Lewes came from 2-1 to take all three points for the third consecutive Ryman League South game and jumped up to sixth in the table, their highest league position since August, reports Stuart Fuller.
After last week’s disappointing defeat in the FA Trophy at Kingstonian, the Rooks returned to winning ways today against Ramsgate thanks to a Jack Dixon double. The side had a more balanced look to it this week with Dixon, Harrington, Conlon and Cotton returning to the starting eleven after missing out last Sunday, whilst Stephen Okoh came into the side to deputise for Charlie Coppola who was away on International Schools duty and Duncan Culley who was absent through illness.
Lewes made a very bright start with the Ramsgate keeper making two very early saves from Dixon and Smith respectively. However, the crowd were stunned in the sixth minute when an innoculous Jack Dixon backpass hit a bump in the pitch just as Lucas Covolan went to strike it and the ball tricked into the net to give the visitors the lead.
Lewes immediately went on the offensive and some excellent play down the right from Brinkhurst and Okoh almost played in Ronnie Conlon, whilst a Cotton header was superbly saved by Luke Watkins. In the 14th minute Lewes were all square after a fine ball into the box from Lloyd Harrington saw Okoh ghost in at the far post and head home.
The goal gave the Rooks confidence to push forward and Brotherton, Smith and Conlon all failed to hit the target in good positions. In the 25th minute another lapse in concentration allowed the visitors to take the lead as Covolan came for a free-kick swung in from the left and Oliver Gray got his head in front of the keeper’s fist and turned the ball home.
Lewes huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half without any luck until injury time when Jack Dixon got to a cleared ball first and smashed it home from the edge of the box to level the scores at the break.
After coming from 2-1 against Cray Wanderers and Three Bridges to score 5, The Rooks started the second half in good form with once again Okoh and Brinkhurst proving a real handful for the Ramsgate defence. Jonté Smith missed a golden opportunity just before the hour mark before Jack Dixon scored his second, and the best goal of the game with his strike from 25 yards.
The final talking point in the game was the second yellow card in the final few minutes for Ramsgate’s Joseph Kane who took umbridge to Jonté Smith not returning the ball from an offside position and appeared to kick the Bermudan striker, leading to a small coming together in the middle of the pitch, which also saw a yellow for Jack Dixon to complete quite an afternoon for the Lewes midfielder (who was also awarded Man of the Match by the sponsors!).
A fourth consecutive league win was just rewards from another strong attacking display from The Rooks. Manager Darren Freeman knows he needs to work on the defensive concentration of the side, but confidence is high in the squad. Next up is the re-arranged home game against Whyteleafe next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Lewes: Covolan, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Freeman, Cotton, Okoh, Conlon (Sow – 74 mins), Brotherton, Dixon, Smith
Subs not used: Winterton, Whitmore, Uade, McCarthy
Bookings: Harrington, Cotton, Dixon
Ramsgate: Watkins, Gray, Crimmen, Kane, Wheatley, Murray, Mackenzie, Girt, Millbank, Chapman, Paxman
Subs not used: Penny, Halford, Laing, Munday, Blackman
Bookings: Gray, Kane,
Sent off: Kane