A dominant display saw Lewes record their second home win of the season with a comfortable 5-0 victory over ten-man Leatherhead under the lights at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell named an unchanged side after Saturday’s 6-2 win at Margate as the Rooks looked to secure their fifth win in their last six league games.
Lewes started brightly and created a number of chances early on, with Ollie Tanner at the heart of all their best moments.
The in-form winger was denied twice by visiting goalkeeper Myles Bowman either side of a close-range chance that he put just wide at the end of an incisive passing move, all inside the first 15 minutes.
The visitors, playing their first game under the new management team of Mustafa Bashkal and Qayum Shakoor, grew into the game after these early scares and ensured it was an even contest for much of the first half.
They came close to taking the lead twice in quick succession, with Lewis Carey forced into a smart save to keep out a long-range effort from Chidubem Onokwai, before reacting well to help a Darnell Kithambo strike round his near post minutes later.
The Rooks began to apply more pressure again towards the end of the half and took the lead six minutes before the break through Joe Taylor, whose shot on the turn took a slight deflection on its way past Bowman and in off the underside of the bar after good play down the right by Razzaq Coleman De-Graft.
The game swung firmly in Lewes’ favour on 43 minutes, as Leatherhead captain Ryan Huckle was shown a straight red card for pulling back Taylor as he looked to race through on goal with only Bowman to beat.
Lewes doubled their lead from the resulting free-kick, as Taylor Maloney’s strike took a wicked deflection off the wall, completely wrong-footing Bowman on its way into the bottom corner.
The Rooks continued where they had left off after the break and made it 3-0 on 50 minutes through Bradley Pritchard, who guided an effort from just inside the area through the legs of a covering defender and into the bottom corner after being teed up by Taylor.
Lewes were dominating possession at this stage and looked a threat every time they went forward.
Michael Klass was the next player to go close, seeing a powerful strike pushed round the post by Bowman after more impressive build-up play.
It was 4-0 just after the hour, as Matt Weaire headed a Tanner corner goal-wards, and Taylor was on hand to apply the finishing touch from inside the six-yard box.
Lewes showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas as they headed into the closing stages, with Pritchard and Maloney dictating the pace of the game in midfield and Tanner continuing to prove a constant threat.
The Rooks scored a fifth goal on 74 minutes, as substitute Freddie Parker played in Tanner down the right and when his effort came back off the far post, Iffy Allen was on hand to convert the rebound and score his first goal for the club.
Lewes remained on the front foot in the final ten minutes but were unable to score six goals for the second consecutive game, Tanner being denied by Bowman at the end of a run that took him past several Leatherhead defenders, before Parker saw a strike from the edge of the area go through Bowman’s legs and bobble just wide of the post with the final action of the game.
Highlights of the game, thanks to Your Instant Replay can be watched here.
You can read a copy of the Progcast here.
Pictures thanks to the awesome James Boyes.
The Rooks travel to Worthing in their next game on the 23rd October, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Yao (Colombie 46), Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, Pritchard, Maloney, Klass (Parker 59), De-Graft (Allen 70), Tanner, Taylor.
Unused Subs: D’Arienzo, Olukoga.
Leatherhead: Bowman, Kiangebini, Lema, Mabassa, Huckle, McGee, Bombelenga (Black 46), Kabashi (Briggs 50), Onokwai, Skinner (Manning 79), Kithambo.
Unused Subs: Smith, Cawdron.
Sent off: Huckle.