Tuesday 23rd November 2021 – 7:45pm – The Isthmian Premier League

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


Good evening and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this evening’s Isthmian Premier League game against Corinthian-Casuals. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from South West London and hope they have a safe journey home. A big shout out to my good friend and photographer extraordinaire Stuart Tree who has been capturing the Casuals on film for many years.

Wow. Where do we start about Saturday? I couldn’t have been proud of everyone associated with the club, whether that was the fans, the players, the volunteers or the management – everyone paid their respects to Dave in the best possible way. It was a hard day for many of us but what a way to remember him with a three-goal victory that lifts back up to third place.

For me, the real positive was the performance of our back four, who I thought were immense. Tony mentioned in his notes on Saturday about how the squad gets better with every game they play and that was certainly true at the back against Folkestone Invicta as our defence was solid as a rock. We know we have goals in the tank – we are currently the top scorers in the four Isthmian Leagues – which is why it is so important that we develop that defensive strength.

We are fast becoming a team to be feared – Tony and Joe said it would take some time to build the squad and getting them playing in a way they want and we are now seeing that starting to happen. It is an exciting time to be a Rooks fan that is for sure!

On Sunday our Women’s team brought back all three points from their game against Sheffield United, following up from the impressive win against Coventry United last week. The win means we are just three points off second place in the league – unfortunately we now have a ridiculous four week break in league fixtures which makes it incredibly hard for Craig and his team to maintain that momentum they have built.

Finally, I’d like to welcome back onto the board John Peel as well as the newly elected directors. John and I work incredibly close together on the footballing side of the club, along with Ed Briggs and his knowledge, input and analysis of games goes unnoticed by many so I am so glad to have him back in the back room. I look forward to working with Sally, Lucy and Scott, and would also like to thank Jamie and Matthew for their applications and hope to see them stand again in the future.

Get behind the boys tonight and Come On You Rooks!



Saturday was a very emotional game for us all – it was a strange atmosphere – a mix of sadness but also a celebration. I don’t think you could have written a better ending than what we saw with two late goals in front of the Philcox Stand. We soaked up a lot of pressure in the second half and when that second goal went in, the noise was the loudest I’ve heard since I have been at the club. From a tactical standpoint, that was as good as we have played this season. The Folkestone front two are goal scoring machines and so we worked on an approach to stifle the opportunities they would get and I thought Mitch, Will and Michael Klass were excellent in that respect. Our first goal was one straight from the training ground and the patterns we put in place.

At half time Vinesy and me told the players we wanted them to give everything in the second half and win the game for everyone out there. We sat back a bit too much in the second period and invited pressure, although I thought we handled it very well and restricted them to just one shot on goal. To play a side as good as Folkestone Invicta, who I have a lot of respect for, and restrict them to so few scoring chances is really pleasing.

Tonight will be a tough one. I’ve watched Corinthian-Casuals a few times. They are very attacking and they have turned over some good sides this season including Worthing. Tactically, we need to be sharp again and it is not ideal that we don’t have a chance to get a session as a squad in before the game tonight but that’s the same for them. However, the squad knows the expectations and the way we want to play. If we execute our game plan off the ball then when we have the ball we will cause issues to them going forward – we know we can score goals so it is getting the tactical approach when we don’t have possession, such as we saw on Saturday right. One thing is certain, with two teams who are attack minded, it should be a good game.

Enjoy the game and get being the boys.



On Monday 22nd November the club held its Annual General Meeting online. At the meeting the results of the election were announced. Our owners had been voting to elect four new directors from a list of six candidates. Congratulations to Sally Taplin, Lucy Mills, Scott Currie and of course the returning (did he ever go away?) John Peel.


On Thursday night the club were delighted to be revealed as winners of the Culture Pioneers Inclusion Award. The annual Culture Pioneers Awards recognises the most driven and innovative people professionals shaping company culture . The Inclusion category is for organisations who are on the journey towards creating meaningful, sustainable improvements in workplace inclusion and belonging, rewarding people leaders and teams who are working to create a psychologically safe environment in which every employee feels respected and valued as their authentic self within the business.

Many thanks to Karen Dobres for submitting our application and everyone at the club who contributes on a daily basis to making our club an inclusive organisation.


Pictures thanks to James Boyes


Pictures James Boyes

On an emotional day at the Pan, Lewes produced a fine performance to move back up to third in the table with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Folkestone Invicta

Tony Russell made two changes to the side that beat Haringey Borough 4-2 in their previous league game, with Killian Colombie and Michael Klass replacing Kenneth Yao and Ayo Olukoga in the starting line-up.

