Lewes FC boss Tony Russell is looking forward to two big games in the space of three days as the Rooks seek to get back to winning ways following last weekend’s thrilling 5-4 defeat at Worthing.
Lewes travel to Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday for a 3pm kick off in the FA Trophy third qualifying round, before hosting Carshalton back in the league on Tuesday.
The loss at Worthing ended a two-game winning streak for the Rooks, who have now scored 15 goals the October.
And Russell is hoping a week’s reflection from the Worthing trip will give the players what they need to secure back-to-back wins.
“There are positive signs,” says Russell. “We’ve had a really good session leading up to the Bishop’s Stortford game.
“It’s a big cup game that gives us an opportunity to maybe look at one or two things, personnel wise. There are positives in there.
“We’re looking forward to the game and then have Carshalton on the Tuesday as well – that will be a great game. We’ve spoken about them before, their manager is a top man and his assistant was my tutor when I did my UEFA B license.
“It’s always good to see those guys and we always have so many good games against them. It’s all about pace and playing on the counter attack. So I’m looking forward to a good week, and the boys are looking forward to it too.”
Learned from Worthing loss
Lewes sit ninth in the Isthmian League having played two fewer games than most teams in the division. But the players must turn their attention to cup matters on Saturday.
And Russell is pleased at the response of the group both during and since the Worthing defeat, which at one stage saw the Rooks go 5-2 down.
“I have watched the game back and wow, that was some game. It was the good, the bad and the ugly that one,” says the boss.
“I looked at the stats and it told me what I thought – that we were the better side, that we should have won it. They had seven shots on target, we had 10. I look at the chances we missed.
“The boys were unlucky. I did a Zoom call with the players on the Monday, we went through what we were unhappy about but there was plenty that I was happy about.
“We came to Worthing, didn’t play great to still had more of the ball and more chances. That was the aim and the stuff without the ball was a little disappointing – but it was a game that we learned a lot from.
“The one thing I am pleased about it that we never gave up. They just kept going.”
Focus on Bishop’s Stortford
Saturday’s opposition sit just two points ahead of Lewes in sixth place, but bowed out of the FA Cup second qualifying round to Bowers & Pitsea in September.
The Hertfordshire club beat Corinthian-Casuals 2-0 last time out and are in fact unbeaten in their last five games.
Jake Cass netted both goals to secure the victory over the Casuals and take his goals tally for the season to eight.
The striker came off the bench early in the first half and slotted home a 34th-minute penalty before finding the net again after the break.
Boss Steve Smith said: “Jake came on, scored two goals. He was disappointed to be left out but look at his reaction – he came on, won the penalty, scored it and got the second as well.
“I’ll look at the team and see who is fit. We lost Frankie Merrifield and more for Saturday. It’s going to be bare bones. But we go into the game on Saturday, the Trophy, we’ll try and win the game. The league is more important as we want to get promoted this year – that’s my main concern.”