Premier men’s division 1
Milton Keynes 3
Lewes 2 (Baxter, Heinzl)
Late Lewes revival not enough to avoid defeat at MK
Lewes travelled to Milton Keynes off the back of an impressive display against Oxford Uni the week before. With injuries to Dave Roberts and Matt Rickson, a debut was awarded to Jo Piller who slotted in at the back.
In a blustery first 35 minutes, Lewes failed to replicate the intensity and quality of passing of 7 days before, with Milton Keynes pressing high and forcing turnovers from a young defensive unit. When the outlets of Fuller and Spruce were released, the home sides’ physical presence was apparent holding Lewes to just one penalty corner, which didn’t result in much success.
Lewes are however showing an excellent ability to counter attack with pace and determination and this was shown again as a excellent run by Ben Cooke found Alex Baxter on the back post, netting his 7th of the season. Despite a couple of late chances from MK to draw level, Josh Pewter in net held firm as the boys in green entered the break in the lead.
The second half Lewes played into the gale force winds and were pegged back in their own half. Harvey Waller was given a 2 minute suspension and it was then that Milton Keynes finally found a way through, an exuberant reverse stick strike flew in off the post. They soon added another with a backpost volley to leave Lewes trailing, and to make matters worse added a third through a well executed penalty corner.
Lewes needed to regain composure and find a foothold in the game. Josh Pewter made a string of saves to the frustration of the home side and with 10 minutes to go Lewes started to play their best hockey of the match. A nice passing move saw a shot blocked by the keeper with the rebound falling to Sam Heinzl, who made no mistake, scoring his first senior goal with 5 minutes to play to make it 3-2.
Unfortunately however it was too little too late and despite pressure, Lewes could not find an equaliser. Lewes travel to Henley in the final fixture of 2015, in what will be an important 6 pointer.
Sussex men’s division 1
Lewes 2s 3 (Parnell, Best, Collier)
East Grinstead 3s 1
Buoyed by their 4-2 win over second placed Penguins the previous week, Lewes 2s were confident going into a game vs a young East Grinstead side who were still in search of their first win. Lewes started strongly, with the defence of Wenzl, Heaton, Daniels and Collier moving the ball quickly and linking up with the midfield of Worlidge, Spedding and Best. As the pressure on EG built, Parnell made a darting run to the P spot to deflect Daniels’ pass and put Lewes 1-0 up. Chances came and went for Lewes up front with good work from Jonny Rea, Sam Rea, Parnell and Best whilst the defence seemed comfortable on the ball. However, a lapse in concentration allowed an EG player to ghost into the D and walk the ball round 3 players to level 1-1 10 minutes before half time. Despite Lewes’ efforts, with Max Spedding unlucky not to scorer after walking past the whole East Grinstead defence, the score remained 1-1 going to the break.
The half time team talk was full of positivity as Lewes vowed to focus on moving the ball quickly, dribbling less and being more clinical… and it was all three of those qualities combined that saw Mark Best put Lewes 2-1 up, finishing off a team move that saw nearly every player touch the ball as East Grinstead tried and failed to full press Lewes. Taking the lead should have caused Lewes to kick on and finish off the game but nerves set in as East Grinstead threw everything forward, winning a succession of 4 short corners where only the saves from Ben Berril in goal and Daniels & Collier on the posts denied East Grinstead from levelling.
Having come through the period of pressure, Lewes went back to cutting East Grinstead apart going forward. One attack resulted in a short corner where Scott Collier took advantage of a kind deflection to powerfully flick past the keeper and give Lewes a comfortable 3-1 lead. Now playing champagne hockey, Lewes should have added another from a lovely move between Jonny Rea and Parnell… only for Jonny Rea to pass when the goal was gaping. Final score 3-1.
Next Saturday the 2s are at home at 3pm against St Francis, looking to move up to 6th place in the league and continue a strong run of form.
Sussex Ladies Division 2
Lewes 4s 2 (Jackson)
Brighton & Hove 4s 7
It’s beginning to look a lot like hockey
The ladies 4s played their last game before Christmas and what a cracker it was. The defence had learned from the previous week and held off the opposition better, to make it only 3-0 to the visitors at half time. Both Lewes’ goals came in the second half with the first created by Sara Leatherland dribbling and then crossing into the D for Iris ‘found my Mojo’ Jackson to smash into the back of the goal. The second started with a break from the back, then Mary Harley drove the ball from outside the D to set up Jackson for a text book finish. There were promising first appearances from Sarah Strachan and lsabella Gooding and a welcome cameo role from Becky Wycherley