Lewes were forced to settle for a point in their first home game of the season, despite taking the lead twice in their 2-2 draw with Cheshunt., reports Tom Harper
Tony Russell made a number of changes to the side that lost at Cray on the opening day of the season, with the Rooks looking to get off the mark in front of an impressive crowd at the Pan.
Lewes saw plenty of the ball early on without creating any clear-cut opportunities. If anything, Cheshunt had the better of the chances in the opening stages, with both Joe Re and Taylor McKenzie missing the target when well placed.
The Rooks thought they had taken the lead midway through the half as Razzaq Coleman De-Graft finished well from close range, only for the linesman to flag him offside. Cheshunt nearly made the most of this let-off minutes later, with Lewis Carey making a fine save to deny Ken Charles from the edge of the area after a well-worked move. Charlie Taylor in the visitor’s goal was called into action just before the break, helping a De-Graft effort over the bar at the end of an incisive counter-attack.
Lewes started the second half brightly and took the lead on 52 minutes, as De-Graft cut in from the right and sent a low effort past Taylor and in off the inside of the near post. The Rooks nearly doubled their lead within minutes, with Ayo Olukoga seeing a powerful 25-yard strike beat Taylor but hit the inside of both posts before Taylor put his effort on the rebound over the bar.
Lewes were enjoying their best spell of the game, moving the ball quickly through midfield and stretching the Cheshunt defence.
The visitors came back into the game as the half progressed though, with Carey making a fine save to deny Charles before Taylor Miles hit the side-netting with his strike on the rebound. Cheshunt weren’t to be denied for much longer as they levelled the scores on 77 minutes through Charles, who was on hand to convert a cut-back from the right by substitute Isaac Newton.
Lewes responded positively and went back in front with seven minutes remaining, as Joe Taylor just stayed onside before running through and finishing past Charlie Taylor.
Unfortunately for the majority of the 723-strong crowd, the Rooks were able to hold on to their lead, as a long ball forward was latched onto by Reeces Beckles-Richards, who showed impressive close control in the area before finishing well across Carey and into the bottom corner to level the scores on 88 minutes.
The closing stages were made tougher for Lewes as Tom Carlse was shown a second yellow card, but there wasn’t enough time remaining for Cheshunt to capitalise on this and both sides were left to settle for a point.
Match highlights, thanks to Your Instant Replay can be viewed here.
Today’s progcast can be viewed here.
Lewes travel to Potters Bar Town for their next game on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Colombie, Carlse, Nelson, Yao, Klass, Tanner (Allen 83), Olukoga, Taylor, Parker (Richards 85), De-Graft.
Unused Subs: Dent, D’Arienzo, Weaire.
Booked: Carlse, Nelson.
Sent off: Carlse.
Cheshunt: Taylor, Williams, McLean, Camara, McKenzie, Gardiner, Richards, Re, Charles, Miles (Nzala 79), Osinfolarin (Newton 56).
Unused Subs: Thomas, Armstrong, Marsh.