Tony Russell reckons the Lewes fans are in for another thriller at the Dripping Pan on Tuesday when high-flying Aveley clash with his own in-form side.
The Rooks are unbeaten in four games and are seeking victory at the Pan on Tuesday following last week’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Hornchurch.
A win could life Lewes into ninth, with still two games in hand over most other teams. The game with Aveley has already been rearranged once, meaning Russell’s side is well prepared for what is to come.
And the boss believes the supporters who brought the noise to last week’s game are in for more entertainment here.
“Aveley are up there and will be all season. They’re one of the teams who will now be thinking of going for the league, and beat Brightlingsea 6-0 on Saturday. So it’s going to be a big one on Tuesday,” says Russell.
“They’re in good form and they’re a good side. Danny Scopes is a great manager and he has them well organised. They have plenty of dangerous players and that makes them hard to beat – but we’ll be ready for them.
“In fact Aveley are similar in their set-up to Hornchurch. They’re hard to break down and will probably look to counter on us. So it’s up to us to play our game, control the flow and impose ourselves on them. There were limbs in the crowd last week and we want to deliver the same again for our supporters.”
‘We’re learning to win games’
Russell leads his team into the game three days after a sensational penalty shootout victory over Chesham United in the FA Trophy first round.
The boss was forced to make a few selection changes for that game in order to manage players through the congested Saturday-Tuesday fixture schedule that promises no let-up this November.
And he’s hoping to field a full-strength XI at the Pan on Tuesday night.
“There are certain players in specific positions that we have to look at and manage,” says Russell.
“Razz (Coleman De-Graft) and Bradley (Pritchard) are two of those. With Brad he’s expected to run 11km a game and he’s on the wrong side of 30, so we have to be smart with that and we can’t afford to flog him too much.
“And then there are players like Tyrique Hyde and Alfie Young, who are still learning. One is learning how we play, the other is learning how to master central midfield. So those young boys will definitely keep playing because they need it.
“These games are beneficial for them to improve and understand our set-up more. Someone like Joe Taylor does sensible, clever running so he can manage his legs well. Our full-backs with Marcel Elva-Fountaine and Johnville Renee are two really good options, and with our centre-halves Tom Champion is just coming back from injury and needs minutes in his legs. Tom’s starting to play really well for us, while Will Salmon is so important.
“There’s no surprise if you look at our turn in form it was when Tom Champion came back. He’s such a big player for us, a smart lad and a good guy. An important player on the pitch who is no-nonsense and doesn’t put up with anything. If the players aren’t at it he can get them going, and he sets very high standards.
“So we should have a decent batch to choose from on Tuesday and give this a real good go. As I keep saying, when we play our best I don’t think there’s anyone in this league who can stop us. And that’s what we’re aiming for under the lights this week!”
Lewes FC vs Aveley tickets
The match on Tuesday kicks off at 7:45pm. You can buy Lewes FC tickets for the game online and skip the queue at the gate. Online ticket prices are as follows:
Adults – £12
Concessions – £8
Kids U16 – Free
Beach Huts – £110
Photo: James Boyes