SATURDAY 1ST JAN 2022 3PM – THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

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Happy New Year and welcome to The Dripping Pan for today’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game with Bognor Regis Town. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

TODAY’S MATCH BALL SPONSOR IS ROB SEARLE

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon everyone and Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and managed to steer clear of any Covid symptoms to join us today for this mouth-watering Sussex derby against our friends from along the A27, Bognor Regis Town. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from the Rocks, especially my colleagues from the Isthmian League and Football Association, Simon Cook and Jack Pearce, and hope they enjoy our hospitality this afternoon.

It has been 4 weeks since we were last here and the less said about that game the better. We’ve retained our position in the play-off spots which is exactly where we aimed to be at the half-way point in the season. The target we set as a club was 1.75 points per game and we currently have 1.76 but I know that Tony and Joe want more, as you would expect. Our record against the teams at the top of the table is excellent – we’ve just been defeated in the once by teams in the top nine and that was the crazy 5-4 defeat at Worthing. Our Achilles Heel has been performances against some of the teams who are at the wrong end of the table who stifle the way we play.

The combination of wet weather and COVID cases has caused chaos in football in the last two weeks. I have every sympathy for sides who have positive cases and wish anyone who has the virus (and their families) a speedy recovery but when I see the professional clubs who have so many players on their books (and with dozens of players out on loan) claiming they can’t raise a side it beggars belief.

The wet weather has also brought out the pitch experts on social media this week. Quite how someone sitting 100 miles away from a ground with absolute no knowledge of the state, composition and drainage structure of a pitch provide a reasoned argument about whether a game should go ahead or not is beyond me. Like most Non-League clubs, our pitch is cared for by a volunteer, Roger in our case, and he puts hours of his own time into our playing surface. Even an hour of heavy rain can put pay to any chance of play, irrespective of the preparation. Our visitors today saw their game on Boxing Day against Worthing fall foul to the heavy overnight and morning rain. Some of the comments I read online about the club “bottling it” or “being unprepared” were highly disrespectful to the hours of preparation they would have put it.

No clubs want to postpone games, especially those at this time of year where fans come out in numbers. They would have organised additional staff and volunteers, spent out on additional food and drink and printed programmes (or prepared the online one). Why would any club simply want to throw all that away? Clubs aren’t “scared” or “bottling it”. Of course, at the end of the day it is up to the officials whether a pitch is playable, and not the clubs involved – something that fans often forget.

Our plans for 2022 both on and off the pitch are exciting and let’s hope we get the new year off to a positive start with three points today.

Come on you Rooks!

Stuart

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon everyone and Happy New Year. We ended 2021 with a really pleasing victory at Horsham last Monday. It wasn’t just the result, or the three goals that pleased us but the performance which underlined how far we have come as a squad. Four months ago when we played them at home they ran us ragged at times and we were pleased with the draw. Fast forward to today and we dealt with their threat brilliantly.

We dominated the game and imposed our style on Horsham and if it wasn’t for some “indifferent” officiating it would have been a more convincing win. The Horsham goal, even now watching it for the umpteenth time is still unbelievable how it was allowed to stand. It made for interesting viewing I suppose. We felt we should have scored more with their keeper making brilliant saves from Will Salmon and Tom Carlse.

We don’t want to get too carried away though – we deserved the win but we can get better and let’s not forget Ollie Tanner was missing and we lost Phippo halfway through the second period. Jeuven came in at right back and I thought he was outstanding – he’d only trained with us once and he will learn our style of play quickly.

The squad have bonded really well and you can see that in the dressing room and on the training pitch. In fact I had to stop training on Wednesday night when I felt it was getting a little too jovial and remind them we have two massive games coming up this Bank Holiday weekend.

We’ve watched Bognor’s game against Worthing from Tuesday and for nearly an hour I think they shaded it. They are a very good side and on their day they can beat anyone. They will be there or there about come the end of the season make no mistake. They are well coached and we know it has the makings of a great game in front of another fantastic Dripping Pan crowd – your support home and away is brilliant and it gives us that additional boost.

I hope you enjoy the game and hope that 2022 brings you everything you want.

Come on you Rooks!

Tony

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LEWES 1 POTTERS BAR TOWN 5 – SAT 4th DECEMBER 2021

A disastrous first half which ten-man Lewes never fully recovered from saw the Rooks slump to a second consecutive home defeat after a 5-1 loss to Potters Bar Town, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that drew 1-1 at Wingate & Finchley in their previous game, with Joe Taylor replacing Freddie Parker in the starting line-up.

Lewes got off to the worst possible start, falling behind after only seven minutes, as a Luke Joyce-Dwarika cross from the left evaded everybody on its way in off the inside of the far post.

The Rooks could have equalised almost immediately, but saw Taylor Maloney blaze an effort over the crossbar after patient build-up play down the left.

Lewes were unable to gain a foothold in the game but still looked capable of causing problems, with Iffy Allen seeing a strike deflected wide by Kieron Cathline after latching onto a misplaced pass.

The visitors doubled their lead on 27 minutes, as a short corner was well worked to Joyce-Dwarika, who sent a superb curling finish from the edge of the area into the top corner.

It was 3-0 three minutes before the break, Samson Esan finishing into the roof of the net at the end of an incisive counter-attack.

Lewes pulled a goal back inside the first minute of the second half, with Tom Carlse going on a purposeful run down the left before squaring the ball for Maloney to finish into the bottom corner.

Potters Bar could have been forgiven for sitting in and inviting pressure at this stage, but they managed the game well and continued to look comfortable on the ball, restricting Lewes to hopeful attempts on goal.

The Rooks were dealt a further blow midway through the second half, as Ollie Tanner was shown a straight red card for kicking out after being hauled to the floor by a Potters Bar defender.

The visitors made the most of their numerical advantage by making it 4-1 on 80 minutes through Esan, who sent a powerful strike across Carey and into the bottom corner after the ball had been worked to him on the right-hand side of the area.

Potters Bar scored a fifth to complete the scoring just three minutes later, as another impressive move ended with Joseph Boachie curling a strike into the top corner from just inside the area.

Lewes: Carey, Colombie (Gillela 46), Carlse, Salmon, Nelson (Weaire 63), Klass (Parker 84), Pritchard, Maloney, Tanner, Taylor, Allen.
Unused Subs: Olukoga, Hall.
Booked: Salmon, Maloney, Allen.
Sent off: Tanner.

Potters Bar Town: Droubi, Pascal, Sharman, Young, Cathline, Tajbakhsh (Dickson 32), Aransibia, Livings (Azziz 87), Boachie, Esan, Joyce-Dwarika (Sassi 73).
Unused Subs: None.
Booked: Livings, Dickson, Pascal

Attendance: 832

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BOWERS & PITSEA 1 LEWES 3 – SAT 11TH DECEMBER 2021

Lewes returned to winning ways, with a professional performance helping the Rooks to a 3-1 win at Bowers & Pitsea, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made two changes to the side that lost 5-1 at home to Potters Bar in their previous game, with debutant Tom Phipp and Razz Coleman De-Graft replacing Bradley Pritchard and the suspended Ollie Tanner in the starting line-up.

