Lewes manager Scott Booth says the spirit in the camp is high as the Rooks turn their attention to Sunday’s Conti Cup clash with Crystal Palace, while seeking to make it four wins on the bounce.
A late Ellie Hack goal at Sunderland last weekend means Lewes shift attention to the cup in good form – and high spirits.
“It’s been a good week, having coming off the back of a win and a very long trip up the road,” says Booth.
“It’s always good when you travel far and get three points, it makes the journey back all the easier. The players were given an additional day off because of the travel, so it means we’re fresh now heading into this weekend too.
“There’s a great atmosphere among the players anyway – but Ellie’s goal just made it even better. They all get on so well, and when you win it just makes the journey easier. The players react well to situations – when things don’t go to plan then they rally around each other, make sure they look after each other, and then when things do go well they have a bit of fun from it and enjoy the situation!”
‘We’re ready for a challenging game’
Sunday sees Booth take his squad to Hayes Lane for an encounter with a Palace side that have won just one of their last five games.
This is the Rooks’ first meeting with the Eagles since last season’s 2-0 win at the Dripping Pan in March.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Brown adds: “It’s going to be really competitive. Palace have tailed off a little bit recently after starting the season really well. They signed a lot of players in the break and are looking to do a similar thing to us by gelling those players together.
“Palace have a lot of quality in their squad and we know it’s going to be a massive task for us, but we’re looking forward to it.
“It should be a competitive match. It’s difficult to know how these games will pan out, whether they’re open or tight. But we’re ready for a challenging game and I’m looking forward to the fact it’s a cup clash – it gets us away from the league for a week.”
Praise for Hack
Booth himself has now been part of the Rooks family for six months, and the Rooks have begun to climb the Women’s Championship table after a string of draws to start the campaign.
Having lost just once in the league all season, Lewes could soon be pushing into the top four and beyond. And Booth insists there’s more to come from his team.
“We’re all getting to know each other very well now, which is important. But that doesn’t take away from the fact every game and every week is challenging, and we know that it’s a constant evolution among the squad,” says Booth.
“We’re always looking to get better and better – time helps that, as does results. And right now we’re in a place where we know we’ve a lot of work still to do, and we’re not the finished article at all. But we need to knuckle down and work hard to be as good as we can be.
“It’s hard to pick out one player in particular from the great individuals we have in this squad. But you’ve got to give credit to Ellie Hack for her defensive work and her goals this season.
“She’s a threat in the opposition box and we’ve worked hard at that. But generally as a team we’ve not conceded a lot of goals, are hard to beat and that’s a great benefit for us. If you can do that in games in the Championship then you’ll always be competitive.”
Crystal Palace vs Lewes kicks off at 2pm on Sunday 27 November at Hayes Lane. Tickets can be bought on the gate.