rooks plenty of problems with their pace in the final third early on.  They almost took an early lead, but saw Rikki Banks push a well-struck volley from Aryan Tajbakhsh over the bar after it had taken an awkward bounce in the goal-mouth.

As a result, it was against the run of play when Lewes took the lead after ten minutes. Rowe-Hurst was the scorer, drilling a low effort across Nathan McDonald and into the bottom corner after Enfield had been unable to clear their lines following a good spell of Lewes possession.  The visitors almost equalised immediately though, with Bobby Devyne heading a Tajbakhsh free-kick just wide of the far post from close range.

Lewes were defending well but were continuing to be stretched by the pace of the visitors, who saw Tajbakhsh force Banks into another fine save with a powerful long-range effort.  The Rooks looked dangerous on the counter-attack however, and nearly doubled their lead when Rowe-Hurst saw a dangerous cross deflected just wide by a defender under pressure from Calum Willock.

Enfield scored the equaliser their first-half play had arguably deserved after half an hour, with Tajbakhsh finding the bottom corner with a powerful effort from the edge of the area after the Lewes defence had been unable to clear a corner.

The visitors started the second half brightly and came close to taking the lead, when Banks made a smart save to keep out a Joe Stevens free-kick which seemed to be heading for the bottom corner.  Lewes were continuing to work hard and press the Enfield players when they were in possession and got their reward for this just after the hour, when O’Connor dispossessed a defender, ran through on goal and finished well from close-range to mark his debut with a goal after joining on loan from Crawley Town.

Enfield saw a lot of the ball during the remainder of the game, but the Rooks stayed organised defensively and restricted the visitors to very few chances of note.  The back four were superbly marshalled by captain Gary Elphick but the whole team played their part, with the midfield sitting deep to break up the play and the likes of Rowe-Hurst and O’Connor tracking back to prevent Enfield putting Lewes under any great pressure during the closing stages.

The final whistle was celebrated by both players and supporters, with results the previous evening meaning that a win was vital to move further clear of the relegation zone heading into the final six games of the season.

Next up for the Rooks is a trip to VCD Athletic on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Banks, Crabb, Badger, Brown, Elphick, Breach, Rowe-Hurst, Davis, Willock (Blewden 89), Fraser, O’Connor.

Unused Subs: Malins, Wheeler, Hopkinson, Taylor.

Booked: O’Connor.

Enfield Town: McDonald, Lockie, Gabriel (Kalu 66), Vilcu, Ellul, Muguo, Campbell (Livings 78), Tajbakhsh (Wynter 90), Whitely, Devyne, Stevens.

Unused Subs: Hope, Nxosi.

Booked: Stevens.

Referee: Matthew Lee

Attendance: 393

Everything is awesome as Emmett signs

Crawley Town midfielder Emmett O’Connor has yesterday agreed to sign on loan at the Dripping Pan.

Steve Brown agreed with the Canadian winger to sign up for the remained for the league season and he comes straight into contention for tonight’s home clash against play-off chasing Enfield Town.

Crawley Head Coach Paul Groves said: “Emmett needs competitive football so this is a good opportunity for him and we wish him all the best for the loan period.”

Emmett, who was signed by John Gregory last summer, has made seven appearances for the Reds including two starts. His last appearance was as a substitute against Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.

Rookettes fall to last-gasp defeat to Rangers

Not for this first time this season Lewes were forced into making a few personnel changes due to injuries, although this proved to galvanise the team. Lewes started well and could have taken the lead in the opening stages when Sian Heather was clean through from a well-timed run only to see her shot miss the target. Lewes enjoyed good periods of the first half and played some neat football but created limited opportunities and were not able to capitalise on the set pieces from which they have a decent record of scoring from. QPR always looked dangerous on the attack and got their rewards when Lewes failed to clear their lines only for it to be hooked from a wide angle over Alison Cowling and into the back of the net in the 40th minute.

Lewes stepped things up in the second half and attacked at will. The impressive Cherelle Khassal linking well with the energetic Sian Heather supported by Chloe Howe and Clare Trafford piled pressure on QPR in the search for a deserved equaliser. They were rewarded when a driving run from Cherelle Khassal outpaced the QPR defence to slot the ball past the keeper to make it 1-1. The half continued in much the same vein with QPR having fleeting attacks which were dealt with by the solid defence of Kelly Newton, Rachel Palmer, Katie Baker and Charlotte Bennett. With driving runs and tenacious tackling from both Kelly McCullock and Kate McIntyre it seemed a matter of time before Lewes extended their lead. Clare Trafford should have scored only to see her shot go agonisingly wide. Lewes created chance after chance but football can be a cruel game sometimes and so it proved to be as against the run of play QPR scored the winner when their left back wasn’t tracked and headed home at the far post with 3 minutes to go. Manager John Donoghue commented ‘ we played very well today and I cannot fault the effort the players have put in, we created enough chances to win the game but didn’t.’

MVP Cherelle Khassal – photo attached

Next up away v Brighton & Hove Albion at Lancing FC KO 2pm