Broadbridge Heath 0 Lewes 1

Broadbridge Heath 0 - 1 Lewes
15 Nov 2016 - 19:45Broadbridge Heath FC

A goal from Ronnie Conlon in extra time helped Lewes to a narrow win against a hard-working Broadbridge Heath side in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup reports Tom Harper.

Darren Freeman made four changes to the side that beat Whyteleafe 2-1 in their previous game, with Arinse Uade, Gus Sow, James Hammond and Charlie Coppola replacing Matthew George, Lloyd Cotton, Conlon and Duncan Culley in the starting line-up.

The first half saw few chances for either side, with Lewes struggling to play the football that had seen them win their last five league games.

Despite this, the best chances of the half fell to the Rooks, with Stephen Okoh just being beaten to a Jack Dixon through-ball by Broadbridge Heath goalkeeper Michael Chester, before Jamie Brotherton cut in from the left and saw a powerful effort deflected just wide of the near post.

Lewes made a bright start to the second half, with Chester forced into action to push a Coppola header round the post and tip a looping header from Lloyd Harrington over the crossbar within minutes of the restart.

Harrington went close again for the Rooks later in the half, sending a well-struck effort from the edge of the area into the side-netting.

As well as being well-organised defensively, the hosts also posed an occasional threat going forward, and saw Shaun Findlay force a smart double save from Chris Winterton as the half progressed.

Lewes pushed for a winner in the closing stages to try and avoid extra time on a pitch that had become more difficult to play on as the game progressed due to heavy rain in the second half, with Coppola seeing an effort deflected just wide, before Harrington forced another fine save from Chester with a powerful header from a Sow cross.

The hosts seemed to be tiring at the start of extra time, but came close to taking the lead through Jake Holmes, who latched onto a long ball forward but saw his effort saved by Winterton when clean through on goal.

Lewes finally took the lead after 102 minutes, as Conlon found space in the penalty area to get a shot away, with his effort taking a big deflection and wrong-footing Chester on its way into the back of the net.

The Rooks came close to doubling their lead almost immediately, with Coppola going on a purposeful run down the left and sending a low strike just wide of the far post.

Broadbridge Heath had a great chance to level the scores in the closing stages of extra time, but substitute Tim Martin could only send a free header wide from six yards.

Lewes saw out the final few minutes fairly comfortably and could have won more convincingly, with substitute Callum Kealy forcing another smart save from Chester with a close range effort, before shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

The Rooks were unable to play the impressive football that supporters had seen in recent league games, but did just about enough to get through against a hard-working and well-organised Broadbridge Heath side.

Lewes return to league action on Saturday when they welcome Molesey to the Pan, kick-off at 3pm.

Broadbridge Heath: M. Chester, Holvey, Robinson, Sultan, Howard, S. Chester, McDermott, Findlay, Holmes, Wright, Swaine.

Subs: Moore, Martin, Maxwell.

Booked: Sultan, Findlay, Moore.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Uade, Harrington, Freeman, Sow, Okoh (McCarthy 107), Hammond (Conlon 67), Brotherton (Kealy 105), Dixon, Coppola.

Unused Sub: George.

Booked: None.

Referee: Michael Lowe