There was also a place on the bench for new signing Deshane Dalling, who joined the Rooks this week with Phipp.

There were few chances of note early on, with the closest either side came to scoring being a long-range effort from Phipp which was pushed round the post by Mitchelp Beeney.

The Rooks were handed a great opportunity to take the lead on 17 minutes as Joe Taylor was tripped by Callum Leahy in the area. Taylor took the penalty himself, sending Beeney the wrong way from the spot to give Lewes the lead.

Lewes were enjoying plenty of possession, but Bowers looked capable of causing problems themselves, with Joshua Rusoke shooting over when well placed at the end of an incisive passing move.

The Rooks were looking sharp in the final third themselves though, and saw Taylor Maloney see an effort deflected just wide as they pushed for a second goal before half-time.

Lewes continued to control possession during the early stages of the second half as the rain became heavier in Essex, but were finding their hosts difficult to break down, with a smart Beeney save to keep out a deflected Maloney strike being the closest they came to doubling their lead.

The Rooks did make it 2-0 on 80 minutes through substitute Bradley Pritchard, who finished with aplomb after running onto a Maloney through-ball that had been dummied by Taylor.

It was 3-0 just four minutes later, Maloney finishing into the bottom corner after being picked out by Pritchard at the end of an impressive one-touch passing move.

Bowers kept their heads up though, and saw James White find the top corner with a 25-yard strike to reduce the deficit on 86 minutes.

Lewis Carey had to be alert to make a fine double-save just a couple of minutes later as the hosts threatened an unlikely comeback, and Lewes saw out the remainder of the game to record an impressive win heading into the busy festive period.

Bowers & Pitsea: Beeney, Bentley, Steward, Leahy, Monville, Manor (Warner 80), Rusoke, Dicks, Trendall (Ademiluyi 60), Albon (Sach 80), White.
Unused Subs: Stephen, Wind.
Booked: Dicks.

Lewes: Carey, Colombie, Carlse, Salmon, Nelson, Klass, Phipp (Pritchard 59), Maloney (Olukoga 85), Allen (Dalling 68), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Weaire, Parker.
Booked: Klass, Taylor.

Attendance: 238 (approximately 25 travelling Rooks)

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THE PRICE OF FOOTBALL PODCAST

Chair Stuart Fuller recently appeared as a guest on the award-winning Price of Football podcast, chatting to Kieran Maguire about all things Lewes and anti-piracy. You can listen to the whole episode via the link below or fast-forward to 43 minute-mark for the interview with Stuart.

LISTEN HERE

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WORTHING 3 LEWES 0 – SATURDAY 18TH DECEMBER 2021

A one-sided game saw Lewes eliminated from the Sussex Senior Cup after a 3-0 defeat at local rivals Worthing, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made a number of changes to the side after last weekend’s win at Bowers & Pitsea, but still named a strong team as the Rooks looked to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.

The hosts, currently sitting top of the Isthmian Premier League, started brightly and saw Dayshonne Golding miss the target when off balance after a short corner found him in space in the area.

Ollie Tanner had Lewes’s first chance, sending an effort straight at Harrison Male in the Worthing goal.

It was the hosts who were looking more of a threat though, and Lewis Carey was forced into a smart save to deny Golding after a mis-placed Will Salmon pass.

Worthing were handed a great opportunity to take the lead on 22 minutes, as Ayo Olukoga was adjudged to have fouled Joel Colbran in the penalty area.

Ollie Pearce took the penalty and sent Carey the wrong way with an emphatic spot-kick that went in off the underside of the bar.

The hosts doubled their lead on 35 minutes, with Callum Kealy converting a Reece Myles-Meekums cross from close range at the end of an excellent passing move.

Lewes started the second half with plenty of purpose but were unable to trouble Male, a Tanner strike from the edge of the box that went just wide of the far post being the closest they came to reducing the arrears.

Worthing always looked capable of adding to their lead and did just that on 67 minutes as Pearce ran in behind the Lewes defence down the right and sent a superb finish across Carey and in off the inside of the far post.

The game understandably fizzled out at this point, although Lewes did come close to scoring a late consolation through Bradley Pritchard, who won the ball back high up the pitch and took it past Male, only to be denied by a superb last-ditch clearance from Aarran Racine.

After the game Rooks boss Tony Russell was still upbeat, “We made 7 changes from the win last Saturday as we wanted to look at a few players plus give the boys some minutes who hadn’t played much recently and it proved too much against a very strong Worthing team.  We brought on Klassy and Raz either side of half time and we saw an improvement in the second period with Ollie and Pritch both going close but overall we can have no complaints with the result as Worthing ran out worthy winners”.

Worthing: Male, Colbran, Tutt, Mthunzi, Racine, Myles-Meekums (Seager 75), Golding (Webber 64), Kealy, Pearce (Diallo 76), J. Starkey, O. Starkey.
Unused Subs: Budd, Armstrong.
Booked: Seager.

Lewes: Carey, Gillela (Colombie 68), Carlse, Weaire, Salmon, Olukoga (Klass 38), Pritchard, Tanner, Maloney, Parker, Dalling (Coleman De-Graft 56).
Unused Subs: Taylor, Allen.
Booked: Klass

Attendance: 884

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THERE’S STILL TIME TO BUY YOUR GRAND DRAW TICKETS..

Tickets for the draw are on sale right up until kick off today with the draw taking place on the pitch at half-time today, with the winners being announced over the PA system and on the Supporters Club website. You can also buy ticAny winners not at the game today will be contacted shortly after.

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HORSHAM 1 LEWES 3 – MONDAY 27TH DECEMBER 2021

An impressive team performance saw Lewes record an excellent 3-1 victory at local rivals Horsham to move back into the play-off places, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that started the previous league game at Bowers & Pitsea just over two weeks ago, with new signing Juevan Spencer replacing Killian Colombie in the starting line-up.

Lewes made a bright start and took the lead after just six minutes through Joe Taylor, who converted a Tom Carlse cross from close range.

The hosts nearly equalised immediately, as Rob O’Toole saw a close-range effort saved by Carey, and Shamir Fenelon was just unable to finish the rebound.

Horsham did level the scores on 12 minutes, Fenelon finishing from inside the six-yard box after good play down the right by Lucas Rodrigues.

There was certainly an element of controversy to the goal though, as Tom Phipp was down with an apparent head injury as the ball was worked out to the right to Rodrigues, and a suggestion that the ball went out of play before he put the cross in, underlined by the reaction of both sets of players when the goal was given.

The Rooks were looking dangerous every time they went forward and regained their lead on 25 minutes, with Taylor sending a superb instinctive finish across Sam Howes and into the bottom corner after good build-up play involving Taylor Maloney and Razz Coleman De-Graft.

Carlse was enjoying an excellent game down the left and nearly claimed his second assist, only for Taylor to head his cross straight at Howes.

