Men's football news
Written by: Stuart
Lewes moved up to third in the table with a hard-fought 3-2 win over East Thurrock United at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made four changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Hornchurch in their previous game, with Matt Weaire, Taylor Maloney, Ollie Tanner and Freddie Parker, returning from an impressive loan spell at Barking, replacing Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Deshane Dalling and Casey Pettit in the starting line-up.
The opening quarter of the game passed with very little goalmouth incident at either end, as Lewes enjoyed plenty of possession without testing Ciaran Gordon-Stearn in the East Thurrock goal.
Lewes soon began to apply more pressure though, with Joe Taylor seeing a strike cleared off the line by Sam Collins, before Ollie Tanner forced a smart save from Gordon-Stearn minutes later after patient build-up play.
The Rooks broke the deadlock on 32 minutes through Juevan Spencer, who scored his first goal for the club with a superb volley into the top corner from inside the area after excellent play down the right by Razz Coleman De-Graft.
Lewes doubled their lead four minutes later, as De-Graft applied the finish to a scintilating passing move involving Michael Klass, Freddie Parker and Taylor.
The visitors made a bright start to the second half as they looked for a route back into the game, with the lively Johnny Ashman cutting in from the left before sending a curling effort just wide of the far post.
East Thurrock pulled a goal back just after the hour mark, as Ashman latched onto a Ben Wyss through-ball before lifting his strike from distance over the onrushing Lewis Carey and into the bottom corner.
The visitors nearly levelled the scores barely a minute later, with a Ryan Boswell free-kick from just inside the Lewes half being helped goalwards and dropping just wide.
Lewes were doing their best to manage the game and restricted East Thurrock to a couple of tame efforts from distance that Carey dealt with comfortably heading into the closing stages.
The Rooks then had a great chance to put the game to bed themselves, as Taylor teed up De-Graft, who ran through on goal but saw his strike superbly pushed round the post by Gordon-Stearn.
Lewes restored their two-goal advantage with a minute remaining. Casey Pettit was the scorer, finishing from close range after Will Salmon controlled a Klass corner at the far post before playing it back across goal.
There was still time for East Thurrock to ensure a nervy final few minutes of injury-time, as they were awarded a penalty after Ollie Miles was adjudged to have been fouled in the area as he attempted to get on the end of a cross from the left.
Miles took the penalty himself and sent Carey the wrong way from the spot to halve the deficit and keep the visitors in with a chance of getting a result.
Thankfully for the majority of the 808-strong crowd at the Pan, Lewes saw out the remainder of the game comfortably to return to winning ways and move up to third in the table.
Match highlights from Your Instant Replay can be viewed here.
You can read the Match Progcast here.
More photos from James Boyes can be admired here.
Next up for the Rooks is a trip to Carshalton Athletic next Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse, Salmon, Weaire, Klass, Maloney (Gillies 85), Parker (Pettit 68), Tanner (Dalling 68), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Yao, Hall.
East Thurrock United: Gordon-Stearn, Boswell, Collins, Barton, Ujah, Mitchell-Nelson, Ashman (Osei-Owusu 66), Spooner, Miles, Hope (Gordon 88), Wyss (Dantas-Carvalho 67).
Unused Subs: Dear, Robinson.
Booked: Barton, Mitchell-Nelson.