Lewes 2 Whyteleafe 1

Lewes 2 - 1 Whyteleafe
12 Nov 2016 - 15:00The Dripping Pan

Goals from Jamie Brotherton and Jack Dixon helped Lewes to their fifth consecutive league win against an in-form Whyteleafe side at the Pan reports Tom Harper

Darren Freeman made two changes to the side that had beaten Ramsgate 3-2 in their previous game, with Chris Winterton and Duncan Culley replacing Lucas Covolan and Jonte Smith in the starting line-up.

The Rooks saw plenty of the ball early on but the first chance of the game fell to Whyteleafe, who saw Ibrahim Akanbi latch onto a through-ball and shoot just wide with only Winterton to beat.

Lewes were enjoying the majority of possession, and saw Brotherton send a far-post header from a Ronnie Conlon cross straight at Brannon Daly in the Whyteleafe goal at the end of a good passing move in midfield.

The visitors came close to taking the lead just after the half-hour, as Winterton was unable to hold onto a high free-kick in the driving rain and Olumide Olunwatimilehin saw his half-volley from the edge of the area cleared off the line by Lloyd Harrington, before Winterton made a smart save at his near post to deny Scott Day as Whyteleafe continued to look for the opening goal.

Lewes made the most of this let-off by taking the lead after 38 minutes through Brotherton, who was on hand to head home from close range after a Dixon corner was helped on at the near post by Lloyd Cotton.

Brotherton came close to doubling the Rook’s lead minutes later, as he saw a curling effort from the edge of the area tipped over by Daly.

The Rooks made a bright start to the second half and nearly increased their lead within minutes from the restart, with Conlon seeing a looping header from an excellent Steve Brinkhurst cross pushed round the post by Daly.

There were few chances created by either side as the half progressed, until Lewes found a second goal after 70 minutes.

Dixon was the scorer, sending a half-volley past Daly and into the bottom corner after John Scarborough had only been able to head a Brotherton cross from the left as far as the edge of the area.

The visitors ensured a tense end to the game for the home supporters by pulling a goal back just six minutes later through Scarborough, who sent a powerful far-post header from a Spencer Forte free-kick past Winterton and into the back of the net.

Rather than sitting back and trying to defend their lead, the Rooks pushed for a third goal and saw Harrington send a curling effort just over the crossbar after good play down the right by substitute Charlie Coppola, before James Hammond forced Daly into two smart saves in stoppage time.

Fortunately for the majority of the crowd, two goals were enough for the Rooks to record another impressive win and move up to sixth in the table.

Next up for Lewes is a trip to Southern Combination Premier division side Broadbridge Heath in the Sussex Senior Cup second round on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.45pm.

Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Freeman, Cotton, Okoh (Coppola 67), Conlon (Hammond 86), Brotherton (Uade 82), Dixon, Culley.

Unused Subs: Smith, Sow.

Booked: Harrington, Culley.

Whyteleafe: Daly, Collins, Hamlin, Olunwatimilehin (Forte 59), Roberts, Scarborough, Akanbi, Graham (Johnston 76), Mensah (D’Sane 69), Day, Clayton.

Unused Subs: Ibikunle.

Booked: Daly, Forte.

Referee: Benjamin Knight

Attendance: 378