Before the game, fans, coaching staff and players paid tribute to supporter ‘Cynical’ Dave McKay, who sadly passed away last weekend, with a minute’s applause.

Lewes started the game on the front foot and came close to taking an early lead through Joe Taylor, who shot wide after being played through by Bradley Pritchard.

The Rooks saw a lot of the ball throughout the first half, but were finding it difficult to turn this into clear-cut chances against the well-organised visitors.

That was until Ollie Tanner put them ahead on 28 minutes, collecting a pass from Taylor before beating two defenders and sending a shot just under the dive of Timothy Roberts and into the back of the net.

The visitors nearly equalised immediately, as a mis-hit Kieron McCann cross from the left deceived Lewis Carey and hit the inside of the far post before bouncing clear.

Lewes came close to making the most of this let-off just before half-time, as Roberts made a smart save to keep out a shot on the turn from Will Salmon after Folkestone had been unable to clear a Taylor Maloney corner.

The visitors enjoyed arguably their best spell of the game immediately after half-time, as Tom Carlse blocked a goal-bound effort from Scott Heard after good work down the left by Adam Yusuff, before McCann cut inside from the left and sent a powerful strike just wide of Carey’s near post.

The Rooks always posed a threat going forward though, with Tanner latching onto a superb Michael Klass through-ball and lifting his attempt over the onrushing Roberts only to see it cleared off the line by a covering defender.

Folkestone continued to push for an equaliser but were unable to turn this into a spell of meaningful pressure, a comfortable Carey save to deny Joshua Vincent being the closest they came to equalising.

The Rooks doubled their lead and secured the win in injury-time, as Maloney found the bottom corner at the second attempt from just inside the area after excellent work down the left by substitute Razz Coleman De-Graft.

Lewes fans were still celebrating this goal when they scored a third with virtually the final kick of the game through Taylor, who chipped the ball over Roberts and into the far corner from a difficult angle at the end of an incisive counter-attack involving Carlse and Maloney.

This was a big win for the Rooks as they leapfrogged their visitors back up to third in the table in front of over 800 supporters at the Pan.

Lewes: Carey, Colombie, Carlse, Salmon, Nelson, Klass, Pritchard (Olukoga 75), Maloney, Tanner (Gillela 84), Allen (De-Graft 71), Taylor.
Unused Subs: Weaire, Parker.
Booked: Nelson, Gillela.

Folkestone Invicta: Roberts, Vincent, McCann (Wright 78), Newman, Davies, Johnson (Draycott 85), Heard, Dolan, Smith, Yusuff, Paxman.
Unused Subs: Borrello, Everitt, Collins.
Booked: Newman, Dolan, Yusuff.

Attendance: 801


We haven’t played many games on the 23rd November is recent history so today’s quiz is all about our FA Trophy tie against Hemel Hempstead Town, played here at the Dripping Pan on Saturday 24th November 2018.


#1. Which Lewes player is now playing their football in the USA?

#2. The Rooks opening goal scored in the 74th minute was scored by which full-back?

#3. How many of the Lewes starting XI now play for Whitehawk?

#4. Who scored the Rooks 90th minute equaliser that took the tie to a replay?

#5. Who was in goal for the Rooks?




Corinthians were founded in 1882 by the Football Association to develop a club capable of defeating Scotland! In essence Corinthians were the first England team. Between 1883 and 1890, 52 of the 88 caps awarded against Scotland went to Corinthian players. In fact, in 1894 and 1895, Corinthians fielded the full England side twice.

Corinthians’ most famous stamp on modern football is a legacy of their 1910 tour of Brazil during which their performances so impressed the locals in Sao Paulo that they formed their own club of the same name. Corinthians Paulista went on to become one of the best-supported and most successful clubs in Brazilian football.

Hidden away in the suburbs of south-west London is King George’s Field, home to Corinthian-Casuals. The club in its modern guise was formed In 1939, the Corinthians merging with Casuals FC to form Corinthian-Casuals, wearing the pink-and-chocolate shirts of the Casuals, who had their own proud history, a strong force in the early amateur game.

