The Rooks went into the First Qualifying Round of The FA Trophy bereft of a number of players due to injury and ineligibility but produced their best display of the new Freeman era to match high-flying Hampton & Richmond Borough.
The Rooks started brightly in the Autumn sunshine with Henry Muggeridge at the centre of the early action sending a couple of dangerous balls into the box. Twenty two minutes in and Strong’s intelligent ball put Phil Appiah in on goal but the midfielder pulled his shot wide of the far post.
It took the visitors nearly 30 mins to create their first chance which in itself was very fortuitous as Taylor’s shot was charged down by Cotton but the ball rebounded off Taylor and flew just wide. Two minutes later Hippolye-Patrick’s header from a Casey free-kick was palmed away by Winterton.
In the final seconds of the half Alex Malins made a superb blocking tackle to deny Charlie Moone a certain goal on the six yard line. Honours even at the break.
The second half started slowly with Hampton gaining the upper hand but it was Lewes who had the first chance on the hour when Muggeridge twisted and turned in the box and delivered a great ball to the far post but no one was there.
On 75 minutes Phil Appiah tested the Hampton keeper from twenty yards as Lewes had their best spell of the half. Yasin Ben El-Mhanni’s near post shot was well saved leading to a corner that saw Malins rise above the defence but his header was comfortably saved by Mark Smith. Cotton then headed wide from another corner after Muggeridge had turned the Hampton defence inside out.
In injury time Hampton’s Joe Hicks came within a coat of paint of heading home from a Casey corner then Winterton pulled off a fantastic save from Richard Pacquette’s shot. However, it was honours even at the end of the day, with the two teams having to meet for the fourth time this season on Tuesday night.
Lewes FC: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Appiah, Freeman, Malins, Muggeridge, Cotton, Deen, Strong, Ben El-Mhanni
Subs: Conlon, Laing, Howell, Stroomberg
Bookings: Brinkhurst, Ben El-Mhanni, Appiah
HRBFC: Smith, Kamara, Jelley (Hicks 82), Murphy, Diarra, Taylor (Pacquette 70), Sinclair, Hutchinson, Casey, Moone, Hippolye-Patrick (Federico 60)
Man of the Match: Phil Appiah
Referee: Phil Rowley