Saturday 11th September 2021 – 3pm KO – The Isthmian Premier League

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Welcome to The Dripping Pan for today’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game with Enfield Town. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s game between Lewes and our good friends and fellow fan-owned club, Enfield Town. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials to the Pan and hope they enjoy the beer, food and maybe some sunshine.

It is unlikely we would still be here if it wasn’t for Enfield Town. They were the pioneers back in 2001 in becoming the first fan-owned club after being forced out of their ground and exasperated by the antics of the then owner of the club. The history books can never be erased and the achievements of the club are still there to be proud of.

Let’s not forget that Enfield finished top of the Conference in 1985/86 a year before that would have earned them automatic promotion to the Football League. But they were forced to start as a reformed team in the Essex Senior League and have got where they are today thanks to the countless hours given by their volunteers, something we know all too well.

Over the past few weeks it does seem as if almost 18 months of not being able to watch football has been forgotten. The expectations on and off the pitch are high, and quite rightly so – we are an ambitious club with ambitious plans and in Tony Russell, an ambitious manager. But if the last 18 months has taught us anything it should be to appreciate what you have, when you have it. I am amazed to hear some of the comments about our performances, our players and our tactics. Yes, every fan has a right to express their opinion but I do often wonder if some of those opinions are borne out of actually watching us play.

There’s a huge amount of work that goes into each game, whether that is opposition scouting and analysis, reviewing the fitness levels of the players, the intensity of training or our stats from our previous game. There’s a whole group of people working behind the scenes on trying to find the right balance. Yes, it was disappointing to lose against Met Police and we are all hurting because of that but we lost to a team, unbeaten playing at the same level as us. This wasn’t a Bedfont Sports, Phoenix Sports or even day I mention the word, Leiston. We dominated the game – 70% possession – but failed to capitalise on our chances. That’s what the focus has been this week. I don’t particularly like old sayings, but Rome wasn’t built in a day springs to mind here. And to be clear, we will have frustrating days in the next few weeks and months, where games are one pass or tackle away from being where we want them to be. The key is understanding that moment and putting plans in place to change it.

Our squad is almost there – Taylor Maloney came in for his debut last week having signed him at 11am Friday and then driving his forms to the league offices just in the nick of time so he could play. Tony has been out yesterday talking to a couple of potential new signings but within the next week or so we will be there and there will not be much more movement in the squad.

I saw a thread on the forum about a “lack of connection” with the players as few were local. The latter statement is true, although we haven’t had many in previous seasons either. There is a “Sussex merry go round” of players – most players at this level will not move far from home or work because of the cost of travel. Unfortunately, Sussex (or Kent for that matter) doesn’t have a comprehensive public transport network like London and many players, especially the younger ones, may not drive or own a car and so they have to rely on lifts or public transport. So a move from say Leatherhead to Lewes is problematic, which is why the same players tend to move locally. Also, as we have seen here at Lewes or down the road at Whitehawk, managers will trust a core of players they have worked with before – that isn’t uncommon in working life – and will bring them in when they have a chance. So what about youth development?

We have an excellent crop of Under18s again this season under Dale Hurley. They won their first league game of the season on Monday at Horsham YMCA 5-0, following on from the 6-0 abandoned game versus Burgess Hill Town and the 6-0 win over Worthing United in the FA Youth Cup. A number of the players are being tracked by professional clubs. But the dilemma is how do we give them the experience they need so they can step up when the opportunity arises. This is the Catch 22. Without experience it is a huge risk putting them straight into the squad. With being in the squad and playing they can’t get experience. We don’t have the luxury of a Under23s anymore so we can’t give them experience at that level. We can’t put them on a contract until they are 18 (note here that any professional club can put them on a training contract before then) so we can’t loan them out. The only solution is they sign and play their Saturday football for a club at Step 5 or 6.

That is what happened with Nic D’Arienzo and Brad Santos. Nic has been in the first team squad for most games and is learning every week. Destiny Ojo, has been in the squad on numerous occasions as well and played in our midweek friendly against Sheppey United but he will likely need to play games with a local club to get that experience to challenge for a place in the first team.

We don’t profess to getting it right all the time but nobody can accuse us of not trying to move the club forward. As I mentioned, I have no issue with fans being frustrated or even being a bit angry after a defeat towards us but please, let’s not get abusive. The board and most of those who work on a match day do so on a voluntary basis. Football has the ability to bring social change and unite people. Fans have the ability to disrupt that unity and positive movement.

Enjoy the game and Come On You Rooks!


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Good afternoon Rooks fans.It was disappointing to exit the FA Cup last week after our defeat here against Met Police. It was frustrating – a slow first half and we started to get going in the second half but it was too little too late. We’ve been working hard in training, trying to work on our patterns of play and finding the combinations that work. We’ve got a strong squad and my job is to get our strongest team on the pitch based on the opposition at that moment.

We decided rather than having a training session early in the week we played a friendly against Sheppey United, who are one of the strongest sides at Step 5. It was a good, competitive game and we got to try a few different formations out and we got a lot out of it. We then trained on Wednesday and worked on a few defensive strategies in preparation for today.

Enfield Town look very strong so far this season and I think it will be our toughest test yet – they are unbeaten in the league and through in the FA Cup. Their front three are as good as any in the league so defensively we will have to be at our best. But we have had a good week and I am seeing signs this week that things are going in the right direction. It was never going to be a short-term victory but a building blocks plan, that will give us a long-term identity. I believe that this approach will work for Lewes – I’ve been through the plan at three other clubs – and I am sure we are on the right road.