1988 was a truly historic year as the club returned to Brazil where they faced a Corinthians Legends side, featuring Brazilian greats Rivellino and Socrates. Indeed, Socrates played for both sides, pulling on the pink-and-brown of the Casuals midway through the second half in a moment that has gone down in the club’s folklore. They visited Brazil again in 2001, and in 2007 were invited to play at the newly reopened Wembley Stadium to celebrate 125 years of Corinthian football. In 2015, they played the Corinthians Paulista first team in front of 30,000 people. The game ended 3-0 to the Brazilian side.

James Bracken’s arrival as Manager at the start of the 2015/16 season heralded the start of a new era at Corinthian Casuals. James led his team to their second consecutive play-off Final in 2017/18. In 2018, after two years of pushing, they achieved promotion to the Isthmian Premier – the highest level the club has reached – and retained their status despite being the only amateur team at that level of English football.

In the summer of 2019, the club made its first foray into Europe for many years, participating in the inaugural Egri Erbstein Tournament in Hungary. The occasion was celebrated by the UK Ambassador to Hungary who hosted a reception at the Embassy in the club’s honour.  After beating Budapest Atletikai Klub (BAK) in the semi-final, Casuals triumphed 1-0 over Testveriseg SE with a last minute winner in the final and lifted the trophy in Budapest. At the time of writing the club sits just below mid-table after 14 games.


James Bracken – Manager

James’ managerial record includes steering Sutton United reserves to three consecutive Suburban League Premier title wins. He collected seven trophies in 2015 with the U’s as well as picking up Ryman Youth ‘Champion-of-Champions’ in 2016. Since leading Casuals James has steered the club to two playoff finals, a promotion, and the highest level in the club’s history.

Danny Bracken – Goalkeeper/Captain

Club Captain and Casuals legend Danny has edges toward 500 competitive appearances since joining in 2010. A schoolteacher, Danny began his career at West Ham United before joining from Tooting and Mitcham. He was named Isthmian League South keeper of the year on three consecutive seasons amongst multiple club honours.

Jack Tucker – Defender

Jack is a full-back who joined Casuals from Eastbourne Town where he received Manager’s and Player’s player of the season plaudits; described as a firm fan favourite at King George’s.

Andrew Mills – Defender

Andrew is described as an Imposing centre-back who returned to the club after playing at King George’s under previous Manager, Matt Howard, back in 2015. He was initially coached through the Woking academy.

Jack Strange – Defender

Jack is a young defender who scooped all of the player awards at the end of the last completed season. He joined from Sutton United where he captained the Youth side under James Bracken to unprecedented success. 

Ricardo Thompson – Defender

Ricardo joined Casuals over the summer from Whyteleafe as an exciting addition to the back line.

Wasiri Williams – Defender

Wasiri is a Nigerian-born centre or full-back who joined the club in summer this year from Staines Town.

Hakeem Adelakun – Midfielder

Hakeem is a former Crystal Palace youngster who signed from Horsham in 2018. Hakeem is considered a powerhouse midfielder and has had spells at Margate, Whitehawk, Carshalton Athletic, Lewes, and Havant & Waterlooville amongst others.

Ben Cheklit – Midfielder

Ben rejoined Casuals from Carshalton in 2019. He started his career with Anderlecht and played for several clubs in Belgium.

Kieron Cadogan – Midfielder

Kieran joined Casuals back in 2020 and has made a real impact ever since. He played 21 times for Crystal Palace under Neil Warnock, scoring on his debut against Coventry City in 200,. After four seasons at Palace, he’s since played for Aldershot, Barnet, and Sutton United amongst others.

Alfie Bendle – Midfielder

Alfie is a young teen highly rated by his parent club AFC Wimbledon. Previously with Brighton’s Academy and spent some time with Lewes, he has signed scholarship forms with the Dons.

Elliot Bolton – Midfielder

Elliot is a 19 year old centre midfielder who has joined on loan from AFC Wimbledon and has impressed so far.

Emmanuel Mensah – Midfielder

Manny joined Casuals this summer 2021 from Whyteleafe. The midfielder was a mainstay of a successful AFC Wimbledon Youth side a couple of seasons ago before signing for Hastings United.

Nathaniel Pinney – Forward

Nat began his career at Crystal Palace where he made two senior appearances before eventually finding his feet in non-league. Wilfried Zaha is  said to have named Nat as the player he could not displace in the Palace youth set-up!

Warren Mfula – Forward

Warren first signed for Casuals from Dartford in their inaugural Isthmian Premier season in 2018, and is back after a two year absence. So far he has notched nine goals in all competitions.

