Lewes FC take on Margate in a rescheduled clash at the Dripping Pan on Tuesday with boss Tony Russell seeking to capitalise from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Folkestone and push into the playoff spots.
Tuesday’s encounter is rescheduled from 19 February when the match referee deemed our initial fixture with Margate unplayable due to a waterlogged pitch.
Thankfully our tireless groundsman Roger has got the field ready for what should be a gripping encounter this week – and hopefully the weather holds off!
Russell spoke last week about how team bonding exercises has got the players firing again, with a top-five finish still the goal before the season is out. On Saturday the Rooks secured three points with early goals from Deshane Dalling and Will Salmon, and held on to the end.
The boss was able to bring on TQ Addy for his debut after the Luton Town loanee joined the club in midweek, while returning midfielder Ayo Olukoga got a run-out too.
On Tuesday the Rooks will go in search of the double over Margate after beating the Kent side 6-2 back in October. A Taylor Maloney hat-trick, two strikes from Ollie Tanner and Joe Taylor’s opener earned the visitors an emphatic win that day.
Margate form guide
Lewes welcome a Margate side to the Dripping Pan on Tuesday that is trying to rekindle form towards the back end of the season. Three league defeats from their last four games has seen Margate slip to ninth in the Isthmian Premier League table.
Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Bognor Regis Town extended their losing streak away from home to three games. Margate last played at the Pan back in October 2020, when a Luke Blewden goal earned Lewes a 1-0 win.
But there is certainly plenty of confidence in this ‘Gate side. Striker Ben Greenhalgh boasts 16 league goals for the season and has found the net in each of his last three outings. That includes the 3-2 Velocity Trophy semi-final win over Haringey last Tuesday.
Indeed, the win in London means Margate will play in the Velocity Trophy final for the first time in the clubs history. The clash, against Horsham, is scheduled for 13 April, in between league games with Carshalton and Bowers & Pitsea.
Our last meeting – 9 October 2021 – Margate 2-6 Lewes
Heavy away victories are hard to come by in this league but Russell’s thrilling attacking unit was in full flight back in October when it dismantled Margate in the second half. The Rooks actuals found themselves a goal down after four minutes and then 2-1 down by 16 minutes as their hosts came out on the front foot.
But after the break it was one-way traffic as Maloney scored a quick-fire double to turn to tie, before Tanner’s two strikes and a final Maloney finish for the hat-trick wrapped up the three points.
After the clash Russell explained the reaction in the second half which won the game.
“We went in at half-time 2-1 down but were playing well – very similar to the games against Potters Bar Town and Hornchurch,” said Russell. “We spoke calmly to the lads during the interval, encouraging them to keep to the plan as we knew that Margate couldn’t maintain their levels.
“In that second half we pinned Margate in and they simply couldn’t get out and we forced them to concede possession with constant pressure and we then exploited the gaps. It was a great performance against a really good Margate side, who had been unbeaten at home before Saturday.”
Lewes FC vs Margate tickets
Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, are available to buy now online (at a discount).
Ticket prices online are as follows:
Adults – £11 general admittance online (£12 on the gate)
Concessions – £7 general admittance online (£8 on the gate)
Kids (under 16) – free!
Beach hut for six people – £99
Photo: James Boyes (Flickr)