Lewes extended their unbeaten run to three games in an eventful game against Potters Bar Town, reports Stuart Fuller.
With Alex Malins unwell, Eddie Wakley was given his first start for the Rooks, whilst Tom Bolarinwa returned after missing last week’s win against Margate, replacing Brad Santos who dr;opped to the bench.
The match was just six minutes old when the home side were reduced to ten men after centre-back Callum Elllesley went in dangerously on Jude Arthurs, and after consulting with his assistant, the referee produced a straight red for the defender. The home side were made to pay further when from the resulting free-kick from Arthurs, Bouwe Bosma powerfully headed home to give the Rooks the lead.
Just three minutes later Lewes had a good shout for a penalty when James Beresford appeared to be tripped as he ran through the home defence.
The Rooks looked to press home their man advantage with Cosgrave and Arthurs creating chances, whilst Bosma nearly had a second when his shot rattled the cross bar, once again from an Arthurs dead-ball delivery.
The home side’s first chance came in the 20th minute when a shot from distance forced Nathan into a smart save but the majority of the play was at the other end of the field. Two further home players went into the referee’s note book as the game looked to be slipping away from the control of the referee at a point.
Lewes continued to look to get their widemen behind the full-backs and Cosgrave was a constant thorn in the side of the centre-backs, but the second goal simply wouldn’t come and they had to make do with a one-goal half-time lead.
The home side reshuffled their formation at the start of the second half and immediately put the Rooks on the back foot, especially from set-pieces and long throws into the area. The defence, which was solid against Bowers & Pitsea and Margate, once again looked strong, whilst at the other end, the Rooks looked dangerous when they got the ball out wide. Fintan Walsh’s run and cross on the hour deserved more with Aaron Cosgrave unmarked, then Ronnie Conlon’s effort was well saved.
In the 65th minute the ball somehow stayed out of the Rooks net through a combination of desperate defending and some luck. Lewes went up the other end and had Jude Arthurs squared the ball to Aaron he would surely scored a second and made the game safe, a chance that The Rooks would be left to rue.
Further cards were issued to players on both sides as frustrations started to boil over. With ten minutes to go the home side got their goal when Ken Charles turned in a cross from the Lewes right-hand side.
The final act deep into injury time saw the Potters Bar keeper Burbidge take out Jude Arthurs after he had headed the ball past him. Despite the protests, the referee only issued the keeper with a yellow and Leon Redwood’s subsequent free-kick was blocked.
On reflection a point a piece was probably fair but the Rooks could have been out of sight had they converted their chances when they were in the ascendency.
After the game Hugo spoke about the performance and the main points from the game.
The Rooks return to the Dripping Pan on Tuesday when they will face Merstham in the Isthmian Premier League, kick off 7:45pm.
Potters Bar Town: Burbidge, Young, Payne, Cole, Tingey, Ellesley, Esan, Gogo, Cochrane, Charles, Kyei (Livings 81 mins)
Subs not used Furlong, Barker, Silinou, Hubbard
Booked: Burbidge, Payne, Esan, Charles
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Walsh, Beresford, Bosma, Wakley, Frimpong, Bolarinwa (Santos 68 mins), Arthurs, Cosgrave, Blewden, Conlon (Redwood 80 mins)
Subs not used: Owusu-Nepaul, Tamale
Booked: Wakley, Cosgrave