After nine months of waiting, Lewes finally recorded a home league win with a comfortable victory over fellow relegation candidate Farnborough, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren Freeman had the luxury of choice up front with James Fraser, Trevor McCreadie and new signing George Landais all available, although Josh Jones wasn’t yet at full match fitness. With Lee Carey still nursing an injury from last week and James Hammond suspended, Phil Appiah and Lloyd Cotton took the central midfield roles and soon started to impose themselves on a weak Farnborough side who set themselves up in a 5-3-2 formation.
Lewes dominated opening exchanges with the impressive Junior Odegi-Uzokwe having the better of the Farnborough defence and it was his run on 15 minutes that led to the first real chance when he beat his man, pulled the ball back for James Fraser, who did a good job of controlling the ball but flashed his shot over the bar.
On 21 minutes new striker George Landais limped off on his debut with a knee injury, replaced by Trevor McCreadie. Farnborough’s desperation to grab some points was summed up ten minutes later when striker Bogdan Vastsuk threw himself to the floor in the area, resulting in the first of five yellow cards for the visitors.
The Rooks came close to opening the scoring on 35 minutes when Lloyd Cotton headed the ball back across the goal for Henry Muggeridge, whose shot just scraped the bar. Ten minutes later and Cotton was involved again, laying a perfect ball on for Phil Appiah who, despite having a poor first touch, hit a peach of a shot from 25 yards into the corner of the net.
Lewes led at the break for just the second time this season and came out with a bounce in their steps for the second half. Farnborough brought on Barton to give them another attacking option but the majority of the half was spent in the midfield. Twice Lewes had good shouts for penalties, first when Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was hauled down in the area only for the referee to deem the offence outside and then, for the second week running, Trevor McCreadie was fouled in the area in front of the linesman yet nothing was given.
With the clock ticking over the ninety minute mark and three points at stake, Lewes tried to hold the ball in the corners as long as they could. Finally the whistle blew and a huge burden had been lifted off the team.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Appiah (Gayler 80), Freeman, Malins, Muggeridge, Cotton, Landais (McCreadie 21), Fraser, Ogedi-Uzokwe
Unused subs: Breach, Strong, Stroomberg