There was much anticipation over the new season for Lewes, after surviving by the skin of their teeth in March, new faces and new leadership brought upon fresh optimism. The first test – Spencer at the unseasonally sunny Southdown.
There was a big blow to the squad pre-game as Chris Spruce withdrew with injury, awarding a starting place to young Sam Heinzl. Ed Firth returned in central midfield.
Lewes started the brighter of the two sides against the South London outfit, forcing a save early on and winning a Penalty Corner. Warner failed to convert and as the game progressed, Spencer grew into the game.
Mid-way through the first half came the game’s main talking point. A circle penetration from the away side and a rogue tackle by the Lewes defence saw the umpire award a straight penalty stroke. Goalkeeper Josh Pewter guessed right but was unable to stop the flick. 1-0 Spencer.
Frustration at the decision meant a loss of concentration and Spencer pressed on to double their advantage. Pewter pulled off two more saves and Ed Firth stopped brilliantly on the left post.
In the second half, Lewes grew in stature and worked hard to find a way back into the game. Cheered on by the crowd, the Lewes attack of Baxter, Fuller and Murray worked hard to get a breakthrough. The final outcome was however lacking.
As Lewes pressed higher to find the allusive goal, they became exposed on the counter attack but a great display from James Callaway and the defensive unit kept them at bay. There were a few last gasp chances but the scoreline stayed 0-1 in what was a hard fought, well mannered but unfortunately unsuccessful match. Lewes travel to Oxford Hawks next Saturday.
Sussex Divison 1
Hailsham 1s 3
Lewes 2s 1 (Rideout)
The men’s 2s suffered a 3-1 defeat in their first league match to a raring-to-go Hailsham team.
Playing at 3.30, Lewes were slow out of the blocks in the opening 10 minutes but settled down, winning two short corners which were not converted. Lewes’s forward line of new boys Max Spedding, Josh Petty, Jonny Rea and Henry Parnell worked hard and created opportunities but were unable to convert making the score 0-0 at half time.
The 2nd half turned into a testy affair as Lewes allowed themselves to be riled by Hailsham. Early on Hailsham took the lead through a short corner. Despite resolute defending from the experienced Andy Green and good keeping from the returning John Clayton, Lewes were unable to stop Hailsham adding a 2nd soon after from another short corner as James Heaton’s unlucky deflection hit the roof of the net.
With 15 minutes left Lewes received a lifeline as Hailsham received two yellow cards in the space of five minutes. Lewes capitalised on the two man advantage and pulled a goal back though a deflection in the D by Joe Rideout. However in their push for an equaliser, Lewes allowed Hailsham to win a short corner on the break which was promptly converted.
To succeed in the league Lewes will need show more determination and composure but will be encouraged by the strong defending of James Heaton, Pete Fuller and Andy Green and good keeping of John Clayton as well as the creativity up front.
Sussex Men’s Open League Division 2
Lewes 3’s 7 (Pewter (3). Champness (2), Pulley (2))
South Saxons 2’s 1
In the early stages of the game Lewes sieged South Saxon’s goal but with no results. Lewes paid for the lack of end product, as Saxons hit on the counter attack and took the lead. Lewes yet again applied pressure to the South Saxons goal but this time they had sharpened up and tore the Saxons defence apart. A first half hat-trick from Josh Pewter and another from Will Champness gave Lewes a 4-1 half time lead. Another from Champness early in the second half set the tone for the second half. Goals from Rich Pulley completed the route.
Sussex Ladies League Division 2
Lewes Ladies 5s 1 (Jackson)
Chichester Priory Park 3s 1
The match got off to a great start, with Lewes pushing forward with an attacking momentum. Despite their best efforts however, Lewes were unable to find the back of the net. An unfortunate error from a defensive short corner led to a penalty flick being awarded to the Chichester, but after a brilliant save by goalie Sarah Wise, the score remained 0-0.
The second half continued with strong play across the field. A determined push from Chichester led to a goal which was impossibly hard to defend. Lewes didn’t let the momentum lag however, and continued to attack the Chichester goal. In the final minutes of the game, a superbly powerful ball into the circle by Zoe Richards, found Iris Jackson poised by the left post, and Lewes came back to equal the score in the dying seconds of the match.