Carlse was then denied by Howes himself minutes later after exchanging passes with Iffy Allen, although the linesman’s flag would have disallowed the goal had he found the back of the net.

Horsham were finding it difficult to create any chances of note, with a Harvey Sparks shot straight at Carey being the closest they came to equalising for a second time before the break.

The hosts enjoyed plenty of possession during the early stages of the second half but continued to find clear-cut opportunities hard to come by as the Lewes defence stood firm.

Horsham continued to look dangerous, with Rodrigues seeing a strike from a tight angle deflected over after Fenelon had been unable to control a Tom Richards cross in front of goal.

They were handed a great chance to level the scores midway through the half, as the Lewes defence were unable to clear a deep free-kick and Carlse was adjudged to have tripped a Horsham player in the area.

Fenelon took the penalty, but blasted his spot-kick well wide of Carey’s right-hand post to ensure the Rooks clung on to their one-goal advantage.

This let-off seemed to give the Rooks confidence and they came close to doubling their lead minutes later, with Will Salmon just unable to force a Maloney free-kick over the line at the far post.

De-Graft was the next player to go close for Lewes, forcing a fine save from Howes with a strike from just outside the area.

Horsham unsurprisingly started to commit more players forward in search of a late equaliser, with Carey making a smart stop to deny Rodrigues at the end of an incisive counter-attack.

The Rooks scored a third goal to seal the win with a minute remaining, as Taylor held the ball up superbly before crossing for substitute Deshane Dalling to finish and send the large contingent of travelling fans into raptures.

Lewes nearly scored a spectacular fourth goal deep into stoppage time, as Michael Klass spotted Howes off his line but saw his 40-yard effort drop just wide in the final meaningful action of the game.

This was an excellent result for Lewes, who had to weather a bit of a storm during the early stages of the second half but aside from that, managed the game superbly and picked up a thoroughly deserved three points.

Horsham: Howes, Sessegnon (Miles 79), Sparks, Tuck, Dudley, Brivio, Rodrigues, Hester-Cook (Day 68), Fenelon (D’Sane 74), O’Toole, Richards.
Unused Subs: Metcalf, Charman.
Booked: None.

Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse, Salmon, Nelson, Klass, Phipp (Pritchard 52), Maloney (Weaire 90), Allen (Dalling 63), De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Colombie, Parker.
Booked: Klass.

Attendance: 1,284 (approx 150 Rooks fans)

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INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS FROM BOGNOR REGIS TOWN

THE HISTORY

The Bognor Regis club was founded in 1883 and entered the West Sussex league in 1896. In 1927 they joined the Sussex County League where they remained until 1972. The Rocks won the Division One Championship in 1948/49. In 1954/55 they won the Sussex Senior Cup for the first time, which they retained the following season.

After relegation in 1969 the club won Division Two at the first attempt, followed the next season by winning the Division One Championship and promotion to the Southern League Division One South. In 1972, Bognor reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing away to Colchester United. Previously, in 1970, a 21-year-old full back called Jack Pearce arrived at the club. In 1976 he took on the managers’ job at the age of just twenty-six. Bognor were bottom of the Southern League and struggling to survive, but Jack turned things around, thus beginning a fruitful partnership. In 1980 the Rocks won the Sussex Senior Cup, going on to set a competition record by retaining it for five years.

The highlight of Jack Pearce’s management career was on 21st November 1984 when they beat a Swansea City side that included seven Welsh internationals, among them Dean Saunders, in a first round FA Cup replay. Their run came to an end at Reading in the second round and that season ended with a Sussex Senior Cup Final defeat to the mighty Lewes. Bognor repeated the feat of reaching the FA Cup second round again the following year, losing at Gillingham.

Yet more FA Cup success was achieved in 1988, only losing 1-0 at home to Cambridge United in the second round. In 1992–93 Bognor finished bottom of the Premier, and were relegated to Division One. In 1995–96 they reached the second round of the FA Cup for a fourth time, before losing 4–0 at Peterborough United.

Having gained promotion to the Isthmian League Premier in 2002/03, a tenth place finish the following season was enough to claim a place in the newly-formed Conference South where they remained for five seasons. In October 2007 Jack Pearce relinquished the reins and a turbulent period began for the club. An arson attack destroyed the clubhouse and Bognor were relegated in 2009.

An upturn in fortune saw them promoted to the Isthmian League Premier in 2012. In 2015/16 they achieved second place in the league, missing out on the championship by one point. 2016-17 saw them again finish second, but in front of almost 3,500 beat Dulwich Hamlet in the play-off final to win promotion to the National League South. Then, manager Jamie Howell’s resignation brought the indomitable Jack Pearce back for 2017-18. Despite a promising start they finished bottom of the table with a bad run of injuries to key players, and were relegated to the Isthmian Premier. Season 2018-19 saw a mid-table league position, but the Sussex Senior Cup was won at the Amex Stadium with a 2-1 victory against Burgess Hill Town.

THE SQUAD

Jack Pearce – Manager

Jack is now in his 52nd year with Bognor Regis Town FC after joining the club from Portsmouth. Jack has been player, player-manager, manager, chairman, and is currently Vice Chairman of the club. He is also a highly respected FA Councillor of many years standing and was appointed to the Main Board of the FA last year; named Vice Chair of the FA’s Main Board in July, as well as Chairman of the National League in the summer.

Amadou Tangara – Goalkeeper

Amadou is an experienced ‘keeper from the Ivory Coast, formerly with Kingstonian, Cheshunt, Merstham, and Dulwich Hamlet.

James Crane – Defender

James played for the Rocks for nine years before leaving to join Worthing for a year, returning to Nyewood Lane in 2020. He has played for Heart of Midlothian, Reading, and Cypriot sides Famagusta and AEK Larnaca.

Joe Dandy – Defender

Joe is described as a versatile defender who was previously with Portsmouth, and also played football in Finland.

Joe Cook – Defender

Joe is regarded a powerful central defender with an eye for goal, who joined from Havant & Waterlooville in 2020 after a loan period with the Rocks.

Calvin Davies – Defender

Calving joined Bognor in 2016 from Portsmouth. He sadly missed two seasons with a serious knee injury but has hopefully put his injury woes aside.

Craig Robson – Defender

Craig re-joined Bognor in the summer, having played with distinction for several years before moving to play at Dagenham & Redbridge, Barnet, Billericay and Havant & Waterlooville.

Ethan Robb – Defender/Midfielder

Ethan signed for the Rocks in 2020 following his release from Portsmouth. He spent time last season on loan at Brentford and can play in central defence or midfield.

Harvey White – Midfielder/Captain

Harvey played for the club during two loan spells before signing permanently six years ago from Havant & Waterlooville. He is regarded as good on the ball with great pace.

Charlie Bell – Midfielder

Charlie joined the Rocks this summer after being released by Portsmouth where he played twice for their first team last year.

