Lewes vs Haringey Borough Match Preview
By Sam Simons
Lewes welcome Haringey Borough to the Dripping Pan as they continue to chase the playoff spots. The Rooks currently sit in sixth, just one point behind those spots, and face a Borough side in torrid form who are without a win since September.
Despite a positive start to the season and high position in the league, Lewes are coming off the back of a difficult few weeks, winning only one of their last five games. Defeat against table topping Worthing in a high-scoring encounter was followed by an early exit in the FA Trophy at Bishop’s Stortford in the last week of October.
November started with a hard-fought win at home to Carshalton which appeared to stop the rot but another trip to Bishop’s, this time in the league, saw the Rooks very lucky to come away with a point. Tuesday’s trip to East Thurrock saw the side fall to an extremely disappointing 2-0 defeat to cap off a poor fun of games.
A game to forget against the Rocks
Manager Tony Russell didn’t mince his words when looking back on the defeat, “Tuesday was the worst game of football I have ever been a part of in my time as a manager. We have a very specific way of playing. For the first time in my eleven years of being a manager I had to stand in front of my players and tell them not to pass the ball and to go long to try to find a way to win the game.”
The team have become known for playing attacking, exciting football and had topped the league scoring charts until this poor run and Tony apologised for the performance, “I want to say sorry to anyone who travelled to that game. I was sitting there contemplating quitting football… I was honest and told the players to forget that the game ever happened and to look forward.”
Despite his disappointment in his team’s performance, the manager also questioned some of the calls from the match officials with the two goals conceded both coming from the penalty spot, “in terms of the game itself, both penalties were poor decisions and the decision to flag JT offside when he was put through in the first minute of the second half was wrong – we’ve reviewed the whole game on video and it is frustrating to see those key decisions going against us.”
Lewes can take some positives from this run, they picked up some points showing resilience in their home sole win and draw, both of which arguably deserved to be defeats.
Tony highlighted their equaliser at Bishop’s for it’s brilliant simplicity, “the frustrating thing is really, the goal we scored was so simple and it’s a goal that we spoke about. We know when the ball was rolled out the centre half the 8 was breaking out from midfield. So, we spoke about getting the ball into midfield and creating the overload.”
The Rooks took advantage of this with their equaliser, moving the ball swiftly through the heart of midfield with incisive passing and movement that allowed top scorer Joe Taylor the chance to give it to Iffy Allen on a plate. That kind of attacking play has been on show all season and Tony believes in the squad he’s assembled to increase the consistency and return to winning ways. He said, “we will get better, and we are getting better… just every once in a while, the trust is not quite their yet. Trust in the work we’re doing on the training pitch and what we’re asking them to do.”
Focus on Haringey Borough
The visitors currently sit 14th in the league and will be hoping to make up some ground on their hosts. Fortunately for Lewes, their difficult run pales in comparison to Borough’s who haven’t picked up three point since they beat East Thurrock 5-1 in late September.
They were beaten comfortably by Hornchurch in their last outing, but Tony is aware this side can extremely dangerous, “Watching from afar, and I might be wrong, they seem to be able to beat anyone, but they also seem like they can lose to anyone. So, a dangerous side with a lot of dangerous individuals.”
Lewes are boosted by the return of club captain Mitchell Nelson and Michael Klass from suspension. Klass scored the winner in their last win against Carshalton and will hope to have an impact again at the Pan.
Tony hopes the return home can inspire the team out of this rut and back playing quality football, “I’m looking forward to get back home, to the Pan, playing good football and putting on a show, let’s get some goals. We had a great session on Wednesday, real positive – and we’ve got some exciting news to come, over the next few days, on the players front. So, stay tuned!”
A win could see Lewes climb as high as third in the table.
COME ON YOU ROOKS!