Rooks dumped out of Sussex Senior Cup

There will be no return to the Amex for Lewes this season, after the Rooks tumbled out of the Sussex Senior Cup at Littlehampton, writes Barry Collins.

Darren Freeman was forced to make wholesale changes to his side, with the three players requiring hospital treatment after Saturday’s match at East Thurrock – Steve Brinkhurst, Alex Laing and Alex Malins – all in the stands, along with the injured Lloyd Cotton and the cup-tied James Hammond.

That prompted a switch to an unfamiliar formation, with a midfield three of Fraser, Carey and Gayler, and Academy graduate Ieuan Strong sitting just behind the front two of Pacquette and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. Yet, right from the off the Rooks struggled to adapt to the new shape.

It took only 10 minutes for Littlehampton to take the lead. The county league side exposed the wide open space down the left wing and Dean Janman slotted home from the edge of the box. Seven minutes later it was 2-0, with Littlehampton this time finding plenty of room to operate down the right, with Landais applying a powerful finish from the edge of the area.

The Rooks gifted Littlehampton the third after 25 minutes, a poor back pass from Carey putting Gaskin clean through, his cross finding Landais at the far post to head home.

Lewes made several attempts to close the deficit before half-time. Redwood slammed just wide from the edge of the box, Fraser fired over from close range and Strong’s looping heading ended up just the wrong side of the crossbar. And they should have had an opportunity to pull one back from the penalty spot on the cusp of the break, when Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was sandwiched in the box, but the ref inexplicably waved the appeals away, much to the amusement of the Littlehampton defenders.

The Rooks dominated possession in the second half, but failed to work the goalkeeper. The closest they came to pulling one back was when Carey’s shot smacked against the crossbar in the closing stages.

Lewes: Winterton, Muggeridge, Freeman, Breach, Redwood, Fraser, Gayler, Carey, Strong (

Ben El-Mhanni 46), Pacquette, Ogedi-Uzokwe


Unused subs: Stroomberg, Malins, Howell, Troak


Littlehampton Town Preview

Tonight The Rooks can put the woes of the Ryman Premier League campaign behind us for a few hours as we head down the A27 to Littlehampton to take on the Marigolds in the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup.  County League Littlehampton will be no pushover despite their lowly position – they have already claimed the scalp of Whitehawk in the Sussex Community Shield this season as well as beating last season’s Sussex Cup semi-finalists, Loxwood, 5-0 in the previous round.  They warmed up for tonight’s game with a 6-1 win on Saturday against Hailsham Town.

It’s been many-a-year since we faced Littlehampton but the Rooks will not go into the game thinking it will be easy. We’ve slipped on many a banana skin in recent years.  Darren Freeman will be hoping for a performance like that from the Hailsham Town game a few weeks ago where we won 8-1.  Unfortunately, Saturday’s defeat at East Thurrock United has left us short-handed with Alex Laing definitely ruled out for the foreseeable future, whilst head injury casualties Alex Malins and Steve Brinkhurst may be struggle depending on their prognosis.  Whilst the core of the first team should be available, expect to see a few young faces from our successful DS and Under18 teams in the squad.

Kick off at The Sportsfield, St Flora Road tonight is 7.30pm

Vacancy: Lewes Ladies – Head Goalkeeping Coach

Vacancy: Lewes Ladies – Head Goalkeeping Coach (FA-WPL)  


Lewes Ladies FC have a vacancy for a Head Goalkeeping Coach.

Working with up to 4 Goalkeeper’s to include First Team, Development Squad and Foundation Squad (18s), You will be required to attend at least one session per week with a possibility of also working on match days (Sundays).

The position is paid subject to experience and qualifications and will report into the First Team Manager.

Experience: Having played at a good standard of non-league or experience with coaching female goalkeepers at an elite youth or adult level.

Qualifications: FA Level 2 / FA Level 2 (goalkeeping) or studying this qualification

To apply for this position contact: or for more information pls call 07769 222 430

Deadline for application is Friday 18th December 2015

Rooks fail to weather the Thurrock Storm

Lewes came away from East Thurrock United with a feeling that someone has put a curse on the side reports Stuart Fuller.
Despite battling the elements, some incredible back luck and a harsh red card to equalise, the home side found an extra gear to put an unfair shine in the final side.