I believe in what we are doing and we will continue to work on it until we get right. Enfield are an example of putting a plan in place and building on it year after year. Andy Leese’s sides have got better every season I have played against them and I expect no quarter will be given today. If you finish the season above Enfield this season you will be there or there abouts.

Enjoy the game, keep up the excellent support for the boys and please feel free to join us in the bar after the game.


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A below-par first-half performance saw Lewes crash out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle at the Pan with a 2-1 defeat to Met Police, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Horsham on Bank Holiday Monday, with Ayo Olukoga, Freddie Parker and the suspended Killian Colombie being replaced in the starting line-up by Kenneth Yao, Karl Dent and debutant Taylor Maloney.

The visitors started brightly and saw Liam Ferdinand draw a smart save from Lewis Carey in the opening stages.

The lively start to the game continued, as Joe Taylor latched onto a long ball from Mitchell Nelson but saw his effort comfortably saved by Liam Beach.

Met Police took control of the game at this point and should have taken the lead, with Carey making a superb save to keep out a Jack Mazzone effort from point-blank range before a combination of Carey and Nelson helped the loose ball over the bar.

From the resulting corner taken by Ollie Knight, Ollie Robinson saw his glancing header clip the top of the bar on its way over.

The visitors scored the goal their impressive start to the game deserved on 19 minutes, as good play down the right ended with William Wickham crossing for the unmarked Mazzone to finish at the far post.

Mazzone nearly doubled his and Met Police’s tally minutes later, but sent his acrobatic volley from a Knight cross over the bar.

The visitors did make it 2-0 on 28 minutes, as Ferdinand turned sharply on the edge of the area before sending an impressive strike past Carey and into the bottom corner.

Lewes were struggling to build any kind of momentum but came close to pulling a goal back just before the break, as Maloney saw his 20-yard free-kick helped onto the bar by Beach.

The Rooks saw plenty of the ball during the opening stages of the second half and nearly halved the deficit through Nelson, whose header from a Dent corner was kept out by Beach before the loose ball was scrambled clear from inside the six-yard box.

Met Police were managing the game well in the main and should arguably have sealed the win midway through the half, as an incisive counter-attack ended with Knight dragging his effort just wide of the far post.

Lewes were handed a lifeline on 72 minutes, as substitute Iffy Allen was tripped in the area by Wickham.

Taylor converted the penalty, sending Beach the wrong way from the spot to bring the Rooks back into the game.

Unfortunately for Lewes, the visitors saw out the closing stages comfortably to progress to the second qualifying round and leave the Rooks to focus on their league campaign.

Lewes: Carey, Yao, Carlse, Nelson, Weaire, Maloney, Klass (Pritchard 51), Dent (Parker 65), Tanner (Allen 46), Coleman De-Graft, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Hall, Olukoga, D’Arienzo, Richards.

Booked: Weaire.

Metropolitan Police: Beach, Wickham, Fisher, Robinson, Tanner, Allen, O. Knight, Robertson, Mazzone (Birch 66), Ferdinand (J. Knight 85), De St Croix.

Unused Subs: Taylor, Vincent, Chislett, Keeya, West.

Booked: Wickham.

Attendance: 528

Pictures thanks to James Boyes.

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Now, you’re going to have to concentrate for a moment. Enfield Town were founded in June 2001 by the Enfield Supporters’ Trust following the breakdown of an agreement to take on the running of troubled Enfield FC, who had been one of the most successful non-league teams of the sixties, seventies and eighties. Having fallen into financial difficulties and sold their home town Southbury Road ground in 1999, Enfield FC went into liquidation in 2007, re-forming as Enfield 1893.

Thus Enfield Town are a supporter-led breakaway from Enfield FC. For the record: Enfield, formed in 1893, won the Athenian League in 1962 and 1963, stepping up to the Isthmian League in 1963. They won the FA Amateur Cup in 1967 and 1970, and the Isthmian League seven times between 1968 and 1980. They joined the Alliance Premier League in 1982, finishing as champions in 1983 and 1986, and won the FA Trophy in 1982 and 1988. However, Enfield were relegated to the Isthmian League in 1990, and despite winning the league in 1995 were denied promotion to the Conference due to concerns over the club’s finances. As stated, in 1999 Enfield sold their Southbury Road ground, playing thereafter outside the town, prompting the formation of a new club, Enfield Town, by the Enfield Supporters’ Trust in 2001. In 2007 Enfield folded. Offers from Enfield Town for a merger were rejected, and Enfield was re-formed as Enfield 1893 and joined the Essex Senior League.

If you’re clear on all that, this afternoon’s opponents, Enfield Town (not to be confused with either now defunct Enfield or Enfield 1893), were admitted to the Essex Senior League in 2001. The club’s first season saw them finish second in the league and win the League Cup, also winning the Capital Counties Feeder Leagues Trophy and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup. They won the Essex Senior League the following season, but were not promoted due to failing ground grading.

They won the Essex Senior League for a second time in 2005 and were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League, being transferred to Division One North of the Isthmian League in 2006. In October 2008 the club succeeded in finding a home in Enfield, moving with the support of Enfield Council to the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium. The ground was formally opened in November 2011 with a match against a Tottenham Hotspur XI.

