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Lewes 1 South Park 3

Lewes 1 - 3 South Park
21 Sep 2016 - 19:45The Dripping Pan

A poor performance saw Lewes fall to their fourth consecutive league defeat against an organised South Park side, who returned to Surrey with a well-deserved three points reports Tom Harper.

Darren Freeman made three changes to the side that had lost 2-1 at home to Carshalton Athletic in their previous game, with Charlie Coppola, Jamie Brotherton and Trevor McCreadie replacing Lloyd Cotton, Alex Laing and Duncan Culley in the starting line-up.

Lewes started brightly and could have been ahead inside a minute, as Coppola exchanged passes with James Hammond just inside the area before seeing his effort from a difficult angle saved by James Wastell in the South Park goal, with Jack Stafford hooking the loose ball off the line.

The Rooks made their early pressure count by taking the lead after nine minutes through Alex Malins, who diverted an excellent Hammond free-kick from the right across Wastell at the far post and into the bottom corner.

South Park responded well to going behind though, and were level just eight minutes later, as stand-in captain Stacey Freeman could only help a powerful cross-shot from Jerry O’Sullivan into his own net after good build-up play from the visitors down the right.

Both sides continued to create chances as the half progressed, with Wastell keeping out long-range efforts from Hammond and Conlon, before Winterton was forced into action to deny Benjamin King and Kieran Lavery for the visitors.

The Rooks were just about enjoying the better of the chances as the game approached half-time, and should have taken the lead just after the half-hour mark when Conlon hit the side-netting from a tight angle with McCreadie unmarked in the middle.

Lewes had arguably an even better opportunity to regain their lead just before the break through McCreadie, who could only steer an effort from point-blank range wide of the far post after Brotherton had hit the other post from a difficult angle.

South Park made the most of this by taking the lead in the final minute of the half, as Lavery was left unmarked at the near post from a corner to send a thumping close-range header past Winterton.

The Rooks saw most of the ball during the opening stages of the second half, but were unable to test the visitor’s back four.

Having shown impressive organisation during the first 20 minutes or so of the second half, South Park showed their attacking intent by doubling their lead after 69 minutes, as a dangerous low cross from James McElligott was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Freeman for his second own-goal of the evening.

Lewes continued to look to find a way back into the game after going two goals behind, but saw both Freeman and Hammond miss the target with headers from set-pieces in the closing stages when a goal would have set up a tense end to the game for the visitors.

This was a disappointing result for Lewes, who would have hoped to build on taking an early lead after a bright start. However, despite seeing a lot of possession, the Rooks were unable to create many chances of note in the second half after falling behind just before the break.

Lewes will hope to end their current disappointing run at Sittingbourne on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Uade, Dixon, Freeman, Malins, Coppola, Hammond, McCreadie, Conlon (George 75), Brotherton (Laing 54).

Unused Subs: Stroomberg-Clarke, Kealy, Dramis.

Booked: Hammond.

South Park: Wastell, O’Sullivan, King, Stafford, Merchant, Ayling, McElligott (Lovegrove 89), Smith (Gill 86), Lavery, Moody, Quartey (Cottee 73).

Unused Subs: Warren, Elliott.

Booked: None.

Referee: Alex Blake

Attendance: 284