Lewes Men’s 4s Through to County Finals
Holders Lewes Mens 4th XI progressed to the County finals in a close, round robin qualifying tournament at Blatchington Mill School on Saturday.
With five teams in their group and in unseasonally warm conditions the games were only twenty minutes each so it was important not to concede early goals. Lewes opened with a tentative goalless draw with East Grinstead as both teams struggled to create chances. Lewes followed this with a 1-1 draw with Crawley with Will Champness scoring with a thunderous penalty corner strike. It was all to play for against Worthing and Lewes crucially took the lead through George Martin and then the defence with goalkeeper Chris Sharpe and defenders Chris Picken and Ed Cade dominant did not allow Worthing many opportunities to get back into the game and won 1-0.
Lewes knew victory in their final game against Chichester would ensure a place in the final. They dominated possession but took a while to convert one of their chances before Jame Coplestone scored to give them the crucial lead. With Ben Godwin, Bill Short and Martyn Stillman tackling and spoiling any Chichester possession Lewes survived some anxious moments to win 1-0 and will defend their trophy in the final against Brighton over the weekend of 22/23 April with all the County Men’s finals again being hosted by Lewes at the Southdown Club.
Sussex Div 1
East Grinstead 3s 2
Lewes 2s 5 (Blackwell, Worlidge, Rea, Rideout, Lord Yeats)
Lewes Men’s 2s Rock Up to East Grinstead and Roll Them Over
A classy 5-2 away win at East Grinstead sums up the team’s season. Passages of brilliance, the odd lapse in concentration, profligacy in front of goal and a real fighting spirit.
Will East Grinstead techno prisoners?
With relegation hanging over them Lewes Mens 2s could have been forgiven for feeling a sense of trepidation ahead of their last game at high profile East Grinstead. But neither the heat, nor a crotchety East Grinstead team got under the skin of a Lewes side that has put in some decent, if occasionally gritty, performances over the past few weeks.
Lewes drum up a flying start
Lewes stormed into the first half all guns blazing. East Grinstead were clearly unsettled by Lewes’ high-press, quick transfers and direct runs. Early Lewes pressure should have resulted in goals and with EG starting to offer a bit more in attack it was important to get the first one. Rae and Lord Yeats had some close calls. But, after a scrappy foul by the keeper, it was Worlidge who stepped up to calmly slot away the penalty flick. 1-0 Lewes.
Lewes were dominating and showing some lovely touches, passes and movement across the pitch. The team haven’t always turned this kind of dominance into goals, so, although the second goal wasn’t unexpected, when it came there was a definite sense of relief. Rae’s speed was flummoxing the EG defence and his high work rate paid off, setting up Yeats at the back post, who looked as surprised as everyone else when he touched the assist in.
Hold tight for the drop! Lewes let loose the bangers
Rea, having set-up the second goal, quickly snaffled one for himself just a few minutes later. And when Rideout spun his marker and slammed in Lewes’ 4th EG looked dead in the water. With Lewes legs tiring at the end of the first half EG had a couple of half-chances at goal, but nothing to worry Lewes’ solid looking defence.
A grimey reminder of potential danger
Lewes went into half time with a real sense of satisfaction with the quality of hockey being played. But it was EG who started the second half stronger. Better movement and distribution resulted in a series of short corners which Lewes defended resolutely. EG’s goal came from a moment of indecision in defence which allowed an EG player to thread a shot through a knot of defenders and into the corner of the Lewes goal. 4-1.
The goal was a welcome wake-up call. Even with a 4-goal cushion, Lewes couldn’t bask in the soft Sussex sun, and just switch off. The team were galvanised into action and spent the next 10 minutes peppering the EG defence. Credit should go to the EG keeper who made a couple of good saves. In front of a decent crowd, Lewes should have earned more applause by slotting away at least 3 more goals.
As it was a Lewes penalty corner resulted in the EG keeper conceding another penalty flick, which Blackwell stepped up for. He later admitted that his shot was supposed to be buried in the right corner. It actually went straight down the middle. But the EG keeper went the wrong way. And they all count don’t they? 5-1 Lewes.
Lewes regain the rhythm. EG get the blues.
EG seemed devoid of ideas. Nothing was really coming off for them. And it was only tired Lewes defensive legs that offered a chance to one of their dangerous looking forwards who scored a screamer on the reverse. This consolation goal came with just 5 minutes to go and EG didn’t really threaten again. Lewes finished by far the stronger side creating more chances and generally bossing things.
5-2 is a satisfying result given the supposed strength of the EG attacking frontline. Who, although they looked dangerous at times, just didn’t see enough of the ball thanks to an authoritative performance from Lewes’ defence and midfield.
Rave end of season reviews.
Always entertaining, this game shows the potential this (mostly) young squad has. A few more performances like this would have seen Lewes challenging for the top slots in division one. As it is, with such a decent side, next season is full of promise for the 2s, whatever league they end up in. For now the team can look back on the last few weeks as a brilliant return to winning ways. And look forward to next season with a true sense of anticipation.
MOTM: D. Wain.
Sussex men’s u21 tournament
The future’s bright, the future’s green and black
A young Lewes side showed great strength and tightness as a group in Sunday’s annual Sussex HA inter-club U21s competition held at the Southdown Sports Club, finishing fourth of five sides.
Led by the excellent Michael Wood, surrounded by seasoned pro’s Max Wootten, Oli Tapping, Jonny Rea, Dan Blackwell and Joe Rideout the team played some lovely flowing hockey despite going down 2-1 (Rea) to Eastbourne in the first game.
Defensively, the team worked tirelessly exemplified by the efforts of Ali Hancorn, Harry Devonport, Jamie Cooke, Gui Green, Drew Wain and Sam Worlidge stopping all efforts of Mid Sussex and Brighton in two successive nil-nil draws.
The final game saw the hosts finally concede a third goal, despite some more wonderful saves from GK Billy Palmer but were unable to answer Horsham who ran out 1-0 victors.
Eastbourne were the overall tournament winners.