In 2012 Enfield Town won promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division via the play-offs. They won the Supporters Direct Cup in both 2012 and 2013. A fourth-place league finish in 2017 saw Enfield Town qualify for a play-off place where they were beaten by Dulwich Hamlet. Last season they finished 17th.

In June 2017, the club were awarded the Charter Standard Community Club of the Year by the Middlesex Football Association in recognition of their work in the local community. In 2018 the club hosted a number of matches (including the final) as part of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) 2018 Football World Cup.

With their FA Cup 1st qualifying round home win last Saturday at the expense of Step 4 Dereham Town, unbeaten Enfield visit us today lying second in the table with three wins and a draw after four games.


Andy Leese – Manager

Andy spent more than ten years as Manager of Southern Premier League side Chesham United. His most memorable moment was probably his sides 1-0 FA Cup first round victory over Bristol Rovers at the  Memorial Stadium, in November 2015 in Bristol. Chesham were eventually knocked out in the second round by Bradford City. He took over the reins at Town in 2017.

Nathan MacDonald – Goalkeeper

Nathan signed from Braintree Town for his first spell at the club in the summer of 2014 and went on to be an ever-present in the league for three years. An England C international, he moved back to Braintree in time for the 2017-18 season, helping them to promotion via the play-offs. He switched to Chelmsford City in August 2018 before a move back to the QEII Stadium in May 2019.

Jeremiah Gyebi – Defender

20 year-old Jeremiah has had experience with Yeovil Town, Barnstaple Town, Poole Town (on loan), Ankaran Hrvatini (Slovenia) and IFK Mora (Sweden). He signed on the dotted line at the QEII Stadium in August 2020.

Josh McLeod-Urquhart – Defender

Josh is a versatile defender who started out at West Ham United and Northampton Town as a youngster. He signed for the club in January 2020 from Billericay Town where he made over 50 appearances, lifting the Essex Senior Cup, Isthmian League Cup and Isthmian League title in 2017-18 before moving on to East Thurrock United. Amongst his previous other clubs are Hampton & Richmond Borough, and Olympic Kingsway in Australia.

Lee Chapell – Defender

Lee is an experienced defender who signed for Town in September 2020, playing a handful of league games before the season’s eventual shut down. Usually deployed as a left-back, he has also played with Wealdstone, St Albans City and Royston Town, on occasion in a central midfield role.

Rian Bray – Defender

22-year-old centre-back Rian has joined Town this season. He has already racked up extensive experience, with over 170 appearances to his name with Millwall’s academy, Welling United, Leatherhead, Bishop’s Stortford, Hampton & Richmond, Tonbridge Angels and Hendon.

Ryan Kirwan – Defender

Ryan joined Town for this new 2021-22 season. Deployed primarily as a left-back in pre-season, he’s also capable of playing in midfield or at centre-back.

Emmanuel Maja – Midfielder

Manny signed for Town at the start of this 2021/22 season, joining from Welling United. A ball-playing central midfielder, he began his career at ninth-tier Croydon FC, where his performances earned him a trial with Manchester City’s Under-18s, before going on to join Welling at the beginning of last season.

Lewis Taaffe – Midfielder

Lewis returned to Concord Rangers in the 2018-19 season after spells at Hemel Hempstead Town and Billericay Town, eventually notching over 150 Concord appearances and becoming a fans’ favourite with his energetic style. He signed for Town in the summer of 2018.

Percy Kiangebeni – Midfielder

23 year-old Percy returned to Town for a second spell at the club in 2020/21, having previously made 33 appearances. His positional versatility and commitment made him a popular figure with supporters during his initial spell, and he subsequently represented Concord Rangers, St Albans City, Hendon and Hertford Town.

Sam Youngs – Midfielder

Sam is in his fourth season at EnfieldTown. Amongst his former clubs are Chesham United, Rugby Town, Redditch United, Hemel Hempstead, and Halesowen Town.

Scott Thomas – Midfielder/Captain

Scott was named club captain ahead of the 21/22 campaign. Formerly with Hemel Hempstead Town, Chesham United, Boreham Wood and St Albans City, Scott made the short move from Boreham Wood, where he had won promotion to the National League, to St Albans in August 2015. He was subsequently on a dual registration arrangement with Royston Town for a spell and featured in the Crows team that overcame Town 2-0 in the FA Trophy in October 2017.

Adam Cunnington – Forward

Adam, following spells at clubs including Barwell, Solihull Moors and Kettering Town, has enjoyed Conference experience at Tamworth and Cambridge United, Ebbsfleet and Bromley. He has also made EFL appearances for Dagenham & Redbridge as well as Cambridge.

Ebrima Sawaneh – Forward

All I can tell you about Ebrima is that he signed and starred in Town’s first two outings of the season, both victories, scoring one goal.

Muhammadu Faal – Forward

Muhammadu re-joined Town for a second spell ahead of this 2021-22 season, having become a fans’ favourite during his first stint in a blue and white shirt. Netting 24 goals in 25 appearances in the first half of the 2019-20 campaign earned him a move to EFL side Bolton Wanderers. He has also represented Boreham Wood, Italian side L’Aquila, Dulwich Hamlet, Kingstonian and Barnet.

Andre Coker – Forward

Andre joined Town in August from Kingstonian and lost no time repaying his manager’s faith in him by scoring their two goals last Saturday to send the club into the 2nd Qualifying round. He has also played for Maidstone, Dartford, and Cray Wanderers.

