Lewes 2 Molesey 2

Lewes 2 - 2 Molesey
19 Nov 2016 - 15:00The Dripping Pan

First-half goals from Jamie Brotherton and Jonte Smith were not enough to help Lewes record their sixth consecutive league win, as an impressive comeback from Molesey after the break in terrible conditions saw them earn a share of the spoils at the Pan reports Tom Harper.

Darren Freeman made four changes to the side that had beaten Broadbridge Heath 1-0 four days previously, with Lloyd Cotton, Matthew George, Ronnie Conlon and Jonte Smith, making his first start since returning to the club on a permanent basis, replacing Arinse Uade, James Hammond, Gus Sow and Stephen Okoh in the starting line-up.

There were few chances for either side early on, but the Rooks were given an opportunity to take an early lead when Charlie Coppola was fouled by Nathan Gordon in the penalty area. Jamie Brotherton took the penalty, and sent Molesey goalkeeper Liam Allen the wrong way from the spot to give Lewes the lead after ten minutes.

The heavy rain was making it difficult for either side to play incisive passing football, and defences were on top for much of the half.

The visitors only real chance of the first half fell to Joe Nwoko, who latched onto a through-ball from Jake Rose after a poor kick from Chris Winterton but was only able to guide his close-range effort wide of the near post.

Lewes doubled their lead out of the blue after 38 minutes, as Smith picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and went on a run that saw him beat several Molesey defenders, before sending a low left-foot shot across Allen and into the bottom corner from a difficult angle.

The Rooks started the second half brightly as they looked to find a third goal that would probably have secured the win, with Brotherton sending a curling effort from the edge of the area just wide after cutting in from the left.

Molesey were still in the game though, and saw Nwoko force a smart save from Winterton after latching onto a through-ball from Charlie Samuel.

As the half progressed, the heavy rain that had been falling throughout the game began to make the pitch difficult for both sides to play on, with puddles forming down the centre of the pitch.

Despite this, Lewes continued to push forward, with Dixon seeing an effort from the edge of the area well saved by Allen.

The visitors made the most of this by pulling a goal back almost immediately, as Ashley Lodge ran onto a long ball forward and finished across Winterton and into the bottom corner with 25 minutes remaining.

Molesey completed their comeback after 74 minutes through Tom Windsor, who finished from close range after Lewes had been unable to clear a corner.

The conditions were virtually impossible to play in at this stage, but the game continued, with the Rooks seeing Smith send a close-range header straight at Allen.

The visitors came close to taking the lead themselves minutes later, as substitute Jordan Johnson-Palmer shot just over the crossbar after good build-up play in midfield.

Even after conceding a two-goal lead, the best chances in the closing stages fell to Lewes, who saw Dixon head over from close range, before substitute Callum Kealy turned and shot just wide of the far post from a difficult angle after Stacey Freeman flicked on a long throw from Lloyd Harrington.

Unfortunately for the Rooks, they were unable to find a late winner and were forced to settle for a draw after being 2-0 up at half-time.

Lewes will be disappointed with this result after being in control of the game for much of the first half, but have still extended their unbeaten run in the league to seven games and moved to within one point of the play-offs.

Next up for the Rooks is a trip to Guernsey next Sunday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Freeman, Cotton, Smith, Conlon (Hammond 68), Brotherton (Uade 83), Dixon, Coppola (Kealy 79).

Unused Subs: Okoh, Sow.

Booked: None.

Molesey: Allen, Charles, Gordon, Lewington, King, David, Windsor, Rose, Nwoko (Johnson-Palmer 71), Samuel (Henry-Francis 68), Lodge.

Unused Subs: Rodgers-Oben, Chalke.

Booked: Charles, Lewington, King.

Referee: Michael Ryan

Attendance: 405