Lewes FC winger Ollie Tanner says “free-flowing” football is what Rooks fans deserve after sticking with the club through thick and thin.
Tanner was instrumental in Tuesday’s 5-0 victory over Leatherhead that moves Tony Russell’s men up to third in the Isthmian League table.
Two goals from Joe Taylor, Taylor Maloney’s deflected free-kick and a strike apiece for Bradley Pritchard and Iffy Allen secured the three points.
And with the Rooks now not playing until next weekend, Tanner says upon reflection Tuesday panned out perfectly
“We just said it in the dressing room afterwards – the fans haven’t had loads to cheer about for the past few seasons,” says the wide man.
“It’s nice to come here and give them something to cheer about. It’s exciting.
“The fans are brilliant. Even the other day heading over to Margate, 50 of them if not more! Cheering everyone all the way, it’s really nice.”
‘We’ve got a lot of quality’
Lewes were a goal to the good when Leatherhead captain Ryan Huckle was sent off for denying Taylor a goalscoring opportunity.
And Tanner admits Maloney’s goal off the resulting free-kick settled the nerves.
“It was overall a very good performance from the team. A bit sloppy in the first half and perhaps fortunate for us to have two goals,” he says.
“But we’ve got a lot of quality in the side and that’s always going to come through in the end. Maybe against a better team we could have been losing in the first half.
“Of course the red always takes some pressure off us, when they went down to 10 men we had a bit more freedom to pass around, to move. I think it was inevitable.
“We knew it was going to happen, we were always going to pick the lock eventually.”
‘I should have scored three or four’
Tanner didn’t get on the scoresheet on Tuesday night but had a number of chances to find the net, particularly in the second half when he was denied by the boot of goalkeeper Myles Bowman.
But the opportunity to excite the supporters means more than finding the net.
“As a wide player myself it’s very enjoyable. You get a lot of ball – and for the other boys as well, like Taylor in the middle, Raz running the midfield,” he says.
“It’s very enjoyable because we are a very good side. We’re free-flowing so when the ball comes into midfield and it goes wide then you know you’re going to get a lot of chances. To win 5-0… it should have been more! But you’d take five before the game.
“Myself, I think I should have scored three or four. But it’s just one of those nights where for me the ball wouldn’t go in the net.
“I knew it wasn’t my night when I went through three or four players and looked to pass it into the net, but it came off the keeper’s studs.”
The men don’t have a fixture this weekend, which means Russell can get working on the trip to Worthing on Saturday 23 October.