A disappointing performance saw Lewes suffer their first defeat of the season in a 2-0 loss at local rivals Horsham, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made three changes to the side that had beaten Sheppey United in the FA Cup a week earlier, with Marcel Elva-Fountaine, Ayo Olukoga and Bradley Pritchard replacing Kenneth Yao, Tom Phipp and Jack Skinner in the starting line-up.
Before the game, everyone in the ground paused to remember the Queen with an impeccably-observed minutes silence following her passing last week.
Lewes were slow out of the blocks and found themselves behind after just nine minutes, Mitchell Nelson mis-timing an attempted header back to Lewis Carey, which allowed Jack Mazzone to nip in and square the ball for Daniel Ajakaiye to finish.
The Rooks were finding it difficult to get into the game, with passes going astray and their defence always looking vulnerable against the pace and movement of the Horsham front line.
Ajakaiye was proving particularly difficult to handle, dragging a presentable chance wide of the far post and then being denied by Carey at his near post from a similar position minutes later.
Horsham had been the better side throughout the first half and deservedly doubled their lead five minutes before the break, as Tom Kavanagh sent a superb 25-yard free-kick round the wall and in off the inside of the post.
Lewes made a better start to the second half, enjoying more possession without really testing Mitchell Beeney in the Horsham goal.
The Rooks could have pulled a goal back within minutes of the restart, an off balance Deon Moore heading a Marcel Elva-Fountaine cross over at the far post.
Lewes nearly halved the deficit again just before the hour, as former Rook Tom Day deflected a Razz Coleman De-Graft cross just past his own near post.
Horsham were making it difficult for Lewes to build any spell of consistent pressure though, winning the ball back high up the pitch on a number of occasions and always looking capable of adding to their lead.
Despite this, Lewes soon had arguably their best chance to set up a nervy final 25 minutes, as Nelson saw an effort blocked on the line after a corner hadn’t been cleared, before Bradley Pritchard blasted the rebound wide from the edge of the area.
The game began to peter out at this point, as Lewes continued to commit players forward but just weren’t able to show the cutting edge they had demonstrated a week earlier in their FA Cup victory over Sheppey United.
Horsham came close to adding a third late on, as Harvey Sparks saw his mis-hit cross from the left come back off the bar.
This was the final action of note on a disappointing night for Lewes, who never really recovered from conceding an early goal against a very impressive Horsham side.
The Rooks will hope to put this result behind them when they welcome Three Bridges to the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Horsham: Beeney, Sessegnon, Sparks, Tuck (Juwara 89), Day, Price (Cocoracchio 72), Rodrigues, Kavanagh, Mazzone (Fenelon 64), Ajakaiye, Richards.
Unused Subs: Brivio, Dsane.
Lewes: Carey, Elva-Fountaine, Nelson, Salmon, Carlse, Olukoga, Silva (Skinner 58), Pritchard, De-Graft, Moore (Murrell-Williamson 76), Taylor.
Unused Subs: Yao, Jenkins, Phipp.
Booked: Salmon, Pritchard.
Attendance: 616 (approx 80 Rooks fans)