SOUTH PREMIER MEN DIVISION 2
LEWES MENS 1s 1 (Clark)
WEST HAMPSTEAD MENS 1s 3
Could the real Lewes Mens 1st XI stand up please? Another disappointing home performance saw Lewes well beaten and slip to fifth place in the league.
Their away performances have been better than their home ones and Lewes were made to pay for an insipid display in front of a good crowd at The Southdown Club. In the opening exchanges Lewes were caught out down the left side of their defence and failed to clear leaving a simple tap in at the far post for West Hampstead. Lewes could not get any pattern of play going with passes going astray and could have been further behind from two penalty corners but for goalkeeper Ben Berrill’s instinctive saves. Jonny Rea ran tirelessly up front pressuring the opposition defence and Lewes finally won a penalty corner themselves but Toby Price the four goal hero the previous week could not get a shot away as the routine tamely broke down.
In the second half both sides lost players to green and yellow cards as mistimed tackles and dissent was punished by the Umpires. Mike Wood and Matt Rickson had solid games in defence for Lewes but the lack of link up play from midfield to the forwards was evident. Midway through the one piece of quality from the hosts was rewarded when Price sent a pinpoint pass to skipper Matt Clark running through and his first touch was crucial leaving him with an accurate lob over the oncoming goalkeeper for a superb equaliser. At last this gave Lewes a lift and for a ten minute period they pressed hard but still did not force the West Hampstead goalkeeper into a save. Lewes’s second and final penalty corner was surprisingly switched and came to nothing and in the closing ten minutes West Hampstead pressed and converted a penalty corner with a fierce drag flick into the top corner. Then in the final minute they scored from another penalty corner to show Lewes on the day how to make the most of their opportunities.
Lewes face Winchester away tomorrow (Saturday) and will need an improved performance to stay in touch with the top three. They look likely to be without broken finger duo Aussie Grant Davey and Rory Jervis for a few more weeks yet.
Sussex Men’s division 2
Lewes 3s 4 (Martin 3, Pulley)
South Saxons 2s 1
Lewes faced high-flying Saxons on a chilly morning at Falmer. The talk pre game was about getting out of the blocks quickly this week, something not done in previous matches.
The first 20 minutes were fairly even but neither keeper was really tested. The new Lewes defensive partnership of Thomas and Fitch looking particularly comfortable. The break through came for Lewes when a great aerial from Pete Fuller was picked up by George Martin who calmly slotted past the advancing keeper. 1-0. The last 10 minutes of the 1st half was Lewes’ poorest spell of the game and we were duly punished just before half time, when a Saxons penalty corner was superbly roofed past the helpless Palmer by his own team mate Sam Newman.
The 2nd half was again fairly even, but as Lewes entered the final stages of the game, a yellow card for not retreating 5 meters for a Saxons defender was to prove pivotal. Soon after Newman read a weak pass from the Saxons midfield and intercepted the ball and burst into the opposition half before off loading to Martin who scored his 2nd to make it 2-1. Almost immediately Pulley and Matthews combined to win Lewes a penalty corner which was converted, via a Saxons foot, by Martin for his hat trick. In the dying seconds Lewes were awarded another corner as Saxons discipline deserted them, from which Pulley calmly slotted home for a much deserved goal to round of a fantastic team display. 4-1!
Man of the Match was split 3 ways, but in fairness it could have gone to anyone of the men in green.
SUSSEX MENS OPEN DIVISION 3
MIDDLETON MENS 2ND XI. 1.
LEWES MENS 4TH XI. 2 (COPLESTONE (2))
Lewes went up to second in the league with this narrow victory. They dominated the first half with James Coplestone grabbing a brace seemingly putting Lewes on the road to a comfortable victory. Youngsters Leon Keating and Adam Stonley played well as Lewes continually pressurised the home defence.
The hosts came back strongly in the second half with good substitutions and reduced the deficit from close range mid way through. Lewes then had to dig deep in defence with Simon Forster outstanding and held out for an important win.