A hardworking performance wasn’t enough to help Lewes to their first points of the season, as Brightlingsea Regent came from a goal behind to record a 2-1 victory at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Hugo Langton handed a first start to new signing Jude Arthurs, with fellow new arrival Tom Bolarinwa named on the bench.
Lewes started brightly and saw plenty of the ball, with Brad Santos looking dangerous whenever he was in possession down the right.
The Rooks took the lead with the first chance of the game on 17 minutes, as Fintan Walsh cleared a Brightlingsea corner from inside the six yard-box, and Aaron Cosgrave ran onto his clearance, rounded Charlie Turner in the visitor’s goal and rolled the ball into the empty net to put Lewes 1-0 ahead.
Lewes continued to play on the front foot after taking the lead, with Merrick James-Lewis putting a free-kick from the edge of the area just over the bar.
Brightlingsea grew into the game as the half progressed though, and Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke had to be alert to push a mis-hit Valter Rocha cross from the left over the bar.
The visitors levelled the scores on 32 minutes, Jerry Kemanzi converting a low cross from the right from close range.
The second half started with no chances of note for either team, as both sides looked to take control of the game and start to dominate proceedings.
Lewes were continuing to find it difficult to create any clear-cut opportunities but had a very good shout for a penalty turned down just after the hour, as a goal-bound header from substitute Gary Noel appeared to strike the arm of a Brightlingsea defender, only for the referee to wave away the appeals from the players and supporters behind the goal.
Brightlingsea made the most of this let-off by taking the lead on 72 minutes, as James-Lewis was dispossessed in midfield and Rocha spotted Stroomberg-Clarke off his line, sending a superb effort from 35 yards over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Lewes saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages but despite forcing a number of set-pieces, were unable to force Turner into any meaningful action and were left to reflect on a performance which had been encouraging in stages but was ultimately not enough to help them pick up their first points of the season.
The Rooks will hope to get their first win of the campaign when they welcome Worthing to the Pan on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.45pm. Any tickets that remain can be purchased here.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Walsh (Beresford 74), Redwood, James-Lewis, Khinda-John, Frimpong, Blewden (Noel 61), Santos, Cosgrave, Arthurs (Bolarinwa 73), Conlon. Unused Subs: D’Arienzo, Barclay.
Brightlingsea Regent: Turner, Gelashvili, Boyland, Topley, Birse, Bennett, Byrne-Hewitt (Gilbert 79), Kamanzi, Oti (Mahon 90), Crisell (Barnett 75), Rocha.
Unused Subs: Osei-Asomah, Machaya.