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


Good afternoon and welcome back to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League clash against Hornchurch. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials of the Urchins to East Sussex this afternoon and hope you enjoy our off the field hospitality.

It has been a couple of months now since the club enjoyed their finest ever day when they beat Hereford at Wembley in the FA Trophy Final. I was at Wembley for the game and there was no fluke about the Urchins performance – they were superb and thoroughly deserved their win. It was an unbelievable achievement, against a backdrop of restrictions on how they could train and prepare for each round but they showed dreams can come true and gave every club below Step 2 hope that major honours can be achieved.

Naturally, we hope they have left their Wembley form back in North London this afternoon and we can continue the fine run of form we are in. Two more wins since we were last here have seen us rise to second in the embryonic league table. There has been no fluke or luck in any of the last three comprehensive wins – OK, so apart from Tom’s wayward pass across the area in the opening minutes against Enfield Town that needed a superb save from Lew to stop the visitors taking the lead. The squad has a settled feel to it now and although Tony and his team are still on the hunt for additions to the squad, it is a case of evolution not revolution.

A lot of the footballing headlines this week have been dominated by clubs in crisis. Derby County, Reading, Rochdale and Oldham Athletic. All in the media for the wrong reasons, but it does demonstrate the surreal world of football, where normal business rules seem to go out of the window. In the case of Derby County, the ramifications could be huge, with debts of over £50m including unpaid tax and there is a genuine fear for the future of the club. They are not the first and certainly won’t be the last club that suffers financial chaos chasing the Premier League dream. In the case of Rochdale and Oldham Athletic, the issues are related to takeovers of the club where there seems to be a different agenda to seeing the on the field activity grow. The long awaited Fan-led review and subsequent actions may come too late for them.

On Sunday our Women’s team make their longest away league trip of the season as they head to Sunderland. Originally, the game was scheduled to be played at Sunderland AFC Ladies home ground at Eppleton Welfare Colliery. However, the game has now been switched to the 49,500 capacity Stadium of Light, which means a slice of history for the club as it will be the biggest stadium any of our sides have ever played in.

One final note to end on – I am sure many of you will have seen that we’ve announced this week Kelly Lindsey as our new Head of Performance. I’ve been lucky enough to know Kelly for a few months and the club have really pulled off a huge coup in getting someone as talented and experienced to focus on our future footballing strategy.

Enjoy the game and Come On You Rooks.



Good Afternoon and welcome back to the Pan. Three wins in a week puts us on par with where we want to be in terms of points per game. Last Saturday we went to Brightlingsea and came away with four goals, three points and a clean sheet – we couldn’t have asked for much more.

We are playing much better, as I am sure the fans who have made the journeys to Merstham and Brightlingsea will testify. We now have consistency both in terms of our line up and our performances which is what I had hoped we would have achieved by this stage.

We’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about today – we do not want to go into any game unprepared and so we have spent time working on both a plan to mitigate the Hornchurch strengths but also on our approach.

Every game we get under our belt, the quality is getting better. The squad are training really well – we push the boys hard but every week they are raising the bar and in some ways that makes Saturday’s easier. If they bring that same level from training into the game today we will be very difficult to beat.

We’ve got two massive games here in the next few days. Two really good sides, two really good managers. Looking at today, Stimmo has achieved almost everything in the Non-League game – I have huge amounts of respect for what they have achieved. He’s managed to keep a group of players together, his core, and they will be there or there abouts this season. It’s a great test for us as we will always take something away from the performance, win lose or draw.

Get behind the boys – your support has been brilliant this season and Come On You Rooks!



Biggest attendance this season – Worthing vs Bognor Regis Town (31/08/21) – 2,101
Lowest attendance this season – Wingate & Finchley vs Kingstonian (14/09/21) – 122
Top three clubs by average – Worthing (1,349), Folkestone Invicta (816), Lewes (766)

Top Scorers
Joe Taylor (Lewes) – 6
Lewis Manor (Bowers & Pitsea) – 5
Warren Mfula (Corinthian-Casuals) – 5
Oliver Pearce (Worthing) – 5
Alexander Sami (Leatherhead) – 5
David Smith (Folkestone Invicta) – 5
Gus Sow (Kingstonian) – 5

Highest Scoring Game
Bishop’s Stortford 2 Kingstonian 5 (21/08/21)

Longest Unbeaten Run
Folkestone Invicta – currently six games

Longest Run Since Last Win
Leatherhead – Five games

Best Current Form (Last six games)
Kingstonian – 15pts
Folkestone Invicta – 14pts
Lewes – 14pts


An impressive team performance saw Lewes record their first home win of the season with an emphatic 4-1 victory over a previously unbeaten Enfield Town side at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Metropolitan Police in the FA Cup, with Killian Colombie, Ayo Olukoga and Bradley Pritchard replacing Kenneth Yao, Michael Klass and Karl Dent in the starting line-up.

The visitors started brightly and came close to taking the lead early on through Muhammadu Faal, who latched onto a mis-hit Tom Carlse clearance but saw his close-range effort pushed over the bar by Lewis Carey.

