An experimental Rooks XI exited the Velocity Cup at Bracknell Town, despite a late rally, reports Stuart Fuller.
Co-manager’s Ross Standen and Tony Coade chose a young starting XI, with Jay Popham and Nicolas D’Arienzo coming in from the Under18s, whilst Harry Reed made his first start of the season.
The Rooks got off to the worst possible start when a loose pass out from the back in the 3rd minute was met by Bracknell full-back Dan Carr and his shot from 15 yards flashed across Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke and into the corner of the net.
Despite the early set-back, Lewes found their passing game and looked to stretch the play as much as possible, with Stefan Ilic looking dangerous when he had the ball at his feet. A series of free-kicks given in dangerous positions were disappointing, either flying over the bar or into the wall. In the 20th minute, James Hammond saw the Bracknell keeper off his line as he struck a free kick from inside the Lewes half but the strong cross wind saw the ball drift wide.
A series of niggling fouls set the tone for the rest of the game, with the referee often out of place and missing some of the infringements. Billy Medlock and his marker Bayliss both went into the book for offences that were soft to say the least.
Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke was the busier of the two keepers in the first half, being in the right place at the right time to ensure the half-time score was just 1-0.
With five substitutes available in the competition, Ross and Codge took the opportunity to rest James Hammond and Billy Medlock for the second half, with Tegan Freeman and Jordy Mongoy coming on in their place. Freeman almost gifted the home side an early second half goal when his casual back-pass almost found its way to Platt but Frankie Chappell was there to clear the imminent danger.
Freeman was involved in the biggest talking point of the second half. A late challenge on the youngster on the edge of the box, right under the nose of the referee, went unpunished and 30 seconds later he went in late for a tackle with Bracknell’s Herbert and appeared to lash out with his foot as he got to the ground, which the referee saw this time and he saw a straight red.
Whilst Lewes went down to ten men they started to look dangerous with Dayshonne Golding starting to find his rhythm down the right-hand side. He almost found his way clear through on goal but a last-gasp clearance saved the home side. Thirty seconds later they made it two-nil when Herbert stole in front of his marker at the near post to give Nathan no chance.
In injury time the Rooks got a goal back when Tom Day teed up Dayshonne Golding and his powerful shot from ten yards beat the keeper but it was too little too late for Lewes and their Velocity Cup adventure came to an end as the referee blew for full time.
The Rooks return to Isthmian League action on Saturday when Carshalton Athletic visit The Dripping Pan, kick-off at 3pm.
Bracknell Town: Wheeler, Carr, Genovesi, Mukena, Bayliss, Rees, Herbert (Maloney – 80 mins), Atkinson, Platt (Cooper-Clark – 80 mins), Musoke (Chidyausiku – 55 mins), Bowerman (Surpanu – 80 mins)
Sub not used – Sheridan
Booked: Mukena, Bayliss
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Reed (Redwood – 62mins), D’Arienzo, Yeboah (Conlon – 62 mins), Chappell, Day, Popham (Golding – 62 mins), Hammond (Freeman – 46 mins), Diedrick-Roberts, Medlock (Mongoy – 46 mins), Ilic
Attendance: 114 (11 Rooks fans)