Lewes recovered from two goals down to secure a hard-fought draw against Bowers & Pitsea at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell selected an unchanged side after Tuesday’s defeat at Potters Bar Town, but was able to name Bradley Pritchard and Deon Moore on the bench on their return from injury.
The Rooks got off to the worst possible start, falling behind after just eight minutes, as a free-kick was headed back across goal at the far post for the unmarked Emmanuel Oluwasemo to head past Lewis Carey and into the back of the net.
Lewes were seeing plenty of the ball without troubling the well-organised visitors, a Tom Champion header over the bar at the far post being the closest they came to equalising.
Bowers & Pitsea looked dangerous on the rare occasions they ventured forward and doubled their lead on 24 minutes through Bola Dawodu, whose diving header from a dangerous left-wing cross found the top corner.
The Rooks continued to find it difficult to create any chances of note, Joe Taylor dragging a strike well wide of the far post and Tom Champion missing the target from the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time against the otherwise untroubled visiting defence.
Lewes were out early for the start of the second half and pulled a goal back eight minutes after the restart, patient build-up play ending with Ayo Olukoga finding the back of the net via the inside of the post with a fine strike from the edge of the area.
The Rooks were playing with more energy at this stage, moving the ball quickly, but continuing to have difficulty getting in behind the Bowers defence.
The few chances that were created in the second half fell to Lewes though, Razz Coleman De-Graft seeing a goal-bound effort blocked before Taylor blasted the rebound wide after the visitors had been unable to clear an Alfie Young free-kick.
Lewes were dominating the game heading into the closing stages, De-Graft stinging the palms of Joshua Blunkell in the visitor’s goal with a powerful strike from just inside the box.
They came even closer to levelling the scores minutes later, as a Jamie Mascoll free-kick from the right wasn’t cleared, De-Graft headed the ball back towards goal where it was helped on by Will Salmon and the ball hit the inside of the post before somehow evading both Taylor and Deon Moore before eventually being cleared.
The Rooks finally scored the equaliser their late pressure had arguably deserved deep into stoppage time, a Mascoll corner from the right deceiving Blunkell and crossing the line, possibly with the help of a touch from Moore, sending the fans behind the goal into raptures and ensuring Lewes finished a challenging week with a hard-earned point.
You can read a copy of today’s progcast here.
Highlights, thanks to Your Instant Replay, can be viewed here.
More photos from James Boyes can be perused here.
Lewes visit Haringey Borough in their next game on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Elva-Fountaine (Mascoll 46), Renee, Salmon, Champion, Young, Olukoga, Skinner (Pritchard 68), Addy (Moore 73), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Nelson, Hall.
Bowers & Pitsea: Blunkell, Emenike (Unwin 64), Dawodu, Peter, Allen, Hockey, Sartorious (El Mogharbel 71), Gibson, Shelvey, Huckle, Oluwasemo (Fernandes 90).
Unused Subs: Bareck, Hayes.
Booked: Peter, Hockey, El Mogharbel.