Written by: Stuart
First-half goals from Tom Champion and Joe Taylor helped Lewes return to winning ways with a vital 2-1 win over Potters Bar Town at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 at home to Canvey Island in their previous game, with Will Salmon and Bradley Pritchard replacing Tyrique Hyde and Jayden Davis in the starting line-up.
The visitors started brightly, forcing a couple of early corners without calling Lewis Carey into any meaningful action.
Lewes nearly took the lead in bizarre circumstances, a long ball up the field being headed back towards his own goal by Adam Martin, with wrong-footed goalkeeper Louis Chadwick forced into evasive action to claw the ball off his own line.
Without being at their free-flowing best, Lewes started to take control of the game, keeping the ball well and pushing forward in numbers as they looked for an opening goal.
Chadwick was called into action to make a smart save to deny Ayo Olukoga at the end of a sweeping move, with the Rooks beginning to turn possession into more clear-cut opportunities.
Lewes took the lead on the half-hour mark, a Razz Coleman De-Graft corner from the right being met by Champion with a thumping header at the near post.
This goal understandably galvanised the Rooks, who saw Taylor narrowly miss the target twice in a matter of minutes leading up to half-time.
Taylor scored the goal he had been threatening deep into first-half injury-time, superbly controlling a De-Graft cross before beating a defender and finishing past Chadwick to put Lewes 2-0 up at the break.
There were few chances of note during the opening stages of the second half, as Lewes kept the ball well without coming close to adding to their lead.
As the half progressed, Potters Bar began to push more players forward, and saw Carey get just enough on a long-range Theo Alexandrou strike to help it over the bar as they looked for a way back into the game.
The Rooks soon started to turn their possession into chances through, as Ryan Gondoh ran onto a Taylor flick-on before seeing his strike saved by Chadwick.
Gondoh went close again minutes later, but once again saw Chadwick make a fine save to deny him and prevent Lewes scoring a third goal.
The visitors made the most of this by pulling a goal back with four minutes remaining, Makise Evans being played through on goal by Wilson Chingoka before finishing past Carey to set up a tense final few minutes.
If anything, seeing their lead halved appeared to re-focus Lewes, who arguably should have secured all three points late on, as a loose ball in the area dropped to Jaydn Mundle-Smith, who could only blast his half-volley wide.
The visitors forced a couple of corners late on, but were unable to create a chance of note, leaving Lewes to reflect on an important win as they continue to push for a play-off place.
Highlights thanks to Your Instant Replay can be viewed here.
Today’s Progcast can be read here.
More pictures from James Boyes and Stuart Fuller there and there.
The Rooks travel to Margate next Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Tamplin, Champion, Salmon, Mundle-Smith, Young, Olukoga, Pritchard, Gondoh (Murrell-Williamson 89), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Huckle, Hall, McGonigle, Middleton-Tozer.
Booked: Salmon, Pritchard, Taylor.
Potters Bar Town: Chadwick, Titchmarsh, Rusoke, Chingoka, Martin, Njie (Dickson 78), Smith, Granville (Jessop 60), Evans, Alrexandrou, Madia (Dowridge 61).
Unused Subs: Okunwobi, Gulliver.
Booked: Njie, Dowridge.