From the resulting corner, a near-post flick-on evaded everyone before bouncing just wide of the far post.

Lewes soon started to dominate possession though, with Taylor Maloney being denied by Nathan McDonald in the visitor’s goal, before Bradley Pritchard missed the target at the end of an incisive passing move just minutes later.

The Rooks took the lead on 27 minutes, as a Maloney corner from the left picked out the unmarked Pritchard at the far post and he volleyed the ball back across goal and into the top corner to score his first goal for the club.

Lewes doubled their lead seven minutes later through Joe Taylor, who ran in behind the Enfield defence to latch onto a Carey goal-kick before lifting the ball over the onrushing McDonald and into the back of the net.

The Rooks were playing arguably their best football of the season, with Pritchard and Maloney pulling the strings in midfield and Razzaq Coleman De-Graft proving a constant threat down the right.

Maloney scored the goal his first-half display five minutes before the break, as he sent a superb 25-yard free-kick over the wall, past McDonald and in off the underside of the bar.

There was still time for Lewes to go close to adding a fourth before half-time, with Killian Colombie breaking forward from right-back before shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

The visitors found a way back into the game four minutes into the second half, as a long throw from the right found Faal unmarked in front of goal, and he volleyed past Carey to make it 3-1.

Lewes responded well to this though, with De-Graft being played in by Taylor before shooting over with only McDonald to beat.

The Rooks continued to press and restored their three-goal advantage on 54 minutes, Colombie applying the finish to an impressive passing move down the right by running in behind and slotting the ball under McDonald.

Long periods of the second half passed without goalmouth action at either end, as Lewes controlled possession and always looked capable of creating openings to add to their lead.

Carey was forced into two fine saves in quick succession late on to deny Jedemiah Gyebi and Rian Bray and ensure the game finished 4-1, a score-line which was a fair reflection on Lewes’ dominance for long periods.

After the game, Man of the Match Bradley Pritchard spoke to Joe Short about the game:

Lewes midfielder Bradley Pritchard says starting for the Rooks and getting on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Enfield Town was “refreshing” as the 35-year-old took the next step in his comeback from injury.

Pritchard put Lewes’ ahead midway through the first half and Tony Russell’s men saw themselves 3-0 up at the break thanks to Joe Taylor’s solo effort and Taylor Maloney’s rocket free-kick off the crossbar.

The summer signing then fed through full-back Killian Colombie for the fourth in front of the Rooks fans.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a goal!” joked man-of-the-match Pritchard after the game. “Actually to be honest it’s a while since I’ve played close to a full 90 minutes.

“But I enjoyed today. It was really refreshing. I started off the season with a couple of injuries, a few niggles, and tried to play through it but that didn’t work out. I was just exacerbating the injuries, so I had to just rest for four or five weeks, which is always quite hard when you’re watching the team.

“But when I got the opportunity to start, you want to have an impact in the game.”

On his goal he said: “A few of the boys were asking if I meant it! It was nice to get that goal, especially as I’m known more for assists.”

The fourth, a well threaded pass from Pritchard that Colombie finished through Enfield goalkeeper Nathan McDonald’s legs, the midfielder said: “Look, if you don’t have the player making the run then you’re not going to be able to play it. It was a really good set from JT, and Killian made the great run which made it simple for me to play it through.”

“It’s a really good thing and quite exciting, as it helps us continue and build that momentum,” he said.

“We’ve had a bit of a slow start trying to get to grips with the way we play, different personnel coming in and out. So it’s quite nice to have another game so soon, because we can at least look to continue this form.”

More pictures from the master James Boyes, can be found here.

Lewes: Carey, Colombie, Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, De-Graft, Olukoga, Pritchard (Parker 89), Maloney (Klass 81), Tanner (Allen 83), Taylor.

Unused Subs: Richards D’Arienzo.

Enfield Town: McDonald, Chappell, Smith, Thomas (Maja-Awesu 75), Gyebi, Bray, Kiangebeni, Youngs, Coker (Cunnington 46), Faal, Della-Verde (Taaffe 67).

Unused Subs: Joseph, Kirwan.

Booked: Gyebi, Taaffe.

Referee: Nicolas Metcalfe

Attendance: 523


The names may change due to sponsorship, but do you know where they are?


#1. Who plays at the LA Construction Stadium?

#2. If you were watching a game at the Camping World Community Stadium, who would the home team be?

#3. Where is the Crucial Environmental Stadium located?

#4. The Prokit UK Stadium is home to which club these days?

#5. Who calls The Westminster Waste Stadium home at the moment?



A brace from Ollie Tanner and an impressive Kyron Richards strike helped Lewes to a well-deserved win at Merstham, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell named an unchanged side after Saturday’s impressive win over Enfield Town.

The Rooks enjoyed plenty of possession early on and came close to taking an early lead through Razzaq Coleman De-Graft, who saw his strike from the edge of the area helped round the post by Toby Bull in the Merstham goal.

