Lewes returned to the top of the Bostik League South on Wednesday night with a comfortable win in Guernsey despite missing a few key players in front of a bumper crowd, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren Freeman was forced to travel to the island without leading scorer Jamie Brotherton, centre-back Frankie Chappell and keeper Chris Winterton but was able to call up youngsters Nathan Stroomberg and George McCarthy into the strong squad.
The opening fifteen minutes was a cagy affair with both
sides feeling each other out. Guernsey
enjoyed some good possession, probing the Lewes back line although Stroomberg
was rarely tested in that period. The
home fans had already expressed their displeasure at some of the decisions of
the officials with Thomas Dodds earning an early yellow card for a shirt pull on
Charlie Coppola as he broke free. At the
other end, there was a huge shout for a penalty as Malins’ clumsy challenge on Kieran
Mahon could have been a penalty.
The Rooks took the lead soon after when a long ball from the
right found Bouwe Bosma at the far post and his header to the far post found
Billy Medlock lurking and the Lewes striker nudged the ball home, with both
sides nervously looking across to the assistant referee for any infringement.
It could have been two soon after as Bosma picked up on a
loose ball, beat two men on the edge of the box and forced a smart save out of
Callum Stanton. However, the Rooks
didn’t have to wait too long for a second.
Lewes broke quickly from a Guernsey corner and the ball
found its way to Ronnie Conlon who played a superb ball through the middle of
the Green Lions defence and Medlock timed his run perfectly. He skipped around Stanton and from the
tightest of angles slotted the ball home to make it 2-0.
Lloyd Cotton was very lucky not to get a yellow in the 35th
minute for a very robust challenge much to the chargrin of the home fans and
their despair hit new heights in the 39th minute when Bouwe Bosma
broke free and hooked the ball over the advancing keeper and into an empty net
to make it 3-0.
It was as good a half as the Rooks had put in this season
with the central midfield trio of Bouwe, James Hammond and Gus Sow
The second half saw Guernsey change their shape and they
started to get some success in getting the ball into the area although Nathan
Stroomberg put in his most assured performance in the Lewes goal, making three
excellent stops. At the other end The
Rooks lost that cutting edge and seemed to want to take one touch too
Darren Freeman was able to bring off Bosma, Medlock and
Hammond with Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at East Grinstead Town in mind, Grimaud,
McCarthy and MacDevitt coming on in their places.
The hosts certainly gave as good as they got in the second period but ultimately the Rooks first half show was enough to grab all three points and send the 40-off Rooks fans off into the night in high spirits.
After the game Darren spoke to Barry Collins about the win.
Next up for The Rooks is the FA Trophy tie away at East Grinstead Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Lewes: Stroomberg, Brinkhurst, George, Hammond (McCarthy – 84mins), Cotton, Malins, Bosma (MacDevitt – 53 mins), Sow, Medlock (Grimaud – 69mins), Coppola. Conlon
Subs not used: Smith, Reed
Guernsey: Stanton, Marsh (Pereira – 46 mins), Dodd, Le Prevost, Tobin (H), Tobin (F), Rihoy, Dodds, Mahon (Skillen – 61 mins), Young, Gauvain (Smith – 75 mins)
Subs not used: Geall, Mackay
Booked: Le Prevost, Dodds
Referee: Michael Ryan