Academy players moving up

The Lewes FC Academy, still in it’s infancy, can claim several successes this season, with a host of players now starting to emerge as possible stars for the future.

Since the Easter weekend two products of the Academy have been playing regularly for the First Team, Jordan Badger who completed his two years at the end of last season and Ronnie Conlon who completes his two years in June. Not only have they been playing for the First Team but they have been playing extremely well and now almost command a regular starting position.

However, there have also been other Academy players that have stepped up into senior football over the last few months. James Kemp, (centre-back) and Nathan Stroomberg-Clark (GK), have been playing regularly for the U21’s, and have been joined most recently by Gary Mbiriviri (full-back), Rabbit Kiabalenga (centre-back/midfield) and Craig Avens (full-back/midfield). All of whom have impressed manager Gary Croydon with their mature performances and growing confidence.

Another Academy goalkeeper, Matt Cramp, also made a few impressive starts earlier in the season until an injury cut short his season.

Most of these boys have also been involved in the successful U18 cup runs, with Ronnie, Rabbit, Craig and Nathan all featuring in the County Cup Final squad.

A new intake of players will start in September (although there are still a couple of places still available) and if we can keep nurturing these boys then the future looks bright.

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DS end on a HIgh

At the second attempt (the fist game was called off due to a frozen pitch just as the Lewes team arrived) the Development Squad beat a difficult Chatham Town in their final game of their U21 Ryman League season.

Having lost three out of their four previous matches it was important to finish on a high, and in difficult conditions the team put in a very accomplished performance, to finish in a very creditable third place.

Although starting slowly they soon started to dominate a lively Chatham side, and had several opportunities to score before Max Howell finally broke the deadlock after 25 minutes. A great diagonal ball found Howell on the edge of the box, who brought the ball down superbly, clipped it over the defenders head and finished from a tight angle with real power. “Best goal I have seen all season” commented Gary Croydon the DS Manager “and gave us the confidence to go looking for more”. The second goal didn’t take long in coming when another diagonal ball in behind the Chatham back four again found Max Howell who put in a delightful low cross for Max Miller to smash in from close range.

A third goal looked on the cards but after the break Chatham came out strongly and although they pulled a goal back, Lewes defended resolutely to come away with all three points.

In the first season of having a DS Squad, Gary Croydon has moulded together a talented team of young boys who have played some really exciting football all season, and have the potential to step up to the First Team.

Rookettes finish season with a great win

Lewes finished the season with a much deserved win away v West Ham United Ladies at Rush Green on Sunday 19 April.

Lewes needed the win to be guaranteed another season in the FA-WPL and delivered after a gutsy performance. Having picked up a valuable point against Spurs last week, Lewes went into this game mindful that a win would be enough to not have to worry about results elsewhere in the coming weeks.

Lewes started the brighter in the opening 20 minutes and looked to press the Hammers high up the pitch although failed to capitalise on more than one occasion. The closest being from Sian Heather who’s long range effort went inches wide. Against the run of play, West Ham pushed themselves ahead when Sherwood unleashed a long range strike that caught Lewes’ keeper Allison Cowling out and ended up in the back of the net for the lead.

However, it didn’t take long into the second half for the equaliser to come as the hosts failed to clear their lines and Clare Trafford was well placed in the penalty area to divert a long range strike into the corner of the net. That goal rattled Julian Dicks’ side and Lewes were unlucky not to go further ahead when the referee waved away appeals for a stone wall penalty when Clare Trafford was taken out in the penalty area. With 72 minutes on the clock, captain Stacey Little made an uncharacteristic mistake at the back, allowing talented forward Cherelle Khassal to burst through and finish low past Hammers keeper.

Lewes Manager John Donoghue commented ‘ we’ve played better and lost this season, I feel we wanted it more today and the players deserve a lot of credit for the effort they put in to get the 3 points.’

MVP: Cherelle Khassal

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Photos from the game can be found here.

The Bonfire Cup 2015 – ‘Game Of Football’

Goals will be scored…Beer (and soft drinks) will be drunk…Legends will be born…

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Lewes FC are delighted to announce details of the 5th Annual Bonfire Cup, held this year at the Dripping Pan on Sunday, May 10th.

The Bonfire Cup is an inter-bonfire society football tournament that has become a major date in the Lewes calendar, featuring the bonfire societies of Cliffe, Lewes Borough, South Street, Southover, Nevill, Waterloo, Commercial Square and Newick, who will battle it out for the coveted Bonfire Cup Trophy.

There’s stalls selling local produce on the day, a mini – beer festival at the Rook Inn, and very special appearances from Waterloo Pipers and Cliffe Drummers

Doors open at 10am, It’s free to enter and the first game is around 11am. The final is due to finish late afternoon. It’s a fun day for the people of Lewes and the Lewes bonfire societies and a much needed fund raising event for Lewes Football Club.

