Tuesday 12th October 2021 – 7:45pm – The Dripping Pan – The Isthmian Premier League
Welcome to The Dripping Pan for tonight’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game with Leatherhead. Here is your complimentary e-programme.
Good evening and welcome to our first game under lights here at the Dripping Pan. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Leatherhead.
Our season has been a bit stop-start in recent weeks. We have been unlucky to play a few teams who are still in the FA Cup which has disrupted our games. Naturally, I wish we were still in the competition but it is what it is and we wish Corinthian-Casuals, who we were due to play next Saturday good luck as they aim to reach the 1st Round stage.
It is fair to say that few, if any, of the 50 or so Rooks fans who went to the game on Saturday at Margate will have seen a better second half than that. It wasn’t just the five goals but the quality of the approach work and how we controlled the game. I know that Tony and Joe will have been disappointed with the goals we conceded in the first half but we always looked like scoring in the first half and we took it up a gear in the second period. This is a very special squad we have and so much hard work has gone on behind the scenes to get us here. That hard work will continue, even intensify as the weeks go on. We have a young squad, built around an experienced core who will get better with every game they play.
Last week saw our Men’s side in fronting the campaign to Call Him Out, aimed at challenging sexist and misogynistic behaviours. All of our management team, players, back room staff and directors have got being the social media campaign under the hashtag #CallHimOut and we hope many more will join the campaign. Unless we all play our part, we cannot expect everyone to change their attitudes and actions.
Our Under18s are in FA Youth Cup action here on Thursday night, looking to make it seven wins out of seven this season. They sit top of the Isthmian Youth League South, through to the next round of the Sussex Youth Cup and have an opportunity to progress in the premier youth cup tournament. It would be great to see a good crowd here on Thursday night.
Enjoy the game, get behind the team and Come On You Rooks!
Good evening everyone. Saturday was a great result but actually not that much different from the Hornchurch game, apart from scoring the five second half goals! Actually, it wasn’t too far away from our performance at Potters Bar Town where we conceded in the first half but battered their goal in the second period, coming away with three points. Against Margate in the second period we simply didn’t allow them out of their defensive third, putting pressure on them time and time again. When we spoke at half-time it was calm and we reiterated that there was no way Margate would be able to hold on to the lead if we continued to play the way we wanted to. We reaped the rewards in that second period for the hard work in the first.
The 15-20 minutes period in the second half was brilliant – we are devastating and few teams could live with that. We could have grabbed another couple against a really good Margate side who had been unbeaten at home before Saturday. We are seeing the same level of performance in training – our front three look scary, Taylor Maloney’s third man runs are paying off and we are all working so hard to win the ball back. It is all about maintaining that level on repeat.
Tonight we welcome Leatherhead, who parted company with Nikki Bull on Sunday. It is never nice to hear manager’s leave their roles – it is a really hard job, harder than most people imagine. It is a lonely place sometimes – a feel for Nikki Bull and I wish him all the best for the future.
Whilst it could be viewed as a great time to play a team, we are going to the game blind as to who will be taking charge of the team, what formation they will play and who will be in the line up. But we go into the game with our heads high and our performance from Saturday is exactly where we want to be. We respect everyone but on the other hand, fear nobody.
It was also great to see the fans enjoying the game on Saturday – it makes a huge difference for us away from the Pan to have that support so thank you to those who made the long journey but also to all the support we receive home and away.
Enjoy the game.
Football is powerful. Its influence goes beyond the pitch and beyond the full-time whistle. And, for now, football is a majority male sport, in participation and watching it.
So what better place to take action against the epidemic of misogyny, sexism and male-on-female violence.
Because it’s time, it’s way beyond time, that men took personal responsibility for what all women have to endure, day in, day out.
This is a problem for men to resolve, not women.
Lewes FC’s men’s team want to do something, as a group and as individuals.
From today, when anyone in the men’s team (and managers, and coaches) hears or sees something said or done by a workmate, family member, friend or anyone they’re with, that they feel is disrespectful, sexist or harmful in any way to a woman, whether she’s there or not, they will speak to that man and they will #CallHimOut. That might make them feel uncomfortable. But nowhere near as uncomfortable as the women on the receiving end of every demeaning comment.
Our men’s team are good guys, like so many men, but now is the time to take action. And that action will include each man also calling themselves out sometimes, by going back on an ill-judged comment, by saying “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that”. This is a decision that starts within each man, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
“What stuff should I call out? Who decides?” people (men) may ask. The answer is that each man will develop their own radar, their own code and will know, in their heart, when something needs to be called out.
This is something that every man can do and it will make a difference to women’s everyday lives.
ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PREMIER ROUNDUP – BY IAN TOWNSEND
We had a very quick start in the Premier Division this afternoon, the first ten minutes bringing eight goals across six matches.
