Lewes suffered a shock defeat at the hands of bottom of the table Godalming Town in a frustrating game, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren Freeman fielded the same starting XI that beat Hythe Town as well as naming a strong, attacking bench, hoping to take advantage of the fixtures that pitted some of the teams above us against each other.
However, it was the hosts who were celebrating at the end of 90 minutes after they shut out a misfiring Rooks line-up after taking the lead against the run of play just after the half hour market when Darren Wheeler’s speculative effort left Chris Winterton rooted to the spot.
Lewes started the game positively, trying to get Brinkhurst and George overlapping down the flanks, whilst Gus Sow once again provided the creatively in midfield. However, the Rooks appeared goal-shy and despite forcing eight corners in the first twenty minutes, the Godalming keeper Oneal Garnes wasn’t really troubled. After twenty five minutes a Sow slide-rule pass saw Okoh through on goal but his shot was well smothered.
After Wheeler’s goal, Godalming came close to a second when Efambe went clear, forcing Winterton off his line and then hooking the rebound narrowly wide. At the other end Okoh’s good link up play with Jonté Smith saw the wide man Square the ball dangerously across the six-yard box but there was no Lewes foot to steer it home.
Half-time saw Darren Freeman try plan B, withdrawing Stephen Okoh and James Hammond for Jamie Brotherton and Wilfried Grimaud. Brotherton’s impact was almost immediate as he danced around the Godalming back four but delayed his final pass.
Despite dominating possession, the Godalming keeper was rarely troubled during the second half. Lewes tried to find a way through the home side, who put nine men behind the ball when they could, throwing on another striker on the form of Dean Bown with fifteen minutes to go. The Rooks finally had the ball in the net in the 78th minute when Brotherton’s cross was turned in at the far post by Wilfried Grimaud but he was, correctly, ruled offside.
Time ran out for the the Rooks and another superb away support went home disappointed, especially as other results went our way. Despite his obvious disappointment, Darren spoke to Barry Collins post-match.
The Rooks will look to bounce back to winning ways next Saturday when they host East Grinstead Town, kick off 3pm.
Godalming Town: Garnes, Mason, Garstang, Brown (Sellick – 64 mins), Musgrove, Wales, Efambe, Bunyan, Quarshue (Stocchetti – 83 mins), Wheeler, Oldland
Sub not used: Sowden
Booked: Brown, Musgrove, Oldland, Sellick
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington (Bown – 72 mins), Freeman, Malins, Okoh (Brotherton – 46 mins), Hammond (Grimaud- 46 mins), Smith, Dixon, Sow
Subs not used: Conlon, Munoz-Fernandez
Booked: Harrington, Sow