The Rooks came up against a strong Corinthian side in their latest pre-season friendly, falling to a 2-0 defeat, reports Stuart Fuller.
Corinthians had already claimed the pre-season scalps of Cray Wanderers and Corinthian-Casuals as they prepare to start their FA Cup campaign on Tuesday and then the small matter of a FA Vase Semi-Final next Saturday against Hebburn Town and just ninety minutes away from Wembley. Their advanced preparations were evident from their unusual formation at kick-off that saw their keeper launch the ball up to a pack of six Corinthian players looming down on Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke.
Lewes welcomed new signing Theo Widdrington into the centre of midfield alongside Alex Malins and looked assured as the Rooks took advantage of the excellent playing surface to pass the ball around the ground, trying to get wide-men Ronnie Conlon and Player B behind the Corinthian full-backs.
The opening quarter saw both sides create chances but it was the Rooks who had arguably the best chance to break the deadlock when the Corinthian keeper made consecutive saves from Gary Noel and Player B before the ball fell to Aaron Cosgrave who blasted the ball over.
Whilst the game was played in a good spirit, the referee deemed an innocuous challenge by Alex Malins to be worthy of a yellow card, the only caution in the game.
With five minutes to go before the break, the Corinthian right winger stole the ball off the feet of Nic D’Arienzo on the touchline, crossed the ball low and despite Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke making an initial save, the loose ball was smashed home to give the home side the lead. They thought they had doubled the lead five minutes later when a long cross was headed home at the far post but the flag was up for offside.
Ross Barclay came on for James Beresford at the start of the second half and the Rooks looked more dangerous with lots of possession around the edge of the Corinthian penalty area but they never really troubled the Corinthian keeper. On a better day Cosgrave, Conlon and Player B would have hit the target rather but it wasn’t to be the Rooks day, summed up when Player B’s powerful shot on target was deflected wide inadvertently by Ross Barclay.
With five minutes to go a deep free-kick from the right hand side went untouched to the far post where a Corinthian head made no mistake to double the lead.
Whilst the home side were finishing their pre-season campaign, the performance will give boss Hugo Langton some food for thought.
The Rooks are in pre-season action again next Saturday when they travel to Haywards Heath Town, now managed by former Rook Lloyd Cotton. Kick-off is 3pm and keep an eye on Social Media for details on tickets for the game.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke (Lockyear), Beresford (Barclay), D’Arienzo (Redwood), Malins, Frimpong, Khinda-John, Player B, Widdrington (Popham), Conlon, Cosgrave, Noel (Blewden)