Men's football news
Written by: Stuart
Lewes returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Folkestone Invicta at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at Brightlingsea Regent in their previous game, with Marcel Elva-Fountaine replacing Johnville Renee at right-back.
The visitors started the game brightly and saw Ronnie Dolan test Lewis Carey early on with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.
They thought they had taken the lead minutes later when Ade Yusuff converted an Ian Draycott cross from close range, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag with Yusuff adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Lewes made the most of this let-off by taking the lead on 14 minutes through Joe Taylor, who evaded two challenges on the edge of the area before firing a powerful strike past Bailey Vose and into the bottom corner.
Folkestone responded well and were level just three minutes later, the unmarked Robbie Dolan controlling a Kadell Daniel free-kick from the left before finishing under the onrushing Carey.
There was to be no let-up in the goal-mouth action though, with Lewes regaining their lead within a minute, Rhys Murrell-Williamson finishing emphatically at the far post despite the best efforts of a covering defender after excellent play down the left by Razz Coleman De-Graft.
The game settled down at this stage, both teams pushing for more goals without creating any further clear-cut opportunities.
The better chances were falling to Lewes and they made it 3-1 on 35 minutes, Taylor reacting quickest to volley past Vose from close range after the goalkeeper had only been able to parry a deflected De-Graft strike.
Folkestone continued to pose a threat going forward and saw Ira Jackson draw a smart save from Carey with a strike from point-blank range, the ensuing goal-mouth scramble then being ended by the linesman’s flag with Yusuff set to finish from almost on the line.
The visitors were able to pull a goal back three minutes before the break, as a deflected Daniel cross was headed off the line by Jamie Mascoll but only as far as Ian Draycott, who finished into the roof of the net from six yards out.
The torrential rain that had been intermittent throughout the first half got even heavier at half-time, but the pitch held up superbly heading into the second half.
Folkestone started it on the front foot, with Carey called into action to brilliantly tip a curling strike from Jackson over the bar.
Lewes were having to weather a storm as the half progressed, the visitors seeing plenty of the ball in the final third as they continued their search for an equaliser in the driving rain.
They arguably should have found one through Draycott, who ran onto a perfectly-weighted Daniel through-ball but shot into the side-netting with only Carey to beat.
The visitors came even closer to levelling the scores with their best chance of the half 15 minutes from time, as Yusuff capitalised on some hesitant defending and made space for himself before seeing his close-range effort superbly saved by Carey.
Lewes had found it difficult to play their usual free-flowing game for much of the second half, but were holding firm defensively and saw out the remainder of the game slightly more comfortably to record an impressive 3-2 win.
You can watch the highlights of the game, thanks to Your Instant Replay, here.
You can read the Progcast here.
The Rooks will hope to build on this result when they welcome Cray Wanderers to the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Carey, Elva-Fountaine, Mascoll, Salmon, Champion, Young, Hyde, Pritchard (Olukoga 78), Murrell-Williamson (Renee 64), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Nelson, Skinner, Dalling.
Folkestone Invicta: Vose, Robbie Dolan, Green, Gayle, Newman, Rogers, Draycott (Olutade 77), Ronnie Dolan, Jackson, Yusuff, Daniel.
Unused Subs: Davies, Vincent, Everitt, Collins.
Booked: Ronnie Dolan, Yusuff, Daniel.