Written by: Stuart
Lewes produced one of their best performances of the season to record a 4-1 win at Bognor, despite being reduced to ten men inside the first 15 minutes, reports Tom Harper, pictures James Boyes.
Tony Russell made two changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Herne Bay in their previous game, with Bradley Pritchard and Deon Moore replacing Will Salmon and Jayden Davis in the starting line-up.
Lewes made the best possible start to the game by taking the lead after just two minutes, Ryan Gondoh intercepting a loose pass at the back before finishing past Matt Rowley and into the bottom corner.
The Rooks continued to dominate and doubled their lead on eight minutes, as a Moore cross from the left was only half-cleared by Danny Howick, and Gondoh steered the loose ball beyond Rowley to send the impressive contingent of travelling fans into raptures.
Lewes saw their task made more difficult after 13 minutes when Moore was shown a straight red card for retaliating after a strong challenge from Calvin Davies.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Rooks continued to control the game and create the better chances, with a superb last-ditch challenge from Cameron Black preventing Joe Taylor from adding a third goal when clean through.
Razz Coleman De-Graft was the next player to go close, just missing the target with a powerful 30-yard free-kick.
Taylor went even closer minutes later, winning the ball back midway inside the Bognor half and spotting Rowley off his line before seeing his attempted lob just wide.
After being second best for long periods of the first half, the hosts started the second brightly and pulled a goal back within three minutes of the restart, Nathan Odokonyero controlling a long ball forward before finishing emphatically into the bottom corner.
Lewes could have been forgiven for sitting back and trying to protect their lead at this stage, but they remained on the front foot and continued to look for more goals.
They scored a third goal just before the hour-mark, Taylor seeing a volley from a Gondoh cross saved by Rowley before regaining possession and beating the goalkeeper at his near post.
The travelling fans were in full voice, roaring the Rooks forward and the players were responding, moving the ball comfortably and looking capable of increasing their lead further.
It took a fine save from Rowley to keep the hosts in the game, as he dived to his left to turn a De-Graft free-kick round the post.
The resulting corner, also taken by De-Graft, hit the arm of Harvey Whyte, leaving the referee with little choice but to point to the spot.
Taylor took the penalty, sending Rowley the wrong way to make it 4-1 on 67 minutes.
The final quarter of the game passed with very little goalmouth action, although the previously untroubled Lewis Carey had to be alert to deny Odokonyero a second goal with a smart save.
Lewes saw out the closing stages comfortably and came close to adding a fifth goal late on, Tyrique Hyde forcing Rowley into action at his near post after latching onto a Rhys Murrell-Williamson through-ball.
The final whistle was greeted by jubilant celebrations among the travelling supporters, with results elsewhere meaning the Rooks still have a chance of securing a play-off place heading into the final two games of the season.
Lewes welcome Haringey Borough to the Pan for their final home game of the season on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Bognor Regis Town: Rowley, Davies (Kastrati 68), Rabbetts, Dockerell (Whyte 46), Black, Howick, McCormick, De St Croix (Figeuria 76), Odokonyero, Paterson, Bridgman.
Unused Subs: Briffa, Robson.
Booked: Rowley, Davies, McCormick.
Lewes: Carey, Olukoga, Champion, Mundle-Smith (Salmon 88), De-Graft, Young, Pritchard (Tamplin 90), Hyde, Gondoh (Murrell-Williamson 77), Moore, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Hall, Huckle.
Booked: De-Graft, Hyde, Taylor.
Sent off: Moore.
Attendance: 678 (Approximately 100 Rooks)