Bobby Mills – Forward

Bobby has impressed the club in pre-season, scoring five in all competitions, since joining in the summer from Merstham. He was part of an exciting AFC Wimbledon youth side before going on to Bromley, and Hampton & Richmond.




A late James Hammond strike by James Hammond was enough to earn the Rooks all three points in this close encounter. With the clock edging towards the 90th minute Hammond took a pass from Peter Gregory on the edge of the box, span away from his marker and slotted it into the corner of the net.


There is an inherent jealousy in football. Fans will go to great lengths to disparage the supporters of rival, more successful teams. Many managers will use all the tactics in the book to get under the skin of their opposing number in the dugout. We will all marvel as successful teams falter but few will really believe their own words when they root for the “plucky underdog”. But once in a while there will come a team who virtually the whole of the game will be willing to win, even though the chances of that happening are so slim.

The story of Marine AFC’s FA Cup run and subsequent 3rd round draw to face Tottenham Hotspur last season has been well documented, but the most interesting aspect to me wasn’t the game itself but how the club adapted their business model in the face of adversity to financially benefit beyond their wildest dreams.

Every season Non-League clubs up and down the country hope that this will be “the” season. A run of good early season form, a slice of luck and some cup heroics is the. normal formula that sets up the David vs Goliath tie. Two seasons ago it was Chichester City away at Tranmere Rovers, this season we have seen Horsham travel to Carlisle United and Bowers & Pitsea take on Lincoln City, next season it could be anyone, but every club will hope it is them. In most instances, the David’s will get the neutrals on their side, as well as the bitter rivals to Goliath but that never really translates into anything apart from platitudes.

The draw for last season’s FA Cup Third Round saw Marine paired with the then Premier League leaders, but more importantly, with the Liverpool area moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Pandemic restrictions, they would be hosting the game in front of fans. Not as many as they hoped, but even so the stands and the terraces on their three sided Rossett Park ground would be full come Third Round Day.

Unfortunately, on New Year’s Eve due to escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases Liverpool once again entered Tier 3 which meant that there would be no fans able to attend the game. Whilst the Match of the Day cameras would bring in some vital revenue, the club faced losing out on the gate receipts. That was until someone came up with the idea of selling a virtual ticket for the game.

There’s a saying that is often used to explain the relationship between price and demand. The simplistic view is that when price rises, demand falls. But that isn’t always the case because price is only an issue in the absence of value. Value is something that is very subjective – people don’t donate to charity for instance because they physically get something in return, they do it because they believe in the cause and they feel better about donating – the value is altruistic.

For the price of a standard match ticket of £10, you were entered into a prize draw to be the manager for a game in pre-season. But that wasn’t the value, the value was knowing that you were “virtually there”, being a part of the club’s biggest ever game. The club didn’t have to create a sales pitch, the tipping point was the circumstances the club found themselves in, a unique set of fortunate events that they could either take advantage of or pass on, potentially never presenting themselves again.

The original aim was to sell enough tickets to beat their record attendance of approximately 6,000 when they took on a bare-foot Nigerian team in 1949. Two days before the game they passed that number, then hitting 10,000 with twenty-four hours to go.

By the time the game kicked off, the club had sold over 30,000 virtual tickets at £10 each, including one each to the BBC MOTD team Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer. The 6.8 million who tuned in on the BBC, plus 1.3 million on iPlayer saw the side from the Northern Premier League put up a spirited performance, but as soon as Spurs took a first-half lead, there was never a doubt about the end result. For the 30,000 plus who bought a virtual ticket, the value they got wasn’t being entered into the prize draw to manage the side in a pre-season game but it was the feel-good factor of being a part of the club’s most famous day.

Virtually all of those who bought a ticket will have watched the game with the warm feeling that they had played their part in the match. To most, £10 was a small amount that makes little difference to our daily lives, but to a non-league club who had been denied the opportunity to earn it themselves in the normal manner, it was incredibly valuable.

Few Non-League chairman won’t be jealous of Marine’s cup run that will have seen them gross around £500,000 and bring them national and international prominence. Whilst jealousy is one of the seven deadly sins, you have to admire the strategy the club took to capitalise on a very unique set of events and hope that they use the cash wisely to build a better future for themselves, their community and Non-League football as a whole.

One day, when fans and football can safely mix again, there will be a big party in Crosby to celebrate the historic cup run, where the fans and local community can all come together and everyone who bought a ticket, no matter where they are in the world can feel good about the value they provided and received from this amazing story.