Jake Flannigan – Midfielder

Jake began his career at Southampton where he featured in the first team. He has also played at Hampton & Richmond Borough, as well as a loan period with Havant and Waterlooville.

Gavin McCallum – Midfielder

Gavin is a Canadian international who scored against Venezuela in his first start for his country. He joined Bognor from Dartford in the summer and among his has many clubs are Havant & Waterlooville, Hereford, Lincoln City, Eastbourne Borough, and Barnet.

Ashton Leigh – Midfielder

Ash joined Bognor in 2018 from a Wessex League side and has impressed with his calm, determined play and ability to score.

Kayne Dietrick-Roberts – Forward

Kayne started his football at Fulham before joining Manchester United’s Youth set-up where he played regularly for their Under 18s. After leaving United he moved to Greenwich Borough, and Lewes, before his career took him to Sweden’s second tier, IK Gauthiod.

Nathan Odokonyero – Forward

Nathan moved to Bognor in the summer having been part of the Chelsea academy before joining Lincoln City.

Harrison Brook – Forward

Harrison is a youngplayer who joined the Rocks during September hoping to further his career after his recent release from Portsmouth.

Jordy Mongoy – Forward

Jordy has played, and scored, for Hastings United, Lewes, and IK Gauthiod in Sweden before signing for Bognor in 2019.

THE FORM

HEAD TO HEAD (LAST SIX MEETINGS)

26/02/20 – Lewes 0 Bognor Regis Town 1
26/12/18 – Bognor Regis Town 2 Lewes 2
27/08/18 – Lewes 3 Bognor Regis Town 3
26/12/15 – Bognor Regis Town 4 Lewes 0
31/08/15 – Lewes 0 Bognor Regis Town 2
06/04/15 – Bognor Regis Town 1 Lewes 2

THE LAST MEETING HERE – 26th FEBRUARY 2020

A second minute goal from Bognor Regis Town’s Dan Smith was the difference between the two sides on a chilly evening at The Pan.

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BLACKHEATH – THE EPICENTRE OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF BRITISH SPORT

On the 26th October 1863 in the Freemasons Tavern on Great Queen Street in Holborn, London, the first meeting of the Football Association took place.  The main item for discussion was to create a codified set of rules, that would “embrace the best and most acceptable points of all the various methods of play under one heading of Football”.  Eleven clubs, all based in London, attended the meeting after Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the captain and founder of Barnes, had written to Bell’s Life newspaper, suggesting that football needed set rules and a governing body similar in structure to how the Marylebone Cricket Club ruled cricket.

Apart from Morley’s Barnes Football Club, the other ten representatives in the put that night were Civil Service, the Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone, No Names Club of Kilburn, Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Perceval House of Blackheath, Surbiton and Blackheath Proprietary School.  One small area of London, Blackheath, with a population of a few thousand that provided three of the clubs who were willing to codify the game of football for the first time in the world.

Up until this point, the way the game had been played had varied based on geography in the UK.  The rules created by the world’s oldest club, Sheffield FC, for example, differed from those used at Rugby School, whilst in London a number of private schools had their own versions.  With the game becoming more popular,  Morley’s idea was to “form an Association with the object of establishing a definite code of rules for the regulation of the game”.

The captains, secretaries and other representatives of a dozen London and suburban clubs who saw Morley’s letter and responded playing their own versions of football headed to Holborn to agree on a new approach for football in England.

At that historic meeting, Mr Francis Maule Campbell, from Blackheath FC, was elected treasurer.  However, by the sixth meeting of the ground, less than two months later, Campbell withdrew Blackheath FC from the new structure, created under the name of the Football Association, after hearing that some of the more “robust” rules that his side played to in South East London would be outlawed.

Campbell wasn’t alone in challenging the rest of the newly found association on the rules to play under.  G.W Shillingford, representing Perceval House, another Blackheath-based school which was originally chosen as a founding member of the Football Association, also disagreed with the majority.  ‘Football’, they thought, would be a blend of handling and dribbling. Players would be able to handle the ball: a fair catch accompanied by ‘a mark with the heel’ would win a free kick. The sticking point was ‘hacking’, or kicking an opponent on the leg, which Blackheath wanted to keep.

Eliminating hacking would “do away with all the courage and pluck from the game, and I will be bound over to bring over a lot of Frenchmen who would beat you with a week’s practice.” Campbell was reported to have said after leaving the group, further explaining that the rules that the FA intended to adopt would destroy the game and all interest in it. Other clubs took the decision to follow Blackheath’s lead and in December 1870 Edwin Ash, secretary of Richmond Football Club published a letter which said, “Those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play.” On 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by 22 clubs was held at the Pall Mall Restaurant, in London, the result of which was the formation of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The third club who attended the meeting in Holborn from Blackheath was the Proprietary School, which in effect was a feeder club for Blackheath, who also went by the name of Old Blackheathens Club where old boys of the school continued to play football together.

Blackheath in the twenty first century may be better known for its trendy cafes and bars, the wide open heath and the traffic jams on one of the major routes in and out of the capital but it can claim to be a major part of the history of three sports in the UK.

Today, seven of the original twenty two founder members of the RFU still exist with Blackheath playing their rugby in the third tier of English rugby just down the road from Blackheath in Eltham, a stone’s throw from Step 4 football club Cray Valley PM.  However, from the founding members of the Football Association only Civil Service FC, who now play in the Southern Amateur League’s Senior Division One, are the only surviving club (the Crystal Palace club is not the same as the Premier League club of the same name today).

However, with three of the FA’s original eleven member clubs and one of the founders of the RFU, it is fair to say that the epicentre of the footballing world was for a short period of time was in SE3, London.

Pre-dating Football and Rugby though is Golf which was introduced to England via Blackheath as well, with the first English course to be open, in 1608, being the Royal Blackheath Course.  The Royal Blackheath Golf Club claims to be the oldest such club in the world, although today is based just down the road in Eltham on land once owned by Henry VIII.

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ON THIS DAY IN ROOKS HISTORY….1st JANUARY 2015

The Rooks faced an unseasonal trip to the seaside on this day seven years ago as they faced Margate. But how much can you remember about that game? Try our Bob’s Full House approved quiz to see.

Results

#1. Which current Rooks player lined up for Margate?

#2. Which Fraser lined up for the Rooks?

#3. This midfielder made 24 appearances in this season but is probably better remembered for a stunning goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Sussex Senior Cup

#4. Who was the youngest player in the Lewes squad that day?

#5. With 20 previous clubs, who was the Rooks player who came on as a second half substitute

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THE STODGEBUSTERS TOUR REACHES WINGATE & FINCHLEY

We had a full turnout of Stodgebusters and an unexpected guest for this train, tube and bus adventure. PJ, Gary the Badge, Steve and Turnstile Al in his trademark yellow jacket met up at Lewes station, fully wrapped up against the cold, for the 10.57 train to London Bridge on which Roly had already saved us some seats. PJ distributed the Fox’s Glacier Fruits as we discussed what could happen later, which is a notoriously tricky thing in this league. We usually do OK at Wingate and Finchley. The last time we were there Ronnie Conlon scored a worldy in a match that eventually counted for nothing due to Covid. We were fairly confident and all thought we would win if we found some form.