Darren Freeman named new signing Lee Carey in the centre of midfield along with James Hammond but was forced to reshuffle the side after just a few minutes when Alex Laing fell in agony after his studs caught in the grass. Laing, who only signed a contract this week was stretchered off and Curtis Gayler came on to replace him.  

The strong wind, blowing straight down the ground was always going to be an issue for Lewes in the first half but they defended well. With five minutes to go before the break Alex Malins received a blow to the face from the ball and after trying to carry on for a minute or so, had to come off with Chris Breach slotting next to Stacey Freeman. In the 43rd minute the home side took the lead after a wind assisted cross was headed back across the Lewes goal by Higgins and the impressive full-back Ashley Miller headed home.

With the paramedics reading both Malins and Laing for a trip to hospital, the second half started with the wind advantage to Lewes. However, nobody was willing or able to test Thurrock keeper Lidakevicius. On the hour mark came the turning point if the game. Hammond and Hayles went for a 50/50 ball, with Hammond coming out on top. However, the histrionics of the Thurrock player saw the referee change his mind and despite awarding the free-kick to Lewes, pulled a red card out some 2 minutes after the event. Whilst Hayles appeared to have been injured (in fact he was in the same A& E as both Alex’s later in the evening), few people in the ground would have ever seen that as a yellow, let alone a red card offence.

From the free-kick the ball was deflected off a Thurrock defender. Muggeridge’s resulting corner was then fumbled into his own net by the keeper to bring the Rooks level. The afternoon continued to conspire against the Rooks as Brinkhurst then received a blow to the head that would see him also visit hospital later in the evening. Sam Higgins then put The Rocks back in the lead when he pounced from close range, then doubled his tally from the penalty spot after Freeman was adjudged to have penalised an East Thurrock forward rather harshly.

Adam Yusuff completed the scoring with ten minutes to go with the goal of the game, drilling the ball home from out wide, the shot defying the storm-like conditions.

Despite a late rally by the Rooks, there was no way back into the game. The scoreline flattered the home side but it will be the collateral damage that will be more of a concern than the lost points.

The team now face a tricky tie away at Littlehampton Town in the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday before Leiston visit next Saturday.

East Thurrock United: Lidakevicius, Miller, Ruel, Wood, Hayles (Knott), Robson, Newby, Craddock, Higgins (Gilbey), Yusuff, Wraight

Subs not used: Phillips

Booked: None

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Carey, Freeman, Malins (Breach), Muggeridge, Hammond, Pacquette, Fraser (Ogedi-Uzokwe), Laing (Gayler)

Subs not used: Strong, Appiah

Booked: None

Sent-off: Hammond

Attendance: 154

East Thurrock Preview

After the 3-0 defeat at Staines Town last weekend, Darren Freeman has been working the squad hard in the quest for his first win as manager.  The Rooks head to Essex on Saturday for the game against East Thurrock United, who are pushing for a play-off spot and coming off the back of a good win against Merythr Town in the FA Trophy this week.  On the scoresheet on Wednesday was Sam Higgins, who has an uncanny knack of popping up to score against us and has 15 goals to his name this season, although he is not top scorer – that honour falls to former Fulham and Dartford striker Lewis Smith with 17 goals.  The Rocks are top of the current form table with four wins from their last six and just one defeat, away to Needham Market.

Our record against The Rocks in the Ryman Premier League is relatively good.  We won the last encounter, a nervy 3-2 win at The Pan back in January.  Sam Cole scored two goals in as many first half minutes before Leroy Griffiths made it 3-0 before the hour mark.  But two late goals from that man Higgins made it a nail-biting finish for the Rooks fans.

P 8  W 3  D 4  L 1  GF 11 GA 8

A new face in the squad this week is Lee Carey, signed during the week from Tonbridge Angels.  Lee is a former Brighton & Hove Albion, Hasting United and of course Lewes midfielder who has played 22 times for Tonbridge Angels this season. Also joining the first team squad is Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. The former Hayes and Yeading man is a exciting forward player who scored for the Development Squad on Monday and now links up with the first team squad after impressing manager Darren Freeman. Darren was pleased to secure his signature after interest from fellow Ryman Premier clubs. Trevor McCreadie and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni are injury doubts but he remainder of the squad is likely to be unchanged from the one that traveled to Staines Town last week.

