Lewes finally returned to winning ways with a comprehensive performance at Corinthian Casuals on a wet Tuesday night in Tolworth, reports Stuart Fuller
Boss Darren Freeman was forced into making two changes from the team that were beaten by Whitehawk on Saturday with Tom Day coming in to replace Henri Wilder, who has been recalled from his loan spell by Mansfield Town, and Luke Blewden for James Hammond, who departed the game on Saturday on a stretcher with a knee injury.
The Rooks began the game positively, showing no signs of any lack in confidence despite the poor run of results, pushing the Casuals defence back and forcing a couple of early corners. However it took until the 30th minute for the first real chance of the game. A Rooks corner was cleared but only to Omarr Lawson and his cross was met on the half-volley by Stacey Freeman whose effort was well saved and forced another corner. When this was delivered, Frankie Chappell rose the highest but his head cleared the bar from 6 yards out.
Adeyemo showed his power early in the second half, stealing the ball off a Casuals defender in the area although his shot went horizontally, perhaps due to the strong winds and driving rain. George Tuson-Firth then sent a stinging shot goal-wards that Bracken couldn’t hold but recovered to snatch the rebound.
The turning point in the game was the introduction of Kieron Pamment who dropped in just behind Ben Pope and immediately created a chance from a corner that saw Ben Pope’s shot cannon off the outside of the post.
In the 66th minute the Rooks finally took a deserved lead. Diallo played the ball simply to Michael Dome-Bemwin whose deep cross to the far post was well controlled by Pamment who beat his man around the outside and fired the ball across the Corinthian Casuals keeper and into the net.
Pamment could have had a second soon after when Ben Pope’s neat touch played in the Rooks midfielder but Bracken saved well with an outstretched foot. A minute later another Pamment shot from the edge of the box was well saved.
In the last minute of normal time a long cross found the head of Odunaike and despite already committing to go one way, Carey someone changed direction in mid-flight and saved the ball with one hand.
With four minutes of injury time played and the Rooks fans urging the excellent referee to blow for full-time, a precision kick from Lewis Carey was controlled just inside the Casuals half by Dome-Bemwin and he fed Luke Blewden who took a few steps with the ball and with the defence backing off the Rooks midfielder struck the ball perfectly from 25 yards past the Casuals keeper and into the net.
The Rooks almost scored a third when substitute Callum Overton robbed the Casuals centre-back with his first touch and was only denied a clear run on goal by a last-gasp tackle from the covering defender.
The final whistle was met with a mixture of relief and elation by the excellent Rooks away support and talk immediately turned to Saturday’s trip to Folkestone. This was a win built on a very structured performance, with the back four solid, the midfield discovering their passing game and the forward players not afraid to have a go.
A very pleased Darren Freeman spoke about the performance with Barry Collins after the game.
The Rooks head down to the seaside on Saturday when they face Folkestone Invicta in the Bostik League Premier Division at 3pm.
Corinthian Casuals: Bracken, Tucker, Adelakun, Strange, Hannigan, Ekim, Osman (Uzon – 80 mins), Antonio, Odunaike, Maan(Mfula 69 mins), Serbony (Agadhiuno 76mins)
Subs not used: Byatt, Williams
Lewes FC: Carey, Dome-Bemwin, Day,Tuson-Firth (Golding 66 mins), Chappell, Freeman, Blewden, Lawson, Pope (Overton 90 mins), Adeyemo (Pamment 56 mins), Diallo
Sub not used: Reed
Attendance: 201 (37 Rooks)