At London Bridge station we bumped into Supporters Club Member and Pan Maintenance Legend Terry who joined us and became a Stodgebuster for the day. We wandered (Wombled?)  overground to underground and took the Northern Line up to East Finchley where one of our favourite cafes lay in wait. Or so we thought.

What the hell? Our planned lunch venue had closed down and was all boarded up. This was a potential disaster as we had no plan B. The Subway next door was vetoed out of hand by Gary with a few choice words so all we could do was have a stroll in the general direction of the ground and hope we came across something else. A fish restaurant looked promising until we glanced at the menu. This was no ordinary chippy. With meals starting at about fifteen quid we concluded it was not Stodgebuster territory and gave it a swerve.

Salvation came in the shape of Casa Pepe Cafe a little further up the road. This looked right up our street with your typical all day breakfasts and lunches. A very pleasant young girl showed us to a table and pushed another one up to it so all six of us could sit together. It was a very extensive menu and we were spoilt for choice, but we plumped for a couple of full English, a couple of omelettes and chips, a liver and onions and a roast beef dinner. We know how to live. It was excellent, and the first class service too warranted a healthy tip.

The next part of the odyssey was to look out for the 263 bus from the bus stop just outside. Lo and behold there it was literally seconds after leaving the cafe. This was going too well. Even Alan couldn’t complain about the travel so far. This was also a first for Terry who announced he had never been on a London bus before.

We alighted at Summers Lane for the short walk to the ground. Summers Lane? It was nothing like summer. It was bitterly cold and the wind was getting stronger. Into the ground we went and straight for the sanctuary of the bar to warm up a bit, watch Arsenal beat Newcastle two-nil, poke some fun at Newcastle fan and Lewes stalwart Alec, and comment on the very attractive young barmaid  (Now now boys! She was young enough to be your granddaughter!)

It was real Brass Monkey weather. We huddled together in the stand behind the goal, manouvering around a little in trying to use the more portly amongst us as a windbreak. We were all wrapped up like Eskimos and still shivering but Irish Stu rocked up in just a fleece. He’s made of sterner stuff than us. What would we do in the second half? The other end was completely exposed. We might have to wimp out and invade the Jack Fisk stand down the side of the pitch.

Not much happened in the first half to warm us up. The wind was very strong causing goal kicks down the centre to veer and clear the dugouts. The Wingate number five must have been cold too as he spent his time cuddling Freddie Parker who was up front in the absence of Joe Taylor. Time and again Freddie was bear hugged when receiving the ball but the referee seemed to think this was all ok. Half time came and it was a race back to the bar to defrost with the help of a nice warm radiator on the posterior.

We tried the other unprotected end for the second half but thought better of it after all of five seconds. We would have to move into the Jack Fisk stand and annoy the locals. This meant climbing over a couple of curious locked gates that were all of three feet high and even us old codgers managed to get our legs over.

The second half was better. A pass across the box from Tanner to Parker was slipped to Bradley Pritchard who fired home. It didn’t last. Within ten minutes a free kick was launched into our box and the aforementioned number five, who had left Freddie alone for a minute, got his head on it and, with the hint of a deflection, it flew into the top corner. In truth we were hanging on a bit at the end with Wingate thankfully having a goal ruled out for offside.

One all was how it finished and was a fair result. We were just looking forward to another nice defrost on a warm bus/tube/train home.

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A DOUBLE HELPING OF THE STODGEBUSTERS AS THE ONLY WAY IS ESSEX

A new ground for some of the gang to tick off the list although PJ and Alan ventured here last year for the corresponding fixture. PJ couldn’t remember the score but he remembered that he was standing watching that game when the news came through that the great Eddie Van Halen had sadly passed on. Strange how things stick in the memory.

With no-one fancying being fleeced by the rail companies the master plan to get to this one was to all meet up in Uckfield town car park at 12.15 with those who fancied brunch getting there for 11.15. PJ drove Gary the Badge and Roly from Lewes and, no surprises, it was straight into the Cafe 212 for them for some gastronomic delights. It’s one of our favourite places to eat, with PJ and Gary being regular customers with their better halves on non-football days. It’s a bit of a hidden diamond. It was quite busy but one wonders how busier it might be if it were two hundred yards further down the hill where most of the shops are.

We highly recommend the place to any fellow Lewes supporters who might find themselves in Uckfield and fancy a bite. PJ is very partial to their All American Breakfast which consists of pancakes covered in strawberries, blueberries and banana, a jug of maple syrup, scrambled eggs and bacon. Delicious. But this time he joined Roly and went for a “Number One English”. Not as full as Gary’s “212 English” but enough to satisfy his appetite.

The main topic discussed over the food was the previous weeks disaster at home to Potters Bar and how we would have prevented that from happening. We are all experts after all. The breakfasts were excellent as always and can only be ranked at a full 10 on the Stodge-o-Meter. After another couple of teas it was time to meet Steve and Turnstile Al back in the car park. We almost didn’t recognise Al as we were looking for his trademark yellow jacket and he fooled us by not wearing it for once.

We all piled into Steve’s very nice and comfy Range Rover for the journey North in comfort. It was a pretty uneventful journey, thankfully, and even the Dartford Tunnel wasn’t too bad. The consensus of opinion in the car was that we should get all the points if the team we know turned up.

PJ noticed that Bowers stadium is not very far from Rettendon where 3 guys in a Range Rover(!) met a very grisly end by use of a shotgun or two  almost exactly 26 years earlier. Anyone who has seen “Essex Boys” or “Rise of the Footsoldier” will know the story. We had no Colombian Pure on board. All we had was Butter Mintoes and Jelly Babies.

Bowers and Pitsea isn’t a bad ground. They have a decent sized free car park. There’s cover at both ends and sides. The stand behind one goal is very curious. In fact we’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else. It has a front to it with very large openings rather like windows without any glass and can only be accessed at each end. It’s almost like standing in a room to watch the game through the window. The pitch is 3G and we hoped that would suit our slick Brazilianesque football. They played some particularly good sounds over the P.A. too with the epic, and very apt, AC/DC number “Shoot to Thrill” being the highlight. Despite a life of trying PJ has never mastered the Angus Young duck walk while on air guitar.

Having not dined with us Al and Steve went for a burger in the ground. It wasn’t Cordon Bleu but was described as “not bad”. We fancied some chocolate for half time but a pound for a Kit Kat? No thanks.

With Ollie Tanner suspended Lewes announced a team with Bradley Pritchard on the bench. For us he had been our stand out performer of late. Always busy and makes things happen. We had a couple of new players and one of them, Tom Phipp, went straight into the team to bulk up the midfield. We could see why. He’s a big guy and most of Bowers were big guys too.