About The Maurice Rebak Stadium
The Maurice Rebak Stadium, named after one of the founders of the club is a pretty decent ground in pleasant surroundings. The main stand, notable for its art-deco curves and glass holds around 400 and is raised above ground level so that you get a nice elevated view of the game. In front of  is some uncovered terracing, backed by a hedge. There is a decent sized covered terrace to the left, behind the goal. Opposite is another covered terrace, but this time narrower and only a few steps.

How to get to The Maurice Rebak Stadium
The ground is actually relatively straight forward to find – the issue is the traffic!  Head up the A23/M23 then head into London on the A2 and pass under the Blackwall Tunnel.  Follow the A12 until it reaches the A406 North Circular at The Redbridge Roundabout and follow this west0wards (anti-clockwise).  Stay on the A406 until you pass by the BP garage where the road reduces to two lanes. 

At the junction with the A1000 (East Finchley) leave the road.   At the end of the slip road turn left at the lights. Go straight over the next set of lights, then after 100m pass through another set of lights.  Then at the next set of lights turn right into Summers Lane. The ground is a few hundred metres down on the right-hand side.  Do NOT park in the rugby club next door as you may get locked in, instead use street parking.  Distance from Lewes is 94 miles and should take around 2 hours to drive.

The nearest station is New Southgate in Travelcard Zone 4, approximately 1.5 miles from the ground.

At the top of the station steps take the right-hand gangway which brings you onto Station Road. Head left up Station Road towards bus stop. The regular 382 service to Millbrook Park goes via Summers Lane and takes about 5-10 minutes. You will need to alight at the Woodgrange Avenue stop, which is a short walk to the ground. 

The nearest Underground station is West Finchley Station (Northern Line – High Barnet branch).
The station is a 10/15-minute walk away from the Ground. Alternatively go to East Finchley Station and get a 263 bus heading North towards Barnet. Get off at the bus stop just after Summers Lane traffic lights

Admission at The Maurice Rebak Stadium
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under16s £3 and accompanied under 12s are admitted free of charge.  

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the Elephant Inn on the corner of Ballards Lane and Hutton Grove (on the walk from West Finchley tube) which has some decent beers and a Thai restaurant upstairs.  The Tally Ho is your nearest Wetherspoons, located as Finchley High Road splits just north of the ground but I’d imagine a fair few fans will head for the Bohemia in High Road, known for its excellent selection of craft beers.


From now until the men’s New Year’s Day game with Bognor Regis Town, The Supporters Club will have New Year’s Grand Draw ticket sellers at every game. They’ve got a huge prize list, including a £250 first prize and some great sporting tickets, so make sure you don’t miss out. They’ll have a table at the top of the Philcox Stand where you can pick up tickets before the game and at half-time.

Tickets are £1 each or you can take a book for £5. Don’t forget to bring some cash, as the sellers can’t accept card payments (although we’re working on that!).

Here are the prizes in this year’s draw:

1st prize – £250

2nd prize – £100

3rd prize – £50

Other prizes include:

2 x tickets to the next England game at Wembley

2 x tickets for a Sussex T20 cricket game next season

A Lewes FC-badged Kappa hoodie

Nokia Power Earbuds Lite headphones and many more to be announced


Written by John Arthurs and published on Friday 19th November:

“People say the internet is no longer fun, and largely they’re right. But the growth of livestreaming is bringing back a sense of community with people far away, much as we had in the early days 20 years ago.

When I was at high school, I used to pass the stadium (if you can call it that) of Lewes Football Club every day. A few hundred people at most show up for games (I was almost never one of them). But these days the club is a community-owned organization (full disclosure: I’m a shareholder, but I don’t expect to make any money out of this). It pays equal wages for its men’s and women’s teams. That buys us a men’s team that plays clubs from other Sussex towns, and a women’s team that plays the likes of Manchester United.

Livestreams of the women’s games now get a few hundred viewers, from as far afield as Vancouver, Dubai and Perth. Nobody takes it too seriously, but it’s fun — far more about small-town togetherness than antagonism toward opponents. The latest livestream, featuring the most partisan “color” commentator I’ve ever heard, made me (and the rest of my family) laugh like a drain. It’s nice that Lewes won 4-1, with a second goal that Ronaldo might have been proud of; the commentator made it perfection.”