Bowers & Pitsea hosted leaders Kingstonian, who knew that anything other than a win would likely see them deposed at the summit. The first goal took seventy six minutes to arrive, but when it did arrive it went to Daniel Ajakaiye for the K’s- his ninth of the season- and Kingstonian remain a point ahead at the top.
Bognor Regis Town have been climbing the table of late, and started the day in second place. They travelled to Cheshunt, and took the lead three minutes before the break when Ashton Leigh got his fifth of the campaign. The Ambers were given hope when Rocks Jordy Mongoy was dismissed seven minutes from time, but didn’t have time to make their man advantage count and Bognor held on for victory.
Corinthian-Casuals have been in fine form of late, but visitors Merstham didn’t care a jot about that when Dylan Adkei-Hersey put them ahead after just four minutes. It took until the last minute for the next goal- and we got two, both for the Moatsiders- John Ufuah and Tahjae Anderson making it three-nil.
East Thurrock United have something of an injury crisis, and fell behind midway through the first half when Joe Christou opened the scoring for visitors Hornchurch. The Rocks were soon level through Jon Benton, but when Liam Nash got his eighth of the season five minutes before the break it was advantage Urchins once more. The Rocks weren’t finished, and the impressive Alex Hernandez drew them level soon after the restart- his seventh goal of the season- but the next goal looked all-important, and it went to the visitors, Charlie Ruff with his fourth of the season but his first in the League.
As it turned out it wasn’t all that important after all. Three minutes from time Ben Wyss made it three-all, and the Rocks took all the points in the very last minute when Tom Barton got the winner!
Folkestone Invicta, unbeaten as they welcomed Brightlingsea Regent, knew that they had a chance of going top with victory – and they couldn’t have had a better start, Alfie Paxman putting them ahead after only three minutes. They doubled their advantage when Scott Heard scored on half an hour, impressing the vast majority of the nine hundred and eight in attendance, and made it three ten minutes after the break, David Smith with that one- his seventh of the season.
Alfie Paxman got his second of the game- and Invicta’s fourth- just after the hour, and although Reggie Gregory got one back for Regent with fifteen minutes left the last word went to the hosts, Ollie Freeman with number five right at the end. Invicta are fourth.
Haringey Borough were quickly ahead against Cray Wanderers, with Scott Mitchell scoring after just eight minutes at Coles Park, but they couldn’t hold on to their advantage and Jamie Yila equalised for Wands on sixty two minutes. A point each was the outcome.
Horsham, fresh from their midweek cup heroics, continued in similar fashion against Potters Bar Town with Harvey Sparks putting them ahead after only five minutes. They weren’t ahead for long, Nathan Livings equalising from the spot for the Scholars just three minutes later, and the visitors struck next, too, taking the points when Kaziah Sterling and Samson Esan got two in ten minutes towards the end. The Scholars are up to twelfth, the Hornets one place from the bottom.
Leatherhead, without a league win since the opening day, welcomed Enfield Town to Fetcham Grove. The visitors, who defeated league leaders Kingstonian in midweek, were two up by half time, Muhammadu Faal scoring from the spot on twenty nine minutes and Percy Kiangebeni doubling the advantage ten minutes later, and got their third and sealed the points seven minutes from time, Adam Cunnington with the goal. The Towners end the day in third, the Tanners hold up the rest.
Wingate & Finchley welcomed Carshalton Athletic to Summers Lane, and were rather too welcoming, the Robins going ahead on five minutes through Lewis White, but got themselves level sixteen minutes from time, Ibrahim Meite scoring from the spot. A point each was the outcome.
Worthing took on a Bishop’s Stortford side who were hoping that there wouldn’t be a Manager of the Month curse, but it looked as if there might be when first Marvin Armstrong and then Dayshonne Golding put the Mackerel Men two up before the break. The curse was confirmed when Golding got his second- and his sides third- eleven minutes after the restart, and although James Baker got one back to silence, at least for a moment, the one thousand, two hundred and forty four watching on, the hosts held on for victory and end the day in fifth.
MARGATE 2 LEWES 6 – SATURDAY 9th OCTOBER 2021
A scintillating second-half display saw Lewes come from behind to secure a superb 6-2 victory at Margate, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made two changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Hornchurch in their previous game, with Kenneth Yao and Michael Klass replacing Kyron Richards and Ayo Olukoga in the starting line-up.
Margate started brightly and were ahead after only four minutes, as James Bessey-Saldanha crossed from the left for Daniel Thompson to finish from close range.
The Rooks responded well though, and equalised just four minutes later from the penalty spot, Joe Taylor sending Pat Ohman the wrong way with his spot-kick after Yao had been tripped in the area.
The game continued to be an end-to-end contest and the hosts regained their lead on 16 minutes through Sam Blackman, who was on hand to finish from close-range after Thompson saw his header from a Ben Greenhalgh free-kick come back off the post.
Lewes began to enjoy more possession as the half progressed, with Ohman denying Razzaq Coleman De-Graft twice in quick succession as the Rooks looked to equalise for a second time.
