Welcome to The Dripping Pan for our BetVictor Isthmian Premier League game with East Thurrock Utd. Here is your complimentary matchday programme, which we call the Progcast.

In today’s issue:


You can get full updates from today’s game, including team line-ups, goals and substitutons, in the panel below. It will automatically update throughout the game. Data supplied by FootballWebPages.


Hear co-manager Ross Standen’s thoughts on today’s game:


Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan. I’d like to welcome the players, fans, management and officials from East Thurrock United and hope they have a safe journey home.

Today is the day. You have my word for it that we will finally break this hoodoo of failing to win at home. I have lost count on the number of times and individuals who have pointed out that our home record is one of the worst in the league yet our away record is one of the best. I can’t explain why that is, nor can Ross or Codge.

Some have suggested it is because of the dimensions of the pitch, others suggest it is the surface itself. Is it a curse and we need to bring in someone to lift that? Whatever the reason we need to address it fast so we can get the points required to ensure we are looking up rather than down the table. When we all get behind the team it does make a huge difference and I ask you to keep that going today.

Our last two league games have seen us lose by the odd goal to teams in the Play-off spots and in both instances we have come off the field feeling very disappointed we didn’t get at least a point. Last Saturday at Cray we conceded two goals that in normal circumstances would have been cleared with ease, but a combination of bad luck and lapse of concentration gave Cray a 2-0 lead. Charlie’s fantastic effort gave us a lifeline and we certainly dominated the final hour but fell short in front of goal. Thanks to everyone who made the journey and got behind the team.

Whilst I still maintain that we are not in a relegation fight (we are ten points clear of the potential third relegation spot), we are still aiming for a top-half finish. That will be a tough ask, as we are currently eight points behind Potters Bar Town in 11th spot, but Ross and Codge are focusing on bringing in additional players into the squad to give competition for places.

We are out watching players every week although the issue is not always about identification of potential new players, nor our ability to offer very competitive salary, but a variety of other reasons. We will keep trying and obviously update you all as and when we have news!

Our Women’s team under the new management of Simon Parker broke their long losing streak last Sunday here against London Bees and will take that confidence into their FA Cup tie tomorrow against Billericay Town, kick off 1pm here. You may see the players wearing T-shirts in the warm-up that highlight the huge gulf in prize money between the Men’s and Women’s competition at this stage – the winners in the Men’s competition this weekend will receive £180,000 whilst in the Women’s competition it is £2,000, less than the winners of the Extra Preliminary Round, the first round clubs enter in the Men’s FA Cup got this season. We will continue to campaign for a more fair distribution of the prize money fund, highlighting the huge disparity.

Don’t forget that we are back in cup action on Tuesday as we head to Peacehaven & Telscombe for the re-arranged Sussex Senior Cup Quarter-Final, kick off 7:30pm. Worthing have already made it through to the last four and it promises to be a very strong line-up with Crawley Town, Eastbourne Borough, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burgess Hill fighting it out for a spot in the Semi-Finals.

Get behind the team this afternoon and Come on you Rooks!


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Cray Wanderers 2 vs Lewes 1, BetVictor Isthmian Premier League, 18th January 2020

Despite creating no fewer than 22 shots on goal, we somehow contrived to lose the game at Cray. See the glut of highlights from Your Instant Replay here:

Codge delivers his verdict on the game here:

And here’s a selection of James Boyes’s fine photos from the game:



The club was founded in 1969 following the success of the Corringham Social Sunday league team. The new club played in the Southern Essex Combination for the 1969–70 season and finished third in the league, before joining the reserve section of the Greater London League in 1970. They won the division at the first attempt.

The league merged with the Metropolitan League at the end of the season to form the Metropolitan–London League, with East Thurrock remaining in the reserve division. After winning the division in 1972, they moved into the senior league, joining Division Two, winning it at the first attempt to gain promotion to Division One.

After the league merged with the Spartan League to form the London Spartan League in 1975, East Thurrock were placed in Division Two. Restructuring saw them moved into the Premier Division in 1978 and in 1979 the club switched to the Essex Senior League. In 1989 they won the League Cup, a feat they repeated in 1992, a season that also saw them finish third in the league, earning promotion to Division Three of the Isthmian League. In 2000 they were Division Three champions, moving up to Division Two. Two seasons later they were placed in Division One North upon league reorganisation, before being moved into the Eastern Division of the Southern League for the 2004–05 season. After finishing as Eastern Division runners-up in the first season, they were promoted and moved back to the Isthmian League, joining its Premier Division.

East Thurrock were relegated back to Division One North of the Isthmian League in 2008 following a one-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. They finished as runners-up in 2009, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, but lost 1–0 to Concord Rangers in the semi-finals. A fifth-place finish in 2010 saw the club qualify for the play-offs again, but they were again beaten 1–0 by Concord Rangers in the semi-finals. In 2011 the club won the division and were promoted to the Premier Division. In 2011–12 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, losing 3–0 at home to Macclesfield Town. The following season saw them finish fifth in the Isthmian League Premier Division, qualifying for the play-offs. However, they lost 1–0 to Lowestoft Town in the semi-finals.