Lewes started off well and had a couple of efforts before Joe Taylor won a penalty. He had the ball at the by-line and didn’t look to be going anywhere. But the combination of a smart turn and a silly challenge had the referee pointing to the spot. The keeper helpfully dived out of the way as Joe stroked it calmly to his left. Bowers had a chance or two. We needed a second goal.

Half time came and went. We still needed a second goal. Bowers didn’t pose a lot of threat but there was always the worry they might nick one. Or we might gift them something. Lewes were passing the ball around well and on 80 minutes a Maloney through ball was cleverly dummied by Taylor and it arrived at the feet of Pritchard who had come on for the injured Phipp just minutes earlier. Bradley finished well and we could all breathe a little easier. Things got better four minutes later when a lovely passing move ended with Bradley finding Maloney in the box to fire the ball home. Game over. Ooooohhh….hang on though. Within two minutes a beautiful twenty five yarder from Bowers arrowed into the top corner of our net. They couldn’t could they? No they couldn’t, although Carey had to make another good save to keep out a second.

3-1 and well deserved overall. Well done boys.

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DESSERT I HEAR YOU SAY? THE STODGEBUSTERS TRY MACKEREL

This would be a novelty. A Sussex Senior Cup game on a Saturday. We don’t ever recall that happening before as far as The Rooks are concerned. Worthing away sounded tough but it would all depend on what teams were put out by both sides and who would be rested for more important games. PJ, Steve and Gary the Badge were on the 12 03 from Lewes with Roly, as usual, already on board from deepest Polegate. PJ dished out the Lemon Sherbets while we discussed what lay ahead. If Worthing put out a full first team we didn’t fancy our chances much. It’s painful to admit it but they are the class of the division and its difficult to see how they won’t finish top of the Isthmian Premier come April. Their biggest opponent could be Covid 19 causing another annulled season. Mind you, they were coming into this game off the back of a 4-2 defeat at Margate who we put six past a few weeks ago. It’s a funny old game.

A quick change at Brighton and before long we were pulling into the badlands of Worthing. The intention was to go into our usual watering hole when in these parts, Monty’s Cafe, right opposite the station. The signs didn’t look good when we saw people sitting outside eating alfresco bearing in mind it was mid December. Sure enough after a quick look inside we discovered there was No Room At The Inn and no one looked like they were due to finish soon. Blimey, we might have to get something at the ground. PJ wasn’t at all keen on that and was straight onto Google Maps to see what was available elsewhere. Ah, here we go. Just around the corner was Archies Cafe which seemed to get some good reviews. How did we used to get on without smart phones? We hotfooted it around the corner. Yes, this looked good. In fact, it looked better than Monty’s cafe. The menu contained all the right items to keep a Stodgebuster happy, but, of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. PJ went for an American breakfast which comprised of three pancakes, two rashers of bacon, a couple of scrambled eggs and a jug of maple syrup. Gary had a full English while Steve and Roly had a couple of omelettes and chips. It was all bleedin’ first class and, along with the very warm and friendly service and Absolute Classic Rock on the radio, we agreed that it was better than Monty’s. We had unearthed a little gem. This will probably be the go-to eatery for future visits to Woodside Road. There was still over an hour to kick off so we had another round of teas before we left for the stroll to the ground.

There is a house clearance shop by the level crossing and we like looking in the window at the incredible range of wonderful items on offer. Who doesn’t want a VHS video recorder or a Goblin Teasmade? Seriously though, a couple of us like a good rummage amongst junk and it’s a shame it’s always closed when we go by. Henry Cole could do a whole series of Find It, Fix It, Flog It in there.

Now we’ve always found that Sussex Senior Cup games are cheaper than league games. Not a bit of it at Worthing. We were unpleasantly surprised to see that they wanted a full £12 or £8 concession. Unlike other cups they don’t have to split the takings so they kept the lot from over eight hundred attendees. No wonder they have money to splash around on players. This had the Stodgebusters and a few comrades up in arms and indeed, there was a rumour someone allegedly under 65 allegedly got in as a concession.  It was pleasing to see a lot of Lewes supporters had made the trip along the coast. Unfortunately we wouldn’t be having the pleasure of Turnstile Alan’s insightful comments about the keeper and defenders during the game as he couldn’t attend, but Golden Goal Ethel had made it along with her minders Jamie and Treacle to keep her in order in case she got a bit rowdy.

Both teams had announced strong line ups. Joe Taylor was rested for Lewes but Ollie Tanner was in, presumably his ban for a recent red card didn’t apply in County Cup games. Worthing had ex-Rook and pantomime villain Dayshonne Golding in their line up. We wondered how much he would be in referees face  today.

We did OK for 15 minutes. In fact we were probably the better team. This was just like the league match except we didn’t score. Worthing gradually got a foothold though and were awarded a penalty halfway through the half when someone went over in the box after a challenge. It looked to us as if the tackler had got the ball but the referee thought different and waved away the protests. The kick itself had an air of fortune about it too as it crashed off the bar but, alas, went over the line.

Pretty soon it was two-nil. A kick from the keeper found their right winger who crossed for ex-Rook Callum Keally to easily tap home. The ball went from keeper to our net in two passes and less than ten seconds. Too easy!  We had loads of possession but we weren’t getting anywhere and we already had the feeling that was probably game over.

It continued into the second half. Lots of possession but very few chances created against a very efficient Worthing defence. Parker playing up front barely got a kick. Every time a Lewes attack broke down Worthing were away on the counter and these ended up as several chances. Eventually one break down the right ended with an excellent shot across Carey and in off the far post.

Three-nil, and one couldn’t really argue about the result. They were a class above all over the pitch. It seemed like they had 14 players out there. We’ll be amazed if they don’t go up. How on earth did Margate beat them?

So that’s the end of cup action before Christmas again for another season. Cue the “lets concentrate on the league” clichés.

The Stodgebusters will return at Horsham for the big Boxing Day Showdown. Let’s hope the players don’t eat too much Christmas pud. We probably will. It’s what we do.

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THE LEWES FC WOMEN’S HALF-TIME REPORT

With half of the season played and outings in the FA Women’s Cup and Continental League Cup, Joe Short provides a review of the campaign so far.

Pictures thanks to James Boyes

A new season calls for a new challenge – and while coronavirus has proved immensely testing for everyone across the football pyramid, what better way to start a season than to fling yourself out of a plane for charity?

That’s how the Lewes FC women’s team got their 2021/22 campaign underway. Team captain Rhian Cleverly, vice-captain Ellie Hack, CEO Maggie Murphy and directors Karen Dobres and Claire Rafferty parachuted over the Sussex countryside in a charity jump in aid of Breast Cancer UK.

Check out Ellie’s skydive video here!

While Rhian and Ellie were busy checking out the glorious views of the South Downs, manager Simon Parker was working on recruiting fresh faces for the season.

Pre-season kicked off with the Rooks welcoming a number of new recruits to the club. Among them was Northern Ireland international Rebecca McKenna, midfielder Lara Miller and exciting attacking talent Freda Ayisi.