The Rooks came even closer to levelling the scores just before the break, but Matt Weaire’s diving header from an Ollie Tanner corner cleared off the line.
Lewes remained on the front foot at the start of the second half and equalised on 54 minutes, as De-Graft latched onto a long ball forward down the left before cutting the ball back for Taylor Maloney to finish.
Margate thought they had taken the lead for a third time minutes later, only for the linesman to flag Blackman offside as he headed a Greenhalgh free-kick past Lewis Carey.
The Rooks made the most of this by taking the lead themselves on 58 minutes, Maloney taking a touch and finishing past Ohman from just inside the area after good play down the left by Tom Carlse.
There were jubilant scenes among the Lewes fans behind the goal as the Rooks made it 4-2 on the hour, Tanner picking the ball up down the left and beating several players before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Lewes were dominating the game at this stage, and Ohman had to be alert to deny Tanner after he superbly controlled a hanging cross from Yao before getting a shot away.
Tanner looked a threat every time he had the ball and he doubled his tally to make it 5-2 after 72 minutes, superbly flicking a pass from Carey past a defender before driving into the area and finishing into the bottom corner.
Ohman was once again called into action to deny Tanner his hat-trick minutes later, saving well at his near post as the Rooks looked for more goals.
Lewes were able to score a sixth on 83 minutes, Maloney latching onto an Ayo Olukoga through-ball before finishing past Ohman to complete his hat-trick and spark more wild scenes behind the goal.
This was how the game finished, leaving the Rooks fans to make the long journey home from Kent with three points in the bag after an outstanding second-half display.
Margate: Ohman, Lamb (Richards 65), Anderson, Agyemang, Knight, Swift, Palmer, Blackman, Thompson (Embery 68), Greenhalgh (Bola 68), Bessey-Saldanha.
Unused Subs: Gurung, Godo.
Booked: Lamb, Embery.
Lewes: Carey, Yao, Carlse (Colombie 82), Weaire, Nelson, Pritchard (Olukoga 80), Maloney, Klass, De-Graft, Tanner (Allen 82), Taylor.
Unused Subs: D’Arienzo, Parker.
Attendance: 611 (approximately 50 Rooks)
LEWES 1 HORNCHURCH 3 – SATURDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2021
Pictures thanks to James Boyes (@Gingeraction)
Two early goals saw Lewes suffer their first league defeat since the opening day of the season with a 3-1 reverse against a well-organised Hornchurch side at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell named an unchanged side after Lewes’ emphatic 4-0 victory at Brightlingsea Regent in their previous game.
The Rooks started brightly and could have taken the lead early on, as a Kyron Richards cut-back from the right found Taylor Maloney with time and space, but he saw his close-range effort well saved by Joseph Wright.
Hornchurch made the most of this let-off by going in front after just five minutes through Sam Higgins, who capitalised on hesitant defending to run onto a long ball forward and finish past Lewis Carey.
The visitors doubled their lead on ten minutes, as Liam Nash sent a close-range volley into the bottom corner after a misunderstanding at the back between Carey and Matt Weaire.
The majority of the crowd were stunned into silence by this quick-fire double and despite enjoying plenty of the ball for much of the remainder of the half, Lewes were unable to force Wright into any further meaningful action.
The best chance to add to the scoring before the break fell to Hornchurch, who saw Higgins cross from the left for Nash to send a powerful strike just over the bar.
The visitors made it 3-0 just before the hour, as Jili Buyabu got in behind the Lewes defence down the left before finishing across Carey and into the top corner.
Without playing badly for long periods of the game, the Rooks faced a difficult final half an hour as they looked to find a route back into the contest.
The spaces they inevitably had to leave at the back were nearly punished by the visitors, who saw substitute Charlie Ruff flagged offside as he finished from almost on the goal-line.
Lewes were able to pull a goal back with a minute remaining, as Freddie Parker found Joe Taylor in the area, who turned past his marker before beating Wright at his near post.
The visitors saw out the remainder of the the game comfortably, to leave Lewes to reflect on a frustrating start to the game which ultimately left them with too big a mountain to climb.
Lewes: Carey, Richards, Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, De-Graft (Allen 65), Olukoga (Parker 65), Pritchard (Klass 65), Maloney, Tanner, Taylor.
Unused Subs: D’Arienzo, Colombie.
Booked: Allen, Tanner.
Hornchurch: Wright, Parcell, Clark, Muldoon, Christou, Statham, Higgins (Ruff 56), Nash, Buyabu, Winn (Dickson 46), Johnson.
Unused Subs: Thackway, Hassan.
Booked: Christou, Winn, Ruff.
Referee: Alastar Higgs
ON THE ROAD WITH LEWES WOMEN – THE FAW CHAMPIONSHIP
SUNDERLAND 1 LEWES 1- SUNDAY 26th SEPTEMBER 2021
Lewes grabbed a well-earned point at Sunderland on Sunday in the FA Women’s Championship. The game was played at 49,500 seater Stadium of Light, the biggest venue that any Lewes team has ever played at. An early Rhian Cleverly effort was cancelled out by an own goal by Rebecca McKenna in front of a crowd of around 300.
