First-half goals from James Hammond and Dimitri Hatzimouratis helped Lewes to their first league win since January, as a 2-1 triumph over Haringey Borough moved the Rooks six points clear of the relegation zone, reports Tom Harper.
Hugo Langton made one change to the side that lost 2-1 to Kingstonian in their previous game, with Aaron Cosgrave replacing Billy Medlock in the starting line-up.
Lewes had a strong wind behind them in the first half and started on the front foot, forcing Valery Pajetet into a smart double-save to keep out a deflected James Hammond cross and Tom Day’s effort on the rebound, before Brandon Diau fired the loose ball wide from inside the six-yard box.
The Rooks thought they had taken the lead minutes later, as Tom Day’s near-post header from a Hammond corner appeared to cross the line before being clawed away by Pajetet, only for the officials to wave play on, despite the protests of the Lewes players and supporters.
Lewes gained the lead their early pressure had deserved in spectacular fashion on 15 minutes, as Hammond sent a superb 30-yard free-kick past Pajetet and into the top corner.
The Rooks were the better side for much of the remainder of the half without really coming close to adding to their lead, although Pajetet did have to be alert to help a defelcted Aaron Cosgrave strike behind for a corner.
Lewes doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, as a poor Pajetet clearance only found Tegan Freeman. Freeman picked out Dimitri Hatzimouratis in acres of space, and he was able to carry the ball from just inside his own half into the Haringey penalty area, before side-stepping a challenge and sending a low shot into the bottom corner.
The Rooks started the second half in the same way they had finished the first, and saw Ronnie Conlon denied by Pajetet at the end of a spell of pressure as they looked to extend their lead.
After playing against the wind during the first half, the visitors now had it at their backs and were beginning to pin Lewes back in their own half without creating too many chances of note.
Despite this, Claudiu-Octavian Vilcu missed a presentable opportunity to bring the visitors back into the game when he could only head a Michael Ademiluyi free-kick wide after being left unmarked at the far post.
Haringey were handed a route back into the game on 71 minutes, as Day was penalised for a foul on Roman Michael Percil in the area. Chiduben Onokwai coolly converted the penalty to make it 2-1 and ensure a nervy final 20 minutes for Lewes.
The Rooks found themselves with plenty of defending to do during the closing stages, but stood up well to several long throws and set-pieces, with Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke only really being called into action to keep out a Romoluwa Akinola free-kick that was bouncing awkwardly.
The final whistle was greeted with a mixture of celebration and relief from players and supporters alike, as the Rooks celebrated only their second home league win of the season and their first victory since January.
After the game Barry Collins spoke to Hugo Langton about the win.
The progcast can be viewed here.
Lewes will hope to build on this result when they travel to Hornchurch on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Day, Redwood, Freeman, Chappell, Frimpong, Cosgrave (Olusemo 81), Hammond, Diau, Hatzimouratis (Barclay 88), Conlon (Dembele 68).
Unused Subs: Popham, D’Arienzo.
Booked: Stroomberg-Clarke, Hatzimouratis.
Haringey Borough: Pajetet, McDonald, Kisitu, Djassi-Sambu, Vilcu, Alexandrou, Percil, Aresti (Durojaiye 46), Akindayini, Akinola, Ademiluyi (Onokwai 65).
Unused Subs: Panaciotou, Bessadi, Miles.
Attendance: 228 (Approx. 15 Haringey Borough fans)