The Pan also enjoyed some American media interest in July when NBC’s Matt McBradley came down to highlight our equality stance when it comes to paying our men’s and women’s teams the same. We were delighted to welcome Matt, who had been following the US Women’s Soccer team through the Olympics in the summer, where they were disappointed on only win a bronze medal.

August was a month of hard work for the players as they prepared to go again in the Women’s Championship and seek a better finish than the fifth place earned in 2020/21.

Unfortunately we were downed 2-1 at Bristol City in the opening day of the campaign in September, before claiming a 1-0 result at the Pan against London City Lionesses – Ini Umotong scoring the winner and her second of four league goals so far this season.

Summer ended with back-to-back Sundays to the north east, where the Rooks earned a point at Sunderland before losing 2-0 to Durham. A week later, following a 1-0 win against Blackburn, the club made the difficult decision to part company with coach Parker and seek a new manager to lead the team.

In came interim boss Craig Gill, a former reserve coach at Swansea City, assistant first-team coach at Newport County and elite player development coach at the Football Association of Wales.

Gill wasn’t present for his first game against Crystal Palace – a 1-1 Conti Cup draw that the Rooks sadly lost on penalties – but was delighted by what he saw heading into what would be his first full game in charge against Crystal Palace in mid-October.

“I’ve tried to impart my own philosophy on the team without changing things too much, and I think you’ll find that we’re very positive against Charlton and very much on the front foot,” said the new interim boss. “We want to take the game to Charlton and are looking to secure a positive result.”

And what a result we got! First-half goals from Paula Howells and Amelia Hazard secured a 2-0 result and after the game Gill said: “It all bodes well. I’ve enjoyed my first week here, but this is just the beginning and there’s lots more work to do as we progress through the coming weeks.”

Indeed, autumn would prove a choppy time for Lewes as victories over Coventry United and Sheffield United were perhaps overshadowed by losses to Liverpool and Watford. Gill’s troops also found themselves out of the WSL Cup, while a side weakened by Covid-19 absences lost 5-0 to Bristol City in the Women’s FA Cup.

November was also the month one of our longest serving players, Charley Boswell, hung up her boots. Bos originally stepped back from football in January 2021 but her strength of character shone through when she agreed to help the team through a testy period over the spring.

“We are one lucky club to have had a player with the talent and drive that Bos has,” said general manager Lynne Burrell. “She has always pushed us to raise our standards as a team and a club and should be extremely proud of everything she has achieved, not just at Lewes, but throughout her career in football. It’s been absolutely wonderful to have her as part of the team and we want to thank Bos for everything she’s done.”

A three-week international break in late November saw McKenna once again join up with the Northern Ireland squad – and the defender scored her first international goal in a ruthless 11-0 victory over North Macedonia (BBC highlights here!)

Back in East Sussex, Lewes’ last game of 2021 was a final Conti Cup group match, against Women’s Super League side Reading. Despite having lost heavily at Bristol City just three days previous, the players mucked in and earned a credible 1-1 draw against the Royals, and then won the subsequent penalty shootout 6-5 thanks to Hack’s calm finish.

Lucy Ashworth-Clifford was one of Lewes’ successful penalty takers at the Pan that day. And her goal followed her being named November Player of the Month in the Women’s Championship – the first Lewes star to earn the accolade.

“It goes to show that anyone in our team has a chance and are more than capable of winning it,” said Ashworth-Clifford. “We’ve got a very talented group of girls and I definitely won’t be the last player from Lewes to receive it.”

And with that we headed into Christmas – but the drama didn’t stop here! Lewes FC was named The Times’ Chief Sports Writer, Owen Slot’s, Team of the Year for displaying how both equality on and off the field can lead to success!

And just days before Christmas Day the club was delighted to confirm we have passed 2,000 owners, across 34 countries worldwide! Hitting 2,000 individual owners was a target for the club earlier this year and goes to show that our message of equality and fairness in sport is being recognised across the globe.

Of course, we’ve now set a new target of 3,800 owners by 31 May 2022 – the end of the season. Can you help make this happen?

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SQUAD NEWS

There’s been a few changes in the squad in the last few weeks, so here’s an update in case you have missed anything.

Centre-midfielder Tom Phipp has joined the club having left Herne Bay. Phipp started his career as a 17 year old with Ebbsfleet and went on to play for Maidstone, Margate and Tonbridge Angels before taking a break from football to study for a degree in marketing. After a spell at Crowborough Athletic, Phipp joined Tony Russell at Cray Wanderers in the summer of 2018 and was an integral part of the team that won the Isthmian South East title in 2018/19. Phipp joins the club from Herne Bay who he joined in May 2021.

Manager Russell said: “He is someone who I have worked with before and that’s so helpful as he knows what is expected of him. Phippo is 6’2ft, very good in the air and on the ball and has a brilliant football brain. I am over the moon to have him with us, he understands how I want to go about breaking down formations so it will be like having a coach out on the pitch”

Wideman Deshane Dalling started his career at Queen’s Park Rangers and spent time on loan with Cork City and Wealdstone whilst with The Hoops. After leaving QPR, Dalling had a short spell at Hemel Hempstead and then joined Dartford at the start of the season.

“Me and Joe went to watch a game a few years back when the league was stopped and he was playing in the game for QPR” said Russell. “He was the best player on the pitch and me and Joe didn’t stop talking about him after the game. We have been tracking him just like we do many others, so when we heard he didn’t have a club, we went out and got him. He, like many young lads who get let go by a pro clubs, will need time for us to build his confidence back up but that is what Joe and I pride ourselves on so we are both excited to work with him”. Tony added “I’m sure you can see a pattern developing here; we want the best young players coming to Lewes and Deshane fits that bill”.

Jeuven Spencer joined the squad on Christmas Eve after joining from Kingstonian.

An attacking right back, Spencer started his career with AFC Wimbledon before going on to Salisbury City and Whytleafe but is best known for his spell at Corinthian Casuals for whom he made nearly 300 appearances.

Spencer left Casuals for Chipstead before returning to King George’s Field in the summer of 2020 to join Kingstonian.

Manager Tony Russell is delighted to have finally got his man: “I have been a fan of Juevan for a long time so I am over the moon to get him over the line. He will bring great pace and energy from full back, something we feel has been missing. He trained with us last night and fitted in so well with the group and that’s a great sign”.

Young centre-half Nic D’Arienzo will stay at Burgess Hill Town for the rest of the season. D’Arienzo has almost been an ever present for the Hillians since arriving at the start of November.

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THE NEW YEAR’S PRIZE QUIZ – WIN A SIGNED LEWES SHIRT

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE LEWES SQUAD?

As a Christmas present to you all, we had planned on a special prize quiz for our pre-festive game against Cray Wanderers. So instead it is a post-New Year one but the prize, a shirt signed by the first team squad, is still up for grabs. Twenty questions about the current squad and management team. Heck, we’ve even made it multiple choice to make it slightly easier for you.

