Sunday 23rd January – 14:00 – FA Women’s Championship

Rook divider
Rook divider
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-10-06-at-21.04.08.png
Rook divider

Welcome to The Dripping Pan for today’s FA Women’s Championship game with Sunderland. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

Rook divider

Manager’s Thoughts

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 51600096706_7e398acfa2_k-1024x683.jpg

We were bitterly disappointed both with the performance and the result against Charlton. It was most uncharacteristic of us, to be honest. We were poor in possession and didn’t defend as we needed – both individually and collectively. We know we can do better than that.

Obviously we hadn’t played for a month going into that game so there was potentially a bit of rustiness there, with games postponed because of Covid and the Christmas break. However, this week the girls have bounced back typically in enthusiastic fashion. They’ve shown those great qualities again, with and without the ball.

We’re hoping for a much-improved performance against Sunderland at the weekend, where we can hopefully put on a performance which is indicative of our qualities. Hopefully that then turns into points.

We’re very much looking forward to play a home league game for the first time in two months. The players are looking forward to it. The fans bring a great atmosphere to the Pan, especially with the band!

It means a lot to the players and really does make a difference, helping them to perform as best they can. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the fans back and cheering us on.


Rook divider

Notes from the Big Chair…

Well, this is a rarity! A league home game at last after just a 10 week absence since our last one against Coventry United. They say a week is a long time in football, but ten? Our last opponents have gone into administration, were on the brink of folding and thankfully, have since been rescued and are playing again, albeit with a ridiculous ten point penalty.

I understand why rules are in place to try to stop club owners gaming the system in terms of spending beyond their means and then using the bankruptcy protection laws to mitigate their losses.

But it needs to be reflective of the league they play in. A ten point penalty for a Premier League side (not that that situation would almost never occur based on the money moving around at the top level of the Men’s game) equates to slightly less than the return from 4 games, or 10% of the games played in a season.

Ten points at the FAW Championship is 20% and with half the season already played, it is a mountain for Coventry to climb to avoid relegation. How about a simple pro-rate solution? Five points would give United a fighting chance still and keep the league competitive.

The fact we’ve had no league home games in that tumultuous period for Coventry United says a lot about what needs fixing in women’s football too. No home games = no gate revenue and no secondary spend, whilst clubs still have to pay wages and bills. The long Christmas break isn’t isolated either – we have a further three week breaks coming up in February and April. If there’s one change that would have a positive material impact on clubs at our level it is to sort out the fixture calendar to ensure clubs aren’t being financially distressed.

Today we welcome Sunderland to the Pan for the first time. I hope their fans, players, management and officials have had a safe journey and enjoy our hospitality today. We were incredibly lucky to play our away game at the magnificent Stadium of Light and I’d like to thank the club for the hospitality they showed us.

We will hope to get to winning ways after a narrow defeat last Sunday at Charlton Athletic. There’s no doubt the hosts were better value for their first half lead but a change in approach in the second period saw us unlucky not to come away from South East London with a point.

One highlight for me was seeing Kallie Balfour at the game as she starts her recovery from the serious injury she picked up in the FA Cup tie at Bristol City before Christmas.

Enjoy the game and get behind the team.

Come on you Rooks!


Rook divider
Rook divider

Teamsheets (updated ahead of kick-off)

Rook divider

Charlton Athletic vs Lewes, 1-0. Images by James Boyes.

Rook divider

Rooks kick off New Year with a defeat at Charlton Athletic

Report by Tai Kolade

Lewes lost 1-0 away at Charlton Athletic and, If we’re being honest about this game, The Rooks were never really in it. There were moments of potential joy, moments where the Lewes danger was real, but that’s actually all they were in the end, moments.

For the first 45 minutes the game threatened to be all Charlton. They were dynamic, linking play better and winning all contested balls. Tatiana Saunders was the best Lewes player on the pitch in the first half and that’s both commendable to her but a worrying indication of how the match would and did go. Charlton’s high press forced The Rooks into inviting unnecessary pressure onto themselves and that’s where Charlton’s goal came from. The high press forces the ball to be played back to Saunders, problem is the ball is short and up for grabs. However Saunders, showing full commitment to the cause, produces an inch perfect slide tackle, taking the ball the 50/50 ball, jumping up and passing to Rhian Cleverly on the left. Unfortunately for our captain, her pass forward  was intercepted under pressure and from Charlton’s Lois Heuchan who got to the line quickly before she squared the ball for Elise Hughes to stroke into an unprotected net.