Lewes didn’t have to wait long to go in front though, as good play down the right from De-Graft ended with his cross being emphatically finished into the top corner on the half-volley by Ollie Tanner to make it 1-0 after only eight minutes.

The Rooks were controlling the game and for long periods of the half, it looked like just a matter of time before they would add to their lead.

Taylor Maloney and Joe Taylor both narrowly missed the target, before Taylor was then denied twice in quick succession by Bull, the first of these saves coming after a superb back-heel from De-Graft played the in-form striker through on goal.

It was therefore against the run of play when Merstham equalised on 36 minutes, a Dylan Adjei-Hersey corner from the right being headed into the bottom corner by the unmarked James Richmond to level the scores.

Lewes continued to dominate possession and regained their lead on the stroke of half-time, as substitute Kyron Richards sent a superb strike from the edge of the area past Bull and into the top corner at the end of an impressive move that had seen both Tanner and Taylor go close.

Merstham started the second half brightly and came close to equalising for a second time within minutes of the restart, as Lewis Carey had to be alert to push a powerful Adjei-Hersey effort round his near post.

The hosts were enjoying arguably their best spell of the game so far, but Lewes always posed a threat going forward and doubled their advantage on 61 minutes through Tanner, who cut inside from the left and found the bottom corner with an accurate finish.

After playing such impressive football for much of the first half, Lewes managed the game well for the remainder of the second, restricting Merstham to a goalmouth scramble that was eventually cleared and a Chace Jacquart strike from the edge of the area that went wide.

The Rooks nearly made it consecutive 4-1 victories with the last action of the game as they won the ball back high up the pitch and saw Maloney hit the outside of the post from 20 yards.

This was another impressive result for Lewes, with the 50 or so Rooks fans able to enjoy their trip back down the M23 with three points in the bag.

Merstham: Bull, Williams, Mason, Greenwood (Dillon 57), Lloyd, Richmond, Gharbaoui, Jacquart, Folkes (Makofo 68), Adjei-Hersey, Anderson (Dickson 68).

Unused Subs: Monga, Palmer.

Booked: Bull, Williams.

Lewes: Carey, Colombie (Richards 40), Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, De-Graft, Olukoga (Klass 68), Pritchard, Maloney, Tanner (Allen 69), Taylor.

Unused Subs: Parker, D’Arienzo.

Booked: Colombie, Richards.

Referee: Farai Hallam

Attendance: 177 (Approx. 50 travelling Rooks)



Hornchurch’s interesting mixed fortunes history dates back to 1923 when the team were formed as Upminster Wanderers. They played in the Romford League until 1938 when they stepped up to the Spartan League, at the same time dropping the ‘Wanderers’ from their name as an original Upminster club had folded several years earlier.

When action resumed in 1945 after the war Upminster were promoted to the Premier Division in 1951. They joined the Delphian League a year later, changing their name to Hornchurch & Upminster as they prepared to move into the new Hornchurch Sports Stadium. They took up residence there in November 1952. It is actually in Upminster, though in 1960 that town was dropped from the club’s title and it became Hornchurch FC. A season earlier, in 1959, the club had been elected to the Athenian League. They were to win the Division One championship in 1967 but were relegated in 1969 and promoted back again in 1971.

1974/5 saw the club reach the Fifth Round of the very first FA Vase competition losing to one of the eventual finalists. That performance helped the club’s election to the Isthmian League. In 1978, they once again suffered relegation, gaining promotion three years later. Apart from a tenth-place finish in 1995, it would be 19 years before the Urchins finished in the top half of the table again. They survived several brushes with relegation before losing their Division One place in 1986. Matters became even worse in 1989 when a fire destroyed the clubhouse, taking many years to recover.

Mick Marsden was appointed manager in February 1998 and in his second season in charge of the club took them to fourth place. Things were soon to change dramatically as the club was taken over and restructured. 2002 brought promotion to Division One North as the league was reorganised and in 2003 the Urchins moved into the Premier Division for the first time. Much work was done on the near-derelict stadium, allowing the club to take its place in the new Conference South after finishing fifth in 2003-04. Equally notable that season was a run to the Second Round of the FA Cup beating Darlington 2-0, before Tranmere won a controversial 1-0 victory in front of TV cameras and a capacity crowd at Bridge Avenue.

Under manager Garry Hill, the team stormed to the top of Conference South, yet on a grim Thursday in November the entire squad was released. They had reached the First Round of the FA Cup before the collapse and the tie at Boston United was fulfilled by six debutants and a collection of youth-team players who took an early lead and gave a valiant show before going down 5-2. That season descended into chaos. Almost 100 players wore first-team shirts as new manager Tony Choules contrived to avert relegation despite a ten-point deduction.

