South Prem Div 1
Lewes 4 (Baxter 3, Spruce)
Baxter leaves Staines red faced
This week the South League added the possible and probable promotion and relegation lines to the league table, a clear sign that we’re fast approaching the business end of the season. With Lewes 4 points adrift in the relegation zone, a fixture against bottom of the table Staines, was marked as a must win, to avoid sinking further into the myre.
With 4 players missing from the usual squad, Lewes made a number of positional changes. Jo Piller was pushed forward into central midfield, with Alex Baxter spearheading the attack with Alex Cooke and Alex Lloyd either side.
Lewes started the brighter of the 2 sides forcing a couple of good saves from the Staines keeper from the outset. Cooke found plenty of room on the right flank supported by Chris Spruce and they combined to win successive penalty corners. Lewes’ failure to convert these became an issue once more and it wasn’t until the 4th corner that the Sussex side made the breakthrough as the third phase of the set piece was turned in by Spruce.
Staines then had a slightly more positive spell however all chances were easily thwarted by Josh Pewter in net. It was during this pressure however that Lewes hit on the counter. Cooke broke into the opposing D only to be brought clumsily down by the keeper. The keeper stayed on the pitch but Baxter slotted easily home. A third was then added shortly after, Baxter doubling his tally with a hard strike from the top of the D.
At half time, the feeling was very much about seeing out the game in the most professional of manners and to be fair to the boys in green, the discipline was excellent, Matt Clark only seeing the sinbin for his eagerness to shave tackle. Less could be said about Staines and with 20 minutes to go, frustration was taken out on Dave Roberts by the home side’s central midfielder as he swung his stick at the Lewes player’s midrift. A red card was brandished and Staines were to see out the game with 10 men.
Lewes capitalised on this and dictated the pace of the game yet the Staines keeper kept them at bay. Jo Piller was a whisker away from a debut senior goal however was denied by a body on the line. A stroke was awarded and Baxter stepped up again to make it 4-0 and complete a well deserved hattrick.
The win was secured, as was a clean sheet and due to other results going Lewes’ way, they are now just 2 points from 10th. Lewes’ next fixture is on Saturday at 3pm when they host Banbury.
Sussex Div 1
Lewes Men’s 2s 2 (Spedding 2)
South Saxons 1
Lewes 2s Shock South Saxons
Full of confidence following a 10-0 thrashing of Crawley and dogged 1-0 win away to Brighton, Lewes 2s hosted top of the league South Saxons who had lost only one game this season.
Lewes’ game plan paid off early as a quick attack won a short corner which Max Spedding flicked into the roof of the net giving the home side an early advantage. Lewes’ defence held strong which allowed the midfield and forwards to attack with speed and pace, only to be thwarted by last-ditched Saxons defending. An overzealous tackle from Saxons took out Sam Murray, but both players received yellow cards meaning half-time came at a good time to allow both teams to cool down.
Chewy’s reminder of the tactics and mentality needed to win the game produced a strong response as midfielders Sam Murray, Max Spedding and Scott Collier took control of the game allowing attackers Joe Rideout, Lee Wiles and Sam Rea to create near misses from good positions. Another short corner was won and, despite Chewy’s poor pull out, Spedding took the ball past two Saxons players and calmly doubled Lewes’s lead.
Saxons pressed hard going for broke and it was a quick counter attack that allowed them to pull 1 back as a half volley luckily flew past the unlucky Ben Berrill. 2-1 to the good with 8 minutes to go, Lewes called for calm and a half court press to which allowed them to limit Saxons’ chances. However, Ben Berrill in goal was to provide a winning save with a right hand glove, leaving Lewes to hold on to a hard fought confidence boosting win.
South Div 3b
Lewes Ladies 1s 3 (Hall 2, Chivers)
Ladies 1’s profit Andover fist from another strong showing
Following two cracking away wins last weekend, Lewes Ladies 1’s were in action again on Saturday with Andover the visitors to the Southdown Club.
From the pushback, Lewes made several quick forays into the Andover D but didn’t work the goalkeeper. Andover fought back and earned a penalty corner against the run of play, but failed to convert. After this the home team started to dominate with the Lewes midfield, comprised of Leigh Chivers, Marie Spence and Emma Pavitt, providing great service to forwards Katinka Morris, Lisa Morrison and Anna Hilton, who nipped at the Andover defence like a border collie at a flock of sheep.
Lewes then earned a series of short corners. No sooner had Kerry Fitzpatrick injected the ball than it was buried into the Andover goal by a Sarah Hall bullet strike on 26 minutes. Just 6 minutes and 2 short corners later, Hall bagged another as her shot flew past the despairing Andover goalie. Andover kept trying hard and the Lewes defence comfortably dealt with the 2 shorts they earned and as half-time approached it remained 2 – 0 to Lewes.
With Lewes always quick out of the blocks, following Hugo Youngman’s usually inspiring half-time team talk, this match was no different and immediate pressure on the Andover goal resulted in a great Leigh Chivers poacher’s goal just 4 minutes after the re-start, which pretty much put the game beyond Andover. Carly Wise at left-half weaved her way round the bemused Andover players more than once and had another solid match and Camilla Busbridge also demonstrated some fine reverse passes down the left side.
Lewes’ Anna Hilton picked up a silly green card and Andover picked up a green and a yellow as they became more and more frustrated during the second half. Andover did manage a couple of attacks, one of which resulted in an extremely scrappy goal being awarded. Lewes didn’t think the ball had crossed the line, but the umpire saw differently and the final score was Lewes 3 – Andover 1. Sarah Hall was voted MOM, for a great performance.
Lewes will now look forward to a very busy hockey weekend when they play second place East Grinstead on Saturday and are also away to Teddington on Sunday in the quarter final of the EH Trophy.
Sussex Men’s Division 2
Brighton 4s 3
Lewes 4s 4 (Troak B, Troak J, Smart, Heinzl)
Lewes gained a well deserved victory in this local derby at a wet and windswept Blatchington Mill School. With a number of enforced changes it was no surprise Lewes started slowly and Brighton capitalized. The hosts exposed the lack of cover down the left side of the Lewes defence and scored twice from pin point crosses in the opening twenty minutes. Lewes settled and missed chances to get back into the match until just on half time when Brandon Troak scored from close range to make it 2-1.
Lewes started the second half better and equalised when Heinzl rounded the goalkeeper to score and then Billy Smart scored with a powerful shot after a melee in the hosts’ defence. Brighton came back but goalkeeper Chris Sharpe made some important saves before youngster Jack Troak made it 4-2 scoring from an oblique angle after a good run into the circle. Lewes absorbed pressure in the final minutes and Brighton got their third just on the final whistle but Lewes ran out narrow winners to move up to sixth in the league.