Written by: Stuart
Goals from Joe Taylor and Razz Coleman De-Graft saw Lewes climb back into the play-off places with a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Margate at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made two changes to the side that beat Folkestone 2-1 in their previous game, with Juevan Spencer and Taylor Maloney replacing Tom Carlse and Michael Klass in the starting line-up.
Lewes spent the opening minutes camped in the Margate half, working the ball out wide and giving the visitors plenty of defending to do with a number of dangerous crosses.
Despite this, the first clear-cut chance of the game fell to Margate, who saw Louis Collins denied by Lewis Carey at the end of an incisive counter-attack.
The Rooks soon began to turn their possession into chances though, with Deshane Dalling forcing a smart save from Ben Bridle-Card in the Margate goal after latching onto a flick-on from Joe Taylor.
Bridle-Card then had to be alert seconds later to push a powerful drive from Razz Coleman De-Graft onto the bar.
Lewes took the lead their early pressure had threatened after 12 minutes, Taylor volleying past Bridle-Card from close range after a Taylor Maloney corner had been helped goalwards by both Will Salmon and Mitchell Nelson.
Taylor came close to doubling his and Lewes’ tally minutes later, but shot over the bar after a Kenneth Yao cut-back had found him in space just inside the area.
The visitors continued to pose a threat with their pace in the final third, with Benas Vaivada getting in behind the Lewes defence before mis-hitting his shot under pressure from Juevan Spencer.
They came even closer to levelling the scores with their next attack, a Ben Greenhalgh free-kick from the edge of the area dropping just wide.
The Rooks nearly made the most of this with their final attack of the half, as a slick passing move ended with the impressive Bradley Pritchard shooting just wide after being picked out by a clever Deshane Dalling pass.
Margate had the first chance of the second half, the unmarked Crossley Lema steering a Greenhalgh free-kick just past the far post.
Lewes made the most of this let-off by doubling their lead on 59 minutes, Spencer winning the ball in midfield before playing in De-Graft, who cut in from the right and made space for himself before unleashing a superb strike past Bridle-Card and into the top corner off the underside of the bar.
Their two-goal cushion gave Lewes a greater measure of control and they were enjoying plenty of possession, with Pritchard and half-time substitute Michael Klass pulling the strings in midfield.
Margate stayed in the game though, and their pace continued to test the Lewes back line, Collins getting in behind twice, drawing a fine save from Carey with his first attempt, and then seeing his second effort minutes later beat Carey but come back off the inside of the post before the rebound was blasted over the bar by Fyn Rutherford.
The Rooks saw out the closing stages comfortably and came close to adding a third goal through Dalling, whose well-hit strike from the edge of the area was pushed over the bar by Bridle-Card in the final meaningful action of the game.
Highlights from the game, thanks to Your Instant Replay, can be viewed here.
The match progcast can be read here.
Lewes will hope to build on this result when they welcome Wingate & Finchley to the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Yao (Klass 46), Spencer, Salmon, Nelson, Pettit, Maloney, Pritchard (Olukoga 83), Dalling, De-Graft (Addy 64), Taylor.
Unused Subs: Phipp, Hall.
Booked: Yao, Nelson, Pettit.
Margate: Bridle-Card, Hatfull, Odaudu, Agyemang, Lema, Swift, Vaivada (Bessey-Saldanha 62), Blackman, Collins, Rutherford (Feyi 76), Greenhalgh.
Unused Subs: Colmer, Lamb, Bola.
Booked: Swift, Blackman.