Lewes FC manager Tony Russell expects a number of changes to both teams ahead of Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at Three Bridges following the 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Razz Coleman De-Graft’s late leveller secured a replay on Tuesday night, shifting the scheduled Aveley game to later in the season.
And looking ahead to Tuesday’s reply, Russell says he’s likely to need to switch some things around.
“There will be some differences tonight because both teams have had a look at each other now,” says the boss. “There was no real love loss after the end of the game on Saturday, it got a little spicy, which is great.
“We knew going into that game they would frustrate us but that’s football. Tonight we’ve a few walking wounded and we need to see who is fit and available.
“Playing so many Tuesday-Saturday games and drawing in the cups isn’t ideal. But we’ll just do our best, it’s all we can do.”
‘We upped it late on’
Russell has also had chance to reflect on Saturday’s draw, which was watched in front of 1,178 fans at the Dripping Pan.
“There were a lot of shocks and upsets over the weekend. For some teams it’s a big event and they apply the full intensity, for other teams it’s one to navigate,” says Russell.
“And for us it was just the ball speed. Everything we too slow – taking three touches instead of one, not moving the ball around enough. We made the game hard work.
“We had good chances in the first half, had a corner cleared off the line, Razz had an effort cleared from under the crossbar, Ronan Silva ran through the middle of everyone, had just the keeper to beat, and put it wide.
“Although we didn’t play unbelievably well we still had some good chances in the game. But I felt we were a bit flat, slow and predictable. It took Three Bridges to score in order to wake us up.
“We upped it and the last 25 minutes we started to play good football at a tempo that was always going to cause them some problems. We had so many chances and were unlucky not to score until Razz got the goal.”
Razz has ‘that magic moment’
Indeed, De-Graft’s late strike from 20 yards secured a hard-fought draw against Three Bridges and resulted in Tuesday’s quickly-scheduled replay.
Discussing his winger’s performance, Russell adds: “Razz hasn’t been at the level I know he can be over the past couple of months. He knows that too.
“And we’ve got two wide boys on the bench who perhaps keep wondering why I keep starting Razz when he’s probably not having his best season.
“But very few people on that pitch can do what Razz can, and he is a one-off. We saw it last season too, he’s got that magic moment in him. And on Saturday he showed that, where he just pulls things out of nothing. It’s just what Razz does.”
Three Bridges vs Lewes FC kicks off at 7:45pm on Tuesday at Jubilee Field. Tickets are available on the gate.