The off-pitch affairs could not be resolved and the club reformed under the name AFC Hornchurch, to be placed by the FA in the Essex Senior League. Former youth manager John Lawrence took charge in May 2005 and a brand-new Urchins squad proceeded to run away with the championship, and also won the league’s two cup competitions becoming the first side to achieve the treble. Despite this success Lawrence was replaced as manager by Colin McBride for the return to the Ryman League, where the Urchins romped to a second successive title. They also won the Essex Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Success continued in the Premier Division as they finished fourth to secure a play-off place but lost 3-1 in the semi-final to AFC Wimbledon in front of a crowd of 2,897 on a memorable night at Kingsmeadow.

Things were still not right off the field, and manager Colin McBride took control of the club as Chairman midway through the 2009-10 campaign in an effort to stabilise problems from the previous regime. His assistant Jimmy McFarlane took over team affairs and the ‘two Macs’ achieved their ambition the following season as the club returned to Conference South. However, a second Essex Senior Cup triumph 2012-13 provided scant consolation in a relegation year. Back in the Ryman League the Urchins enjoyed a 15-match unbeaten run early in the 2013-14 season, maintaining their challenge for promotion to the end. They eventually scraped into fifth place on the final day reaching the play-off final with a 1-0 victory at Kingstonian, but losing 3-0 to Lowestoft Town in the final.

The club’s hopes of regaining their Premier status quickly was not to be as they lost the 2016 play-off final to Harlow Town, and the 2017 semi-final to Thurrock. However it was third time lucky when in season 2017-18 they won the Bostik North by 13 points.

Hornchurch started life back in the Premier Division quite well but fell away and in November when long-serving manager Jimmy McFarlane stood down and in his place the club appointed current manager Mark Stimson. A final position of 15th was obtained. The club reached the final of the Velocity Trophy (League Cup) but were beaten 2-0 by Enfield Town. They also reached the semi-final of the Essex Senior Cup going down 3-1 to Chelmsford City.

An application was made to the Football Association to revert back to the club’s previous name and so for season 2019-2020 the club were no longer AFC Hornchurch but Hornchurch FC. Despite the Covid disaster of the last two seasons the FA Trophy competition continued and, on Saturday 22nd May 2021, Hornchurch FC lifted the FA Trophy for the first time in their history beating Hereford 3-1.

Last Saturday the Urchins put in a professional performance to overcome Essex Senior side Walthamstow 4-1 in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.


Mark Stimson – Manager

Mark signed his first professional playing contract with Tottenham Hotspur in 1985, and in 1989 he moved on to Newcastle United where he made over 80 appearances. After former manager Jimmy McFarlane left following a 10-year stint in charge Urchins appointed former Gillingham boss, Mark, in November 2018. Mark, who also played for Portsmouth and Southend, is one of the most accomplished non-league managers in the game having enjoyed FA Trophy triumphs with Grays Athletic (twice), Stevenage, and last year with the Urchins. He recently agreed a two-year contract extension with the club as they look to build on the foundations already in place for further success.

Joe Wright – Goalkeeper

Joe joined Hornchurch from Enfield Town in May 2019. He is a former Queens Park Rangers youth goalkeeper who signed for Enfield in June 2017 from Bishop’s Stortford, where he had two spells. He has also represented Billericay Town, Hendon and Welling United.

Mickey Parcell – Defender

Mickey is a full-back signed from Enfield Town in June 2019. He had joined Town ahead of the 2015/16 season after starting out at Torquay United on a two year scholarship there.

Rickie Hayles – Defender

Rickie originally joined Hornchurch in January 2010 and made an immediate impression in the centre of defence. He has returned to Hornchurch for the fourth time. Amongst his previous clubs are East Thurrock, Canvey Island, Bishop’s Stortford, Welling Utd, Dulwich Hamlet, and Billericay Town.

Remi Sutton – Defender

Remi joined Hornchurch from Enfield Town in February 2019. He started out at Basildon Utd and has also played at Greenwich Borough, and Thurrock.

Maxwell Statham – Defender

Maxwell joined Hornchurch in September 2021. The centre back, who can also play right back, was part of the Tottenham Hotspur U18s and U23s before joining Watford in September 2020.

Jordan Clark – Defender/Midfielder

Jordan signed for Hornchurch and made his debut in August 2018. Previously with Thurrock he made 39 appearances in his final season at Ship Lane scoring 8 goals.

Joe Christou – Midfielder

Joe signed from Tilbury in October 2014 and made 15 appearances that season before moving to Thurrock where he made 104 appearances, scoring 19 goals. He had a brief spell at East Thurrock Utd before joining up with Mark Stimson at Waltham Abbey at the start of the 2018/19 season. He re-signed for Hornchurch in December 2018.

Ollie Muldoon – Midfielder

Ollie is a Charlton Athletic youth graduate who had spells on loan at Gillingham and Dagenham & Redbridge.  He joined up with Gillingham again in 2016 before moving to Maidstone United where he made 42 appearances in the National League. Ollie joined Hornchurch in October 2020 from Chelmsford City.

Charlie Ruff – Midfielder

Charlie joined Hornchurch from Potters Bar Town in October 2020. He has previously played with Hertford Town, Broxbourne Borough, Kings Langley, and Wingate & Finchley.

