A late James Hammond goal helped Lewes to a vital 1-0 win over Corinthian Casuals at the Pan in Ross Standen and Tony Coade’s first game in caretaker charge, reports Tom Harper.
Three changes were made to the side that lost 3-2 against Cray Wanderers in their previous game, with Teddy Bloor, Michael Onovwigun and Jordy Mongoy replacing Alex Malins, Charlie Coppola and Kayne Diedrick-Roberts in the starting line-up.
It was an open start to the game, as both sides committed players forward without creating any real chances of note.
The Rooks felt they should have had a penalty midway through the half when James Hammond appeared to be tripped in the area by Andrew Mills, but referee Kirsty Dowle waved play on.
The visitors had arguably the best chance of the first half though, as Gabriel Odunaike intercepted a loose pass out from the back by Nathan Stroomberg before teeing up Shaun Okojie, who saw his strike from close range well held by the goalkeeper.
Lewes enjoyed a good spell just before the break, with Dayshonne Golding seeing an effort at the end of a swashbuckling run deflected just over the bar, before Michael Dome-Bemwin shot straight at Emannuel Agboola from the edge of the area minutes later.
The visitors started the second half brightly and saw Stroomberg make a smart save to keep out a low effort from the edge of the area.
Lewes were struggling to work Agboola in the visitor’s goal, but did force him into action through Golding at the end of an incisive passing move as they looked for their first home league win of the season.
Both sides seemed reluctant to commit too many players forward and risk leaving space at the back as the half progressed, meaning that there was very little goalmouth action during the remainder of the game.
The better of the openings were arguably being created by the Rooks though, who saw Peter Gregory just fail to connect with Teddy Bloor’s low cross in front of goal with a flamboyant attempted flick, when a simple side foot may have been the better option.
Despite this, Casuals came close to taking the lead late on, as Stroomberg was unable to hold an effort from distance and as the ball was forced goalwards by an onrushing attacker, Tom Day had to be alert to clear from almost on the line.
Just as the game appeared certain to be heading for a stalemate, Lewes made a breakthrough with three minutes remaining.
The goal was scored by James Hammond, who evaded a challenge on the edge of the area before finding the bottom corner with a curling effort, sparking jubilant celebrations from the Rooks fans behind the goal.
Lewes saw out the remainder of the game comfortably to record their first home league win of the season and move four points clear of the relegation zone.
After the game Ross Standen spoke about the win to Barry Collins.
Next up for the Rooks is a trip to Folkestone Invicta in the FA Trophy first qualifying round on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Bloor, Redwood, Dome-Bemwin, Chappell, Day, Golding, Hammond, Mongoy (Ilic 76), Onovwigun, Gregory.
Unused Subs: Malins, Diedrick-Roberts, Gifford, Freeman.
Booked: Redwood, Hammond.
Corinthian Casuals: Agboola, Sadare-Morgan, Adelakun, Mills, Strange, Ekim, Spencer, Wilson (Sitch 68), Okojie (Checklit 81), Serbonij, Odunaike.
Unused Subs: Tucker, Dillon, Jamison.
Referee: Kirsty Dowle
Attendance: 357 (approx. 20 away fans)