Lyle Della-Verde – Forward

Lyle re-signed for the club from Welling United  and made his first start in the victory over Dereham Town in the FA Cup last Saturday. He made 22 previous appearances for Town during two truncated Covid-hit seasons, becoming a firm favourite with the fans.


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Horsham YMCA 0-5 Lewes

Monday night Lewes u18’s visited Isthmian Youth League South newcomers Horsham YMCA.

Lewes fresh off the back of their FA Youth Cup victory resumed their fine start to the season with a convincing first half display that saw them go into the half time break 4-0 up.

Destiny Ojo broke the deadlock when he latched on to a precisely played through ball and lobbed the out rushing goalkeeper.

Harry Margeson doubled the scoring from close range after a pattern of play down the Lewes left. Shortly after Margeson was brought down for a penalty that he converted emphatically to put the young Rooks in control of the tie.

Kaiden Hummerston notched his 4th of the season just before the break, following in on his header that was saved by the keeper by prodding into the net.

The second half was a quieter affair, Hummerston scoring his second of the night and 5th of the season, again following in on his own effort, this time a shot from 25 yards that the keeper spilled, Kaiden followed in and tapped him the rebound.

A convincing win for the Rooks which has seen them net 17 times in the opening 3 games without conceding.

Lewes u18 next fixture is against Bognor Regis Town on the 23rd September, 7:45pm kick off, being played at Hayward’s Heath Town’s, Hanbury Park. We await news on our next opponents in the FA Youth Cup after we received a bye to the Second Qualifying Round.

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About Moatside
Moatside is a fairly basic ground which has been developed as the club has risen through the leagues. The main building in the corner that spectators enter houses the changing rooms and admin offices, whilst further along the touchline is a decent sized stand, set slightly back from the pitch, which means spectators do wander in front of this and obscure the views of those in the first couple of rows. Behind this stand is the refreshment block which used to serve tea/coffee in proper mugs, on the promise that you brought them back on your way out.

There’s a small seated stand at one end, in place to tick the ground-grading box whilst at the other end is a narrow-roofed terrace. The main clubhouse is located outside the turnstiles.

How to get to Moatside
Despite sitting almost in the shadow of the M25 and M23, Moatside is quite difficult to get to by road, unless you are coming south down the A23 from Central London/Croydon, which few of us will be! So, from Lewes head up the A23/M23 and carry on over the M25 junction. After a mile you will see a Starbucks on the right-hand side. Turn into there, turn around and then head back south on the A23 towards the M23. Stay in right hand land where the road splits and follow the A23 under the M25 and enter Merstham. Follow road around the bend where the Feathers pub is and then take the second left and bear immediately right into School Hill.

Head down hill, under the railway bridge and then you want to take the fourth right into Weldon Way, where the ground is 200 yards on your right. There’s plenty of on-road, free parking around the entrance to the ground. It is a 43-mile trip each way and you should allow yourself an hour to get here due to the long-term roadworks on the M23.

The station is a 10-minute walk away from the ground. Take a left out of the station then a left at the end into School Hill. Walk down the hill, under the bridge and then take second right into Albany Walk. Follow this for 200-yards and then take the alleyway on your left which brings you out at the turnstiles. It will involve a single change normally at Gatwick with a total journey time of around 75 minutes from Lewes.

Admission at Moatside
Admission this season will be £10 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens, Under18s, students) and accompanied under 16s are £3.

Fancy a beer?
There’s really only one option in Merstham and that is The Feathers in the High Street which has a decent selection of ales, some on a rotation basis as well as some good value food options. There is also a decent club house at the ground located outside the turnstiles.

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The Rooks last played London City back in February, when two of our current players scored for the Lionesses in a 3-2 away victory for the London club, reports Joe Short.

Ini Umotong had given Lewes the lead only for Atlanta Primus and our new winger Kallie Balfour to nudge the Lionesses in front. Umotong then equalised via a late penalty, but Ellie Mason – signed by the Rooks in July – went up the other end and poked home the winner.

“We’re obviously devastated to lose,” boss Simon Parker had said after the game. “I actually feel we were the better side in the second half and probably on the whole a draw is fair.

“What we’re looking at now is just trying to get into those habits of ‘let’s not give up, let’s go for the win’. We want to lay all the foundations for next season, now.”

Seven months on and we’ll see if Parker’s expectations have been met. The boss will certainly be hoping for an organised defensive display similar to the one that earned Lewes a 1-0 win at the Lionesses last October.

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THE ROOKS LIST – 2020/21

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The strange story of a team without a goalkeeper

Ian King is one of the finest football writer out there and his website, Two Hundred Percent is a treasure trove of topical and unusual stories.

The 1981/82 season hadn’t been a particularly bad one for Girondins de Bordeaux. Their run in the UEFA Cup had come to an early end against SV Hamburg and they still hadn’t lifted a major trophy since their 1950 Ligue Un title, but they were on course for another place in Europe, and within the city there was a feeling that manager Aimé Jacquet was building something special. The France national team that would reach the semi-final of the 1982 World Cup would be built with this team as its chassis. Gerard Soler, the only player to score against England that summer, led the attack, alongside seasoned international Bernard Lacombe. Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana, 50% of France’s ‘carré magique’, were in their midfield. Marius Tresor sat in their defence.

