Lewes vs Worthing will be a “blockbuster” clash and the Rooks need as many supporters down at the Dripping Pan as possible this Saturday, says manager Tony Russell.
Lewes host Isthmian Premier League leaders Worthing this weekend with Russell’s troops seeking to move as high as third in the table.
The two sides shared a nine-goal thriller on the coast back in October and Saturday’s showdown could well match that clash for goalmouth action.
Russell is expecting an intense contest against Adam Hinshelwood’s side.
“The game itself is going to be a cracker,” says Russell.
“Remember the reverse fixture was 5-4 (to Worthing). And I don’t think it’s going to be much different this weekend in terms of chances created. This won’t finish 0-0.
“I’ve been going head to head with Adam for a long time, even way back in his Hastings days. He’s a manager who likes to be on the front foot, have the ball and attack. And I’m a manager who wants to do that and attack too.
“So something’s got to give on Saturday. He won’t back down, I know he won’t, and nor will I. We’ll meet somewhere in the middle of the ring.
“I think it will be a blockbuster tie and I urge everyone to get to this game. It will be two good sides – an outstanding team in Worthing and I think we’ll be outstanding too. We’ve got incredible attributes and it’s got the making of a great game. So get yourselves down there.”
‘We move on’
Lewes head into the fixture having drawn 0-0 at Corinthian-Casuals last weekend. And while Russell rued not picking up three points, the defensive display and extension of the Rooks’ unbeaten run were positives to take from the game.
“There’s no hard-luck stories here, we just didn’t do enough to win the game,” says the manager.
“We didn’t play well enough. It was a tight game and credit to Corinthian-Casuals, they made it hard for us. It wasn’t the best of games to watch for the neutral, I would say.
“But it’s a tough place to go, we didn’t lose and got a clean sheet so there are positives. That’s what we spoke about after the game – at this end of the season we can’t dwell on games now.
“At the end we spoke in a huddle, expressed our disappointment that we didn’t win, but we move on to Worthing now.”
Worthing ‘have been outstanding’
Russell had the players back on the training pitch this week and also went through the Corinthian-Casuals display during preparation for Worthing.
And he’s expecting an equally tough encounter this weekend.
“We’ve done two sessions this week all on Worthing,” says Russell.
“We’ve had a video session and also worked on strength. They’re a very good side. Over the last couple of seasons they’ve been one of the teams to beat – they’ve been outstanding and Adam’s done a terrific job with them.
“It’s going to be a hard game so this week’s sessions have been all on this game. Our Monday session was good. In our video session we spoke about them, and their strengths and weaknesses. Wednesday we’ve done two hours of really good pattern of play work, stuff we’re working on where we feel we might get some joy.”
Interest in this clash is running high and Worthing have already sold out their away allocation. Home fans can still buy tickets (at a discounted online price), while the club hopes to have a very limited number of tickets for sale on the gate.
And Russell says the players are ready to respond to the support shown for his team.
“The club has told me about the ticket sales that are going really well. Let’s try to get a full house!” he says.
“We know Worthing will bring a few as they’ve got a great fanbase. They’re very vocal and so it’s important we match that both on and off the pitch.
“We need you guys to come down in your numbers and be loud, to give us every opportunity to beat them.”
Lewes FC vs Worthing tickets
Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, are available to buy now online (at a discount).
At the time of publication online tickets are nearly sold out.
Ticket prices online are as follows:
Adults – £11 general admittance online (£12 on the gate*)
Concessions – £7 general admittance online (£8 on the gate*)
Kids (under 16) – free!**
Beach hut for six people – £99 SOLD OUT
*subject to availability
**it is recommended that you ‘buy’ your kids tickets online, even though there is no cost