A late goal from James McShane saw Lewes fall to an unfortunate defeat against title-chasing Dorking Wanderers at the Pan reports Tom Harper.
Darren Freeman made one change to the side that lost 5-1 at home to Tooting in their previous game, with Alex Malins returning from injury and replacing Lloyd Cotton in the starting line-up.
Lewes made a bright start to the game with a strong wind behind them, with Stacey Freeman scuffing a close-range effort wide after a dangerous cross wasn’t dealt with by the Dorking back four. Dorking took the lead after 18 minutes, as Chris Boulter was left unmarked to head a Beard free-kick from the right into the bottom corner.
The game was played in midfield for much of the remainder of the half, as both sides did their best to play passing football despite the conditions. The Rooks finished the half strongly though, and saw Jack Dixon force a smart save from Slavomir Huk with a low effort from a tight angle, before James Hammond sent a curling strike wide just before half-time.
Lewes started the second half on the front foot and were level within eight minutes of the restart, as a long throw from the left by Lloyd Harrington caused confusion in the Dorking defence, allowing Hammond to place a curling effort past Huk and into the bottom corner. The visitors continued to look threatening when they went forward, particularly at set-pieces, and saw a goal-bound header from a dangerous corner blocked in the six-yard box before the ball was eventually cleared.
The Rooks were posing more of a threat in the final third themselves though, with Stephen Okoh seeing an effort blocked by Huk at his near post after he out-paced the visitor’s defence to latch onto a Jonte Smith through-ball. Dorking regained their lead after 76 minutes, as another inviting corner was headed back across goal at the far post, and James McShane was left with the time and space to guide a shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net. The visitors immediately reverted to a more defensive formation after regaining the lead, which saw the Rooks enjoy most of the possession during the closing stages.
Lewes could have equalised within minutes, as Huk was unable to deal with a corner from the right, but redeemed himself with a fine save to keep out a powerful effort from Okoh. The Rooks had their final chance of the game at the start of injury-time, with Smith only able to guide a header from a Dixon free-kick into the side-netting from a difficult angle.
This was an unfortunate defeat for Lewes, with their performance arguably being good enough to deserve a point against a Dorking side who look set to push Tooting all the way for the league title.
The Rooks will hope to put their last two games behind them when they travel to Molesey on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Pictures from the game can be found here.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George (Grimaud 86), Harrington, Freeman, Malins, Okoh, Hammond (Sow 73), Smith, Dixon, Coppola (Bown 89).
Unused Subs: Munoz-Fernandez, Kealy.
Booked: Harrington, Hammond.
Dorking Wanderers: Huk, Sheridan, Boulter, Hamlin, Dyett, Oakes, Beecroft, Beard (Gunner 68), Chendlik (Sole 74), Tolfrey (Beckles 84), McShane.
Unused Subs: Wells, Mahony.
Booked: Sheridan, Beard, Tolfrey, McShane.
Referee: Philip Eddie