Girondins de Bordeaux – ‘Girondins’ is an informal name for people from the area, which comes from a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution which was largely based around the city – had seen their fortunes rise following the arrival of Claude Bez as the club’s president, in 1978. With a moustache as expansive as his waist-line, Bez was almost stereotypically ‘larger than life’, but he was delivering results, and at a club which had been starved of success – their only other major trophy in more than 70 years of trying was a Coupe de France, won in 1941 – that trumped everything else. At the end of the 1980/81 season, they’d finished in third place in the table.

Bordeaux started their 1981/82 season with a narrow 3-2 win against local rivals Nantes in Le Derby de l’Atlantique, a late Tresor goal rescuing a win after they’d been pegged back from a two goal lead, and by the following April, things were going swimmingly. They were within touching distance of the top of the table, and a 2-0 win away to PSG at the start of the month had guaranteed them at least fourth place and a place in the following year’s UEFA Cup.

A week later, though, the wheels started to fall off their season. At home against Lens, a Teitur Þórðarson goal seven minutes from time secured a surprise win for a team that was struggling to avoid relegation, and a further defeat against Brest ended any theoretical chance they may have had of winning the league. That ended up going, for the fourth time, to Monaco. And then, in their penultimate match of the season, everything unravelled. Bordeaux lost a bad tempered match at Auxerre 2-0, and at the end of the match Dragan Pantelic was involved in an incident that would come to have coniderable ramifications for the Yugoslavian goalkeeper.

Versions of events are, of course, disputed. According to Pantelic, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, standing behind the referee was kicked in the back of the leg. Whatever happened, there was then an altercation between Pantelic and one of the linesmen, which turned into a full-blown fight. The French Football Federation acted with considerable haste, and immediately banned Pantelic for a year.

Claude Bez was furious. Dragan Pantelic was an extremely experienced goalkeeper, a Yugoslav international who had signed for Bordeaux the previous summer after ten years with Radnicki Nis, and who’d become the national team’s goalkeeper, even scoring two penalty kicks for this country. The day before the final match of the season, he was at Aimé Jacquet’s office to inform the manager that Bordeaux would be protesting the decision in the starkest way possible on the last day of the season, by refusing to play a goalkeeper at all.

Bordeaux’s UEFA Cup place might have been safe and the match might not be the most consequential of the season for either of its competitors, but it was also the return match of Le Derby de l’Atlantique, a return trip to Nantes to play a team a couple of places below them. It might not have mattered in terms of the league table, but it did matter in terms of people’s emotions.

Journalists at Bordeaux’s training round the day before the match received a considerable surprise when they were handed a team sheet by Aimé Jacquet which contained thirteen players, none of which were goalkeepers. Jacquet wouldn’t comment, but Bez did:

It is in solidarity with Dragan Pantelic, suspended for a year, while he is innocent of the facts that he is accused of, that the players and the Bordeaux leaders have decided to play in Nantes without a real goalkeeper. The goalkeeper jersey will be worn by a player, in this case Alain Giresse. We do not want to steal the show, nor to take thirty goals, but we want to win.

He also stated that the club’s share of the proceeds from the match would be donated to the Fondation de France and to the Commission for the Protection against Drugs.

Tensions mounted further before the game, when the team sheets were handed in. Bordeaux had listed captain Alain Giresse, who stood at not quite 5’4″ tall, as their goalkeeper – with Bez having reportedly said to Giresse, “You’re the captain – you do it” – and the Nantes players were affronted that not only were Bordeaux not selecting a goalkeeper, but were selecting the smallest player in their team to wear the shirt. Furthermore, despite the goalkeeper’s shirt, Giresse would be playing as a ‘fly’ goalkeeper, outfield as much as anywhere else.

A crowd of just over 21,500 turned up to Stade Marcel Saupin for the match. To put that into context, Nantes’ average home crowd that season was just over 13,500, while Bordeaux’s was just over 16,000. Within four minutes, Nantes were two goals up, with Giresse having been almost in position the first, scored by Gilles Rampillon, and nowhere to be seen for the second, scored by Vahid Halilhodzic. Marius Tresor kept guard near the goal line, but scoring goals wasn’t quite as easy as one might have expected, for Nantes. Offsides were thrown up in the air, with attacking players frequently getting caught out by the numbers of defenders between them and the goal.

For all this, though, not having anyone in goal didn’t turn out to be some accidental tactical masterstroke. By the half hour mark, Jose Toure and Thierry Tousseau had doubled the Nantes lead, and when the fifth goal sailed in after 58 minutes, with Giresse standing on the edge of the penalty area looking somewhat lost, it was decided to make a very necessary change.

Tresor took over as goalkeeper and, after the rocky start of conceding within a couple of minutes, kept a clean sheet for the last half hour, quite possibly with Nantes players taking their foot off the pedal a little against fellow professionals who were ultimately being humiliated by the actions of their club’s owner. The match finished as a 6-0 win for Nantes. Bordeaux finished the season in fourth place in the table, a point behind Sochaux, six points behind Saint-Étienne, and seven behind the champions, Monaco. Nantes finished in sixth place, missing out on a place in Europe.

After the match, long-serving defender Patrice Rio said, “Under such circumstances, we were not having fun at all. We continued to play our game but it was a parody of football”, while goalkeeper Jean-Paul Betrand-Demanes was a little more succinct: “This match was a farce.” With the benefit of time, Alain Giresse has been able to be sanguine about it all: “Few players will be able to say that they have worn all of a team’s shirts from the start of the match.”

