SOUTH PREMIER DIVISION 1
LEWES 1ST XI 2 (SPRUCE, COOKE)
OLD GEORGIANS 5
The result was not a surprise as league leaders Old Georgians defeated lowly Lewes but the hosts can take some positives from this defeat. Still missing the experience of skipper Matt Clark (hamstring) and Alex Warner (back injury) it was always going to be a tough task to get anything from this match with a young side.
Lewes started poorly, conceding two early goals as a penalty corner strike went through goalkeeper Josh Pewter and then the league’s top goal scorer and ex Great Britain Olympian James Tindall deflected home a right wing cross as the home defence went missing. To Lewes’ credit rather, than rolling over they took the game to Old Georgians by defending resolutely and breaking quickly exposing their lack of pace in defence. Two penalty corners came to nothing but then Chris Spruce and Alex Baxter exchanged passes just over the half way line and Spruce drove into the circle and scored with a fierce shot into the bottom of the goal to make it 2-1. Just before half time Baxter was thwarted by the goalkeeper when he found himself one on one at the top of the circle from an Ed Firth pass as Lewes finished in the ascendency.
The second half saw Old Georgians regain control as Lewes struggled to maintain the momentum from the end of the first half. They were not helped throughout the half losing players to green and yellow cards as the pressure built. James Calloway and Tom Stratford in defence broke up a number of attacks but could do nothing as Tindall grabbed a hat-trick with two reverse stick strikes from penalty corners and then ten minutes from time a loose ball into the circle was not cleared and was converted to make it 5-1. Pewter then made a number of good saves to prevent further goals as Lewes’s goal was under siege and five minutes before the end with Old Georgians down to ten players James Fuller won a penalty corner which Ben Cooke converted from a rebound to make it 5-2.
On Saturday Lewes have another tough task when they face the journey to Havant who are second in the league and further boosted by reaching the last 8 of the National Cup last weekend.
Sussex Men’s Division 1
Middleton 1s 3
Lewes 2s (Spedding, Tapping, Rea)
The 2s travelled to Littlehampton to face a Middleton side sitting 3 points ahead of them in the league and now the home of former Lewes player Chris Tonkin.
Having had two disappointing losses in the last two weeks, Skipper Seb Daniels was looking for a response and Lewes started well, pressing and hassling Middleton into mistakes. Early on Lewes won a short corner which Max Spedding powered top right to give Lewes a 1-0 lead. Despite pressure from Middleton, Ben Berril made a succession of quality saves to help Lewes take this lead into half time.
Lewes started the second half on the front foot and won numerous shorts but were unable to convert. However, Tonkin made a trademark foul on Tapping and was sent off, allowing Lewes to capitalise as Tapping pounced in the D to slot past the keeper and give Lewes a 2-0 lead with twenty minutes left to go.
Lewes took their foot off the gas and sloppy defending allowed Middleton to score two goals in quick succession and level 2-2 with 10 minutes on the clock. Sam Rea however had other ideas and flicked in with 7 left to give Lewes what looked like a well fought win. However, the hockey gods were smiling on Middleton as a generous deflection fell perfectly to a Middleton forward who snatched them a point.
On Saturday Lewes 2s take on bottom of the page Worthing at home in a must win game – the team will need to show better concentration to secure a victory.
South Ladies Division 3B
Lewes 1s 4 (Molloy 2, Chivers, Hilton)
Surbiton 3s 1
Lewes ladies 1s walked onto the pitch with a point to prove to themselves against a young Surbiton side. They played hard from the outset, following strict direction to do so from coach Hugo Youngman. Surbiton certainly felt the pressure as Lewes kept great possession during the first half. There were some great moves down the right involving first team debutee Gabby Rudrum.
Lewes were soon rewarded for their hard work with a first goal; an impressive reverse stick shot from Laura Molloy. The forwards continued to work well together, creating lots of chances in front of the Surbiton goal. A very slick short corner routine saw Molloy flick into the top corner for her second.
Surbiton came back fighting in the second half and Lewes dropped off a little, allowing Surbiton to pull a goal back. A narrow margin win has been a frequent occurrence for the ladies this season but this time the performance had been to strong to settle for a 2-1 result. With 5 minutes to go some skilful play from Marie Spence in the centre of midfield put Leigh Chivers through on goal and from the top of the D she slotted the ball into the opposite bottom corner to make the margin more comfortable.
Not to be outdone by the other forwards Anna Hilton intercepted a Surbiton ball round the back to go through on goal herself and find the top corner to seal the 4-1 win for Lewes. A great team performance and the ladies’ biggest win of the season so far.
SUSSEX DIVISION 2
LEWES 4TH XI 1 (ROWLANDs)
LITTLEHAMPTON 1ST XI 1
Lewes will feel disappointed they did not take all three points having dominated possession for long periods. In wet and windy conditions they took the lead when Sean Rowlands converted a penalty corner midway through the first half but five minutes later a quick break caught out the hosts’ defence and Littlehampton equalised with a fierce shot from the top of the circle.
The second half saw Lewes dominate possession but they were unable to convert this or their penalty corners into goals. Mike Fuller threatened on the left wing but the Littlehampton defence held out and in the final ten minutes they sensed they could snatch victory as Lewes tired but goalkeeper Chris Sharpe made some good saves to ensure Lewes at least got a point from the match.
Lewes Mens 5s 3 (Bullen, Coplestone 2)
Mid Sussex Mens 3s 1
The final floodlit slot of the day saw Lewes 3-1 victors at Southdowns on Saturday against Mid Sussex 3s.
From the outset this bottom of the table ‘6-pointer’ was an evenly matched game with the home side buoyed by the return of Martin Coombs to the centre of defence and both Pewter brothers playing on opposite wings. Lewes were rewarded for their efforts after 10 minutes when left-back Tim Bullen ventured into unknown territory and cracked a terrific shot from the edge of the D that found its way through the Mid Sussex keeper’s legs.
Whilst legs were fresh, the visitors quickly countered and levelled the score before Lewes pressed again and again with James Coplestone finding the back of the net twice more. In the final minute before the break another Mid-Sussex counter-attack finished with a clear shot on goal cleared off the line by a Lewes foot. Whilst the resulting penalty stroke was struck low and hard, Lewes keeper Jon Cornish managed to get down quickly to produce a fine save and protect the home side’s two goal advantage.
In the second half Lewes decided to push for one more goal instead of protecting their lead and so with Middies also looking for goals the game turned into a midfield slog in the driving wind and rain. Lewes Club Captain Josh Pewter worked tirelessly as usual up and down the left wing but unfortunately his efforts were not rewarded from two reverse stick tomahawks that (on this occasion) cleared the fence to land in the netball courts! Both sides occasionally tested the opposition keepers but were unable to convert any further chances.
Sussex Ladies Division 2
Lewes Ladies 4s 3 (Jackson, Leatherland 2)
Chichester Priory Park 3s 2
The home side were looking for their first win of the season; and they certainly didn’t disappoint any of their 4 supporters (including team dog). Despite a black eye and near broken ankle the game was a friendly affair and kept the onlookers on tenterhooks as the teams took turns to score. Lewes’ first came from Iris ‘I’m never playing hockey again’ Jackson from a short corner routine. Followed in the second half by Sara ‘Quick a pre-match gym session’ Leatherland who scored her first ever goal for Lewes with a strike from the left post then followed it up with a second from exactly the same position. The Lewes ladies were pleased with their performance and look forward to travelling to Littlehamption next week to face fellow promoted Middleton.