Ellis Brown – Midfielder

Ellis is a winger who joined Hornchurch in February 2020 from Merstham FC. He spent last season at Waltham Abbey, winning player of the year and reaching double figures in his goal return as a wide player. He is a product of the Charlton academy where he spent 10 years, and has also played for Southend, and Thurrock.

Lewwis Spence – Midfielder

Lewwis (not to be confused with Lewis or Lewes) signed for Hornchurch in June 2018. His previous clubs include Crystal Palace, Wycombe Wanderers, Rushden & Diamonds, Dover Athletic, Bishops Stortford, Greenwich Borough and Thurrock.

Sakariya Hassan – Midfielder

Sak progressed through the Hornchurch youth system and made his debut in December 2019.

Jili Buyabu – Midfielder

Jili joined Hornchurch in September 2021 and made his first start for the club at home to Margate, a game the Urchins won 2-1 with Jili assisting the first goal.

Sam Higgins – Forward

Sam played for Millwall and Southend Utd in their youth set up before joining Hornchurch in 2008. He has had two spells at Hornchurch, playing for Brentwood and Fisher Athletic in between, but he is better known for his goal-scoring feats at East Thurrock Utd where he scored 275 goals in his ten seasons there. Sam re-joined Hornchurch in July 2020 from Chelmsford City.

Liam Nash – Forward

Liam is a highly prolific striker who turned professional in 2017. He joined Gillingham FC then spent some time in Ireland, at Cork City, before returning to England. He played at National League sides Hemel Hempstead, Dartford and Concord Rangers where he continued an impressive goal scoring record. He has also played overseas for pro club FC Boca Gibraltar, but decided he wanted to return to the UK and joined Hornchurch in October 2020.

Chris Dickson – Forward

Chris signed for Hornchurch from Hampton & Richmond Borough in July 2019. He has also played for Charlton, Bristol Rovers, and Crewe Alexandra, as well as spells overseas, in Cyprus and even a brief spell in China. His five year spell in Cyprus saw him play Champions League and Europa League football with AEL Limassol during the 2012/13 campaign. He represented Ghana at full international level, making 2 appearances during the 2008/9 season.

Ronnie Winn – Forward

Ronnie signed for Hornchurch in December 2018 from Waltham Abbey, a forward who can also play wide left. He previously played for Redbridge, and Thurrock where he made 120 appearances scoring 31 goals.

Charlie Stimson – Forward

Charlie signed from Waltham Abbey in December 2018. He is a centre forward who played for Thurrock for six seasons where he scored 70 goals in 220 first team appearance. He has also played for Gillingham, Barnet and Tooting & Mitcham United.



Lewes 0 Hornchurch 0 – Wednesday 12th February 2020 – Isthmian Premier League

In Hugo Langton’s first game in charge, The Rooks gained a valuable point in a nil-nil draw in a tight game at The Pan. In a game of few chances, Hornchurch were reduced to ten men in the 35th minute when Mickey Parcell was shown a straight red.

Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Day, Redwood, Taylor, Chappell, Malins, Reed (Conlon 53 mins), Hammond, Medlock (Halsey 89 mins), Golding (Dome-Bemwin 80 mins), Hatzimouratis

Subs not used: Freeman, Diedrick-Roberts

Booked: Redwood

Hornchurch: Wright, Parcell, Sutton, Lee, Cooper, Johnson, Saunders, Clark (Stimson 90 mins), Dickson (Cureton 70 mins), Uchechi (Christou 46 mins), Cunnington

Subs not used: Dutton, Winn

Booked: Cunnington

Sent-off: Parcell

Attendance: 269


A dominant performance saw Lewes record their third consecutive victory with a well-deserved 4-0 win at Brightlingsea Regent, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that won 3-1 at Merstham in midweek, with Kyron Richards replacing Killian Colombie in the starting line-up.

The Rooks dominated proceedings early on and took the lead after ten minutes through Ollie Tanner, who finished into the roof of the net after a Razz Coleman De-Graft cross had been helped into his path by Ayo Olukoga.

Lewes doubled their lead just four minutes later, Taylor holding the ball up well before playing in Taylor Maloney to finish from just inside the area.

The Rooks were looking comfortable in possession and continued to press for a third goal, but Regent held firm.

The hosts came close to pulling a goal back themselves later in the half, with Lewis Carey denying Marcus Goldbourne twice in a matter of minutes to keep the score at 2-0 approaching half-time.

Lewes nearly added to their lead with the final action of the half, but saw a lob from Tanner just miss the target after a diagonal ball to the left had caused confusion in the Regent back line.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first – with Lewes creating chances – as a quick counter-attack from a Regent corner ended with Olukoga clear through on goal but being denied by Turner.

The Rooks scored the third goal their performance deserved on 54 minutes, as a goal-kick from Carey was misjudged at the back, and Taylor beat Turner to the ball before finishing past a defender on the line.

Lewes dominated the remainder of the game, with De-Graft missing his kick at the far post from a Tanner cross with the goal at his mercy, before seeing a curling strike from the edge of the area clip the top of the bar on its way over.

