Two goals in the last minute of the game saw Lewes start their pre-season preparations with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Southern Combination Premier division side Hassocks reports Tom Harper.
With several players unavailable, Darren Freeman used the game as an opportunity to give several young players minutes and hand debuts to summer signings Bouwe Bosma and Liam MacDevitt.
There were few chances for either side during a first half played in torrential rain in Mid Sussex. The best opportunities arguably fell to the hosts though, who saw Chris Winterton make two smart saves to prevent them taking the lead before the break.
Both teams unsurprisingly made several changes at half-time, with a number of youth team and development squad players being introduced for the Rooks.
Lewes took the lead within minutes of the restart. George Landais was the scorer, controlling a clever pass from a trialist before side-stepping a challenge from the goalkeeper and rolling the ball into the empty net. Hassocks impressed throughout the game with their workrate and ability on the ball, and deservedly equalised with just under 20 minutes to play, as a midfielder was given too much time and space on the edge of the area and sent a well-struck effort past Winterton and into the bottom corner.
Lewes regained their lead just five minutes later though, as Ian Robinson was on hand to convert a low cross from the right from Callum Kealy. The hosts were level within three minutes, as determined running from their centre-forward ended with a close-range finish just about finding the bottom corner, despite the best efforts of Winterton.
Lewes were looking dangerous going forward, and saw Robinson have an effort deflected just wide and Gus Sow force a fine save from the Hassocks goalkeeper with a curling effort from the edge of the area. The Rooks took the lead for a third time in the final minute, as the impressive Ronnie Conlon beat the offside trap and got just enough power on his effort from inside the area to beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
There was still time for Lewes to score a fourth goal, as a trialist capitalised on a loose pass in midfield to run through and finish confidently with the last kick of the game.
This was a good test for the Rooks, who produced an impressive second half performance to see off a Hassocks who will probably feel they deserved a draw based on the balance of play.
Lewes continue their pre-season preparations with a trip to Eastbourne Town next Tuesday, kick-off at 7.45pm.
Lewes: Winterton, Reed, George, Hammond, Tuck, Malins, MacDevitt, Bosma, Brotherton, Landais, Trialist
Subs: Trialist, Kealy, Gunn, Sow, Robinson, Conlon