Lewes FC first-team coach Nathan White says Saturday’s visit of Margate to the Dripping Pan will be a challenging encounter for the Rooks, having watched the Kent side up-close a number of times this season.
Lewes have had a week to work on the game following Tuesday’s postponement of the trip to Leatherhead due to a waterlogged pitch.
It meant the players were put through their paces during Wednesday’s training session and spirits are high heading into the weekend.
And White warns the Rooks won’t be able to take Saturday’s opponents lightly.
“They’re a good team. I’ve been to see them probably three or four times this season, watching different sides,” says White.
“They’re probably one of the most local sides to me and there are a lot of good people there – the likes of manager Jay Saunders, who when I first started coaching at Maidstone he was the first-team manager there, and has always been really supportive of me. Midfielder Ben Greenhalgh is a good friend of mine and is also a coach down there now.
“It’s going to be a test for us. I’ve seen them play really well against sides and I watched them face Worthing a couple of months ago – they played really well and beat them on the night. That shows how good a side they are and how dangerous they can be.
“But we’re looking forward to this. We love being at home and the crowds have been outstanding this season.
“The Dripping Pan, when I was at former clubs, has always been a place that I looked forward to going to. Even when we didn’t get good results there!”
Need to keep momentum going
Lewes head into the clash having beaten Carshalton 2-1 last weekend and are looking to make it four wins from five on Saturday.
And the Leatherhead postponement means the team has had more time to prepare for Margate.
“We were looking forward to the Leatherhead game on Tuesday,” says White. “Obviously we knew that because of the forecast it was going to be touch and go as to whether it would be on.
“We were keen to get the game on after our result on Saturday to keep that momentum going. But we lost out to the weather.
“We trained on Wednesday, which was really good. It was a combination of me and Joe Vines taking it, and we did some competition stuff. We like to keep the sessions lively and get the boys shouting at me or Vinesey for some poor refereeing, which generally happens! I’m sure if Joe Taylor reads this he will attest to that.
“It’s been really good. And then we worked on the patterns at the end of the session. We feel we are as prepared as we can be for Margate on Saturday.”
Reflecting on Carshalton win
Victory over Carshalton came thanks to goals from Michael Klass and Razz Coleman De-Graft, and proved the perfect response to going a goal down early on.
And White believes that resolve has the Rooks in good stead heading into the business end of the season.
“Carshalton are always a side that we respect highly. Peter Adeniyi has always done a great job down there,” says White.
“They’re aways a side that we’re wary of – they’re very rotational in what they do and play some very good football. I thought we started the game well. The boys reacted well (to conceding) and scored two really good goals.
“I thought Michael Klass’ goal was outstanding. And even though we were going mad with Razz to square his pass, the second one was great and I know the fans behind the goal really enjoyed it as well.
“What was really pleasing as the game went on were the blocks from the likes of Matt Weaire and Will Salmon. The boys put really put their bodies on the line to earn us those three points. We thought that was a really big three points against a good Carshalton side.
“It’s never an easy place to go and over the years that we’ve been going there, we’ve found it’s never been a place we’ve done particularly well. So it was great to pick up that big result – especially with the momentum now going into February and March.”
Margate seeking revenge
The Rooks will seek to do the double over Margate this season when they clash on Saturday. Tony Russell’s men secured a 6-2 victory at Hartsdown Park back in October and striker Vance Bola recently told Margate’s club website that they are out for revenge.
“We owe (the fans) a performance, and we need to go there and get revenge for that 6-2 loss at Hartsdown Park,” said Bola.
“It was boys against men that afternoon and we have to go there this weekend and put in a performance that shows how good we are, but also that can earn us three points.”
Lewes FC vs Margate tickets
Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, are available to buy online (at a discount) or on the gate.
Ticket prices on the gate are as follows:
Adults – £12 general admittance
Concessions – £8 general admittance
Kids (under 16) – free!
Beach hut for six people – £99 SOLD OUT