The Rooks had to be content with another goal-less draw against Play-off hopefuls Tonbridge Angels on Wednesday after a second-half penalty from Ben Pope was saved, reports Stuart Fuller.
Manager Darren Freeman made two changes from the team that lost at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday, with new signing George Tuson-Firth coming in for Charlie Coppola who had returned to University and Luke Blewden in for Dayshonne Golding, who dropped to the bench alongside new signing Ola Adeyeme.
The visitors, looking to bounce back from their own defeat on Saturday, at Merstham, started the stronger and created the first real chance in the 7th minute when a Joe Turner shot from distance was well saved by Carey and from the resulting corner the Rooks keeper pulled off an excellent one-handed save from Tonbridge’s Sonny Miles. Five miutes later, a similar free-kick that brought the Rooks a goal at Carshalton on Saturday caused chaos in the area but the second ball from Lawson was easily saved by the keeper.
After 23 minutes Tonbridge were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the Lewes box but Turner’s effort hit the wall.
Both sides then traded yellow cards with Ramadan booked for tripping Diallo when he was in full stride, then Pope was harshly booked when the Tonbridge keeper’s quick kick hit the retreating Lewes player in the back.
The second half started slowly and it was in the 54th minute before we say the first real chance, when Omarr Lawson burst into the area but his advances were blocked. The talking point of the game came a few minutes later. A swift break from right to left saw James Hammond square the ball to Omarr Lawson and his stinging shot could only be parried up in the air by keeper Henly. George Tuson-Firth was the first Rooks player to react and as he went for the ball, the keeper pushed him. Harsh decision perhaps and the resulting Tonbridge protests saw Lee booked.
Ben Pope stepped up and sent his spot-kick low to the left-hand corner but the keeper went the same way and saved it, with Pope beaten to the replay by a defender (who from the video evidence is clearly 2 yards inside the area when the spot kick was taken).
The Rooks continued to look to grab a winner and a swift Carey kick found Pope on the halfway line. He controlled it well, turned and played in Lawson who raced clear down the right hand side but his final shot flew over the bar. Three minutes later Lawson had another chance as he ran onto a Pope flick but his shot was easily saved by Henly. The Tonbridge keeper had to scramble to save a Pope overhead kick a few minutes later after a great knock-down from Luke Blewden.
So two (and a bit games) against Tonbridge Angels this season have failed to produce a goal. In the circumstance, a point was a fair result and still keeps the Rooks firmly in the hunt for a Play-off spot.
After the game, boss Darren Freeman spoke to Barry Collins about the game.
Highlights from the game can be viewed here.
James Boyes’ excellent pictures from the game can be found here.
The brilliant Lewes FC Progcast can be read here.
The Rooks host local rivals Whitehawk on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Lewes FC: Carey, Diallo, Wilder, Hammond, Chappell, Freeman, Lawson, Dome-Bemwin, Blewden, Pople (Adeyeme 83 mins), Tuson-Firth
Subs not used: Day, Golding, Pamment, Overton
Tonbridge Angels FC: Henly, Folkes, Parter, Beere (Theobalds 26 mins), Miles, Lee, Ramadan, Parkinson, Read (Stone 82 mins), Derry, Turner
Subs not used: Smith, Stirman
Booked: Miles, Lee, Ramadan