After Saturday’s win in the FA Trophy against Bishop’s Stortford, the Rooks return to league against on Tuesday as they head to Whyteleafe, who until recently were challenging at the top of the table. However, three weeks ago manager Leigh Dynan surprising resigned to take up the vacant position at Kingstonian, taking his assistant and a number of players with him.
Up until last Saturday they had one of the only two unbeaten records at home but they lost 1-0 to Phoenix Sports. Nevertheless, six wins and two draws from their nine games at Church Road is still a formidable record. The Rooks go in confidence to Surrey though with their away record in the league is something to be proud of, having won every league game away from The Dripping Pan bar the 2-2 at Shoreham back in September. Since out meeting in September Whyteleafe have only won one league game, losing drawing five and losing two of the other games.
Darren still has a number of injury worries ahead of the game with Harry Reed and Alex Malins still out injured, whilst Jamie Brotherton is still a doubt after missing Saturday’s game. After impressing in last week’s Sussex Senior Challenge Cup win over Horsham YMCA, youngster Ross Berkley and U18s skipper George McCarthy are likely to be included in the squad.
When did we last meet
We met Whyteleafe in late September when the two sides shared a 1-1 draw at The Pan. Lewes had the better of the first period without really troubling Joe Tupper in the visitors goal but that changed when James Hammond put us in the lead in the 70th minute with a header from a Gus Sow corner. The Rooks looked to be heading for all three points until a defensive slip by Steve Brinkhurst let in Nkori Venceslas-Bola with three minutes to go to equalise.
The Rooks won both games against Whyteleafe last season by the odd goal. In
September the game at Church Road was decided by an own goal scored by
centre-back Jake Downs in a tight affair whilst the reverse fixture in November
was decided by goals from Jamie Brotherton and Jack Dixon although veteran
centre-back Jon Scarborough pulled a late goal back to leave the Rooks fans
nervously holding out for full-time.
About Church Road
A mixture of different size and types of stands with the ground dominated
by the Gold Aviation Stand with its claret seats (a present from West Ham’s
co-owner David Gold who lives opposite maybe?) and all surrounded by tall trees
to give you the feeling you are really in the countryside. The huge clubhouse is located outside the
turnstiles (nabbed from Stoke City’s Victoria Ground) in the car park so you’ll
have to walk backwards and forwards pre/during and post-match. The ground is
also home to one of the newer 3G pitches in the Non-Leagues having been
installed in 2015.
How to get to Church Road
The ground is located alongside the A22 between Purley and
Junction 6 of the M25. Head north on the
A22 Caterham Bypass. Go straight on at
the next roundabout where Ann Summers head office is located. Once you pass the Travelodge on your right-hand
side you need to take the next left at Whyteleafe South station into Salmons
Lane. Go up the hill then take first
right into Church Road. The ground is a
few hundred yards on the right-hand side.
There’s limited parking at the ground so it may be easier parking at
Whyteleafe Station. Total journey time
from Lewes is 50 minutes for the 45-mile journey.
Whyteleafe is easily accessible by train, with three
stations within a ten-minute walk – Whyteleafe, Whyteleafe South and Upper
Warlingham. All three stations are in Zone 6.
We would suggest alighting at Whyteleafe Station, which is a six-minute
walk from the ground as per the directions above. The journey from Lewes requires two changes
at East Croydon and Purley, taking one hour twenty-five minutes and an Off-Peak
day return costs £17.90.
Admission at Church
Admission this season is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), accompanied under 16s are £5 and Under12s are
Fancy a beer?
Close to Whyteleafe and Upper Warlingham is the Radius Arms micro pub on
the A22 which is a very popular haunt whilst the Whyteleafe Tavern just down
the road is more of your traditional pub.