In 2014–15 East Thurrock reached the first round of the FA Cup again, this time losing 2–0 at Hartlepool United. In the following season they finished third in the Premier Division, again qualifying for the play-offs. The club beat Tonbridge Angels 2–0 in the semi-finals and Dulwich Hamlet 3–1 in the final in front of a record crowd of 1,661, resulting in promotion to the National League South.

After three seasons in the sixth tier, the club finished second-from-bottom of the National League South in 2019, and were relegated back to the Isthmian League’s Premier Division. They are currently eighth in the table.


John Coventry – Manager

John to most people is Mr East Thurrock. Having taken over from Lee Patterson in 2007, he is now in his twelfth season in charge of the Rocks.  A well-known and highly respected figure on the non-league scene, John is widely regarded as an astute coach with a good eye for a young player.  John was a tanker driver for many years before he became a sports teacher at a local school.  He managed the Thurrock district school representative side for a number of years and several players from his era have gone on to graduate to the highest levels of non-league, and even football league.

Jack Giddens – Goalkeeper

Jack is a product of the Leyton Orient youth system. He joined the Rocks in the summer of 2018 from Billericay Town where he was a member of their Isthmian Premier title winning squad. Jack played a season for top Icelandic side Grindavik, and was voted fans “Player of the Season” last term.

Jason Ring – Defender

Jason was part of a successful Rock’s youth side from a few seasons back, before moving on to Burnham Ramblers, and more recently Great Wakering Rovers.  John Coventry has monitored his progress and invited him back to Rookery Hill this summer.

Ryan Scott – Defender/Club captain

Former Barnet youth player Ryan is in his second spell at the Rocks having originally signed from Billericay Town in 2015.  However, after settling into the side which was to eventually win promotion into the National South that season, Ryan left for Australia.  After spending two years soaking up the sun down under he returned to the UK and re-joined the Rocks in March 2018. Now very much a key figure in the heart of their defence, he picked up both the players and management “Player of the Season” awards last season.

Jordan Brown – Defender

Benfleet born Jordan spent twelve years with the West Ham United youth set-up prior to signing a pro deal with the Hammers in 2010. Unable to break into the first team squad he went out on loan to Aldershot where he made his league debut in 2011. Released by the Hammers in 2012, Jordan moved to Crewe Alexandra, and Barnet.  He subsequently played at Boreham Wood, Welling United, Concord Rangers, Canvey Island, and joined the Rocks in the summer of 2019.

JJ Da Cruz – Defender

JJ joined the Rocks in late October having taken a spell out of the game. He started this season at Heybridge Swifts, and has previously featured for Cheshunt, Hornchurch, and Barking.

Danny Cossington – Defender/Midfielder

For many years Danny was a long-serving Romford player where he was skipper for several seasons. He enjoyed spells at Barkingside and Burnham Ramblers before John Coventry welcomed him to Rookery Hill. 

Michael Tweed – Defender/Midfielder

Michael came through the youth ranks at Queens Park Rangers before joining Nuneaton.  He was recently a regular in the Grantham Town side in the Northern Premier League before joining the Rocks in January 2020.

Ayodeji Olukoga – Defender/Midfielder

Another summer signing who impressed in pre-season, Ayo was previously a key member of the Romford side.

Ben Marlow – Midfielder

Ben is another player who spent all his formative years in the West Ham youth set-up, playing for the Hammers at all youth levels from the age of 8 through to reserve/U23.  After being released by the Hammers Ben joined his home town club, Chelmsford City, for a season playing National South football.  He made the switch to Rookery Hill in early 2016 to play a big part in the Rock’s promotion- winning side.

Darren Foxley – Midfielder

Darren joined Rocks in November on loan from National South side St Albans City.  Formerly with Cambridge City, Darren has plenty of National South experience having previously been with Bishops Stortford and Hungerford Town.

Amos Nasha – Midfielder

Amos spent the second half of the 2018-19 at the Rocks on loan from Chelmsford City and re-joined the club in early November.  Another product of the West Ham United youth set-up, Amos played at all levels for the Hammers.  He joined Dartford in the summer of 2019 but didn’t settle, and had subsequent short spells at Dulwich Hamlet and Salisbury.

Philip Brown-Bampoe – Midfielder

Philip signed just days ago from Romford. He previously played for Redbridge and Greenwich Borough.

Mitchell Gilbey – Midfielder/Forward

A livewire in Rocks midfield with an eye for goal, Mitchell re-signed for the club in the summer of 2019 for his second spell at Rookery Hill.  He first joined the Rocks in 2013, and later joined Canvey Island, then Tilbury for the 2018-19 season.

Frankie Merrifield – Forward

Signed this summer, Frankie played league football for AFC Wimbledon, and has National South experience with Bishops Stortford and Chelmsford City. Most of his career was in midfield but, while at Canvey Island last season Frankie adopted a central striking role midway through, and ended with 16 goals.

