South Premier Mens Division 2
Lewes 1s 1 (Price)
Tulse Hill 3
With a number of games postponed due to the freezing weather, Lewes could not take advantage against league leaders Tulse Hill despite a spirited performance at the Southdown Club.
Lewes were set up with numbers in midfield and this worked early on as the hosts controlled the match with skipper Matt Clark prominent and were unlucky not to take the lead when Jonny Rea scored with a rising shot after the lacklustre Tulse Hill defence got in a muddle, but the umpire ruled the ball had gone over the back line first and disallowed it despite Lewes protests. Lewes continued to dominate and ten minutes before half time deservedly scored when a pass out of defence from Grant Davey, in his first game since October after breaking a finger, was touched on by David Roberts to Toby Price who raced clear and scored with a fierce strike from the top of the circle. Lewes’ defence was under pressure just before the break, conceding successive penalty corners but keeper Simon Bullmore made an outstanding reflex save from the second one to preserve the lead.
The early pressure in the second half came again from Lewes but a penalty corner from Price was a routine save for the Tulse Hill keeper and the chance was gone to increase the lead. Up until then Tulse Hill had shown little evidence of being top of the league but slowly they grew in ascendancy and began to enjoy more possession and mid way through equalised from a well worked penalty corner. The impetus was now with the visitors and they scored again from another penalty corner five minutes later to take the lead. Lewes struggled to get back into the match despite exerting some pressure and had another penalty corner flick saved before, five minutes from time, a deflected cross off a Lewes defender’s stick was parried by the alert Bullmore – but Tulse Hill were first onto the loose ball to make it 3-1. There was still time for Matt Rickson to produce a skilful run from half way into the circle but his shot was well saved and Lewes’ final opportunity was gone.
With Staines winning Lewes have slipped into the bottom two and now face a crucial away game on Saturday against Purley Walcountians.
Sussex Men’s div 2
Brighton & Hove 4s 2
Lewes 3s 0
The first half of the game was far from perfect seeing Lewes outplayed in the attacking half of the pitch, but with a well organised defence they gave Brighton few moments to turn into goal scoring chances. A real highlight of the first half was the debut of Leon Keating for the 3s – putting in a high work rate bravely stepping into every tackle coming down the right side and creating a brick wall for Brighton. At half time the score was 1-0 Brighton.
Going into the second half Lewes had a changed mind set – going into the game with a true belief that they could win. They made some good attacking play -which were near to absent in the first half. Brighton’s defence was very strong staying tight on their players and making it difficult for Lewes to get something out of their attacks. However, Brighton’s quick attacking ways were far from over and they charged Lewes with good pace and passed the ball quickly. The Lewes defence could not keep all these attacks at bay and the balls that slipped through resulted in some world class saves by Charlie Palmer only conceding one goal – a good shot by Brighton. This left Lewes 2-0 Down. Undaunted they continued to attempt to get back into the game but as the clock ticked down, fatigue set in and the men in green couldn’t pull anything out of the hat. Full time Brighton 2 Lewes 0.
Ignoring the score line Lewes 3s made a great effort against a very strong Brighton side. With Leon Keating winning the team’s man of the match on his first game.