As French club and international football both grew throughout the first half of the 1980s, though, Bordeaux were a juggernaut that could not be stopped. They won Ligue Un in 1984 and 1985. The won the Coupe de France in 1986. They did the double in 1987. Meanwhile, Claude Bez was becoming locked in a rivalry with the similarly ambitious Bernard Tapie of Olympique Marseille, but Bordeaux’s pursuit of OM became the foundations of the club’s fall from grace.

In January, Bez said of Tapie: “Mr. Tapie is cancer for football. This man, everything he touches, he rots. Before him it was clean.” Soon after, he claimed to have arranged prostitutes for referees for European Cup matches, and in October of the same year, cases of overcharging fraud relating to the refurbishment of the club’s training ground came to light, leading to the tax authorities claiming several million Francs in unpaid bills from the club. With fraud charges pending, Marseille clearly in the ascendency, and his behaviour starting to border on the erratic, Claude Bez left the presidency of the Girondins in November 1990.

For the club, the fallout from all of this was disastrous. Functionally insolvent, they were relegated from Ligue Un in 1992. Bordeaux did bounce back, though. Promoted back at the first attempt, they reached the UEFA Cup final in 1996, before losing over two legs to Bayern Munich. Bez wouldn’t live to see them win the league again, though. He died from a heart attack in January 1999, at the age of 59. Girondins de Bordeaux lifted the Ligue Un title for the first time in 12 years at the end of that season.

In this century, they’ve won a league which has been dominated by two clubs – PSG & Lyon, both of whom have won it seven times each since 2002 – once, in 2009. Earlier this year, after their American owners confirming that they would no longer be funding the club and the collapse of the Mediapro television contract, Girondins de Bordeaux were put into administration.

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Two games into our new era and one point to show for it. Not the start we had been looking for but the draw against Cheshunt had been an improvement. We travelled in hope that the improvement continued.

Things didn’t start that well even the day before the game when Gary the Badge rocked up at Lewes station to buy the tickets. The Ticket Man said eighty three pounds. Gary said no because said fifty seven with a Groupsave.  Ticket Man insisted he was right but after much huffing and puffing and irate button pressing he decided we could go at the cheaper price. We thought it a bit underhand to try and deny us the cheapest price. It made us wonder how many passengers don’t query the price and just blindly pay what they ask?

So Steve Rook, Gary the Badge and PJ met up for the 10.57 train to London and located Polegate Roly in coach six. We didn’t fancy playing sardines on the tube in these Covid 19 times so we would be changing at East Croydon and Finsbury Park, getting to Potters Bar in plenty of time for a leisurely lunch. Or so we thought.

Even the best laid plans can go wrong. And ours certainly unravelled once we disembarked at East Croydon. Our ongoing train was cancelled as were the half-dozen following it. What the hell do we do here? The only option was to go into London and get on the tube. But we didn’t have tube tickets. “That will be OK” said the platform bloke in the hi-viz vest rather unconvincingly. “They will let you through”. After some frantic online searching for the best route we jumped on the next train to London Bridge. Then down to the Underground (exactly what we had tried to avoid) and onto the Northern Line for a short trip to Kings Cross, explaining at every barrier why our tickets didn’t work in the automatic gates.

We had missed a suitable train by three minutes. The next one was in best part of an hour. Great. That was lunch gone for a burton. By the time we would get to Potters Bar it would be too late. We had a wander around the Kings Cross area to see if anything would suffice but it was all tourist type places at tourist type prices and all full up anyway. There was a McDonalds but we refused to join a thirty yard queue for that. We do have standards. Disgruntled, we resigned ourselves to having a coffee in Starbucks (another place we don’t like) until our train turned up or joined the list of cancellations.

Yes! We had a train! Although a late platform change had us running like Forrest Gump from one end of the station to the other to get it.

Ten past two at Potters Bar station. No time for lunch. “We’ll get something at the ground” said Gary. To hell with that. PJ and Steve had other ideas and made a bee line for a promising looking chippy across the road. Once in range of the wafting smell of chips Gary didn’t take much persuading to join us. Our relatively modest order took an age to be served. We wondered if they had gone to dig the potatoes first. PJ looked at the Greggs just up the road and wished he had gone there instead for a couple of their splendid hot sausage rolls. Eventually our orders turned up and it was worth waiting for as it was all piping hot, freshly cooked and generous portions. Gary had ordered two fish cakes and chips, thinking that they would be normal Lewes chippy sized fish cakes. But these were the size of tea plates. We thought eight quid was a bit much and now we knew why. And so we began the long stroll up the hill to the ground while all munching on our chips. Not the usual sit down fill up that we like but it would in the circumstances. Good chips though.

Potters Bar ground isn’t a bad place to watch football. We just hoped we would see some. Lewes started sluggishly and the warning signs were there when a direct free kick crashed back off the Lewes bar. But within five minutes of that the home team were awarded a penalty which was slotted home. Lewes had plenty of possession but no cutting edge with the final pass always askew.

Lewes came out faster in the second half and made numerous chances but couldn’t put them away. It looked like another one of those days. The home team were tiring after working very hard for the first hour and it was now all Lewes. Into the last twenty minutes and Joe Taylor was bundled to the floor in the area while trying to turn and shoot. The keeper helpfully dived out of the way as Taylor himself thumped the ball down the middle to score. Three minutes later we had some pinball action in the box and Taylor again got his foot to the ball to poke it home. The referee, who had made a few inconsistent decisions, then outdid himself. He awarded an incredibly harsh second yellow to Colombie for apparently time wasting at a throw in. Something the home team had been doing in earnest since they took the lead. This was rather worrying with eight minutes still to play. We needn’t have worried though. The rampant Rooks carried on rampaging with Taylor finishing from close range with just two minutes remaining. Great stuff. A first win of the season sent us home very happy even after all the trials and tribulations of getting there.

