Lewes FC assistant Joe Vines says the Rooks are primed to pick up from where they left of against Corinthian-Casuals on Saturday after two postponed games in the Isthmian Premier League.
It means Vines and manager Tony Russell have had more time to work on the team, in preparation for the season run-in.
And our assistant believes the decision to arrange a friendly with Basildon in midweek has helped the squad heading into this weekend.
“We had two postponed games that we’ve had to contend with: Leatherhead away which ended up a bit of a damp mess, and then Margate which was in the middle of some unbelievable conditions,” says Vines.
“Neither of those situations could be avoided so we’ve made the best of that. We trained the previous week, got the boys in and did some good work. On the Saturday we decided to arrange a friendly for the Tuesday, which we did.
“It was a really good exercise, a lot of boys who haven’t had many minutes got some time. Particularly the first-half performance was fantastic playing over at Aveley against Basildon. There were some really strong performances in there, which bodes well.”
Corinthian-Casuals a ‘tough side’
Lewes head into Saturday’s trip to 12th-placed Corinthian-Casuals seeking a sixth win from their last eight outings. The Rooks are also looking to avenge a 2-1 loss suffered at the Dripping Pan in November.
Victory could mean leapfrogging third-placed Enfield. But despite Corinthian-Casuals being on a six-game winless streak, Vines is wary of what Saturday’s hosts will bring to the game.
“I’ve known (manager) James Bracken for many years, and his brother Danny Bracken the goalkeeper, and their dad is a friend of mine as well,” says Vines.
“He’s a great guy, a real hard worker. I know he hasn’t got exhaustive resources available to him and he’s done a fantastic job for many years at Corinthian-Casuals.
“They’re a tough side because those players are effectively playing for pride. They’re really hard-working, really dedicated. They’ve got some good youngsters in – some boys in on loan from AFC Wimbledon.
“Young Alfie Bendle was with us in pre-season, a really good player. We know the problems they will pose to us but we’ve got every confidence we can go into that off the back of some really strong performances recently.”
Lewis Carey ‘a phenomenal player’
Lewes head into Saturday’s encounter having beaten Carshalton on 12 February – thanks to goals from Michael Klass and Razz Coleman De-Graft.
And Vines says the overall team performance was what delighted him and boss Russell the most.
“Looking at our previous game against Carshalton, Klassy caught the eye and was brilliant on the day. He scored a great goal and set the second up,” says Vines.
“Make no mistake some of the performances in and amongst that were phenomenal. Joe Taylor for weeks has been finding a new level and has been unreal with regards to his work off the ball – a lot of which will go unnoticed.
“Lew Carey against Carshalton I thought was excellent, made a really important save at a crucial point in the game. Good goalkeepers like Lew are unnoticed a lot of the time but we recognise he’s a phenomenal player for us, really important.”
Corinthian-Casuals vs Lewes kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.