Lewes suffered their first defeat of pre-season, falling to a 4-2 reverse in Mid-Sussex against an impressive Haywards Heath side, reports Tom Harper.
The Rooks started brightly and were ahead after just three minutes through Jordy Mongoy, who sent a looping far-post header back across goal and just inside the post after good work down the right by Dayshonne Golding.
Without dominating the game, Lewes continued to look capable of adding to their lead early on, with Mongoy capitalising on some hestitant defending and forcing a fine save from Luke Glover in the host’s goal.
Haywards Heath grew into the game and were level midway through the first half, as Callum Saunders coolly lifted a penalty into the roof of the net after Trevor McCreadie had been fouled in the area by Zach Fagan as he looked to finish the rebound from a Saunders strike that had come back off the post.
The Rooks continued to pose a threat going forward though, with Ola Adeyemo hitting the post after holding the ball up well on the edge of the area.
Lewes regained their lead two minutes before the break, with Adeyemo scoring from almost on the line after Mongoy beat Glover to a through-ball and lifted the ball towards goal.
Both sides made a host of changes during the early stages of the second half, which saw the game become a little disjointed compared to the competitive edge it had before the break.
The hosts began to take control in the final 20 minutes though and moments after Jack Hartley had been denied by Nathan Stroomberg, the same player found the bottom corner from close range after Lewes had been unable to clear a corner.
Haywards Heath were the better side by this stage and took the lead for the first time after 77 minutes, as Andrew Dalhouse arrived late at the far post to steer a Saunders cross from the right into the roof of the net.
They doubled their lead and completed the scoring three minutes later through former Lewes captain Lloyd Cotton, who saw an attempted clearance hit him and end up in the back of the net after some hesitant defending from a free-kick.
Post-match Darren spoke to Barry Collins about the game.
Lewes conclude their pre-season preparations at Whitehawk on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Haywards Heath Town: Glover, Summerfield, Straker, Warwick, Cooper, Spinks, Saunders, L. Cotton, McCreadie, Napper, N. Cotton.
Subs: Hartley, Rowe, Watson, Boiling, Dalhouse, McKenzie.
Lewes: Stroomberg, Dawson, Pamment, Hammond, Day, Fagan, Golding, Wilson, Adeyemo, Ilic, Mongoy.
Subs: Bown, Freeman, Barclay, Gifford, Trialist A, Trialist B, Collings.