DURHAM 2 LEWES 0 – SUNDAY 3RD OCTOBER 2021
A robust Durham side were hard to break and though the midfield was a fairly even battle it was the Wildcats who took the lead after 16 minutes, Lauren Briggs with the cross, Beth Hepple flicked on to Ellie Christon who found the back of the net.
Lewes defended well and though there were moments of creativity, Durham pressed high and in possession looked confident.
The Rooks had their share of good moments, switching play and reacting quickly when Durham were dispossessed but it was nearing half time when Sarah Robson almost headed home a goal from Hepple’s corner, eventually the ball found Bridgette Galloway’s feet among a pool of players to get Durham the scrappy goal on the 40 minute mark.
Heading into the second half, the lively Georgia Timms was hassling the defence and Balfour & Logan continued to link through to Ayisi, who often came out with the ball through some strong challenges.
An energised Lewes side, vocal and determined were unable to dominate enough to convert the ball in the final third. Hazard’s strike and Ayisi picking out Balfour was as close as it got to any signs of troubling the home side’s keeper. Ini Umotong joining the field had several late advances but to no avail. At the other end of the pitch Hepple saw her chance tip the crossbar.
In the last 10 minutes, Lewes looked like a side more conscious of their own ability and were more on the attack but the Durham defence remained tight. As the final whistle went, a disappointed Lewes reflected as a team and will take lessons from today into this week and be ready to come back stronger.
Simon Parker had this to say on the loss “We’re a little bit disappointed, we’re still learning, there will be some positives to take but at the moment we’re obviously not too happy.”
INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS – LEATHERHEAD
The modern Leatherhead Football Club was formed by the merger of Leatherhead Rose and Leatherhead United in 1946, moving into United’s Fetcham Grove ground – their current home – and joining the Surrey Senior League.
Leatherhead won the Surrey Senior League four times in a row, joined the Metropolitan and District League in 1950, and were founder members of the Delphian League in 1951. After seven seasons they moved on to the Corinthian League, and were its last champions in 1963 before joining the expanded Athenian League. They won Division One in their first season to gain promotion to the Premier Division and inaugurated their floodlights in a match against Fulham (who fielded a side that included George Cohen, Alan Mullery, Bobby Robson and Johnny Haynes). Leatherhead joined the Isthmian League in 1972.
In the 1974-5 season Leatherhead enjoyed a famous FA Cup run, dispatching Colchester United 1-0 in round two, while ‘Leatherhead Lip’ Chris Kelly’s goal defeated Peter Taylor’s Brighton and Hove Albion at the Goldstone Ground in round three. Leatherhead conceded home advantage to Leicester City in round four, and led 2-0 before eventually losing 3-2. In subsequent years Leatherhead enjoyed further cup success against Football League opposition, beating Ron Atkinson’s Cambridge United and Northampton Town at the Grove. In 1978, Leatherhead reached the final of the FA Trophy, losing 3-1 to Altrincham at Wembley.
In the League Leatherhead suffered relegation in 1983 and 1990, climbing back to Division One in 1997 only to be relegated again in 2001. A year later league reorganisation placed them in Division One South. Mick Sullivan led them to a fifth-place finish in 2010, suffering play-off defeat but winning the Isthmian League Cup. A year later Leatherhead beat Dulwich Hamlet 4-3 in a play-off final that went to extra-time, gaining promotion to the Premier Division for the first time since 1983, but were relegated again the following season.
A third-place finish in 2014 and play-off success against Guernsey and Folkestone Invicta – the final decided on penalties – saw Leatherhead return to the Premier Division. Jimmy Bullard was briefly manager during the 2016-17 season, to be replaced by Sammy Moore who took Leatherhead to their highest placing in recent years, just missing out on a play-off spot on goal difference. Moore moved on and was succeeded by Nikki Bull in 2018. In the last full season before Covid, 2018-19, the Tanners finished 8th on 65 points, to Lewes’ 11th on 60 points. In August 2021 Martin McCarthy took over as manager from Bull. As things stand going into tonight’s match the Tanner’s are going through a miserable run, winning just one of their ten league games; they are currently bottom on four points.
Martin McCarthy – Coach
Martin is a young coach who joined the Tanners in the summer of 2018 after three years in charge at Fleetdown in the Kent County League. When Nikki Bull was appointed in May 2018 in the player/manager role his first job was to appoint Martin as his assistant and he took over the reigns at the start of this season when Bull took a temporary leave of absence.
Manny Agboola – Goalkeeper
Manny made his Tanners debut in 2018 on loan from Oxford Utd where he spent five years. He was released in 2019 and subsequently played for Romford, Billericay, and Barking before joining the Tanners in September 2021.
