Men's football news
Written by: Stuart
Lewes ended the festive period with a 4-2 defeat against a clinical Kingstonian side, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made one change to the side that had beaten Bognor 48 hours earlier, with Tom Phipp replacing Bradley Pritchard in the starting line-up. There was also a place on the bench for Ollie Tanner on his return from suspension.
The hosts made a bright start and saw Rhys Murrell-Williamson go close twice early on, seeing a shot deflected over the bar before shooting wide with only Lewis Carey to beat.
Lewes looked dangerous going forward themselves though, with Rob Tolfrey forced into a smart save at his near post to deny Razz Coleman De-Graft, then making another good stop to keep out Joe Taylor from the resulting corner.
Kingstonian took the lead on 20 minutes, as a Nyren Clunis cross from the right was cleared against Daniel Ajakaiye by Mitchell Nelson and the ball ended up in the bottom corner.
They doubled their lead two minutes later, a corner from the right being headed past Carey from close range by the unmarked Jerry Puemo.
Lewes responded well to conceding two goals in such quick succession, with De-Graft forcing another save from Tolfrey.
They were able to pull a goal back on 26 minutes, as Taylor Maloney cut the ball back from the right for Iffy Allen to finish past Tolfrey.
The Rooks should have been handed an opportunity to level the scores minutes later, as Taylor was tripped in the area by Elliott Buchanan as he looked to turn and shoot. Despite it appearing to be a stonewall penalty, the referee waved play on.
Kingstonian nearly made the most of this let-off as Buchanan was played through on goal, only to be denied by Carey.
Lewes started the second half on the front foot, with Taylor latching onto a long clearance forward and making space for himself before shooting over the bar.
A presentable chance then fell to Allen, who shot wide from the edge of the area after good work down the left by Tom Carlse.
Kingstonian managed the game well at this point, keeping a good shape defensively and always looking capable of stretching the Lewes defence when they got forward.
The hosts regained their two-goal advantage on 71 minutes, as good play down the right ended with the ball being worked to Clunis to send a powerful shot across Carey and into the bottom corner.
Kingstonian scored a fourth goal and all but secured the win three minutes later through Murrell-Williamson, who cut in from the right before sending a curling effort into the far corner.
Lewes continued to look for a route back into the game and pulled a goal back with seven minutes remaining, as substitute Ollie Tanner beat two defenders before finding the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
There was still time for Taylor to head onto the roof of the net in the closing stages, but Lewes were unable to claw another goal back and were left to reflect on a display of clinical finishing from the hosts that was ultimately enough to secure them the three points.
Lewes will hope to put this result behind them when they travel to Enfield Town on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Clunis, Bilongo, Puemo, Cook, Beaney, Ajakaiye, Sow, Buchanan (O. Allen 80), Banton (Ekpiteta 80), Murrell-Williamson.
Unused Subs: Lamont, Gjoshe, Whitnell.
Booked: Beaney, Sow.
Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse, Salmon, Nelson, Klass, Phipp (Pritchard 31), Maloney (Parker 72), I. Allen (Tanner 64), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Colombie, Weaire.
Booked: Nelson, Klass.
Attendance: 421 (Appox. 75 travelling Rooks)