The campaign to ban gambling advertising in football is building momentum.  Thanks to some great work by our partner organisations such as the Coalition Against Gambling Ads (CAGA), Gambling with Lives and The Big Step, the message that clubs, football authorities and the government should be doing more to protect fans, players and all those involved in the game is starting to hit the back of the net.

Lewes Football Club have a long-standing association with Gambling with Lives, The Big Step and the Coalition Against Gambling Ads and are one of a number of football clubs that have put their name behind their mission.  Football clubs are community assets, and we believe that more should be done to limit the exposure of gambling advertising, especially to young and vulnerable people and so the damage that gambling addiction can cause. 

The saturation of gambling advertising in football normalises that the two go hand in hand – the current situation encourages young people to think of betting on football, and betting in general, as normal, harmless, fun.  If there was a problem with it then why would their heroes be wearing shirts encouraging them to do it? Of course, we all know that in fact it isn’t harmless.  The combination of betting adverts plastered all over football and immediate access to online betting through smartphones is enormously powerful. The evidence to this end is powerful: 5% of problem gamblers attempted suicide in the last year – 8 times the rate for the general population. Approximately 450,000 11–16-year-olds in the UK gamble every week, spending around 60% of their pocket money on gambling and around 150,000 11–16-year-olds are already classified as “problem” or “at risk” gamblers

That’s why Lewes FC carried the Gambling with Lives logo on our shirts in the past and have appointed an ambassador, our very own goalkeeper Lewis Carey to talk first-hand about the damage that a gambling addiction can do.  In conjunction with Gambling with Lives, Lewis leads our education programmes for all of our players and staff and the wider community about his experiences – there’s nothing more relevant and hard hitting hearing his inspirational story.

As a club official, I can’t place any bets on any football matches anywhere in the world at any time.  Nor can any of my board colleagues, our management teams and our players.  I would image that may come as a surprise to many football fans at our level, but the rules have been in place for many years for all clubs at Step 3/4 (The Isthmian League) all the way up to the Premier League.  Alas, the driver behind this from the authorities has never been about the welfare of the players rather the potential for match fixing which has blighted the game in other countries and other sports.

But player welfare should be paramount for all football clubs, and not just those who play at Step 4 and above.  More needs to be done to make all players aware of the dangers of gambling addiction.  The blanket advertising coverage by gambling companies around football is part of the problem.  It’s impossible to watch a game on TV whilst seeing a multitude of gambling company ads – whether that is on shirt sponsorship, perimeter boards, TV ads or even through the sponsorship of the leagues themselves.  There’s no filter as a fan – you can’t mute them or turn them off and so young and old are exposed to them.

The harmful effects of tobacco has been widely publicised, which led to the ban of any advertising of tobacco products and in many cases the same is true of alcohol in certain countries.  Yet there is still an unhealthy relationship between the gambling industry and football which needs to change.  All of the gambling companies sign up to a code of ethics and have measures in place that allow individuals to limit their own activities or seek help, but we believe that doesn’t go far enough. The Government is currently is currently undertaking a review of the not fit for purpose 2005 Gambling Act and we hope to see a positive outcome from that.


With seven consecutive wins, twelve wins and a draw from their last thirteen matches and an eight point lead, our league leaders Worthing would have been justifiably confident as Cheshunt rolled up at the Crucial Environmental Stadium. The Ambers, however, weren’t travelling to play the role of fall guys; nine matches unbeaten in all competitions, we expected they’d provide a tough test for the Mackerel men.

Cheshunt were soon behind, as Ollie Pearce did what Ollie Pearce does best, opening the scoring on eleven minutes with his fifteenth of the season- but not for long, Rowan Liburd with the equaliser midway through the first half – and then they shocked the home faithful by going ahead, Liburd scoring once more, just after the half hour. Try as they might, the Mackerel Men couldn’t find an equaliser, and the Ambers claimed a famous win.

Enfield Town started the match in second place, having lost ground on the leaders with midweek defeat against Bishop’s Stortford. They welcomed a cast of youth players to the QEII Stadium as they celebrated ten years there, and they also welcomed Merstham, a side who hadn’t drawn a match all season and had been consistently inconsistent, some fabulous performances and some of the other. The Moatsiders dampened the party atmosphere when Korrey Henry opened the scoring from the spot on eleven minutes, but the hosts drew level nine minutes after the restart, the Towners goal coming from the usual suspect as Mo Faal drew them level- also from the spot.