The hosts were reduced to ten men with 11 minutes remaining, as captain Chris Ribchester was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Tanner.

The resulting free-kick taken by Maloney was pushed round the post by Turner, who then had to be alert to push a Michael Klass header over the bar, keep out a shot on the turn from Taylor and deny Iffy Allen as the Rooks finished the game strongly.

Lewes scored a fourth goal during injury-time at the end of the game, as an Olukoga ball in from the right was well left by Taylor, allowing Maloney to take a touch and finish past Turner to send the Rooks fans home happy from their longest away trip of the season

More pictures from the game can be found here.

The Rooks are back at The Pan next Saturday when they host Hornchurch, kick off 3pm.

Brightlingsea Regent: Turner, Smith-Walter, Wales (Ager 65 mins), Durling, Ribchester, Thompson, Goudlbourne, Bradford (Booth 46 mins), Feyi, McDonald, Gilbert (Byrne-Hewitt 64 mins)

Subs: Bennet, Clowsley

Booked: McDonald

Sent off: Ribchester

Lewes: Carey, Richards, Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, Coleman De-Graft (Allen 75 mins), Olukoga, Pritchard (Colombie 85 mins), Maloney, Tanner (Klass 83 mins), Taylor

Subs: Klass, Parker, Allen, D’Arienzo, Colombie

Booked: Weaire, Maloney

Attendance: 183 (approx. 25 travelling Rooks)


“Build it and we will come” is the immortal line from the film Field of Dreams (and Wayne’s World 2) where a farmer is encouraged by a vision in his sleep to build a baseball field on his farm. As an economist,  the concept that you can create demand for something by artificially creating or inflating supply is an interesting idea and is certainly the mantra that has worked Qatar in their realising their dream of hosting the FIFA World Cup Finals (that and a pot of cash like no one has ever seen).  Alas in English football it has also been the rhyme of fools more too often, with clubs investing heavily in redevelopment and new stadiums only to see them sitting virtually empty on a match day such as MK Dons stadium or not even used for football at all such as the Ricoh Arena, the home of Coventry City.    

But sometimes things in football can go spectacularly wrong.  The strange tale of New Brighton Tower FC, who played in a stadium on the Wirral that had a capacity once of 100,000 (read the full story here), which was for a time the largest stadium in England.  However, they lost that honour in the early part of the 20th Century to a London club few football fans have ever heard of – Thames FC.

Picture with thanks from

Back in 1928 a consortium of businessmen heralded the opening of the West Ham Stadium in East London.  Built with a capacity of 120,000 it was the biggest stadium in England at the time and was earmarked to compete directly against Wembley Stadium, opened five years previously, as a venue for all sports.  Initially the stadium was used for Greyhound and Speedway racing although the owners soon saw that football was the way forward.

An application was made to join the Southern League for the 1928/29 season where they competed for two seasons, finishing in third place in 1930.  The owners felt that the club were perfectly placed to compete in the Football League, and surprisingly their application to join was accepted from the 1930/31 season, taking the place of Merthyr Town.

Alas, with clubs like West Ham, Clapton (Leyton) Orient, Millwall and Arsenal all located close by, the general public of East London failed to warm to the new League club and crowds were appallingly low.  In fact, in December 1930 they set the Football League record for the lowest ever attendance (that still stands today) of just 439 for the game versus Luton Town.  In that first season the club  finished in 20th place (out of 22 clubs), with an abysmal away record of taking just three points from a possible forty two.

The following season it got worse for the club.  Crowds rarely broke the 5,000 mark and on the pitch they struggled to string any positive results together.  At the end of the season they finished bottom, five points adrift of Gillingham.  Rather than apply for re-election the owners simply admitted their mistake and withdrew the club from the Football League.  There was talk of a merger with Clapton Orient but within a few months of leaving the league, the club were no more.

The stadium continued to host greyhound and speedway right up until 1972, although the capacity was reduced due to safety issues at regular intervals.  Finally it became too expensive to run and the ground was sold to property developers.  Today, it is a housing estate with nothing to show for its proud history than a few street names with nods to the sporting stars that were once performed there. Just a few hundred yards north of where the West Ham Stadium stood, just the other side of the A13 is the Terence McMillan Stadium which does today host local sides Athletic Newman and Clacton, famed for their Ultras.

The TerryMac, as it is known locally, opened just as the West Ham Stadium was closing, with the growing East End community in mind as an integral part of the Prince Regent Playing Fields. Whilst today the games held here, such as for my visit to watch Athletic Newman versus Hackney Wick FC in the Eastern Counties League One South, are played out in front of crowds measured in the tens, the stadium did open in an auspicious fashion back in February 1976 when a fundraiser was held for West Ham United’s full-back Frank Lampard. Back in the day when players were loyal to their clubs, playing more than often for their local team throughout their career rather than chasing the cash, testimonials were granted after a player had been at a club for ten years. Ironically, out of the three Premier League players who have been at their club for ten years or more, West Ham captain Mark Noble is the longest serving with 16 years consecutive service (Lewis Dunk at Brighton & Hove Albion and Leighton Baines at Everton is the other).