***STOP PRESS*** Southern Rail were outrageously generous in their compensation to PJ for the cancellations and delay. A full £0.80p. At the time of writing he is in negotiations for something sensible.

The Stodgebusters will return at Merstham.

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I guarantee that by the end of this year, everyone will have heard of NFTs. Cards on the table, I had no clue what a NFT was until two months ago and now there is rarely a day goes by without seeing a reference to them. Over the last two weeks, NFTs have started to be talked about by rock bands, art galleries and even Disney. So, what are they and how could they play a part in the future of football?

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are digital assets. They may not sound appealing but they soon could be one of the most important transactional instruments used by us all. They are used to create and authenticate physical and virtual items such as sports memorabilia, art work and music. Simple, right?

Well, not quite. I’m not an expert on the in’s and out’s of NFT’s (but these guys are) and can explain it far better than I can. But since you ask, here’s a 5 second explanation on what they are.

A Non-Fungible Token is essentially a unique digital asset, which uses blockchain technology to verify its authenticity. There, simple. But who is talking about them, and why?

NFTs are unique – no two NFTs are identical, even if they represent the same item. A digital record is kept on a blockchain which includes information that verify the source and history of the NFT.

Let’s take the age old problem of ticket touting. It’s June and England have made it through to the European Championship semi-finals. Fans are allowed back into Wembley but as usual the touts have taken all the tickets and are asking £’000 for them. Some are genuine, others are almost perfect looking forgeries. The touts/scammers win, the genuine fans lose. A familiar story we have encountered for years.

The solution is NFT. Tickets can be issued as part of a blockchain. The blockchain will include full details of who the ticket was originally allocated to, what price they paid and whether it has been resold to someone else. Each one is unique and easily verifiable. If a ticket ends up in the hands of a tout, their details will be recorded and there will be a chain of transactions held within the blockchain. If the tickets are held digitally, then they can only be transferred from one holder to another through the blockchain application.

Each NFT, or in this case, ticket contains distinguishing information that makes it both distinct from any other NFT, or ticket, and easily verifiable. This makes the creation and circulation of forged tickets pointless because each item can be traced back to the original issuer.

The major growth in NFTs has been in collectibles including art works and sports memorabilia. By creating a single, global database of all art objects, the risk of buying a forgery or a stolen work decreases significantly, because every piece is tagged. The clever part of any blockchain application, such as NFTs, is that it can only be updated by consensus. That is, the everyone who is within the blockchain system must agree on additions and changes to the chain itself — something which becomes significant when you factor in that nothing entered into the blockchain can be removed. NFTs cannot be destroyed, removed or copied. One other interesting element, which has been ceased upon by the band Kings of Leon in releasing their new album is that ownership of NFTs belongs to the purchaser, not the licensor. So, if you buy their new album via a NFT, you own the music, not just the licence from the record company to listen to it.

If you think it is a fad, then think again. Nearly $200m has been spent on NFTs in the last three years and their popularity is revolutionising the collectibles space – The NBA has created an application called Top Shots for collectible ‘moments’ that is like ebay on steroids, where buyers digitally queue to buy packs of video clips from NBA games featuring a particular player and then can trade them on a blockchain market place.

It is only a matter of time before the Premier League wise up to the massive opportunity that NFTs offer. Whilst the ticketing concept is a step in the right direction for fans, the EPL will be eying the NBA model of how to monetise their teams, and the teams their players. Liverpool have already jumped onboard, partnering with Sorare in January to allow fans to purchase NFTs.

The French company has already put partnerships in place with PSG, Juventus, Porto, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for their fantasy football game where player’s performances impact the value of the NFTs, whilst Panini, for over 50 years the maker of physical football (and other sports) collectibles have already launched their blockchain-based solution and you can bid for NFTs from La Liga on their website.

The French company has already put partnerships in place with PSG, Juventus, Porto, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for their fantasy football game where player’s performances impact the value of the NFTs, whilst Panini, for over 50 years the maker of physical football (and other sports) collectibles have already launched their blockchain-based solution and you can bid for NFTs from La Liga on their website. It is only a matter of time before the whole tradition of “got, got, need” in the playground is replaced by trading across digital database applications such as this.

NFT’s may not be a new concept but they are making the jump from a cypto-application to one that can deliver some real benefits to traditional sporting models and challenges. It will take some clever marketing to get people comfortable with the idea but the possibilities are significant for clubs, governing bodies and fans. Let’s hope they are used “for the good of the game” and not just an excuse to extract another pound of flesh from fans.

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About The Taydal Stadium
North Road is a fairly basic affair and whilst the club are seeking the funding to improve facilities, we should hope to visit when the weather is inclement.  There is a decent-sized club house with a lean-to cover, whilst there is a small covered stand to the left of that as you look at it and a further bit of cover down the same side.  Behind one goal there is a covered stand to the side of the goal whilst the rest of the ground is open to the elements.  Food and drink available in the clubhouse.

