In a game of few chances, Lewes were beaten by a solitary goal that resulted from a Jack Dixon misplaced pass in a tense match at the top of the table, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren was forced to make changes to the team that won at South Park on Monday night with Wilf Grimaud confirmed as out for the rest of the season with ligament damage and Lloyd Cotton damaging his ankle in the warm up, meaning a return to the starting XI for both Stacey Freeman and Lloyd Harrington who were absent earlier in the week, whilst Stephen Okoh was fit enough to feature on the bench.
It was a tense game with neither side able to impose themselves on the game. Both back four’s held their ground well, whilst neither keeper saw much action in the opening quarter of the game. However, in the 25th minute the home side took the lead. A Lewes corner was well gathered by Holloway and from his kick, via a deflection and then a poor touch from Jack Dixon, Charlie MacDonald was clear on goal and slotted easily past Chris Winterton.
In the remainder of the half, The Rooks tried to use Brinkhurst and George to create space down the flanks but the Greenwich defence stood firm, restricting Lewes to a few shots from distance that didn’t really trouble Holloway in the Greenwich goal.
The second half started with Lewes kicking downhill and with the wind behind them and they looked more positive. Holloway was called into action when he pulled off an excellent save from Lloyd Harrington’s strike. Stephen Okoh made an appearance just before hour mark, replacing Gus Sow and was immediately involved in the action although the referee deemed his straying into the six-yard box an infringement on the keeper. After letting strong tackles go without punishment in the first hour, the referee decided to get tough and Stacey Freeman went into the book after a late tackle. He was soon followed by Greenwich’s Bradley Pritchard.
Matty George got the 60 or so away fans excited when he burst into the box but the slope of the pitch and the strong wind took the ball away from him and Holloway smothered the ball and the danger.
With ten minutes to go a Brinkhurst cross from the right found Okoh in space at the far post and as he turned towards goal his legs were taken from under him. A clear penalty in the eyes of most fans but the referee was having none of it and waved play on. Three minutes later Okoh again was at the heart of the action as his shot from the edge of the area cannoned off the top of the bar.
Alas that was to be the last of the action as Greenwich saw out the game and held on for the vital three points.
Whilst it had been an even encounter, essentially decided by one momentary lapse of concentration, Darren was unhappy with the performance and the result when he spoke to Barry Collins after the game:
Next Saturday the Rooks face Faversham Town, themselves still harbouring an outside chance at the play-offs, at The Dripping Pan, kick off 3pm.
Greenwich Borough: Holloway, Paul, Donaghey, MacDonald (Denness – 88 mins), Hudson, Eisa (Gregory – 65 mins), Young, Spence, Pritchard, Wilson, Clark
Subs not used: Sweeney, Hickey, MacDevitt
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Freeman, Malins, Hammond (Conlon – 74 mins), Sow (Okoh – 57 mins), Smith, Dixon, Coppola (Brotherton – 67 mins)
Sub not used: Munoz-Fernandez
Booked: Freeman, Harrington