A professional performance saw Lewes progress into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after a comfortable 4-1 victory at Newhaven in their Preliminary Round replay at the Trafalgar Ground reports Tom Harper.
Darren Freeman made three changes to the side that had thrown away a three-goal lead in the first game between the sides at the Pan on Saturday, with Harry Reed, captain Lloyd Cotton and George Landais replacing Steve Brinkhurst, Matt Hurley and Liam MacDevitt in the starting line-up.
After such an open game just three days previously, it perhaps wasn’t too surprising to see a cagier start from both sides, with there being no chances of note early on. The pace of Lee Robinson had caused the Rooks plenty of problems in the first game, but he was well shackled by Cotton and Alex Malins as the first half progressed.
Despite this, the hosts took the lead after 31 minutes through Jayson Sowter, who placed a low effort across Chris Winterton and into the bottom corner after being picked out by a mis-hit Olly Davies shot when a corner could only be cleared as far as the edge of the area.
Lewes had been enjoying a good spell of possession prior to the goal, and continued to see more of the ball despite conceding. They should have levelled the scores five minutes before the break, as Landais volleyed a cut-back from Cotton over the bar after good build-up play down the right.
The Rooks were able to equalise right on the stroke of half-time through Cotton, who sent a thumping header from a Gus Sow corner past Jake Buss and into the top corner to level the scores.
This goal seemed to galvanise Lewes at the start of the second half, and they look the lead just eight minutes after the restart. Jamie Brotherton was the scorer, finishing from close range after another Cotton header from a Sow corner was blocked on the line.
Brotherton doubled the Rook’s lead and his own tally five minutes later, as he headed an excellent left-wing cross from Reece Williams-Bowers past Buss from point-blank range at the end of an impressive counter-attack.
After losing a three-goal lead on Saturday, Lewes could have been forgiven for looking nervous with over half an hour still to play, but the Rooks were keeping the ball well in midfield and always looked capable of adding to their lead.
Newhaven continued to push players to try and find a route back into the game, but were unable to get in behind a Rooks defence well marshalled by the impressive Cotton.
Cotton capped a fine individual performance and an impressive team display by scoring the final goal of the game to make it 4-1 with three minutes remaining, as he found the back of the net with a powerful header from an out-swinging Sow corner, despite the best efforts of a defender on the line.
This was a professional performance from the Rooks, who looked far more composed on the ball than they did at times in the first tie at the Pan and never really looked like losing once they went two goals ahead early in the second half.
However, Southern Combination League side Newhaven deserve plenty of credit for their performances over the two games, as they more than matched Lewes for long periods and fully deserved a replay after a particularly impressive display at the Pan.
More pictures from the game can be found here thanks to James Boyes.
Lewes will hope to build on an encouraging start to the season when they welcome Sittingbourne to the Pan in the Bostik South on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Newhaven: Buss, Beale, Daly, Jarvis, Sowter, Knight, Davies, Jallow (S. Dartnall 64), L. Robinson, Woolven (Walton 80), Connor (Wood 60).
Unused Subs: Earle, B. Dartnall, Winser, Hildersley.
Lewes: Winterton, Reed, George, Hammond, Cotton, Malins, Williams-Bowers (I. Robinson 80), Sow, Brotherton (MacDevitt 64), Landais (Brinkhurst 50), Conlon.
Unused Subs: W. Robinson, Gunn, Bosma, McCarthy.
Referee: Michael Ryan