Danny Harris – Defender/Midfielder/Forward

East Thurrock claim Danny can genuinely play in any position. He first signed for them midway through the 2004-05 season. After three and a half years he moved to Bishops Stortford before joining Dartford in 2009. He went on to make over 400 appearances for the Darts scoring 75 goals, and was a firm favourite with the fans there. Danny re-joined the Rocks in the summer of 2018, and showed that he still has boundless energy and enthusiasm for the game.

Mathew Price – Forward

Matt joined East Thurrock in mid-November from Heybridge Swifts.  A prolific scorer at Isthmian North level with Heybridge, and previously at Brentwood Town, Matt picked up the Isthmian North Golden Boot award in 2018.

Jack Coventry – Forward

Despite his tender years Jack is Rocks longest serving player having started out as a five year-old with their Future-Rocks.  An exciting young striker, Jack signed first team forms on reaching sixteen in September 2019, and made his debut from the bench against Margate in October.

Lewes Men's squad photo 19-20

The Supporters Club are once again selling player and management sponsorship to raise money for the club. Grab your player before your favourite goes!

Costs are as follows: Home Kit – £75. Away Kit – £75. Training Kit – £25. Boots £25.

Contact: david.arnold@me.com or see David or Barbara on match days.

Thanks to the following sponsors who’ve signed up so far!















Rook divider


Our carbohydrate hunters shuffle off to Bromley to see Lewes take on Cray Wanderers

To a glorious blue sky and bright almost warm sunshine The Stodgebusters emerged from under the bedspreads anticipating an exciting day ahead or at least at our lunch venue. Malcolm and Gary the badge, PJ and Roly of Polegate were all collected by Al for the drive to Bromley.

First though, a detour to Cafe 212 at Uckfield for lunch, an increasingly popular refill station, excellent value and quality. Soon after our arrival though we were a little perturbed by the appearance of Superman. Malcolm thought he had mislaid Lois Lane but, no, dressed as the superhero he was collecting for a meningitis charity, an extremely worthy cause. Lunch choices were varied, from omelette to pancakes with fruit, bacon and eggs to jacket potato. Could the Stodgebusters be edging ever so slowly towards veganism?

A very pleasant drive in the glorious weather through beautiful Sussex and Kent countryside saw us fetch up at The Bromley Stadium in good time. An impressive site, it is dominated by a new, but not quite ready for visitors, stand at one end. This and a general pessimism about our chances in the game led to a subdued mood as the game started.

The first few minutes were a bit scrappy, enlivened by Billy testing Cray’s goalie, the former Lewes man between the posts, Lewis Carey. A severe test it was too, and one that he sadly passed. The same could not be said for our normally sound goalie Nathan. In the 11th minute he fumbled, stumbled, bumbled a sort of pass lob which the Cray forward took advantage of to score an easy opener. The Stodgebusters groaned. However to Nathan’s great credit he recovered quickly to make a series of superb saves particularly in the first half that could have put us six down by half time but for him.

Despondency then turned to despair as Cray scored an easy second and there was some talk of cranking the car up and setting of for home already. This sentiment quickly subsided when Charlie stepped up to score a wonder goal, although there was some doubt as to whether it was a shot or cross – a sort of shoss perhaps.

Nathan’s miraculous efforts having kept us in the game The Stodgebusters approached the second half with more hope. We were very competitive and played some great stuff, Dayshonne always creative, Charlie coming close, and a good team effort but lacking that sure final touch. Maybe Ross would like to consider that any of the Stodgebusters are available for a 10 minute loan spell from the stands as a new striker so long as no movement is required.

We battled on in the increasingly cold conditions with Al our chief of crowd/player/officials interaction exclaiming “clogger!” every few seconds. Cray were a bit physical and were dealt with we thought too leniently.

The final whistle left the score unchanged from half-time at 2-1, and so The Stodgebusters embarked on the return journey home conducting our usual review of the day’s events. The main conclusion being that a striker of Stodgebuster quality is required, though said striker must be fed on meaty passes not crumbs.

As we left the ground an associate Stodgebuster Yeovil John remarked on the cost of Bovril: £2.20 a cup. Malcolm, who is older than he looks, quickly calculating that as 52/- in old money. Shocking! Dozing as he does in the car on the way to or from the ground he succumbed to his usual habit of waking from his slumbers mid-conversation and shouting something completely unrelated. In this case Sat Nav when the conversation was about knuckledusters. On to East Thurrock at The Pan, ever hopeful.


“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chairman Stuart Fuller
Directors Ed Briggs, Charlie Dobres, Karen Dobres, Stuart Fuller, Steve Keegan, Galia Orme, John Peel, Ed Ramsden, Roger Warner, Trevor Wells
Club Secretary John Peel
Match Secretary David Evans
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager Warren Lane

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Mr and Mrs Brook, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox RIP, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter RIP

Manager Hugo Langton
First team coach Dale Hurley
First team physio Katie Joynes
Goalkeeping coach John MaCrae
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Paul Sheppard and Stuart Fuller
Progcast Designer Barry Collins
Club Photographer James Boyes