It’s been awhile since we could say the words “top of the table clash” but that’s exactly what we have in store at The Pan on Wednesday night as first place Whyteleafe arrive, level on points but a few goals better off than the Rooks. Our win at Walton Casuals wouldn’t go down as a classic but we showed mental strength again by coming back from a very early goal to dominate the first half and go in ahead. We could and should have added a couple more in the second half but Walton themselves also had chances and the 60 or so Rooks fans who made the journey enjoyed the win against a team who will be up there challenging for the Play-offs I’m sure come the end of the season.
While we’ve been pretty fortunate with injuries on the
playing staff this season, my backroom team have been dropping like flies!
Seriously, though, it’s great to have Codge back with us on the bench after his
recent illness, and everyone at the club sends their best wishes to Trevor
Ford, who’s been in hospital for an operation this past week. Trev’s on the
road to recovery and we hope to have him back with us as soon as possible.
Talking of operations, I want to wish Stacey good luck with
his operation this week. He’s had it cancelled twice on the day of the
operation, so let’s hope it’s third time lucky!
Since my last notes we’ve added a couple of faces to the
squad. Billy Medlock’s a striker I’ve been trying to get here for a couple of
seasons, so I’m glad to have finally got him. It’s also great to have Wilfried
Grimaud back with us. Wilf was just hitting form when he suffered a nasty
injury at South Park last season, but he will bring a physical presence and
more competition for places.
Ross, Codge and I are trying to build a squad in which
everyone is fighting for places, and where we’re bringing players off the bench
who are just as good as those on the field. It’s been a number of years since
Lewes have had so many great options among the forward line in particular, and
that can only be good for the club.
We’ve had a great start to the season, only dropping four
points ahead of tonight’s game. But it’s important that we keep our feet on the
ground and keep working hard. The boys have been outstanding so far this
season, applying themselves well in training and in games.
We’ve got a few results of late, such as Saturday’s win at
Walton, where we would have lost those games in the past couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, the likes of Ronnie, the likes of Hammo, are now establishing
themselves in the first team, and that’s down to them working hard and gaining
How’s this season been for Whyteleafe?
I’m sure few people outside of Church Road expected Whyteleafe to be top of the league after nine games but they proudly sit there coming into this game having won six and drawn two Bostik League games so far. Impressive away draws at last season’s Play-off losers Greenwich Borough and Corinthian Casuals have been mixed in with solid victories over the likes of South Park and VCD Athletic. Last Saturday they left it very late to beat East Grinstead Town, with Daniel Ajakaiye’s injury time strike sealing the win. The danger men include former Leatherhead striker Tommy Hutchings and Ross Elsom whilst at the back veteran Jon Scarborough is still doing the job often alongside former West Ham youngster Terrell Forbes.
How was last season for Whyteleafe?
Whyteleafe finished one spot and two points better off than in 2015/16 safe
in mid-table, closer to the top of the table than the bottom. A solid home record and some good results on
the road gave the Whyteleafe fans confidence that the club were moving in the
right direction. The club moved quickly
to sign up Daniel Ajakaiye, last season’s top scorer and centre-back Jahmal
Isthmian League South Division – 14th – P 46 W 19 D 7 L 20 GS 81 GA 75 GD +6 PTS 64
FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round – Lost at home to
Welling United 2-0
FA Trophy –
Preliminary Round – Lost at home to Cheshunt 3-1
Surrey Senior Cup – Quarter Finals – Lost away
at Merstham 2-1
Isthmian League Cup – First Round – Lost away to
did we last meet Whyteleafe?
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.
Kick off at The Pan on Wednesday night is 7:45pm. Admission is £11 for Adults, £6 for Concessions and Kids go Free when accompanied by a Adult or Concession.