East Grinstead Town 1 Lewes 3

East Grinstead Town 1 - 3 Lewes
10 Dec 2016 - 15:00The GAC Stadium

An impressive second-half performance saw Lewes return to winning ways with a deserved victory against a hard-working East Grinstead side reports Tom Harper.

Darren Freeman made three changes to the side that lost 4-0 at Hythe in their previous game, with academy defender Dean Stewart-Hunter handed his first-team debut and Gus Sow and Jonte Smith coming into the starting-line up in place of Arinse Uade, Ronnie Conlon and the injured Duncan Culley.

The Rooks made a bright start and took the lead after just seven minutes through Charlie Coppola, who cut in from the right and sent a superb 25-yard effort past Chris Haigh in the East Grinstead goal and into the top corner.

The lead lasted barely a minute though, as the hosts went on the attack from the restart and saw Tashi Kwayie convert a low cross from the right to level the scores almost immediately.

After such a bright start, there were few clear-cut opportunities for either side during the remainder of the half, despite both teams attempting to play attacking football.

East Grinstead came close to taking the lead just after the half-hour, however, as Chris Winterton was forced into a smart save to push a Charlie Harris free-kick round the post.

The final chance of the half fell to Lewes, with Jonte Smith seeing an effort from a difficult angle hit the side-netting after good play down the right from Stewart-Hunter.

The Rooks started the second half in a similar fashion to the first, and saw Jack Dixon send two headers just wide within minutes of the restart.

Despite this, East Grinstead should have taken the lead through Kwayie, who found himself through on goal but could only place his effort just wide of the post with only Winterton to beat.

Lewes made the most of this let-off by taking the lead on the hour through Smith, who latched onto a perfectly-weighted through-ball from Stephen Okoh and sent a composed finish past Haigh and into the back of the net at the end of an incisive counter-attack to score his third goal since returning to the Pan on a permanent basis last month.

The hosts continued to look dangerous going forward, and saw Kwayie send a close-range volley just over, before sending a shot on the turn wide from a few yards out.

Once again, the Rooks punished East Grinstead by doubling their lead after 74 minutes. Okoh was the scorer, exchanging passes with Smith on the edge of the area before running through and finishing past Haigh and into the roof of the net.

Lewes saw out the closing stages of the game comfortably and could have added to their lead in stoppage time, as substitute Callum Kealy sent a powerful effort from the edge of the area just over after another impressive counter-attack.

This was an impressive result for the Rooks, whose clinical finishing was ultimately the difference between the two sides in an evenly-contested game.

Next up for Lewes is the visit of Godalming Town next Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

East Grinstead Town: Haigh, Mensah, Robinson, Hoare, Thompson, McIntyre, Hogan, Harris, Kwayie, Elliott, Dos Santos.

Subs: Salako, Thomas, Mazzone, Richards, Burns.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Stewart-Hunter, Sow, Okoh (Uade 81), Hammond (Conlon 46), Smith (Kealy 84), Dixon, Coppola.

Unused Subs: Brotherton, Whitmore.

Booked: Harrington, Stewart-Hunter.

Attendance: 214