A late equaliser from Iffy Allen saw Lewes return from Hertfordshire with a point after a 1-1 draw at Bishop’s Stortford, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made four changes to the side that beat Carshalton Athletic 1-0 in their previous game, with Matt Weaire, Deon Moore, Razzaq Coleman De-Graft and Joe Taylor replacing Will Salmon, the suspended Michael Klass, Iffy Allen and Freddie Parker in the starting line-up.
The hosts started brightly and came close to taking an early lead through Jake Cass, who saw a powerful effort from the edge of the area pushed wide by Lewis Carey.
Cass was causing the Lewes defence plenty of problems, heading a Jonathan Giles cross wide at the far post before being denied by Carey again moments later.
The Rooks were finding it difficult to get into the game but created their first chance of note midway through the half on the counter-attack, as Moore latched onto a long throw forward from Carey and drove into the area before drawing a smart save from Jack Giddens.
The remainder of the half saw the hosts come closer and closer to taking the lead, forcing a succession of corners which ended with Cass seeing another effort cleared off the line.
The final chance of the half fell to Stortford, but the unmarked Ryan Henshaw could only head straight at Carey from Giles’ free-kick.
The hosts continued in the same vein after the break, with Carey parrying a powerful strike from Ben Marlow, who then somehow headed a Giles cross against the post from point-blank range minutes later.
Carey was alert again to save bravely at the feet of Anthony Church as Lewes struggled to contain Stortford in the final third.
A rare foray up field from the Rooks saw Parker latch onto a flick-on from Taylor and make space for himself in the area before hitting the side-netting.
The hosts deservedly took the lead on 66 minutes, Church heading in from close-range after Mark Haines had hit the bar from a Giles free-kick.
Stortford continued to look the more threatening side, as Cass beat Mitchell Nelson to a long ball forward before seeing his attempted lob over Carey land on the roof of the net.
Lewes stayed in the game heading into the closing stages but were unable to build any kind of pressure as they looked to level the scores.
It was therefore against the run of play when the Rooks equalised on 86 minutes, as Taylor latched onto a Parker through-ball on the right-hand side of the area and sent in a low cross that was bundled over the line from inside the six-yard box by substitute Iffy Allen.
The remainder of the game passed without incident as Lewes came away with a point they will undoubtedly take after withstanding so much pressure before scoring late on.
Bishop’s Stortford: Giddens, Chandler, Church, Robbins, Henshaw, Giles (Foxley 73), Marlow, Cass (Harris 81), Thomas, Charles, Haines.
Unused Subs: Bird, Wallace, Baker.
Booked: Thomas, Harris.
Lewes: Carey, Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, Tanner (Allen 77), Maloney (Olukoga 86), Taylor, Moore (Parker 46), Yao, Pritchard, De-Graft.
Unused Subs: Colombie, Hall.
Attendance: 304 (Approx. 31 Rooks)