The young Rooks completed a sensational cup double with a
3-2 win over Woking U18s at Whyteleafe FC on Thursday to claim their first
Isthmian League Cup since 1992.
The boys will be parading both their trophies at this Saturday’s final league game of the season vs Chipstead.
Both sides went into the game looking to take their second
trophy within a week – Lewes coming off the back of their penalty shoot-out win
over Whitehawk in the Sussex Youth Cup, while Woking had secured the Surrey
equivalent with a win over Met Police’s U18s.
There was just one change to the cup winning starting XI,
with ‘keeper Neill Di Lucia coming in for Dane Tasker, continuing his role
between the sticks in this competition.
Alex Walsh’s lads started the match with real intent, and
went close to scoring a brilliant opener with winger Dylan Gifford rattling the
crossbar with a 30-yard effort after only three minutes. Ricky Aguiar also came
close to opening the Rooks’ account early on but the midfielder blazed over
after a superb mazy run and shot.
The pressure finally told after 20 minutes, George
McCarthy’s dangerous free-kick was powerfully headed home by left-back Harrison
Parker and it was no less than the Rooks deserved. And it only took another 14 minutes for Lewes
to double their lead, Parker again in the right place at the right time to
plant his header into the back of the net after a perfectly executed Gifford
As expected, Woking came out of the blocks fast in the
second half and Charlie Hester-Cook in particular was a constant thorn in the
Rooks defence. It was his finish, in off the far post, which halved the deficit
just minutes into the second period. The game had now become stretched and
chances were coming thick and fast at both ends, but it was the Surrey side who
held their nerve to equalise through Will Jacob, after a well-worked move left
Jacob to nod in from close range at the back post.
Despite surrendering a two goal lead, the Rooks’ character
was strong. First Josh Magrath had a shot tipped wide, while Ross Barclay
couldn’t quite capitalise on a loose ball inside the box. Leone Gravata then
had his penalty appeals turned down after a clear cut foul in the box, the
referee bizarrely giving a free-kick for an earlier foul despite playing an
It mattered not as, with only five minutes to play, fine
work down the left from Barclay and substitute Jake Hutchinson resulted in a
wonderfully flighted cross from Hutchinson. Gifford rose highest at the back
post to score the match winner and to cap a truly memorable week for Alex
Walsh, Dale Hurley and the whole squad.
Team v Woking: Di Lucia, Gravata, Parker, McCarthy, Allen,
Headland, Gifford, Barclay, Magrath, Aguiar (Hall), Gould (Hutchinson). Subs
not used: Tasker, Carter, Jackson.
Goals: Parker 20, 34, Gifford 85.