Faal then got his seventeenth of the campaign to put the hosts ahead with fourteen minutes left, and Andre Coker got a late third to close the gap at the top to five points.

Bishop’s Stortford, who climbed into the top five in midweek, hoped to stay there as they hosted another set of Blues, Wingate & Finchley. The home Blues were nine unbeaten, the travelling Blues on the back of three defeats, so it was perhaps no surprise that when the goal came it came to the hosts, Darren Foxley scoring on fifty seven minutes- and they got the second, too, Frankie Merrifield fifteen minutes from time. Merrifield made sure there was no way back for the visitors thirteen minutes from time, and although Luke Ifil got one back right at the end, it made no difference.

Kingstonian wanted to get back into the top five, after losing a little of their early-season consistency in recent weeks. Cray Wanderers were their visitors, needing to pick up points as they were without a league win since October 2nd, but the K’s went ahead midway through the half, Gus Sow with yet another penalty – his TENTH successful spot kick of the campaign. Wands drew level from the spot, too, ten minutes into the second half, Anthony Cook with this one, but the next goal came from open play, and it went to the hosts, Elliott Buchanan, who has been in fine form since returning to the club, putting them ahead. The K’s held on for all the points, but end the day in sixth.

Eighth hosted tenth as Margate welcomed another set of seasiders, Bognor Regis Town, and it was the away seasiders who were ahead on eighteen minutes, Ethan Robb with the goal. Bognor doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart through Ashton Leigh, his sixth of the campaign, but the Blues weren’t going to be rolled over and Sam Blackman soon had one back. It didn’t matter in the end, however, the Rocks taking all three points.

Hornchurch and Carshalton Athletic might be a little surprised to find themselves in mid table, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. The Urchins were ahead very early on, Ollie Muldoon with the opener after six minutes, but not for long, Harry Ottaway’s fifth of the season drawing them level on fifteen minutes. And then…the lights went out due to a major power failure around Bridge Avenue, and the match was abandoned.

East Thurrock United, with new managers in place, welcomed Corinthian-Casuals. The Rocks recorded a morale-boosting win over the Rooks last time out, and their morale would have been boosted yet further when Alex Hernandez put them ahead from the spot on ten minutes, but Casuals were soon level, Warren Mfula with his tenth of the campaign. The first talking point of the second half came with the dismissal of Bobby Mills for the visitors – could the hosts take advantage? They couldn’t, and both had to settle for a point.

Bowers and Pitsea resembled Lazarus in midweek, coming from two down with two minutes left to win. They hosted a Haringey Borough side who haven’t been able to find a win during the last two months and needed to arrest an alarming slide down the table- but took the lead five minutes before half time, Anthony Mcdonald with the opening goal of the game. Bowers equalised with eighteen minutes to go, Lewis Manor drawing them level, and then got the winner right at the end, Callum Leahy with that one. Not quite Lazarus-like, but another superb comeback nonetheless.

Brightlingsea Regent, who somehow contrived to lose that match against Bowers, welcomed Potters Bar Town. After a goalless first half, the Scholars broke the deadlock eleven minutes after the break through Joseph Boachie, and then we had another game abandoned due to a power failure- and we didn’t think that Brightlingsea was anywhere near Hornchurch!

Leatherhead, with a large number of new reinforcements, hosted Horsham and their Lardy Army – and it was a former Tanner, Eddie Dsane, who came back to haunt the home support after just four minutes with the opening goal. It was soon two-nil, Shamir Fenelon getting his tenth of the season, and then just after the half hour it was three, as the Hornets looked to inflict death by a thousand stings.

Michael Bakare got one back for the hosts six minutes before the break, to the relief of the majority of the five hundred and fifty seven present, and when the visitors saw Charlie Hester-Cook dismissed with six minutes to go it invited a last-gasp comeback, but it didn’t happen. Horsham climb to nineteenth.





So East Thurrock away, and, as usual, on a Tuesday night. It’s safe to say that it’s not the most glamorous or eagerly awaited fixture on the Stodgebusters calendar. Although the ground has improved a bit over the years it still doesn’t have a lot going for it. It’s just our opinion of course, and apologies to any East Thurrock supporters, but we think it is still a pretty dark, ramshackle and miserable ground to visit in the middle of nowhere. The train is not really an option, so one has to do the Dartford Tunnel at rush hour, and the catering, although OK, hasn’t been anything to write home about. Add to that the fact that we’ve very rarely had a decent result there either, so it’s usually been a depressed Tuesday night journey back home after a turgid defeat. Apart from all that it’s a great place.