Entry for the game between East Ham United and West Ham United on that day was 45p, about £3.50 today, where a crowd of 4,250 saw the Hammers, who included Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Greaves and Lampard himself, beat East Ham, who fielded George Best, 8-7.

Thames FC could have made a huge difference on football if the locals had got behind the team.  With no London team at the time having a real impact on English football with the right support they could have today been challenging the Manchester clubs for honours and resources….possibly.


Our Under18s face an away tie in the next round of the FA Youth Cup, travelling to Raynes Park Vale FC to take on Kingstonian on Thursday 30th September, who overcome Three Bridges last week on penalties. In league action, the team hosted Bognor Regis Town on Thursday night at Haywards Heath Town FC. A full report of the 2-1 win will be in Tuesday’s programme.

This season we also have a new Under14s league, also managed by Dale Hurley. They have won three out of three so far, beating Horsham, Patcham United and Allstars Eastbourne last Sunday. One of the squad, Callum Erskine has been invited in for a trial with Brighton & Hove Albion.



CTLA provide transport in the Lewes area, Lewes FC are proud to be associated with this charity and applaud the community work they do. In the past they have provided LFC mini-bus transport to away games with the facility for taking up to 3 wheelchairs on each bus. Like LFC, they are community focused and we look forward to seeing  Mark, Kerrie and Gina their representatives at the Pan for this game. Jeff Sheldon a member of the Supporters Club Committee has kindly sponsored the use of a Beach Hut for CTLA, the SC are proud to be supportive of local charities.

CTLA is pro-active and innovative and seeks to meet the needs that public transport leaves unmet. As a charity we are determined to examine ways of providing support for individuals and groups in the community and in the process address social isolation and loneliness and contribute to improving health and wellbeing. 

CTA is the national representative body of voluntary sector transport operators covering the whole of the UK. It is the UK’ s biggest provider of quality, training and information on accessible, voluntary and community transport and has been in the forefront of promoting minibus safety for over 20 years.

CTLA is sustainable only with support from the public, local authorities and other grant funders.



We were back in good spirits after Saturday’s demolition of a highly fancied Enfield Town team. We needed that after the terribly disappointing performance the previous week which saw us exit the F.A. cup at the first hurdle yet again.

Merstham haven’t exactly set the league alight so we all quite fancied a good result at Moatside.

Four Stodgebusters, PJ, Gary the Badge, Steve and Turnstile Alan, met up at Lewes station for the 17.57 train to Merstham, changing at Gatwick to a Thameslink service. A short-ish journey but we were still full of trepidation as every time Alan joins us on a train journey there is some kind of delay. We still haven’t forgotten the horrendous journey to Carshalton a couple of years ago that he accompanied us on that resulted in us being stranded on a platform and having to go find a taxi with a constant “I wish I’d driven” in our ears. He really isn’t a fan of trains.

PJ had dragged us bunch of old codgers into the twenty first century for this game. The Stodgebusters have gone paperless! PJ had purchased E-tickets online for the first time, thus ensuring we got the Groupsave price of a tenner each without having to argue again with the obstinate Mr Ticket Man at Lewes station who doesn’t know his companies discount schemes. 

We joined Roly, who was already on board brandishing his 1970’s style paper ticket, and settled down for the first leg to Gatwick. It was all going too well. Gary was just casually checking what time our connection was at Gatwick when he noticed that our ongoing train had been cancelled. Bleedin’ Thameslink! The next train would get us to Merstham at 19.38. That would give us seven minutes for the fifteen minute walk to the ground. And we don’t do running at our age. Much cursing followed, although it was very quiet cursing. We are gentlemen after all. Well, most of us.

“Who’s going to tell Alan?”

“Well I’m not. He’ll go nuts, especially as he offered to drive us to the game. You tell him”.

“No I’m not telling him. Let’s see what happens at Gatwick”.

“I think we should start calling him Jonah”.

The later train got later and later according to the online tracker. We might make it there by half time. There was more cursing and threatened boycotting of future trains. We even had to consider getting a taxi at Gatwick as a Plan B.

We plucked up the courage to admit to Alan that there might be a slight problem with the connection. It didn’t go down that well.

Then, out of the blue, the original train was uncancelled! Plan A was back on. Who understands the workings of a rail company? We wished we hadn’t mentioned it to Alan. He would have been none the wiser.

We stood looking at the departure board at Gatwick. Yes, there was our train and on time too. There was total carnage elsewhere though with delays and cancellations left, right and centre due to a vehicle hitting a bridge somewhere and a power failure. There would be some very annoyed commuters trying to get home, but we would see kick off at Merstham.