Myles Bowman – Goalkeeper
Myles is a young goalkeeper signed on dual registration from Hampton & Richmond. Started out with QPR and has since played for Torquay Utd (loan), Beaconsfield Town, Hadley and Bracknell town.
Crossley Lema – Defender
Crossley is a full back who graduated through Sutton Utd’s academy side. Following a brief loan out in September 2019 he signed permanently for the Tanners in November.
Will Salmon – Defender
Will, centre-half and club captain began his career with Aldershot Town before moving to AFC Wimbledon and then Ebbsfleet United in the Conference in 2009. He switched to AFC Telford and was part of their Conference North promotion-winning side before moving to Bath City in the summer of 2013. He had a short spell at Woking before spending four years at Met Police. He joined the Tanners in May 2018.
Cameron Black – Defender
Cam is a young centre half currently on loan from Dorking Wanderers.
Graig McGee – Defender
Craig came through the Academy and Reserves ranks at Sutton Utd before signing on at Fetcham Grove in January 2019, quickly establishing himself in the starting X1 with a series of impressive displays.
Ryan Huckle – Defender
After 6 years with the Gillingham Academy Hucks joined Faversham Town in the summer of 2019 having spent some time on loan at Salters Lane during 2018. The combative central defender signed for Tanners in August 20290 and was an integral part of the side before the season was curtailed. Signed for Hastings Utd in June but returned to Fetcham Grove in August.
Adam Green – Defender
Full back Adam spent a number of years in the Brentford and Tottenham academies, joining Leatherhead Under 23’s last season and making the step up to the first team squad in the summer.
Misha Djemaili – Defender/Midfielder
Misha is equally comfortable at full back or in midfield, a member of the Essex County Schools side that won the English Schools Football Association Under 18 County Trophy in 2017. After starting out at Ebbsfleet’s Academy he had spells at Tilbury and Essex Senior League Leyton Athletic prior to joining the Tanners in February 2019.
Callum Manning – Midfielder
After a spell in Spain to further his football education Callum returned to England and signed for Dorking Wanderers in 2021
Andrew Briggs – Midfielder
Andrew plays in midfield and joined the Tanners from Lancing in August 2020. He was previously at Eastbourne Borough, making 20 appearances in the National League South in the 2018/19 season. He has also won representative honours with the Sussex FA.
Jedd Smith – Midfielder
Jeddis is a midfielder who came through the Academy at Dartford where he made one first team appearance. He joined the Tanners in the summer.
Jack Skinner – Midfielder
Jack signed on dual registration from Woking, this his third spell at Fetcham Grove after two previous loans in 2019.
Bayley Mummery – Midfielder
Bayley joined Leatherhead in the summer, a midfielder whose previous clubs include Ashford Town (Middlesex) and Met Police.
Alex Samizadeh – Forward
Alex is an Iranian-born striker who signed in July. The 22 -year old progressed through the youth ranks of Bolton Wanderers, subsequently signed for Kilmarnock, and more recently has had brief spells at Wealdstone and Burgess Hill.
Harry Laflin – Forward
Harry is a young striker signed by Leatherhead on dual registration from Ascot Utd in September 2021 where he was a prolific scorer, netting 61 times in 118 appearances.
The Tanners haven’t had the best of starts to the season, coming into the game in bottom spot. They started the season with an impressive 3-2 win away at Bowers & Pitsea with Alexander Sami netting a hattrick but haven’t picked up a point on the road since. After the home defeat on Saturday to Enfield Town, manager Nikki Bull left the club.
OUR LAST MEETING HERE – LEWES 0 LEATHERHEAD 1 – 7TH DECEMBER 2019
In the fourth meeting of the two sides of the season, Leatherhead recorded their first victory thanks to a 4th minute goal by midfielder Simon Mensah in front of 524 fans. At the time the Rooks were in 18th place, facing a hard winter ahead.
Rooks: Stroomberg-Clarke, Day, Redwood, Dome-Bemwin, Chappell, Malins (Dawson), Golding, Diedrick-Roberts (Yeboah), Gregory, Onovwigun (Medlock), Ilic
Subs not used: Reed, Popham
Leatherhead: Oualah, Driver (Seager), Lema, Mensah, Salmon, Nnamani, Gregory, Hester-Cook, Wood, Olutade (Robinson), Ikebuasi
Subs not used: Tennent, Figuerido-Correia, Dawkins
ON THE ROAD TO….WORTHING – SATURDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2021
About Woodside Road
After the main stand burnt down in 1985, the club have rebuilt the ground into one of the best in the Isthmian League. The impressive new main stand which is situated along the near touchline, dominates the ground and has been significantly improved over the past few years and offers some excellent views of the game. The stand also houses dressing rooms and function areas, as well as the Rebels’ Tavern, again, completely remodelled and modernised in the past few years.
