It was certainly a game of two halves at The Pan on Saturday when the Rooks scored eight goals in forty six minutes after struggling to break down a resolute Herne Bay side as well as the strong wind and rain from Storm Brian, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren kept most of the starting XI unchanged with Lloyd Cotton coming in for Alex Malins from the side that started against Corinthian Casuals on Wednesday. After winning the toss, skipper Lloyd Cotton decided to swap ends hoping to take advantage of the conditions. However, it was the visitors who started the sharpest and took the lead with their first attack of the game in the 12th minute when Tom Carlton’s cross-goal shot beat Chris Winterton and went in via a post. The Rooks have conceded first in their last four games, coming back to win three of those so there was always hope they could turn it around. Few would have expected such a response though.
With the rain and wind making conditions very difficult for both sides it was no surprise that the remainder of the half was littered with mis-placed passes and little in the way of the flowing, passing football we have come to look forward to seeing from the team this season. With the clock moving into the last minute of the half, Gus Sow delivered a corner from the right, the ball pinballed around the area before Frankie Chappell got a shot in. The ball hit a Herne Bay defender, wrong-footing Ben Hunter but the ball started to slow on a trickle due to the heavy pitch as it headed to the net. Billy Medlock reacted quickly and smashed the ball home from a yard out.
There wouldn’t have been many fans who were in and around the Rook Inn who didn’t hear Darren’s team talk and it certainly had the desired effect as the team scored seven times in the second period, and could quite easily have had more.
56mins – 2-1 – Matthew George goes on a strong run down the left-flank, beating his man for pace and plays a superb ball into the path of Billy Medlock. His shot is superbly saved by Ben Hunter, tipping the ball onto the bar but the rebound fell to Bouwe Bosma and he smashed it home.
60mins – 3-1 – Just two minutes after coming on Jamie Brotherton hit the target with an excellent strike after Ronnie Conlon had led his man on a merry dance down the left and pulled it back superbly.
66mins – 4-1 – The goal of the game as a fantastic through ball from Steve Brinkhurst puts Billy Medlock clean through and the Lewes striker lifted the ball over the 6ft 4in Herne Bay keeper as he came to challenge for the ball and into the net.
70mins – 5-1 – Jamie Brotherton attacks the full-back and is hauled down. No question on the decision but a debate ensues as to who will take it, with Billy Medlock keen to complete his hatrick. Jamie takes it and despite the keeper getting a hand to it, cannot keen it out
75mins – 6-1 – Did he? Didn’t he? The talking point of the second half sees a James Hammond corner pass through the players on the near post and into the net. Medlock claims he got the final touch, the Rooks midfielder suggests it was a shot that didn’t get a touch on the way through. One for the dubious goals committee.
81mins – 7-1 – Jamie Brotherton’s flick sees Ronnie Conlon run through the tiring Herne Bay defence and he has time to pick his spot and slot the ball past Hunter.
89mins – 8-1 – Ronnie runs free again and this time Hunter gets his had to it but simply diverts into the path of Grimaud and the Frenchman bundled the ball home.
There were other chances in the second half, with the Rooks playing some excellent football that had the crowd buzzing.
The win was the biggest the Rooks had recorded in a league game since 2000, and equals Darren’s best result since taking over at Lewes (the previous one was the 8-1 win at Hailsham Town in the Sussex Senior Cup when we also trailed until late in the first half and scored seven in the second period!).
Darren was obviously upbeat after the game when he spoke to Barry Collins.
The Rooks now have six days of preparation for the FA Trophy First Round Tie at Dunstable Town next Saturday.
Pictures from the lens of James Boyes.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Hammond, Chappell, Cotton, Bosma (Grimaud – 71mins), Sow (Malins – 71mins), Medlock, Conlon, Coppola (Brotherton – 58mins)
Subs not used: Smith, Reed
Goals: Medlock 3 (45,66,75), Brotherton (60, 70pen), Bosma (56), Conlon (81), Grimaud (89)
Herne Bay: Hunter, Bunds-Kamara, Wisson, Steventon (Akuraka – 61mins), Trespardene (Cox – 41mins), Leonard, Mulrooney-Skinner, Carlton, Embery, Schafer (Myers – 79mins), Dukali
Sub not used: Catmull
Goal: Carlton (12)
Referee: Jim Paterson