The entrant with the most correct answers as of 9pm GMT on New Year’s Day will win the prize. Should there be a tie, then the winner will be drawn at random. Answers will be published in the Progcast for the game against Merstham on the 15th January.

Good Luck and here goes.

*The first team squad and management are naturally barred from entering.

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THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PARTNERS

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ON THE ROAD TO KINGSTONIAN – MON 3RD JAN 2022

About Kingstonian Football Club
Founded – 1885
Manager – Hayden Bird
Best league position – 5th in Conference Premier 1999/2000
Best FA Cup run – Fourth Round Proper – Lost at home to Bristol City 1-0 in a replay
Ground Capacity – 2,700

About King George’s Field
King George’s Field is a basic affair but at least Kingstonian can start to put down roots again after a season on the road.  There is a small main stand with a few rows of seating and a covered terrace along one side and a covered terrace behind one goal.  Apart from that it is hard standing around the pitch.  The club house and food van can be found behind the main stand.  Their three-cheese chips earnt them plaudits last season from away fans.  Trains regularly pass over the top of the main stand which can be a bit off-putting for away players and fans alike.  The new ground-share with will deliver a number of benefits for both clubs in the coming few years with a new stand and a 3G planned, funded by Kingstonian’s share of the proceeds of the sale of Kingsmeadow to Chelsea.

How to get to King George’s Field
The ground is situated just off the A3 not far from the Tolworth roundabout. If you are travelling from the M25 you can join the A3 London-bound at junction 10. Stay on the A3 until you reach the 50mph speed limit, continue under the Hook roundabout and move into the left-hand lane for about 174 yards. Bear left onto Hook Rise North for 0.2 mile (Tolworth Junction). At roundabout, take the FOURTH exit (as if you were going to re-join the A3 going back towards the way you came signposted M25, Portsmouth) then almost immediately take slip road on left onto Hook Rise South for 0.5 mile.

If you are travelling from London on the A3 take the Tolworth Junction exit. At roundabout, take the second exit (as if you were going to re-join the A3 going towards M25, Portsmouth) then almost immediately take slip road on left onto Hook Rise South for 0.5 mile. Turn left into Queen Mary Close. Ground and car park under railway bridge on right hand side. The 55-mile journey should take just over an hour from Lewes.

The ground is situated around a ten-minute walk from Tolworth station which is in Zone 5. Turn left out of the station and walk up to the roundabout where you should turn left again, past where the Toby Jug pub used to be. Walk alongside the slip road into Hook Rise South. Continue down the road until you reach Queen Mary’s Close, where you will see a small sign for the club. Walk under the bridge and the ground is on the right.  Journey time from Lewes, with a change at Clapham Junction is 1 hour 50 minutes and an Off-Peak Day Return is currently £24.90.

Admission at King George’s Field
Admission this season will be £10 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens), Students £4, and accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge.  

Fancy a beer?
This is a tough one – there are no pubs within a 10/15-minute walk of the ground so unusually I am going to recommend having a beer or two at Clapham Junction at pubs such as The Falcon (which has England’s longest bar) or The Slug and Lettuce, both a 2-minute walk from the station.

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

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ON THE ROAD TO ENFIELD TOWN – SAT 8th JAN 2022

About Enfield Town Football Club
Founded – 2001
Manager – Andy Leese
Best league position – 4th in the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2016/17
Best FA Cup run – Fourth Qualifying Round 2015/16 and 2017/18 – Lost at home to  Maidstone United 3-1 in a replay
Ground Capacity – 2,500 of which around 350 is covered seating

About The Queen Elizabeth Stadium
The stand out feature of the Queen Elizabeth Stadium is the main stand which for all you art and architecture aficionados is a Grade II listed building, designed in 1939 and completed in 1953.  The bar at the top of the stand offers some panoramic views of the game, albeit from a distance away.  There’s a few rows of seats up here too.

There is a small raised terrace halfway between the main stand and the edge of the pitch, whilst behind each goal are small covered terraces.  On the far side is a small seated stand that straddles the half-way line.  The ground hosted a number of games in the 2018 CONIFA World Cup including the final in front of a record attendance of over 2,000 fans.

How to get to The Queen Elizabeth Stadium

The ground is relatively easy to find if you are coming down from the M25, Junction 25 which means you need to head up the A3/M23 then anti-clockwise around the M25 (it’s a 10 mile shorter trip than going clockwise but if the Dartford Crossing is bad it could be an option) to Junction 25.  Take a left at the roundabout and head south on the A10.  Follow the A10 towards Central London for around 1.8 miles and then take a right into Carterhatch Lane, then first left into Donkey Lane.  The ground is around the corner.  There’s plenty of free parking opposite the entrance.

The 93-mile journey from Lewes should take around 1 hour 45 minutes depending on the traffic and time of day.

There are two train stations close to the ground.  Southbury is a 30-minute journey from London Liverpool Street.  Exit the station and then take a left onto Southbury Road.  At the junction with the A10 use the pedestrian crossing to cross and then take a right and head north up the A10.  At the end of the playing fields there is an alley on the left – take this and the ground is ahead on the right.

Enfield Town is on another line from London Liverpool Street and is a 33-minute journey time.  Exit the station and turn right along Southbury Road.  After you have passed Tesco on your right, cross the road and take next left into Ladysmith Road.  Follow this road for 500 yards before taking a right down the path where the ground is at the end.

Admission at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium
Admission this season is £11 for adults, £7 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under16s £1 plus there is a £1 charge to transfer to the seats in the main stand.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the Toby Carvery on the A10/Donkey Lane junction but you can do better than that!  The Cricketers on Chase Side does some good ales on draft and is a 20-minute walk from the ground.  The Kings Head is in Market Place and is recommended.  It is almost next door to the Barclays Bank which had the first ATM machine in the UK (even better random fact, Reg Varney from On the Buses fame was the first customer to use the machine).  There’s also a decent bar at the top of the main stand in the ground which services rotating craft beers.

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TODAY’S TEAMS WILL APPEAR HERE AT 2:30PM

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AND FINALLY….

SIX AND OUT FOR BANSTEAD ATHLETIC

On Monday 27th December, Banstead Athletic headed down to Woking to take on Sheerwater for a Combined Counties Premier League game. Due to COVID-19 related issues, they started the game with just ten men. Ten became nine, then eight and finally seven as three players, including the goalkeeper went off injured. At 7-0 down early in the second half, Banstead lost their skipper to a sin bin caution, reducing them to six players and thus the game was abandoned. It’s fair to say that the two clubs probably aren’t on each other’s Christmas card list.

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CREDITS AND LEGALS

“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, 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
Match Coordinator Shrey Nilvarna
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager James Barker
Welfare and Safeguarding Officer Amanda Walderman

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
Match logistics Clive Burgess
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

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

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NEXT UP AT THE PAN…..SAT 15TH JANUARY 2021

THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

MERSTHAM FC – TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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ON THIS DAY QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. Tom Phipp
  2. Tom Fraser
  3. Tom Davis
  4. Jordan Badger
  5. Leroy Griffiths