defensive display saw Lewes return from Surrey with a hard-earned point after a
goalless draw against an impressive Whyteleafe side, reports Tom Harper
Freeman made one change to the side that beat Bishop’s Stortford in the FA Trophy
in their previous game, with Frankie Chappell replacing Matt Hurley in the
saw the sides with the best home record and best away record in the league go
head-to-head and it was Lewes who created the first opportunity early on, with
Billy Medlock seeing a close-range effort comfortably saved by Joe Tupper after
an excellent James Hammond cross had found him unmarked in the area.
enjoyed a lot of possession for the remainder of the half and always looked
dangerous in the final third.
this, they were unable to turn possession into clear-cut opportunities, as
Nkori-Venceslas Bola saw a cross-shot miss everyone in front of goal when any
contact would have almost certainly given Whyteleafe the lead.
The high pressing
from the hosts was preventing Lewes playing their usual passing game and
restricting them to long-range efforts, with Hammond sending a powerful 25-yard
strike just wide.
continued to cause the Rooks problems with their pace and movement up front,
and saw Wazir Azeez Oliwonran send an effort from a tight angle just wide of
the far post.
had the final effort of the half, as Gus Sow sent a dipping half-volley from
the edge of the area over the bar.
stages of the second half saw the hosts continue to push for an opening goal,
with the Lewes central defensive partnership of Frankie Chappell and Lloyd
Cotton having to use all their experience to keep the defence organised under
should have taken the lead just after the hour, but saw the unmarked Olumide
Oluwatimilehin miss the target from close range after being picked out by a
Tommy Hutchings cut-back.
struggling to keep possession in midfield, and the hosts were making the most
of this by continuing to press high and attacking in numbers at every
arguably their best chance to take the lead with just over 15 minutes
remaining, as Hutchings forced a fine save from Chris Winterton, before Sam
Clayton saw his effort on the rebound headed off the line by Chappell.
were enjoying their best spell of the game, with Clayton capitalising on a
missed clearance by Steve Brinkhurst but blazing his effort over the bar with
only Winterton to beat.
had been under the cosh for much of the second half but came close to taking
the lead themselves minutes later, as Cotton just failed to make sufficient
contact with a Charlie Coppola cut-back in the six-yard box after the hosts had
been unable to clear a Hammond free-kick.
nearly made the most of this let-off immediately, with Winterton called into
action to make a smart save at his near post to keep out a Hutchings shot on
introduction of Jonte Smith with eight minutes remaining gave Lewes more of a physical
presence up front, and he came close to scoring minutes after coming on with a
powerful effort from a tight angle that hit the side-netting.
chance of the game fell to the hosts though, with substitute Scott Day seeing a
looping header drop just wide with Winterton beaten.
continued to push for a winner during the closing stages, but the Rooks stood
firm to claim a well-earned point with their first goalless draw of the season.
Post match Darren was philosophical about the game.
hope to return to winning ways when they host Thamesmead Town at the Pan on
Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Whyteleafe: Tupper, Simms, Hegarty,
Oluwatimilehin, Debayo, Adonis-Taylor, Oliwonran, Ibrahim (Day 87), Bola,
Hutchings (Postance 90), Clayton.
Unused Subs: Connaris, Graham, Scarborough.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George,
Hammond, Chappell, Cotton, Bosma, Sow, Medlock (Brotherton 68), Conlon, Coppola
Unused Subs: Hurley, Grimaud, Reed.
Referee: Shelby Elson