An organised, well planned performance from The Rooks ensured that they came back from The Garden of England with three points today, reports Stuart Fuller.
New signing Lloyd Harrington was given his debut by Darren Freeman after signing on Friday from Leatherhead meaning a shuffle of the midfield pack with Jack Dixon pushed further forward whilst Arinse Uade was pushed into mdifeld.
The first half was a relative even affair with the Rooks looking more composed and confident than they had in the second period against South Park on Wednesday. The combination on the left of Matt George and Uade worked well, whilst Harrington saw a lot of the ball in the middle of the park. The best chance of the half fell to Charlie Coppola as his initial run into the penalty area was blocked but the ball rebounded to him on the edge of the box but he pulled his shot wide.
The hosts rarely troubled the Lewes back line in the first period with both full-backs enjoying space to push on and join the attacks. However, they didn’t really trouble the Sittingbourne keeper and the long wait for a goal from open play continued.
Ten minutes into the second half, and just after Darren Freeman had made two tactical substitutions, Sittingbourne took the lead. Just like Wednesday night the danger came down the Lewes left with a ball played into the danger area and Sittingbourne’s top scorer, Miles Cornwell reacting the fastest to slam the ball past Winterton.
In truth that was the only moment in the second period where The Rooks weren’t on top and slowly, but surely they built the momentum to regain control of the game. Time after time the ball was delivered into the box without a blue shirt getting on the end but the twenty or so Lewes fans behind the goal didn’t give up hope and they were rewarded with an equaliser in the 77th minute when Jamie Brotherton and Charlie Coppola exchanged passes before the young Lewes wideman created enough space for himself to side-foot home to equalise.
Less than 60 seconds later Lewes were ahead when Jamie Brotherton got goal-side of the centre-back from a smart pass from Alex Laing and was tugged down from behind. Despite the Sittingbourne histrionix before the kick was taken, Brotherton kept his composure to score his second successive Saturday penalty to put the Rooks in the lead.
Lewes never looked troubled in the final fifteen minutes and with three of the four minutes of injury time played Jamie Brotherton robbed the centre-back twenty five yards out, saw the keeper off his line and perfectly lobbed him to wrap up all three points for the Rooks.
This was a comprehensive victory, built on the most solid performance of the season.
Sittingbourne:Bridle-Card, Brunt, Conrad, Tanner, Richardson, Steventon (Wilkins – 67 mins), Wright, Wisson (Rabiu – 29 mins), Gundry, Cornwell, Carlse (Akhazzan – 66 mins)
Subs not used: Rumboll, Welch
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Harrington, Freeman, Malins, Uade (Laing – 70 mins), Hammond (Conlon – 53 mins), McCreadie (Brotherton – 53 mins), Dixon, Coppola
Subs not used: Dramis, Kealy