For those wishing to stand, an alternative to the grandstand is provided on the touchline opposite, between the two dugouts. Behind and to either side of the cover is a grass bank that extends for most of the touchline, although there is also a small area of terracing at either end. Standing on the bank is prohibited, it remains a popular vantage point for many. There are further covered terraced areas at each end of the ground, where the acoustics are excellent.
There’s an outdoor bar area, which is very popular in the warmer months and the food, sold from the windows by the entrance, is hearty and well-priced. It’s been far too long since we visited for a league game and already Worthing is likely to be one of the best away trips of the season.
How to get to Woodside Road
Go West, as the Pet Shop Boys said, along the A27 until you reach the roundabout with the A24, then take a left and drive past the Black Horse pub on your left and keep driving past the Jet petrol station which will also be on your left. At the round-about, take the 2nd exit into Offington Lane. Remember that this is a 30mph road (watching the camera on your left) and carry on driving south. Continue to go straight on through the Thomas a’ Beckett traffic lights.
Follow the road round and go straight on at the first mini-roundabout. About 100 meters along you’ll see another mini-roundabout, take a left here into St. Lawrence Avenue. There’s another mini-roundabout which you should go straight across. 150 meters along there’s another mini-roundabout, this time take a right down Nutbourne Road and continue going straight (negotiating the s-bend!) to the next junction. Take a left down Bulkington Road and Woodside Road will be on your right in about 250 meters time although now would be a good time to park your car as Woodside Road itself gets very busy on match days.
Being a residential area, parking is tight. On match days, driving/parking down Woodside Road is not advisable. Try the roads situated around the ground: Bulkington Avenue, Nutbourne Road, Shermanbury Road, Gaisford Road, Woodmancote Road and at a possible Henty Road though this will get busy. Journey from Lewes should take around 20-25 minutes depending on the traffic.
The ground is half a mile from Worthing (BR) Central station. When you come out of the station, take an immediate right and walk parallel to the train-line down Cross Street. About 100 meters down the road, you will see a train crossing. Turn right here into South Farm Road. Take the next left down Pavillion Road and walk along here for about 400 meters where you will see Woodside Road on the right and the ground is about another 200 meters on the left.
Admission at Woodside Road
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £8 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under16s £3, 12 to 16-year olds £1 and accompanied under 16s are admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is The Brooksteed Alehouse, a micro-pub, on South Farm Road, which is well-worth a visit. The Corner House in the High Street is a free house and is also recommended. Close by is the Selden Arms in Lyndhurst Road which has a good selection of craft ales.
THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE (AS OF 10/10/21)
THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
MEN’S PATHWAY UPDATE
The Under18s continued their 100% start to the season with a 5-0 win against Whitehawk last Thursday thanks to goals from Charlie Gibson, Harry Margeson, Ben Hack and a brace from Kaiden Hummerston. The win sees the young Rooks top the table with three wins from three games.
On Sunday they took on Roffey FC in the Sussex Youth Cup at the Rookery and won 9-1 thanks to goals from Kiko Tanev (4), Kaiden Hummerston (3) and a brace from Harrison Page.
The big game is next Thursday when the team face Hemel Hempstead Town in the FA Youth Cup at The Pan, kick off 7:45pm. It would be great to see a good crowd in the ground to support our youngsters in what promises to be a fantastic season.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR FORMER ROOKS?
#1. Which Southern Combination League club does Chris Winterton regularly turn out for?
#2. Luke Blewden has scored a few goals this season for which team?
#3. Which of the following former Rooks has NOT played a competitive game for Whitehawk this season?
#4. Former winger Nicky Wheeler plays for which club?
#5. Former centre-back and captain Christian Frimpong is currently playing for which Isthmian League club?
#6. Former Rooks Stefan Ilic has been appearing for which National League side this season?
#7. Aaron Cosgrave was signed by AFC Wimbledon in the summer, but is currently on loan where?
#8. Sam Cole is still banging in the goals from centre-back for which step 5 team?
#9. Which former Rook has scored 3 times already this season for Bognor Regis Town
#10. Former Rooks skipper Jack Walder has been playing for which Step 5 side this season?
FUELLING THE DEBATE BY STUART FULLER
Of the myriad of events that could have impacted a third consecutive season of Non-League football, few would have thought it would have involved a lack of HGV drivers. However, we live in a world where Chaos Theory is as real as the red low fuel warning light on our dashboard.
Chaos Theory is a set of principals that try to explain why random things happen and don’t happen. The Butterfly Effect is part of the theory – the concept that something as minor as a butterfly beating its wings can divert the path of a tornado. In Non-League terms, a gradual decline in the number of available resources to transport fuel from refineries and storage to petrol station forecourts has led to a national crisis and the disruption of our game.
In the last few weeks there has been a lot of angry voices, raging at decisions by clubs to postpone games and as a football fan, who had a game or two myself lined up to watch, I can share some of their disappointment, although none of the anger. And here’s why.