How to get to The Taydal Stadium
This is the Rooks longest away league trip of the season both in terms of miles and time.  Head up the A23/M23 then Anti-clockwise around the M25, under the Thames (don’t forget to pay for your Toll online) and then at junction 28 head onto the A12 towards Chelmsford.  Stay on the A12 for almost 40 miles before taking the junction for A120 to Colchester North/A1232/Clacton Harwich.  Follow for around 5 ½ miles and then take A133 at the roundabout. 

After a mile turn left onto Great Bentley Road (B1029) then a right into School Lane after ¾ mile.  Turn right into Station Road after ½ mile and then 2nd exit at roundabout onto Clacton Road/B1027.  Next roundabout take 1st exit to Brightlingsea Road.  Then left into Ladysmith Avenue, left into Seaview Road, right into Spring Road and finally a left onto North Road.  Then pull up, breathe a huge sigh of relief and go and grab a beer.  That 129-mile journey should take around 2 ½ hours if you are lucky.  Street parking is your best option.

The nearest station is Alresford which is on the branch line from Colchester and thus requires a change there.  Journey time is around 1hr 20mins including the wait at Colchester.  From Alresford it is either a cab or the 87 or 62 bus from the station to Brightlingsea Spring Chase then a 5-minute walk to the ground.

Admission at The Taydal Stadium

Admission last season was £11 for adults, £7 for concessions (senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 18s admitted free of charge.  Tickets can be pre-purchased here.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is The Cherry Tree on Church Road which appears to do good food, although one reviewer on Google said that the ‘foul-mouthed’ landlord spoilt their afternoon. Ye Olde Swan is an Adnams pub in the High Street whilst in Brightlingsea Marina you may be able to track down a local Colchester Brewery brew. The favourite with the Rooks fans in previous seasons has been The Station Inn which is a 10 minute walk from the ground.

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Architect of Calm exhibits in The Rook Inn at Lewes FC for Artwave

Lewes’ annual Artwave show is coming up again, running from September 11th to 26th in various locations around the town and district. And this year, that includes the Rook Inn bar at Lewes FC’s Dripping Pan ground.

Vets footballer and architectural designer Scott Currie is showing off his artistic skill in the clubhouse, bringing his exhibition ‘The Colours of Equality’ to the Pan.

Scott Currie, founder of The Architecture of Calm, became interested in the Rooks after learning about Lewes FC’s ground-breaking equality initiative in 2017, whereby the club became the first in the world to assign equal playing budgets and resources to their men’s and women’s teams. As an ex-player himself (Newhaven FC), now with a small daughter who loves a kickabout and fervently supports Lewes FC’s women’s team, Scott decided to sponsor a match through his architecture business.

‘Not only did I sponsor the match, aligning with a very impressive, progressive set-up, but I also signed up to play with Lewes Men’s Vets – the over-35s team who train at the 3G pitch. Honestly, I’d describe playing with the Vets as ‘life-giving’ – my love of the beautiful game has been reignited. I’m so grateful to Lewes FC for that, and delighted to be showing my art at The Dripping Pan for this year’s Artwave’. I called the exhibition ‘The Colours of Equality’ because I love that this football club has reset the narrative around gender in football.

‘The club’s highlighting of the issue led to my exploration of what equality means generally, and how it may be represented visually. I thought about which colours were associated with the club and The Dripping Pan itself, and revisited – and even repurposed – previous work I’ve done sparked by movements like BLM. I sat with my work, and the longer I sat the more the meaning became clear’

‘Colours and form are important to me, as is the idea of place. As a designer of architecture, and as an artist, there’s an ever-present struggle to produce work that I find important. Maybe that’s why I keep creating – I’m sort of striving for something that doesn’t yet exist. I hope that visitors to The Rook Inn will see something of that process in the work’

Club director Karen Dobres commented, ‘Scott’s work will look beautiful on the walls of the Rook Inn and fans will enjoy the art as they down their Harvey’s or Prosecco. We’re grateful to Scott for choosing to exhibit here and hope to attract some new visitors to the ground during Lewes Artwave – as a community-owned club we love welcoming people in and showing them around!’

Artwave Festival runs from 11th through 26th September. The Rook Inn will be open during Artwave every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 12 noon and 10pm with free entry except when matches are being played. Matches are Saturday 11th September between 1pm and 5pm, Sunday 12th September between 12noon and 4pm, Saturday 25th September between 1pm and 5pm.

Scott Currie’s paintings are resin on canvas and acrylic on canvas.

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To bring a little bit of razzmatazz to the Rumbelows Cup, then the sponsor of the League Cup, Saint and Greavsie visited a special guest who had no idea who they were, what Rumbelows was or even what sport they were talking about. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you future President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

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“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
Chair Stuart Fuller
Directors Sue Anstiss MBE (co-opted), Ed Briggs, Charlie Dobres, Karen Dobres, Stuart Fuller, John Peel, Ed Ramsden, Claire Rafferty (co-opted) Trevor Wells
Chief Executive Officer Maggie Murphy
Club Secretary John Peel
Match Coordinator Jessie Maes
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager James Barker

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 Tony Russell
Assistant manager Joe Vines
Head of Recruitment Adam Drew
First team coach Dale Hurley
First team coach Nathan White
First team physio Lydia Woodland
Goalkeeping coach Grant Hall
Match logistics Vik Dogra
Kitman Clive Burgess
Data Analyst Shaun Harrison
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
Club Photographer James Boyes

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