The Rooks ended their pre-season campaign with a comprehensive win against Whitehawk but not before a half-time team talk to correct their errant ways, reports Stuart Fuller.
After the disappointment of the second-half performance at Haywards Heath Town on Tuesday, Darren made a couple of changes to the starting XI for the local derby against Whitehawk with Stacey Freeman returning whilst his 16-year old cousin Tegan Freeman was given a starting place.
It wasn’t a good opening period for the side, with possession being given away far too cheaply. When the Rooks did get behind the Whitehawk defence in the early phases of play, the final ball was not delivered. At the other end, Whitehawk moved the ball well and had tested Rooks keeper Nathan Stroomberg on two occasions before Lucas Rodrigues gave them a deserved lead in the 18th minute, finishing a smart move from close range.
At half-time the team talk being delivered by Freeman could be heard by most fans in the ground, removing Trialist A, Golding and Wilson from the side, replacing them with Triallist B, Ross Barclay and Stefan Ilic but it had the desired effect as the Rooks looked far more in control of the midfield.
The Rooks dominance in possession paid off finally in the 58th minute when a long ball from Kieron Pamment was superbly chested into the path of Ross Barclay by Ola Adeyemo and the youngster curled the ball home from the edge of the box (video thanks to @SofaRooks) to draw the home side level.
Former Rooks youngster finally saw yellow for a late challenge on James Hammond, having been warned by the referee on half a dozen occasions.
Darren made a few changes on the half-way mark in the second period, and it was only a matter of minutes before Dean Bown once again made his mark, scoring his 6th goal in pre-season, flicking (kneeing?) a great cross from Pamment in (thanks again to Sofa Rooks for being in the right place at the right time).
Five minutes later Trialist B (identity to be revealed soon after he put pen to paper post-match) beat the offside trap and calmly slotted the ball home (captured again by @SofaRooks)
After the game, Darren spoke to Barry Collins about what he actually said at half-time to the team that turned around the game.
The Rooks went in search of a fourth but the Whitehawk defence held firm, restricting the score to 3-1 and meaning the squad finished their pre-season preparations with five wins out of six games.
You can read a copy of today’s Progcast here.
Next Saturday the Rooks kick off their Isthmian League Premier Division campaign at The Pan as they welcome Enfield Town, kick off 3pm.
Lewes FC: Stroomberg, Pamment, Trialist A (Dawson 46 mins), T Freeman, S Freeman, Day, Golding (Ilic 46 mins), Hammond, Adeyemo (Bown – 67 mins), Wilson (Barclay 46 mins), Mongoy (Trialist B – 67 mins)
Subs not used: Collings, Gifford, Santos
Whitehawk: Broadbent, Walsh, Robinson, Unwin, Torres, Blencowe, Rodrigues, Kissock, Rogers, Muggeridge, Deda
Subs: Banya, Trialist A, Emberson, Tighe, Munt, Batchelor, Jubrill
Referee: Barry Small