As you move up the Non-League pyramid, the number of players who play for local clubs declines. Naturally, with bigger playing budgets, clubs can attract players from a wider catchment area. That means they will be travelling further to train and play matches. Some of the distances clubs need to travel in Non-League are significantly more than “local journeys”. In a time where key workers are being prevented from doing their jobs because of a lack of available fuel for their vehicles, it is sensible for clubs not to expect their staff to be making non-essential journeys.
This isn’t a long term issue – the likelihood is that within a few more days fuel availability will return to normal. For many clubs that means being able to rearrange games quickly where they will have full squad and staff available again. Whilst natural situations such as injury and suspension are part and parcel of our game, is it a level playing field if a team can only get ten players, no physio or even manager, to a game because of the situation we are in?
The Isthmian League gave all clubs playing this week an option to postpone their games should circumstances prevent them being able to play. I cannot comment on whether all clubs saw it as an easy option not to travel or host games, but I would like to think that those who did did so because they and their staff faced genuine issues. Likewise, if there was no option to postpone, clubs would have played on, doing the best they could to get players, staff and volunteers to the ground.
Lewes were in such a position ahead of our game this week with Carshalton Athletic. We would go into the game in fourth spot, with a fully fit and available squad, having won three of our last four games. We had sold a lot of tickets in advance and would have expected a crowd of around 500. But we started to see issues on Saturday with few petrol stations in and around the South East of England having fuel. One of our players ran out of fuel on the way home from the game. He took the risk of travelling to play for us, hoping there would be a petrol station on the way open. There wasn’t. Seventy two hours later and the situation is worse. As Chair, I do not want to put any of my players, staff or volunteers in a position where they have to put football at the expense of their families or work life – some of those unhappy with the decision to cancel games may not realise players have jobs outside of football, which require them to drive.
One of our Isthmian League neighbours called off their game, a relative “local derby”. Naturally, fans were angry about that but perhaps would have been a bit more understanding if they realized a significant number of their players travelled over an hour, normally by car, to get to the game.
I’ve seen a number of comments about using public transport. A fair point, but for most midweek games, because of the poor public transport in many areas that simply isn’t possible. If Leatherhead would have decided to get the train to Bognor Regis Town, their return journey would have seen them get back to Leatherhead at 5:47am. And having seen the amount of equipment that kitmen and physios have to bring to games, it is unlikely they would have been able to use public transport very easily. Public transport after 10pm away from the main routes is almost non-existent. Whilst trains could get players, staff and fans back to London from the furthest reaches of the Isthmian League, making the onward journeys home would be impossible for many. Of course, you could look at an earlier kick off but then that impacts players who have day jobs being able to get to the games on time.
By being able to postpone games with plenty of notice meant that clubs were able to reduce costs of things such as food and drinks for the bar that would be going to waste, allowing our volunteers and staff the opportunity to plan how they use their scarce fuel resources accordingly. Yes, some fans will be annoyed that their plans have been upset but hopefully the one thing we have all learnt from the last couple of years is that there are more important things to life than football.
THE STODGEBUSTERS CONQUER BRIGHTLINGSEA
The longest away league trip of the season and one of the most eagerly expected from a Stodgebuster point of view. We have waxed lyrical about Mac’s Plaice over the last few years and were looking forward to another visit. Oh, and the match too of course, hoping that the food wouldn’t be the only highlight of the day as has oft been the case in recent times.
Disappointingly only two of the gang could make the trip. The trains looked a right faff and at nearly forty quid each we decided to give them a swerve and drive it even if it meant doing battle with the infamous Dartford Tunnel. So it was just PJ and Gary the Badge who set off at exactly 10.03 and a bit for deepest Essex accompanied by the sounds from Planet Rock. The satnav always tries to guide you via the M23/M25 when heading that way but PJ always prefers the slower but very familiar shorter route via Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells. It was a regular commute for him back in the dark ages of the early eighties when he was young and handsome. The nineteen eighties that is.
All went swimmingly well until we hit the inevitable queue for the tunnel. About four miles of it, and all done at a snail’s pace. And they charge you for this. We wondered how much money they must take per day? Probably a figure close to what is under Turnstile Alan’s mattress. Where are all these people going? Judging by Brightlingsea’s gates they certainly weren’t going there. Clear of the tunnel we thought we might be the last we saw of queues. Not a bit of it. The A12 was stop and start for mile after mile but the reasons for it never became apparent. The minutes ticked by relentlessly and the mileage ticked down excruciatingly slowly. We began to wonder whether we would make it on time for our highly desirable lunch. We needn’t have worried. We rolled into Brightlingsea’s almost empty car park an hour and twenty minutes before kick-off to be welcomed by a surprised steward who was still putting his hi-viz tabard on.
