South Prem Div 1
London Wayfarers 6
Lewes 6 (Baxter 3, Spruce, Cooke, Lloyd)
One of the reasons we all love sport, is the roller coaster of emotions that it brings. 7 days ago, Lewes clung on for a 0-0 draw, and it felt like a victory. This week, with 2 goals conceded in the final minute, two calamitous errors and some expert finishing from the home side, the 6-6 draw against London Wayfarers, felt like a defeat.
In truth, a draw was a far from ideal result for either side. Separated by a single point at the wrong end of the table, a win would have been an excellent vantage point from which to chase the middle pack in the league.
Lewes started incredibly brightly and found themselves 3 goals to the good within the first 10 minutes. The 3 touch passing style working to excellent effect. Alex Lloyd in his new role up top caused havoc and Ben Cooke found much room on the right side, getting behind the defence to great effect.
In truth, it could have been more however Wayfarers gained a counter attack against run of play and a penalty corner was conceded. Pewter saved but the rebound was forced in from close range. Moments later a marking mix up saw the Wayfarers forward in acres of space and reduced the deficit to just 1 goal going into half time.
Lewes soon found their footing again and it wasn’t long before they regained the lead. Baxter scoring his second before Spruce added another. Wayfarers pulled one back with a tidy reverse to make it 5-3.
A nice piece of individual skill from Callaway resulted in a nasty foul on skipper Matt Clark. A penalty was awarded and Baxter rounded off his hattrick and 11th of the season from the spot.
At 6-3 Lewes should have been high and dry. However a dubious penalty corner was awarded for not being 5 metres. It struck Tom Stratford on the line and a penalty was awarded. It was dispatched. 6-4.
With 90 seconds left Lewes just needed to hold on to the ball. The ball was turned over deep into the London side’s half and a speculative aerial ball was sent forward. Dave Roberts failed to bring it down and the Wayfarers forward struck a thunderous volley into the side netting.
25 seconds left, Lewes just had to hold on to the ball. It was passed back to defence and a spot of confusion saw James Callaway pass the ball straight to the opposing central midfielder. He found the forward 1 v 1 against Pewter, and with seconds to spare, he found the deftness of touches to slot it in, spurring wild celebrations from the home side and disbelieving looks of horror from the Lewes players.
For the neutral it was an exceptional game that had it all. For Lewes, despite the nagging sense of what could have been, they have to take the positives in what was their first point away from home this season. They have goals, the players and a fantastic team spirit that is unwavering. If they can add some composure to hold out games in the closing stages, the results in the final 8 games will come.
Lewes host Old Cranleighans at home on Saturday.
Sussex Open Division 2
Southwick 2nd XI 1
Lewes 4th XI 5 (Green (3), Jervis (2))
Lewes got back to winning ways with a good away victory at Portslade Leisure Centre. Lewes dominated the early exchanges and Andy Green opened the scoring midway through from close range after some good build up play. Soon after Rory Jervis doubled the lead with a trademark reverse stick strike. Just on half time Lewes defender Mark Tonkin made a crucial block on the goal line from the hosts’ only penalty corner of the half.
Southwick scored early in the second half after a misplaced pass allowed them to break quickly and reduce the arrears. Lewes quickly recovered and got their third when Jervis scored from the top of the circle and then goalkeeper Chris Sharpe made some good saves as the hosts tried to get back into the match. In the final five minutes Green scored from a penalty corner and in the dying seconds scored his hat trick and Lewes’ fifth with an accurate flick.
Sussex Ladies League Div 2
Lewes 4s 2 (Ketley, Harley)
Honeybees 1s 4
After an early January 1-1 friendly against top-flight Honeybees the Lewes Ladies went into this fixture with some degree of confidence that it wouldn’t be a repeat of the 8-0 drubbing last October. Although still missing Captain Mould in the key central mid field position, Lewes have really started to play cohesively – using the width and creating chances with long balls to the eagle-eyed forwards. This game was no exception but at half time the visitors held a one goal advantage.
Lewes had warmed up by the time the whistle went for the second half and finally managed to break through the Bees’ defence. Firstly with a reverse push goal from Fern Ketley. Their second came from a break away run from Zoe Richards and Mary Harley. Harley received Richards’ pass to take the ball into the D and strike it to the left post.
However, there wasn’t enough time for Lewes to better their 2 goals and it finished 2-4.