Two goals from Jonte Smith helped Lewes to a 3-2 win over Ramsgate at the Pan, and saw the Rooks move six points clear at the top of the Bostik South table reports Tom Harper.
Darren Freeman made one change to the side that won 3-1 at Ashford United in their previous game, with Ronnie Conlon replacing the unavailable Charlie Coppola in the starting line-up. There was also a place on the bench for new signing Marcus Elliott, who arrived at the club from East Grinstead Town earlier in the week.
Lewes started brightly and took the lead after just four minutes, as a Leon Redwood cross from the left was volleyed past Luke Watkins and into the bottom corner by Bouwe Bosma to get the Rooks off to the best possible start.
The Rooks doubled their lead just four minutes later through Jonte Smith, who latched onto a long ball forward from Frankie Chappell and lifted the ball over the onrushing Watkins and into the back of the net.
Lewes were arguably playing some of their best football of the season at this stage, with Lloyd Cotton having a header from a Gus Sow corner cleared off the line by Jacob Mensah and Steve Brinkhurst seeing a close-range effort deflected over the bar after Watkins had only been able to parry a Sow cross-shot.
Watkins was doing his best to keep the visitors in the game as the half progressed and was forced into a fine double save to deny James Hammond and Smith as the Rooks looked to extend their lead further.
Ramsgate felt they should have been handed a route back into the game minutes later though, as Chris Winterton appeared to bring down Oliver Gray as he looked to get on the end of a free-kick from the right, only for the referee to wave away their penalty appeals.
Lewes nearly made the most of this during a strong end to the half, as Smith saw a deflected effort hit the post at the end of an excellent passing move, before Hammond sent a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar on the stroke of half-time.
Having been under the cosh for long periods of the first half, the visitors made a bright start to the second, with Winterton making a smart save to keep out a powerful long-range strike from Rory Smith.
Smith was involved in most of Ramsgate’s best chances, and had two great opportunities to bring them back into the game around the hour mark, but could only guide an Aaron Millbank knock-down wide from close range wide before somehow missing the target from inside the six-yard box after getting on the end of an Alfie Paxman free-kick.
Lewes made the most of this by scoring a third goal after 71 minutes through Jonte Smith, who finished from close range after Watkins was forced into a fine save to prevent Liam Dickson scoring an own-goal when a Ronnie Conlon cross hit him in front of goal.
The visitors continued to look to find a route back into the game, with Winterton making an excellent save to keep out a powerful Gray header.
They were able to pull a goal back and ensure a nervy end to the game with four minutes remaining, as Gray headed a Paxman free-kick past Winterton from close range.
The tension amongst the home fans increased further during stoppage time when a low cross from the left was finished into the bottom corner by substitute Billy Munday.
Thankfully for most of the crowd, there was only just about enough time for Lewes to restart before the referee blew the full-time whistle, leaving the Rooks to celebrate a hard-earned three points against a Ramsgate side who did well to stay in the game before ensuring a tense last few minutes with two late goals.
Darren was understandably happy with the win although perhaps not with the whole performance when he spoke to Barry Collins post-match.
Lewes will hope to build on this win when they travel to Molesey on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Hammond, Chappell, Cotton, Bosma (Lawson 35), Sow, J. Smith (Medlock 75), Conlon, Brotherton (Elliott 66).
Unused Subs: George, Hurley.
Ramsgate: Watkins, Mensah, Penny (Crawford 77), Dickson, Crimmen, Gray, R. Smith (B. Munday 77), Jadama, Millbank, Lightfoot (Mackenzie 46), Paxman.
Unused Subs: J. Munday, Harris.