The goal finally kicked The Rooks into some sort of gear and they found their first chances after a Charlton foot poked the ball from Freda Ayisi, it fell to Imi Umotong who held her own before she spun and fired into the side netting. Umotong went down after the chance and wouldn’t return for the second half. Losing your top goal scorer is a miss for any team, but Lewes came out in the second half and were a better team. The tackles became stronger, the moves became sharper, the chances became better, but nothing that truly tested Eartha Cumings in the Charlton net. The closest chance fell to Ayisi who connected with the ball from 25 yards to sadly see it cannon off the bar and out. The bar is probably still shaking now.

It was always going to be a hard task against a team which has kept 4 clean sheets in a row in all competitions but the Rooks will bounce back as they face Sunderland (Tickets on sale now) at The Dripping Pan on the 23rd January.

Lewes Manager Craig Gill:

“We are all very disappointed with the result and particularly the first half performance that saw us make basic errors both in and out of possession against a good Charlton team.

“Perhaps there might have been be a degree of match rustiness given that we haven’t played a competitive game for a month but it certainly doesn’t reflect the good work and quality that the players show in training on a daily basis.

“We discussed this at half-time and the quality of possession and defending in the second half was much better.

“We’ll be looking for the great support of our fans to help spur the players on against Sunderland in order to achieve our usual high level of performance.”

Lewes: Saunders, Cleverly, Cousins, McKenna, Noble, Ashworth-Clifford, Ayisi, Howells, Dalton, Cross, Umotong Subs: Hack (46′),Timms (46′), Hazard (83′)Subs Not Used: Hartley, Salgado, Logan, Collins, Longhurst

Rooks kick off New Year with a defeat at Charlton Athletic
Rooks kick off New Year with a defeat at Charlton Athletic
Rook divider

Last Match Replay

Rook divider
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is moore_law_final.jpg
Rook divider

Congratulations to our Owner-voted Players of the Month!

Rook divider
Rook divider
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2021-08-17-at-14.23.02-1024x697.png
Rook divider

Gill Brings in reinforcements from Brighton

We are delighted to welcome new signings Josie Longhurst & Lea Cordier to the club! Both players have joined Lewes on dual registration from Brighton Academy, and both have represented their respective countries! Welcome to Lewes FC!

Rook divider

Lewes Squad List

1Tatiana Saunders (GK)
32Shanell Salgado (GK)
2Ellie Mason
3Rhian Cleverly (C)
4Amelia Hazard
5Nicola Cousins
6Ellie Hack
7Lucy Ashworth-Clifford
8Ellie Noble
9Georgia Timms
10Freda Ayisi
11Heidi Logan
14Paula Howells
15Ini Umotong
16Izzy Collins
18Rebecca McKenna
19Kallie Balfour
20Sophie O’Rourke
23Izzy Dalton
27Zoe Cross
31Laura Hartley (GK)
34Lara Miller
17Josie Longhurst
22Lea Cordier
Rook divider

Sunderland Squad List

1. Allison Cowling

2. Neve Herron

4. Faye Mullen

5. Grace McCatty

6. Louise Griffiths

7. Keira Ramshaw

8. Emily Scarr

9. Eve Blakey

10. Maria Farrugia

11. Jessica Brown

13. Claudia Moan

14. Emma Kelly

16. Grace Ede

17. Abbey Joice

18. Libbi McInness

19. Megan Beer

21. Holly Manders

26. Daisy Burt

Rook divider
Rook divider

Round up of all of our side’s results from last week!

Rook divider

A massive congratulations to our Lewes under 14’s for winning their Sussex FA Challenge Cup last weekend!

The team are being presented with their trophy today at the game.

Rook divider

ICYMI: Lewes Owner Judy Murray’s ‘Driving Force’ show with Eniola Aluko at the Dripping Pan!

Join Judy and 2,000+ others worldwide by becoming a Lewes FC Owner HERE:

The show follows Judy exploring the careers of inspiring women in sports, interviewing them and the people involved. This week’s show, which aired on Monday and is now available on ITV player, was filmed at The Dripping Pan where Judy interviewed English striker Eniola Aluko. It also features words from our very own Maggie Murphy, Rhian Cleverly, and Ini Umotong… It even includes Judy taking pens!!! Here’s a sneak peek:


Rook divider

Rhian Cleverly: ‘Lewes FC care about you as people, not just as players’ GiveMeSport Article

Lewes FC will play in their first Women’s Championship match since November this afternoon – partly the result of the winter break, and partly the result of cup commitments and COVID-19.

Currently sitting seventh in the table, the side will be hoping to earn a victory against Charlton Athletic and put pressure on the teams placed above them.

