Lewes bounced back to winning ways with an emphatic victory at high-flying Enfield Town.
Boss Tony Russell kept faith with the majority of the side that went down 4-1 at Herne Bay on Tuesday, with Deon Moore replacing the injured Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Bradley Pritchard starting instead of the benched Ayo Olukoga.
The Rooks were almost ahead within the first minute when Razz Coleman De-Graft curled an effort just over the bar from the edge of the box. The nerves and uncertainly from Tuesday night were nowhere to be seen as Lewes dominated the open exchanges and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 7th minute.
Michael Klass won the ball back in midfield, battled through a couple of challenges before feeding Razz on the right-hand side. The wide-man went outside his man, drilled the ball across the six-yard box, narrowly missing Joe Taylor. But Deon Moore was at the far post, took a touch to beat his man and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
It was all Lewes in the opening quarter, with the midfield five running the show. It wasn’t until the 30th minute before the home side really had a chance, with Jake Cass breaking free but finding Lewis Carey rather than the open goal.
In the 35th minute an Enfield defender stopped Joe Taylor’s progress towards goal, with a good shout for denying a goal scoring opportunity. However, Lewes got their just desserts from the resulting free-kick, beautifully bent around the wall by Jamie Mascoll and into the corner of the net.
A minute before the break, after a spell of Enfield Town pressure, Lewes took a quick corner. It appeared the danger had passed as the ball was worked back towards their own goal, with most players getting a touch. In almost a carbon copy to the goal scored here last season, the possession was retained for around 2 minutes, with over 40 consecutive passes before Marcel Elva-Fountaine was teed up 20 yards out and his low shot beat McDonald, albeit with a slight deflection. If ever you needed an example of how Lewes can and want to play, this goal was it.
The Enfield Town fans let their team and bench know just how they felt as the teams went off at the break. Lewes came out the blocks strong again at the start of the second half and had a fourth when Coleman De-Graft tried to cut inside, but a defender got a toe to the ball. However, it just rebounded to Razz who curled the ball around the defender and keeper into the corner of the net.
There was no way back for Enfield. A goal by Jake Cass, superbly headed in from a deep cross in the 57th minute, then centre-back James Richmond rose the highest to head in a corner to bring the score back to 4-2 but the Lewes defence weathered the storm. A chorus of dissent from the fans behind the goal greeted three changes made by the Enfield management team in the 74th minute.
Enfield had their chances. Youngs was presented with a golden opportunity when Carey passed the ball direct to him on the edge of the box but his shot was weak and smothered by the Lewes keeper.
The Rooks still looked dangerous on the break. In the 90th minute Razz broke after Enfield had a corner cleared and he looked to play in Ayo Olukoga who had sprinted the length of the pitch but he was inches away from connecting.
The final whistle was greeted with jubilation from the Rooks fans. This was a performance that had been bubbling under the surface for a few weeks and showed how devastating they can be when things click. The second half Enfield bombardment had been a real test for Carey, Salmon and Champion, which they handled well.
Next up for the Rooks is a return to The Dripping Pan for the visit of Aveley on Tuesday night (18th October), kick off 7:45pm.
Enfield Town: McDonald, Spencer, Payne, Thomas, Wilson-Braithwaite, Richmond, Sayoud (Coker 74 mins), Youngs, Cass (75 mins), Dayton (Wyllie 74 mins), Della-Verde
Subs not used: Hercules, Urquhart
Booked: Della-Verde, Dayton
Lewes: Carey, Elva-Fountaine, Mascoll, Champion, Salmon, Young, Pritchard (Olukoga 79 mins), Klass (Nelson 90 mins), Coleman De-Graft, Moore, Taylor
Subs not used: Renee, Skinner, Silva
Booked: Klass, Salmon
Attendance: TBC (approx.. 35 travelling Rooks)