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Rooks frustrated by Faversham

Lewes moved up to sixth place and are now outside the play-offs only on goal difference, but had to settle for a point against Faversham in a game of few chances at the Pan reports Tom Harper.

Darren Freeman made three changes to the side that had narrowly lost at Greenwich in their previous game, with new signing Matthew Hurley, Jamie Brotherton and Stephen Okoh replacing Stacey Freeman, the suspended Matthew George and Gus Sow in the starting line-up.  These changes saw Charlie Coppola moved to left-back, with Okoh and Brotherton starting out wide.

The Rooks started brightly and saw Jonte Smith have a goal disallowed inside the first few minutes, as he was correctly ruled offside after converting a Brotherton cross from close range.  Lewes continued to play most of the football against a physical Faversham side as the half progressed, and were unfortunate to see Okoh hit the side-netting from a difficult angle after an impressive passing move in midfield.

The visitors still had an outside chance of making the play-offs heading into the game and looked dangerous on the counter, with Chris Winterton saving bravely at the feet of George Monger after the midfielder had got in behind the Lewes defence.  Winterton had to be alert again just before half-time to push a close-range header round the post.

There were few chances of note during the first 20 minutes of the second half, with both defences proving tough to break down. The Rooks still looked dangerous at times though, with Okoh sending a curling effort that was always rising over the bar from the edge of the area.

Okoh continued to look the most likely scorer for Lewes, and was unfortunate to see his close-range effort charged down by a defender after an impressive run that had taken him past several Faversham players in and around the penalty area.

The visitors were playing a more direct style but came close to taking the lead minutes later, as Winterton was forced into a fine double-save to deny Joshua Stanford and Sam Berwick in quick succession.

Lewes should have been awarded a penalty with just over ten minutes remaining, as Okoh attempted to latch onto a flick-on from substitute Ronnie Conlon but saw the ball knocked out of his path by the arm of a covering defender. The Rooks fans behind the goal were adamant it was a penalty, as were the players. Unfortunately, both the referee and the linesman closest to the incident appeared to miss the contact so waved play on.

Both sides continued to push for a winner in the closing stages, and it was Faversham who came closest when Berwick sent a half-volley from the edge of the area just wide in injury-time. Understandably, Darren was disappointed with the point when he spoke post-match to Barry Collins.

Next up for the Rooks is the visit of Corinthian Casuals to the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Brotherton (Kealy 81), Harrington, Hurley (Freeman 81), Malins, Okoh, Hammond (Conlon 64), Smith, Dixon, Coppola.

Unused Subs: Bown, Reed.

Booked: Kealy.

Faversham Town: Godmon, Cooper, Maxted, Carrington, Bourne, Berwick, Stanford (Casey 87), Monger, King (Harvey 75), Rook (Robertson 87), Tenyue.

Unused Subs: Cheek, Lightfoot.

Booked: Maxted, Bourne, Stanford, Monger, Rook.

Referee: Mike Desborough

Attendance: 432