Tony Russell is hoping the ‘carnival atmosphere’ continues on Saturday as we welcome Kinstonian to the Dripping Pan.
Tuesday’s emphatic win took the Rooks up to eighth place in the table and Tony gives his reflection on the game.
“Tuesday night was good for us and the players got their reward after we got them to do an extra session.
“We did an extra one Monday before the game which to do that along with the game and our session on Thursday to prepare for Kingstonian, is a lot for a non-league side.
“It shows the type of players that we’ve got that they’re prepared to do it. Tactically as well, there was stuff we needed to talk about. Fair play to the scouts, and our video analyst Dan, who did some really good work, that really helped us.
“I know you can look at the 5-0, man sent off etc. but we were dominant before that, from minute-one, we manipulated their formation, exploited it, passed the ball really well and caused threats all night.”
He was also very happy with the individual performances of a number of players.
“I’m delighted for Deon scoring a fantastic goal, he’s not had the best couple of games recently, and was feeling sorry for himself, but he’s a very, very good player and a popular member of the group.
“It’s such a good goal as well, isolated, taken his player on the outside, and slammed it across goal into the top corner.
“JT is then brought down as he’s about to tap-in then all of a sudden, 10-men, bang-bang, and 4-0 up at half-time. JT’s second was a great goal, a good team goal, they’ve taken centre, lumped it long and six passes later it’s in the back of the net.
“The score-gap gave us an opportunity to change things, Hydey was struggling a bit so we gave him a rest.
“Second-half it was hard because they’re 4-0 down and they’ve obviously then made the decision to just not get smashed. I do respect the decision and respect them as a team for not giving up.
“We had to probe and be patient then Rhys has come up with a great goal. He was with me at Cray and he used to do that a lot. That was his trademark.
“I’m happy the fans got to see it because he’s had a frustrating time, I know he feels it himself that he hasn’t shown the Lewes faithful just how good he is.”
Tony was, as ever, very respectful of the upcoming opponents on Saturday.
“I went and watched Kingstonian on Wednesday so it’s been a really busy week, but it’s interesting because they beat Enfield away like two weeks ago which is not an easy task at all.
“They’re dangerous and they seem to get up for the bigger games, they show more against the bigger sides so in that sense we will expect the best version of them.
“They’ve got some really good players as well that I’ve known a long time, Danny Dudley being one at centre-half, I tried to sign him many moons ago, lovely guy, great player.
“Bancroft, their wide-forward, is very, very good, they’ve got threats all over. But for us it’s just kicking on from what we’ve done.”
The Rooks enter a crucial period now in February, one that Tony believes defines the season.
“We’ve had a great January and I think we’ve picked up the most points in the league from then. February will be a challenge, everyone’s playing the majority of their games in hand so by the end of it we’ll have a realistic look at the league.
“We’ve got to make sure we are in and amongst it by then so it’s a huge month. Some big games coming up and we have to be ready for it.
“Saturday is a tricky game but the atmosphere in this squad is unbelievable, the mood is so high right now. I’ve seen the lads three times this week and I always look forward to it.
“It’s really important that continues and we enjoy each other’s company and keep pushing on. It was also great to see the Pan rocking again, it was like a carnival in there on Tuesday so it was good to see.”
Lewes FC vs. Kingstonian tickets
The match on Saturday is at 3:00pm. You can buy Lewes FC tickets for the game online and skip the queue at the gate. Online ticket prices are as follows:
Adults – £12
Concessions – £8
Kids U16 – Free
Beach Huts – £110
Photo: James Boyes