This Sunday Lewes welcome London Bees to the Dripping Pan for the very first time. If that’s not exciting enough for you, this is new manager Fran Alonso’s first home match in charge.
The two sides met for the first time last October, where a five goal thriller went the way of the home side. Then Bees skipper Emma Beckett, who has recently signed for Spurs, opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Sammy Quayle and Sarah Kempson put Lewes 2-1 up but Beckett pegged them back before the break with a finely struck free-kick. Tricia Gould grabbed the winner for the Londoners just after the hour.
Since then the clubs have been on rather different trajectories. Bees, kick-starting their season with that win over Lewes, have climbed the table steadily, beating Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Leicester City and last time out Crystal Palace, a 2-1 win that saw Katie Wilkinson and Laura Pickett find the target, ‘keeper Sarah Quantrill pulling off a fine save in the final minutes to deny Nikita Whinett. Bees manager Luke Swindlehurst will see this as a great opportunity to close the gap on Leicester, who site just above his side in 5th.
Lewes have been through a few changes since that fixture. Their last league point came from a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa in November. They scored a creditable 2-0 win away to Millwall in the Conti Cup, albeit that neither club could progress in the competition. The Rooks will look to re-ignite their season and get some valuable points on the board.
They also have a new manager: Fran Alonso. He is in no doubt about the need for a strong performance to change direction. And Alonso believes the home fans will play their part.
‘We are very excited to play our first game together in front of our home crowd and we would love to see a full Dripping Pan on Sunday. The team has not won in the league since September so we need all the support we can get to turn this bad spell around’
Fran is well aware of the opponent’s good form. ‘London Bees and Tottenham (Lewes’s last opponents) are two teams in better form in the league. They’ve won four out of the last five league games, so we know they are going to be very tough to beat.’
How is the new manager feeling about the occasion, his first home match with Lewes?
‘For me personally it will be a very special game. I know the fans have big expectations of me and the team and I would love if we could give them something to be proud of. Hopefully a great game where we play very well and we get all three points! But we are aware of how difficult Bees will make it for us.’
He has another, rather exciting message for the home fans, too.
‘I would advise our fans to be tuned in for the next couple of days, in case one or two new players come in.’
Tickets available in advance here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/lewesfootballclub2
Gates open 12:30
Paddock Singers choir
Skull Drummery drum troupe
Hot food & drinks
Kick off: 2pm