Lewes FC boss Scott Booth says fans turning up to the Dripping Pan for Sunday’s 12 noon clash with Sheffield United are in for a treat, as the Rooks seek to extend the unbeaten start to the season to four games.
Booth’s side are just one of two left unbeaten after three games in the Women’s Championship, and host a Blades side on Sunday that is already picking up speed.
Despite being unbeaten, last week’s 0-0 draw with London City Lionesses means Lewes are also seeking a first win of the campaign.
And Booth says the players are raring to go once more.
“We’re really looking forward to this one. A home game, in front of our fans. It’s always exciting to play at the Dripping Pan, on a fantastic pitch, with our supporters in full voice. And we’re up against a side in Sheffield United who have done really well so far,” says Booth.
“The unbeaten start is really unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever been with a team that has started a season with three draws, playing or managing.
“But the fact we’re unbeaten is great. We haven’t lost a lot of goals, look tight at the back and have been consistent defensively. Of course a win is what you’re looking for each time you go out and play, so in that respect we’re a bit frustrated that we haven’t managed to get those three points yet.
“But we take the positives from the fact we’re still undefeated.”
Despite a valiant effort, the Rooks couldn’t force a winner at home against London City Lionesses last weekend. But Booth has been impressed with a number of his players so far this season.
“We had a number of good performances against London City,” he says. “I felt Amber Stobbs once again played really well, while Sophie (Whitehouse) has been great from day one this season.
“There are a few others in there as well – but I don’t think we as a team played as well as we know we can last week.
“We felt a bit frustrated at that because we felt if we could have played better football we could have picked up the win. It was a very even match and I think that’s the reality of it.”
Focus on Sheffield United
Lewes beat Sheffield United 3-1 in South Yorkshire last season, with Ini Umotong, Paula Howells and Lucy Ashworth-CLifford bagging the goals.
In the reverse fixture, the Blades got the better of Lewes at the Dripping Pan to secure a 2-0 result.
Head coach Neil Redfearn oversaw an 8-0 victory against Coventry United last Sunday. But Blades defender Charlotte Newsham has warned the second-placed team in the league aren’t getting ahead of themselves.
“We’ll carry on building on the last few weeks of training,” Newsham told Sheffield United’s club website. “After a big win, everyone’s buzzing, but Redders will bring us back down to earth. It’s a long trip and a tough game, so we will just train and prepare as normal and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Fans ‘support us through thick and thin’
Booth, meanwhile, is hoping to use Sunday’s fixture as a springboard to further success this season.
“There are definitely some things we’re trying to iron out but the players are generally well settled,” says the Rooks manager.
“Remember we’re only three games into the season, and we had a relatively short pre-season. So there are things we have to work on, that’s for sure – the staff and the players know that.
“We know not to get carried away with anything when it goes well because there’s still a long way to go. We have to make sure we work hard on the things that will make us better, a better team and better people.”
Lewes had another bumper crowd of 679 at the Pan last weekend for the Lionesses clash. And Booth says he’ll never get tired of the incredible atmosphere generated by our supporters.
“The Pan is an amazing place when the fans are as close as they are,” says the boss. “They support us through thick and thin and the noise in the stadium is incredible.
“I know that the players really enjoy having such close contact with our supporters. And I’ll always urge everyone to come down – for this Sunday and for every game – to enjoy good football and get behind a team that they can be proud of.”
Lewes vs Sheffield United tickets
You can buy Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 12 noon on Sunday, online or at the gate.
Ticket prices are as follows:
• Adults – £12 general admittance online
• Concessions – £8 general admittance online
• Kids (under 16) – free!
• Beach hut for six people – £110
Photos: Meg Ewens and James Boyes