A disappointing performance saw ten-man Lewes suffer their fourth successive defeat with a 2-0 reverse to local rivals Horsham on a sweltering afternoon at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Darren Freeman made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Margate in their previous game, with new signing Michael Onovwigun and Ola Adeyemo replacing Jordy Mongoy and Dean Bown in the starting line-up.
Both sides kept possession well without creating any opportunities of note early on.
There was more goalmouth action as the half progressed though, with Nathan Stroomberg forced into a smart save to deny Chris Smith, before the same player steered an Isaac Newton cross wide just minutes later.
Smith nearly turned provider just before the break, but saw Kieran Lavery glance a header from his cross just wide of the far post.
The visitors started the second half brightly and were ahead within a minute of the restart, as George Hayward rounded off an excellent passing move with a cool finish after being put through on goal by a clever Smith dummy.
Lewes came close to responding immediately though, with James Hammond seeing a 20-yard free-kick pushed onto the post by George Bentley, who then reacted quickly to hold onto Tom Day’s header on the rebound.
The Rooks’ task was made even more difficult just nine minutes into the second half, as Frankie Chappell was shown a straight red card for lunging into a challenge on Newton.
Horsham made the most of their numerical advantage on 57 minutes, Joe Shelley heading a Charlie Harris corner through a crowd of players and past Stroomberg to double the visitor’s lead with over half an hour still to play.
To their credit, Lewes continued to look for a route back into the game and saw Hammond hit the post after a Kieron Pamment cross from the left had fallen to him in the area.
The same combination nearly led to the Rooks pulling a goal back soon after, but Hammond could only head Pamment’s cross over the bar.
The game began to peter out in the closing stages, with playing two games in sweltering conditions in the space of 48 hours understandably leading to a lack of clearcut opportunities.
The final chance of the game fell to the visitors, with Lavery being denied by Stroomberg in the closing stages after another impressive move.
Lewes will hope to put this result behind them and record their first win of the season when they visit Leatherhead on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
After the game, Darren spoke candidly with Barry Collins.
You can read today’s progcast here.
Lewes: Stroomberg, Sumithran (Ilic 77), Day, Dome-Bemwin, Chappell, Fagan, Pamment, Hammond (Barclay 90), Adeyemo (Bown 75), Golding, Onovwigun.
Unused Subs: Santos, Diedrick-Roberts.
Booked: Day, Sumithran
Sent off: Chappell.
Horsham: Bentley, Mills, Sparks, Harris (Rance 71), Shelley, Miles, Dawson, Hayward (Kelly 66), Lavery, Smith (O’Toole 83), Newton.
Unused Subs: Brivio, Harding.
Referee: Alex Blake
Attendance: 600 (approximately 40 from Horsham