Five of The Gang were just about up for this one. Turnstile Al was driving from Eastbourne and picking up PJ, Gary the Badge and Roly in Polegate at precisely 5pm and a bit. PJ had ferried Gary from Lewes and hoped his car didn’t dump any oil on Roly’s nice driveway. Steve jumped on board at Boship roundabout making it a cosy three at the back and two up front. We had a plethora of sweets to sustain us throughout the journey. Sherbet Lemons, Fruit Drops and genuine Bassetts Jelly Babies. We were quite confident about getting a decent result there for once. East Thurrock had been shipping goals for fun and were hardly finding the net themselves. Lewes hadn’t played well in the last two Bishops Stortford encounters but we felt we would have too much for them. It turned out to be a pretty straightforward drive and even the tunnel wasn’t too manic, although the last couple of miles were quite interesting as the combination of a new-ish road layout and Al’s non-updated satnav indicating that we were in the middle of a field meant we missed a turning somewhere. Google maps to the rescue.

As always it was in through the turnstile and a beeline to the food bar. PJ was there quicker than Usain Bolt and went for just a portion of chips which weren’t bad. However, the other lads dithered a little in the starting blocks and must have had chips from a different batch as their consensus was that they were rather poor. Gary and Roly reckoned they were like cardboard while Al doused his in mayonnaise to make them edible. So overall we gave a Stodge-o-meter rating of 4 and no Michelin stars.

It soon became apparent that this would be no walkover for Lewes. The pitch really wasn’t very good. It was lumpy and bumpy with long grass and made the Lewes passing game very difficult and encouraged many mistakes. The home team had the better of the opening exchanges and went ahead when a defensive error allowed East Thurrock through one-on-one with Carey. Our colleagues who were much closer to the incident said Carey got a hand to the ball before the attacker went tumbling but the referee disagreed and awarded a penalty that was duly dispatched. Not a lot was happening for Lewes. We were convinced the small but vocal home support by the turnstiles were running that line as some dubious decisions were awarded against us. Every time they shouted the lino’s flag went up.

Into the second half and Lewes started well without threatening too much. But East Thurrock then came back into it. They hit the woodwork and had an effort cleared off the line before being awarded another dubious penalty by the aforesaid lino whose arm seemed to be controlled by the home supporters. Apparently it was for a push by Weare. We were a long way away but it did seem a very soft penalty. Two nil.

We never really looked like getting back into the game and it was the 86th minute before the home keeper had to make his first proper save from a Freddie Parker header. In the end East Thurrock ran out deserved winners and the little right-back, who looked about 14 and had taken some friendly banter from us, had played really well and so had the last laugh. So we left Rookery Hill despondent yet again. If we never have to go back there again it will be far too soon. We were faced with the long journey back home to chew over a very disappointing performance. But at least we still had the sweets to chew on as well. Roll on Saturday back at the Pan and a decent pitch to play on.

The Stodgebusters will return at Littlehampton Town.


We may complain about midweek trips to East Thurrock United or even two trips in 7 days to Bishop’s Stortford but spare a thought for 10-time champions of Tahiti AS Venus, whose 20,000-mile round trip for a cup game last week means they must now embark on a gruelling journey to get home.

And they lost 2-0.

The side from French Polynesia – a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean – have enjoyed domestic success recently and that meant they qualified for the French Cup, which features teams from a variety of France’s overseas territories, including Tahiti which meant a 10,000-mile journey to Trelissac in the heart of the Dordogne valley, home of fourth-tier Trélissac FC.

Victory would have secured a home tie in round eight but their elimination means they will now have to return to domestic matters, and attempting to defend their Coupe de Polynesie title which earned them their place in the competition.

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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, Scott Currie, Charlie Dobres, Karen Dobres, Stuart Fuller, Lucy Mills, John Peel, Ed Ramsden, Claire Rafferty (co-opted), Sally Taplin, Trevor Wells
Chief Executive Officer Maggie Murphy
Club Secretary John Peel
Fan Engagement Officer Shrey Nilvarna
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager James Barker

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

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

Manager Tony Russell
Assistant manager Joe Vines
Head of Recruitment Adam Drew
First team coach Dale Hurley
First team coach Nathan White
First team physio Tom Parker
Goalkeeping coach Grant Hall
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