A superb team performance saw Lewes progress to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup with an emphatic 8-0 win over Sheppey United at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made three changes to the side that drew the first game 2-2 in Kent on Saturday, with Kenny Yao, Tom Phipp and Jack Skinner replacing Tom Champion, Ayo Olukoga and Bradley Pritchard in the starting line-up.
Lewes had fought back from two goals down on Saturday to set up this replay and made a bright start, Kenny Yao forcing a smart save from Aiden Prall early on at the end of an incisive passing move down the right.
The Rooks were then handed an excellent chance to go in front, as they were awarded a penalty after Tom Carlse was tripped by a covering defender who was attempting to shepherd the ball behind for a goal-kick.
Joe Taylor stepped up and sent Prall the wrong way from the spot to make it 1-0 on 15 minutes.
Lewes doubled their lead just four minutes later, a spell of patient possession ending with Jack Skinner finding Ronan Silva, who finished powerfully into the bottom corner from inside the area.
The Rooks were playing some exceptional football, moving the ball quickly and looking capable of scoring every time they found themselves in the final third.
They were awarded their second penalty of the evening on 25 minutes, Taylor being bought down by Prall as he attempted to round him after being played through on goal by Razz Coleman De-Graft.
Taylor put this penalty to Prall’s right but the outcome was the same, with the goalkeeper diving to his left, leaving Lewes 3-0 up after a dominant start.
The visitors were nearly handed an unlikely route back into the game almost immediately, as Mitchell Nelson sliced a clearance back towards his own goal, the ball dropping just wide of the near post.
Lewes made the most of this by increasing their lead further ten minutes before the break, Will Salmon volleying into the roof of the net from close range after Prall had made an excellent initial save to keep out Nelson’s header from a Skinner corner.
Skinner had been at the heart of all of Lewes’ best play during the first half and he was involved again five minutes into the second, finding a pocket of space just outside the box and playing a perfectly-weighted ball through for Taylor to finish past the onrushing Prall and complete his hat-trick.
Despite being in such a commanding position with so much of the game still remaining, the Rooks continued to look to add to their lead, Prall making a fine save to deny Silva at the end of another excellent passing move.
To their credit, Sheppey continued to work hard and saw Lewis Carey react quickly to keep out a Warren Mfula strike before Salmon cleared Jacob Lambert’s effort on the rebound off the line.
Lewes made it 6-0 on 72 minutes, Taylor scoring his fourth of the game with a deflected strike into the bottom corner after being found in space by Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
The Rooks were awarded their third penalty of the game with ten minutes remaining when Salmon was caught late after getting on the end of a Skinner corner and helping it back towards goal
Taylor stepped up for the third time and confidently found the bottom corner, making it 7-0 and taking his personal tally for the night to five goals.
Lewes completed the scoring and capped an outstanding team performance by scoring their eighth and final goal on 89 minutes, Deshane Dalling finishing emphatically from the edge of the area after being teed up by Murrell-Williamson.
This was a great night at the Pan, with those supporters who braved the pre-match downpour and ignored the Champions League football on the TV being treated to Lewes’ biggest ever FA Cup win, which sets up a second qualifying round tie against Three Bridges at the Pan.
To watch the highlights of the game, thanks to Your Instant Replay, click here.
To read the progcast, click here.
The Rooks return to league action with a trip to Ramsgate FC to take on Herne Bay on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Yao, Carlse, Nelson, Salmon, Phipp (Olukoga 57), Silva, Skinner, De-Graft (Dalling 66), Moore (Murrell-Williamson 46), Taylor.
Unused Subs: Jenkins, Pritchard, Middleton-Tozer.
Sheppey United: Prall, Birch, Parsons, Hudson (Beard 60), Majoyegbe, Sains, Gillies, Lambert, Hagan (McIntyre 80), Grant, Mfula.
Unused Subs: Roberts, Bennett.