Lewes comfortably saw off promotion rivals Greenwich Borough with a professional performance in the glorious sunshine at The Dripping Pan on Saturday, reports Stuart Fuller.
Darren Freeman made two changes from the side that drew at Thamesmead Town with Jamie Brotherton returning from injury to replace the suspended Omar Lawson, whilst Jonte Smith was given the nod up front instead of Billy Medlock.
Having enjoyed a two-week rest due to last week’s game being postponed, the Rooks came out of the traps raring to go and it took less than 150 seconds for them to open the scoring as Charlie Coppola nipped in between McEntegart and McGeehan as they dithered on the edge of the box and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net.
Lewes looked to move the ball quickly in the opening quarter with Jonte Smith often the target to control and bring others into the attack. It was his clever knock-down from a Brotherton cross that set up Ronnie Conlon on 15 minutes but his shot was high and wide. The Rooks then had a big shout for a penalty as Jonte’s cross from the left, looking to find Charlie hit Paul’s outstretched arm but the referee saw no infringement.
At the back, Chappell and Coppola kept the Greenwich live-wire centre-forward Jack Barham quiet whilst Sow and Hammond went about their job efficiently. However, both were to pick up first half yellow cards for offences that were minor to say the least. Jamie Brotherton, quiet for the first half an hour then burst into life, beating his marker time and time again although he wasn’t able to get a final ball in. The one time he did get the ball into the danger area, Jonte finished calmly but was adjudged to be offside.
Further chances in the half fell to Ronnie Conlon when he scuffed his contact and the keeper saved well then James Hammond’s free-kick from distance fell for the want of the slightest touch and was well saved by the keeper at his far post.
The second half started with the low sun shining right into the eyes of the Greenwich keeper, but the Rooks struggled to find a way through. Greenwich came back into the game and probably shaded possession but Winterton, whilst having to be alive to the danger of their attacks, did not have a single shot to save in the whole game. At the other end some desperate defending and foul tackles prohibited Coppola on a couple of occasions although we couldn’t make the free-kick opportunities count.
It seemed that we would be destined for a nervous last ten minutes until Lloyd Cotton turned in a well-worked set piece (captured here by @SofaRooks) to give The Rooks a second goal and all three points. Billy Medlock came on for the final seven minutes and almost got on the end of a pass from Charlie as he looked to end his goal drought but it was not to be.
Darren was understandably pleased with the approach to the game when he spoke post-match to Barry Collins.
On a day when over a thousand pound was raised for the 12th Man Fund and a huge amount of food was donated for the 241forFood Bank appeal, three points and a return to the top of the table was a great way to send another excellent crowd on their way home with a smile on their faces.
The Rooks travel to Phoenix Sports next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, Redwood, Hammond, Chappell, Cotton, Coppola, Sow, Smith (Medlock – 82 mins), Brotherton, Conlon (Bosma – 59 mins)
Subs not used: Stroomberg-Clarke, Hurley, George
Booked: Hammond, Sow, Redwood
Goals: Coppola (3 mins), Cotton (81 mins)
Greenwich Borough: McEntegart, Paul, Carlse, McGeehan, Fitzsimmons, Pritchard, Fuseine, Corne, Barham, Gregory (Foley – 73 mins), Dukali (Delgardo-Hibbert)
Subs not used: Dembele, McKenzie, King-Elliott
Booked: Paul, Carlse, McGeehan, Pritchard
Referee: Anthony Taylor