The Rocks have won 40% of their home games this season, scoring 25 goals in the process whilst Lewes are looking for their first away league win since the 4-0 drubbing of Hampton & Richmond Borough back in September.  Kick off at Rookery Hill, Corringham is 3pm on Saturday.  A travel guide can be downloaded from here.

Freeman pulls off Carey coup

Darren Freeman has today sealed a deal to bring Tonbridge Angels midfielder Lee Carey to the Dripping Pan.

Carey, 28, has been a regular in the Angels’ midfield since signing in the summer of 2014, appearing 38 times last term and making 23 appearances so far this season. The capture of the Eastbourne-based playmaker represents a massive coup for Freeman’s Rooks, with Carey swapping a promotion chase for a chance to help lift Lewes out of trouble at the other end of the Ryman Premier Division table.

Before joining Tonbridge, Carey spent the majority of his footballing career at Hastings United and captained the Arrows in their memorable FA Cup run, culminating in the third round defeat at Middlesbrough. Rooks’ fans may remember Carey’s brief nine-match spell at the Pan in the Conference South under Steve Ibbitson in 2010. Carey has also turned out for Horsham and Met Police during his career, which started by coming through the youth ranks at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Freeman is delighted with his latest signing: “I’ve known and admired Lee for a long time and hoped that one day he would play for a team of mine. He’s a midfielder of proven quality in this division and it speaks volumes for what we’re trying to build here that he’d leave second placed Tonbridge to join us. We believe we can haul ourselves out of the relegation places and so does Lee. Hopefully the squad will be fairly settled now, although I’ve still got my eye on one or two possible additions if I feel we need to strengthen further.”

Carey was eager to explain the reason for his switch to Lewes: “It’s been the toughest, yet easiest decision I’ve had to make, if that makes any sense. Tough in respect of leaving a great club like Tonbridge, where they were flying and I’ve had an excellent 18 months. Plus it’s hard to say goodbye to a great set of lads and the gaffer, but as soon as I spoke with Darren my mind was made up. He spoke about his vision for the club and showed me the superb facilities and being a Sussex lad, and having been here briefly before, I also already knew what a great club this is. It doesn’t bother me about the league position and Darren’s brought me in to help improve that. I’m confident with the experience I’ve had in this division that we can climb the table. But it’s not just about the immediate future, as I hope to be here for the long term.”

Meet The Rookettes in Lewes This Saturday!


ladies shirts

Lewes Ladies FC of the FA Women’s Premier League, will be helping out at first team sponsors Spectrum Eyecare in-store in Lewes this Saturday; to meet and greet fans and shoppers alike, as the specialist eyecare company unveil a new Christmas window display.

Members of the Rookettes first team squad will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for pics outside the store on Cliffe High Street from 1:30pm this Saturday (December 5).

Director of Football for the Rookettes, Jacquie Agnew said;

“We’re honoured to have Spectrum as our sponsors, and so absolutely delighted to be able to visit the store and have a bit of fun! The girls are proud to wear the shirt, and proud to wear the Spectrum logo at all of our home games!”

For Spectrum Eyecare Manager Angela Whitney said;

“The Rookettes are a tribute to the town of Lewes and we are truly delighted & honoured to continue our sponsorship of such a hardworking team of ladies who are committed to 100% success”.


Spectrum Eyecare is an award winning boutique optical practice in the heart of East Sussex, and combine state-of-the-art optometry and lens technology with the kind of personal attention that you can only get from a local, independent specialist.

Chief Executive of Lewes Football Club Kevin Miller said;

“The relationship that we have with Spectrum Eyecare has evolved over the past three years to a point where we have become friends as well as partners. That in turn enables both parties to connect with the town, and create a real bond that both customers and fans recognise as a positive association. I look forward to more excellent collaborations in the coming year!”

For further details contact Kevin Miller on 01273 470820 or e-mail;