For further details contact Kevin Miller on 01273 470820 or e-mail kevin.miller@lewesfc.com

 

And now, the final curtain…

Lewes missed a golden chance to secure Ryman Premier League safety against the Leatherhead when they lost to a single Leatherhead strike in a poor game played in glorious conditions, reports Stuart Fuller.

Manager Steve Brown completely shuffled the back four after consecutive defeats to Harrow Borough and Metropolitan Police with Gary Elphick and Chris Breach returning to the centre, with Ollie Rowe being pushed out to right back, whilst Jack Rowe-Hurst came in for Nick Wheeler.

Once again the fans had come out in numbers, recording the second biggest attendance in the Ryman Premier League on the day but they will have been disappointed by the display in such an important game.

The recent hot, dry weather meant the playing surface was hard and neither team could adapt their playing styles to the pitch in the first period, with few chances at either end.  The fussy referee stopped the game from flowing and with the half drifting to an end, the first moment of quality came when Leatherhead’s Stacy Long struck the ball into the back of the net on the half-volley in stoppage time.

Lewes had more of the possession in the second half and looked livelier, but the final ball just never seen to fall in the right place.  The Rooks have a very strong case for a penalty when James Fraser’s shot clearly hit a Leatherhead defender’s hand, then Romain was bundled over as he chased the ball.  Neither official saw what 700-odd people in the ground did though.

Lewes lost the impressive Ronnie Conlon to a nasty facial injury after what appeared to be an elbow in the face, throwing on Luke Blewden to give a more attacking threat.  However, Louis Wells was hardly troubled as the clock ticked down.  In fact it was Banks who saw more action in the final stages, twice having to come out of his area to clear the danger as Lewes pushed more men forward.

With results elsewhere meaning that the Rooks now have to go to Bury Town next Saturday and win, the atmosphere in the ground on the full time whistle was understandably muted.  The fans did stick around to give a generous round of applause to the Supporters Club’s Player of the Season, Rikki Banks before departing to pray for the right result next Saturday.

Lewes: Banks, Rowe, Badger, Conlon (Blewden), Elphick, Breach, Hopkinson, M Crabb, Romain, Fraser, Rowe-Hurst (Wheeler)

Subs not used: S Crabb, Willock, Taylor

Bookings: Elphick

Leatherhead: Wells, Dembele, Green, Smart, Bruce, Nnamani, Hughes-Mason (Gallagher), Semakula, Page (Nwokeji), Long (Mahal), Karagiannis

Subs not used: Brady

Bookings: Dembele, Nnamani

Goal: Long – 45 mins

Referee: Simon Finnigan

Attendance: 705

Ladies Under-18s shoot into the final

Lewes girlsThe Ladies Development Centre team (Under-18s), playing their first season of senior football, reached the final of the Sussex County League Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Lancing Ladies on Wednesday night.

The win was a great achievement for the girls against the league champions, and was some compensation for a 3-1 defeat to the same team a fortnight ago. In the run to the final they have also beaten the second-place team in the league, Crawley Wasps, so they’ve definitely earned their place.

The girls will play Hurstpierpoint Ladies in the final, which is on Sunday 26th April at the Haven Centre, Crawley Down. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

Be the Film Crew tomorrow for Supporter Ownership Week

Upload your videos from the Rook’s clash tomorrow to FanFootage to play your part in telling the story of why supporter ownership is so special.

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At The Pan this Saturday, we want you to be a part of the Rook’s film crew on the day and upload your videos to FanFootage.

You can chart your journey to the game, the atmosphere around the stadium – The penalty Shoot out with the five prospective MP’s at half-time (!) and some of the big moments of the match. If you film it, we want you to upload it!

Supporters Direct, in partnership with Fan Footage, will be charting all 40 supporter owned club matchday experiences and stitching them together in the largest attempted supporter sourced video to showcase what makes matchday at a supporter owned club so special.

Submitting your footage is simple! Either download the FanFootage app and upload to it directly or click here to upload your video via the FanFootage website.

Remember to shoot the footage in landscape and to upload as many videos of yourself, your friends and the match as you want.

FanFootage will then edit it all together to create the story of the day, as told by you, the supporters.

UPLOAD YOUR VIDEOS HERE >> April 18th upload link
Click here to download the FanFootage Android app.

Click here to download the FanFootage iOS app.

This initiative is part of Supporter Ownership week, a week of action to raise awareness and to raise £20,000 to convert more clubs. If you can help please head over to and give what you can to support a great cause

Pledge Now at:
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/supporter-ownership-week