After all, the Women’s Championship is looking incredibly tight this season. Third-placed London City Lionesses are only three points ahead of the Rooks, while second-placed Durham are five points ahead but with a game in hand.

For Lewes captain Rhian Cleverly, the Women’s Championship is one of the most fiercely-contested leagues she’s played in. 

“You definitely can’t have an off week,” she explains. “That’s a big difference between playing in the second division in France and the second division here – you’re not battering teams 8-0 at any point. If you are, you’ve had a very, very good week.”

“I think as soon as you win one game, it’s about not getting too high, and as soon as you lose another game, it’s about not getting too low. It’s about keeping that stable emotion, which we’ve discussed as a camp. It’s difficult, but winning doesn’t come easy, does it?”

Cleverly played in France for a year, plying her trade for Le Havre in the Division 2 Féminine.

She also had a spell in the United States, representing Hofstra University from 2013 to 2017.

The 26-year-old moved to Lewes in 2019, and soon discovered what set the club apart from the rest.

Rhian Cleverly is captain of Lewes Women

“The club I played at in France was professional,” she says. “But I think for me, professional means the care that you have to the players, rather than just the money side of it.

“We’re slowly becoming more professional in terms of the financial side and the facilities, but I think in terms of player care, it’s definitely the best club that I’ve ever been at.

“They care about you as people, as well as players. That just helps, and it builds the foundations for a special club.”

Dubbed ‘Equality FC’, Lewes are the only football club in the world to give its male and female players the same resources.

Cleverly also received more or less equal treatment in the US, however, where women’s football is often viewed as more popular than men’s. Her experience of how it could be done made a move to Lewes all the more attractive.

“I think just having that experience showed me that it was possible. I actually learned about Lewes while I was in America, I read a newspaper article about the club, and I thought ‘that’s cool’.

“I thought it would be a cool club to play for, but never actually thought I’d end up playing here! But it just shows that it can be done, and hopefully one day it will just be the norm.”

Cleverly did not just end up playing for Lewes – she is now captain. As leader of the team, does she feel an increased pressure to prove that the way things are done at the Dripping Pan is the correct way?

“I think it just comes with it naturally,” Cleverly responds. “It fits in with my values anyway, so I’m not trying to be something that I’m not, that I don’t really believe in.

“I think the more you get to know Lewes, the more you like it, just because they do things the right way. So yeah, I don’t think we’re trying to pretend to be something we’re not.

“As I said, we truly believe in what we do. And so it kind of comes naturally, even when other people maybe then don’t agree.”

Cleverly is now looking ahead to the remainder of the season, and hoping Lewes can build on two impressive victories against Sheffield United and Coventry United in November.

“It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight,” she says. “We know we’re not going to win the league overnight, especially when we’re competing against teams like Liverpool.

“But that positive direction is definitely there – you can feel the buzz in the camp.”

Available at:

Rook divider

Catch the Final Instalment in the Dripping Pan Trilogy this Tuesday!

Rook divider
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 19699_FA_WSL_FA-PLAYER_PROGRAMME-AD-2560x1440px-1024x576.jpg
Rook divider

The Dripping Pan in all its glory…

Rook divider
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is KIO-25.jpg
Rook divider


Today there may be film crews in the ground, filming on behalf of Lewes Football Club and other media organisations. The filming is usually for Lewes FC marketing purposes, to show what a match day looks/sounds like and to generally promote what we do. Lewes Football Club respectfully asks for your permission to be filmed. If you do not want to be filmed, please let the crew know directly and they will oblige.  Thanks for your cooperation in helping to build a successful club.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_7150-1024x768.jpeg
Rook divider


“The FA Women’s Championship strongly supports recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability 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).

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 Craig Gill (interim)
Assistant Coaches Jesus Cordon
PP Coach Christos Andreou
GK Coach John Macrae
Nutritionist Stefano Montanari
Physio Katrina Martin
Physiotherapist Paul Paredes
Team Psychologist Chelsea Orme
Data Analyst Adam Chilcott

General Manager Lynne Burrell

Women’s DS Head Coach Andy Corrigan

DS Assistant Coaches Rhian Cleverly and Nicola Cousins
U16 Girls Head Coach Carl Pennifold
U16 Girls Assistant Coach Tim Heal
U14 Girls Head Coach Rob Palmer
U14 Girls Assistant Coach Tom Young

Pathway Co-ordinator Ryan Sullivan

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Stuart Fuller and Sam Simons
Club Photographer James Boyes

Rook divider


14:00 SUNDAY MARCH 6TH 2022