A disappointing performance saw Lewes fall to a 3-0 defeat to East Thurrock United at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Ross Standen and Tony Coade included Lewis Taylor in the starting line-up for his debut following his arrival on loan from Dorking Wanderers, and were also able to hand Harry Reed a first start of the season.
There were few chances of note for either side early on, with Lewes keeping the ball well as they looked to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, who saw the unmarked Danny Cossington head over the bar at the far post after being picked out by a short corner.
Lewes nearly made the most of this let-off by taking the lead minutes later, Billy Medlock sending a half-volley from the edge of the area over the bar after bringing down a long ball forward.
East Thurrock were starting to look a threat going forward and took the lead after 15 minutes through Frankie Merrifield, who finished from close range at the second attempt after good play down the left by Kai Brown.
Without playing badly, Lewes were finding it difficult to get into the game, with any attacks being comfortably dealt with by the visitor’s defence.
East Thurrock continued to have the better of the chances, and saw Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke forced into smart saves to deny Brown and Darren Foxley in quick succession.
The closest the Rooks came to equalising before the break was through debutant Lewis Taylor, who headed into the side-netting at the far post from a Stefan Ilic corner.
Lewes introduced substitutes Jordy Mongoy and Tony Mendy, making his debut after joining from Romford, at half-time in a bid to get back into the game, but continued to be kept at arm’s length by the well-organised visitors.
East Thurrock remained the more likely scorers during the early stages of the second half, but were once again denied by Stroomberg-Clarke, who kept out a Brown volley before making a superb save to claw a deflected Foxley effort behind for a corner.
The introduction of Ronnie Conlon just after the hour-mark immediately gave Lewes more in the final third and great play by Conlon very nearly saw Lewes level the scores, as his cut-back at the end of a purposeful run down the right was slid against his own post by Cossington.
It was still all to play for heading into the final few minutes until the visitors doubled their lead with six minutes remaining, as Mitchell Gilbey was on hand to convert a left-wing cross from close range.
East Thurrock added a third goal to secure the points on 88 minutes, as a free-kick from the left was headed back across goal at the far post for substitute Danny Harris to finish from inside the six-yard box.
After the game Tony Coade spoke to Barry Collins about the game and how disappointed they were with the performance.
The Prodcast is available to read here.
Lewes will hope to put their recent league form behind them when they travel to Peacehaven & Telscombe in the Sussex Senior Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.30pm.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Day, Reed, Dome-Bemwin, Taylor, Freeman, Golding (Mendy 46), Hammond, Diedrick-Roberts (Mongoy 46), Medlock, Ilic (Conlon 62).
Unused Subs: Yeboah, Dawson.
East Thurrock United: Giddens, Ring, Brown, Scott, Cossington, Foxley (Price 72), Harlow, Gilbey, Tweed (Olukoga 83), Brown (Harris 83), Merrifield.
Unused Subs: Cruz, Coventry.
Booked: Harlow, Harris.
Referee: Sean Jenkins
Attendance: 506 (approx. 16 East Thurrock United Fans)