Mac’s Plaice is barely five minutes walk away. Would they be open? Should we have booked a table? Had it changed hands and descended into mediocrity? No worries. Resplendent in our Lewes FC shirts, the owner recognised us immediately from our last visit and warmly welcomed us. We had the whole restaurant to ourselves which was odd as in the past it has been quite busy. Onto business, and it had to be cod and chips. Gary went for the medium cod this time as the large he had last time could have auditioned for the part in Jaws. But even the mediums when they came out were very impressive specimens and would be considered large anywhere else. A mountain of chips and a proper pot of tea with china cups too. It was absolutely superb. Why can’t Lewes chippys do fish and chips like this? PJ is a bit of a connoisseur on the subject and is a regular customer of Bankers in Brighton. That is an excellent fish and chip restaurant too but this was probably superior even to that. The owner came over for a chat and presented us a plate of scampi and calamari on the house. What a nice gesture.
It was a good job Gary tried the calamari first as PJ thought they were onion rings and would have had an unpleasant surprise. Further Lewes hardcore support rolled up for a takeaway in the form of Alec and Yeovil John. They know a good chippy too when they see one. We declined dessert even though the sticky toffee pudding and custard looked very attractive. We have our figures to think of after all. Overall it was great food, great staff and one couldn’t ask for more. We gave it a full ten out of ten on the Stodge-o-meter. A healthy tip was given along with a cheery “see you next year” as we left. We really hope Brightlingsea Regent don’t get relegated!
The walk back to the ground was a bit slower thanks to the extra weight we were carrying. After twenty minutes of banter and talking fish and chip meals with the usual suspects it was time for kick-off.
Lewes were on it straight away. The white shirts surged forwards making chances and it was no surprise when a Razz Coleman de Graft cross was soon thumped home by Ollie Tanner in a manner not too dissimilar to his first goal at Merstham.
Pretty soon Joe Taylor found himself with the ball on the edge of the right side of the box. A little trickery and then an inch perfect pass to Taylor Maloney running straight down the middle to smash into the net.
This was easy. Brightlingsea had no answer. The keeper and his centre backs were at loggerheads and their discussions cannot be printed here. Turnstile Alan, who is no stranger to loudly berating opposing defences, would have had a field day with this lot.
It didn’t take long into the second half for Lewes to make it three. A huge but accurate punt from Carey was misread by the aforesaid centre backs and Taylor put it straight into the net. Cue more loud animated and unprintable discussions between the keeper and his defence.
Brightlingsea to their credit kept going and knocked the ball around quite well but they offered very little threat up front while their defence was about as secure as a wet paper bag. The home number five was having a ‘mare and it got a whole lot worse when he got a straight red for lunging at Tanner, who had just gone past him as if he wasn’t there, and brought him down without getting within six feet of the ball. Now the home team were really up against it. The keeper, who was a decent sort and had engaged with some banter with us, then proceeded to make at least four brilliant saves to keep the score respectable but he could do nothing when Maloney run onto another ball across the box to slot home for four-nil. Fair play to the Regent fans though who were still singing in support of their beleaguered team.
What a great day it had been. A magnificent lunch followed by a magnificent Rooks performance with magnificently sunny weather. It doesn’t come much better than this.
We didn’t hang around too long after the final whistle. Just long enough to give the lads a well deserved round of applause and then it was into the car for the long journey home. Half a mile down the road there was a familiar figure walking away from the ground. The red-carded number five had decided to give his teams post mortem, and probably a personal roasting, a swerve and had left before the end.
The journey home was over an hour quicker so Gary got a bonus and was able to get indoors to catch Strictly Come Dancing.
AND FINALLY – WHEN WEMBLEY WAS BEING TURNED INTO A GIANT LASAGNE OVEN…OR NOT
I don’t know how I missed this story last year but it is an example as to how social media can fuel the wildest rumours.
Billy McLean, a 29-year-old London man, was just trying to give himself a laugh when he recorded a silly minute-long WhatsApp message about how the British government was going to start baking a gigantic lasagna at Wembley Stadium.
“Just so you know, my sister, her boyfriend’s brother works for the Ministry of Defense and one of the things that they’re doing to prepare […] is making a massive lasagne,” he said. “They’re putting the underground heating at Wembley, that’s going to bake the lasagne, and then they’re going to put the roof across and that’s going to recreate the oven, and then what they’re going to do is lift it up with drones and cut off little portions and drop them into to people’s houses, just to make sure that everyone’s eating still.”
McLean told The Guardian that he sent the clip to his soccer group, to his mother, and “to the girl [he’s] trying to date.” But before the afternoon was over, some friends and relatives that weren’t part of his original WhatsApp list were sending it back to him without realizing that he’s the one whose voice was on the recording.
A day later, the Football Association, English soccer’s governing body, was forced to confirm that it did not have plans to use the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium into a comically oversized, multi-story mound of lasagna. Amazing.
THIS EVENING’S TEAMS
CREDITS AND LEGAL
“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
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager James Barker
COVID Officer Lynne Burrell
Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres
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
Head of Performance Kelly Lindsey
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s Coach Jake Legrange
Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Paul Sheppard and Stuart Fuller
Club Photographer James Boyes