It’s a strange entrance at Moatside. The turnstiles are down an alley and through a gap in a hedge. Not the easiest place to find in the dark. Once inside it was time for some Stodge. Gary, as usual, was away like Usain Bolt to the food bar for what turned out to be an extremely average burger and chips. PJ followed up a close second and settled for just a hot dog with onions as he’d already been out for a proper Stodgebuster lunch a few hours earlier. Al went for just chips. The hot dog was rather disappointing. The sausage within was OK but the bun felt like it was two days old and the onions were pretty bland. The tastiest part was the ketchup. So it was a Stodge-o-meter rating of a lowly 5 for the Merstham catering.

The Rooks started where they finished off against Enfield Town. We showed plenty of movement, fluidity and passing with Brad Pritchard at the centre of it again. Turnstile Alan carried on where he had finished on Saturday too by loudly pointing out to the home keeper and defence their deficiencies. There was only one team in it and it was absolutely no surprise Lewes took the lead when an unmarked Ollie Tanner got on the end of a cross at the far post and crashed the ball high into the net.

Chances came and went. A few misses. A couple of good saves. Lewes really should have been three up approaching half time. Then the inevitable occurred. A flurry of Merstham corners and the third one finds the head of their number 6 at the far post and its one-all when in truth Lewes should have been out of sight. The Rooks were straight back at it though. After a series of blocked shots substitute Kyron Richards, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, had a go from the edge of the area and it flew high into the net. What a beauty and totally deserved.

Merstham  had a right go in the second half. Carey had to make a couple of decent saves but Lewes had good chances too. We all breathed a little easier after Ollie Tanner took on his marker down the left, beat him and planted a lovely curling shot just inside the far post for three-one.

We didn’t have a huge amount of time to play with after the game so we moved around towards the exit for injury time. Unfortunately Steve didn’t anticipate the player’s gate being opened at the final whistle, got caught up the wrong side of it and had to wait for all the players to stroll off as they do. So it had to be a slightly brisker walk back to the station than we planned. But we needn’t have worried…………..yes, the train was late. We didn’t care though. Three points and a good performance made us all very happy bunnies on the journey home.

 The Stodgebusters will return at Brightlingsea Regent and Johnny Mac’s Plaice.

Sunderland AFC Ladies vs Lewes Women – Sunday 26th September

FAW Championship – The Stadium of Light

Lewes FC manager Simon Parker says the international break has given his staff more time to get to know the players following the multiple changes to the squad over the summer months.

The Rooks have claimed three points from their opening two fixtures in the Women’s Championship this season and head to Sunderland on Sunday seeking to topple the division’s current leaders.

The international break means Parker troops have had to wait a fortnight to get back into competitive action following the 1-0 win over London City Lionesses earlier this month.

And the boss believes the time away from competitive action has been invaluable to helping the squad gel further.

“The international break has meant we’ve had a little bit of time off. We did a slightly different session on the Tuesday after the London City game – more of a team bonding session,” said Parker.

“It’s been good to break away from fixtures, to have the opportunity to rest and also work on team things.”

Parker made plenty of changes to his squad during the off-season and enjoyed plenty of strong results during friendlies. But he admits the squad is only being properly tested now that competitive games are back.

“The squad is developing quite a lot. As a coaching team we’re learning a lot about them,” he said.

“We had our preseason and it’s different in friendlies because they’re not competitive, so you don’t always get to see everything until you get to competitive games.

“Potentially some of the friendlies we had we were the dominant team in, so we didn’t get to see all aspects of what the players bring – the defensive side, for example. But the competitive games have given us an opportunity to really get to know the players better, and we’re still learning the best combinations of using them are, who works well with someone else. We’re still building those relationships.

“Obviously the longer we’re together the more we learn that and the players learn off each other, so it’s developed a lot since the start of the summer but it’s still going to take a little bit more time.”

The Opposition

Sunderland sit top of the table heading into the weekend, having claimed seven points from their opening three games. The club were promoted to the FA Women’s Championship in the summer and Parker believes they have adapted well to the next division thanks to their strong team unit.

“They’ve been doing really well. We’re kind of contrasting a bit because we’ve had quite a big turnover of players, while they’re fairly solid in what they do,” said Parker. “From the majority of the games they’ve played this season, there’s only been two changes from the team that was there last year.

“So with Charlotte Potts at centre-back and Emma Kelly in the centre of midfield… apart from that there’s a lot of players – well, nine of them – that were there last year. I’m sure they’ve added to the squad and the bench as well.

“They’re a team that knows each other, knows how they work. It’s probably reflected in their start to the season. They look organised, everyone knows what they’re doing and they’re picking up results. I think they’ll be happy with the start that they’ve made.”

Indeed, wins over Coventry United and Blackburn kicked off the campaign with goalkeeper Claudia Moan keeping back-to-back clean sheets. Their last outing was a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, where Keira Ramshaw earned Sunderland a point with a 72nd-minute strike.


Will appear here around 2:30pm


If you can find a worse penalty decision than this one, given against Carshalton Athletic last Saturday in the FA Cup against Ebbsfleet United then I will buy you a pint*

*other drinks are available and the decision of the programme editor as to whether the penalty is worse is final.

“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

Director of Performance Kelly Lindsey

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