The Rooks climbed to the top of the Bostik League South table with a comfortable win over Molesey at The Dripping Pan yesterday, reports Stuart Fuller.
With the long trip to Guernsey in mind next week, Darren made a number of changes to the starting eleven from the draw against Whyteleafe, with Billy Medlock coming in for his first start since rejoining the club two weeks ago, whilst Lloyd Cotton was rested with Alex Malins slotting back into the defence. Jonte Smith was named on the bench having missed the last few weeks with a foot injury.
Once again the Rooks started strongly with Jamie Brotherton and Steve Brinkhurst getting the better of the Molesey defence in the opening minute, forcing a corner. Gus Sow’s superb delivery was met by an unmarked Frankie Chappell header but keeper Liam Allen made a superb save. Five minutes later the Rooks should have been one up as Ronnie Conlon waltzed through the static Molesey defence but decided to blast the ball over the bar when a side-foot would have found the net.
Whilst the Rooks dominated the early exchanged, with Winterton as involved as the fans on the Philcox, they simply couldn’t find the final ball. Matty George almost found himself on the end of a decent Bosma ball, whilst Brotherton was causing Paul headache after headache with the officials seemingly happy to ignore the assaults on the Lewes number nine. Billy Medlock looked busy and almost won the race for a loose ball with keeper Allen who was a constant thorn in the side of the Rooks.
Finally the deadlock was broken in the 39th minute as Brotherton’s marker once again took the physical route to stopping him. Clear foul but the Terry Parris Terrace all thought it was just outside of the box. Brotherton stepped up and smashed the ball home for his sixth goal of the season.
The Rooks normally enjoy their strongest period of games after receiving their half-time guidance from Darren, Ross and Codge and it was no different in this game. Bosma was becoming more influential in the middle of the park and was thwarted twice by the impressive Liam Allen whilst at the other end Molesey’s best chance of the game saw Akinsaya hit the net, thankfully the side net when in a great position.
That scare shocked the Rooks into life, knowing they needed a second and thankfully they got it just after the hour mark. A pass across the penalty area to Allen saw the keeper make his first mistake of the game as he fluffed his clearance. A mad scramble for the loose ball finally found its way to Billy Medlock and he slotted into an empty net. Harsh on the young keeper who once again impressed against us in defeat.
Lewes wrapped up the points seven minutes later when Coppola when on one of his mazy runs into the area and was tripped. With Jamie off the pitch there was a “debate” among the Lewes players who would take the spot kick with Medlock winning and slotting home for his second and Lewes’s third of the afternoon.
It could have been more. Conlon, Coppola and Medlock all had chances in the final ten minutes whilst the Rooks had a great shout for a third penalty which seemed more clear-cut than the other two. But 3-0 it remained and the Rooks climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season.
You can watch Darren’s thoughts on the game here.
The Rooks travel to Guernsey on Wednesday night, kick off 7:45pm with the game being shown live in the Rook Inn.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst (Reed – 73 mins), George, Hammond (Grimaud -71 mins), Chappell, Malins, Bosma, Sow, Brotherton (Coppola – 57 mins), Medlock, Conlon
Subs not used: Cotton, Smith
Molesey: Allen, David, Paul, Lewington (Oyebola – 69 mins), Roles, Simeone, Andrew, Chalke, Akinsaya (Kozakis – 70 mins), Okai (Windsor – 60 mins), Lodge
Subs not used: Grobler, King
Booked: Paul, Lodge
Referee: Harry Scott