Saturday 5th March 2022 – 3pm – The Isthmian Premier League

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Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against Worthing. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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SUPPORTING THE UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN EFFORT

Today you will notice that the players will be walking out holding sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine which has recently become a symbol of resistance.  After the line-up they will walk to the edges of the pitch and pass the sunflowers into the crowd. We will be raising money for the British Red Cross Disasters Emergency Committee humanitarian effort  – and you can donate electronically through the QR codes around the ground or by clicking this link, or by donating spare cash into the buckets around the ground. Our Supporters Club, and our Women’s and Men’s Vets are all undertaking huge fundraising efforts this month as well. We are also keeping our Ukrainian colleague Anastasiya Khomutova, our volunteer Pathway and Assistant 1st Team Performance Psychologist in our thoughts at this time. Her parents are still in Ukraine and it is a distressing time for her, not least as a recent mother herself. 

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to what is probably the most anticipated local derby of 2022 in these parts. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Worthing and hope that we see a fantastic game of football. We’ve been incredibly lucky in recent seasons that these fixtures have certainly featured plenty of action – our last six league meetings have featured 35 goals, not to mention five red cards!

Worthing have certainly been the form side in this division for the past three seasons and had COVID not arrived they would have almost certainly been playing in the National League by now. Adam Hinshelwood is an excellent manager and he’s shown over the last few years his ability in building fantastic sides that are full of attacking promise.

We’ve had a real stop-start last few weeks with two postponements and then the draw last Saturday at Corinthian-Casuals. The top six have now almost played the same number of games and March will go a long way to shaping who the top five will be. In my eyes it is Worthing’s title to lose but football can be a fickle mistress at times. After today we host Bishop’s Stortford here in two weeks then travel to Folkestone Invicta in a really tough month ahead.

I’m writing these notes less than 24 hours to kick off and we’ve sold an amazing 1,950 tickets in advance. We’ve now sold out! We’ve not seen a Men’s league crowd here at the Pan like this in over fifteen years (we had over 1,900 for the visit of Manchester United Women three seasons ago) and I hope there will be a cracking atmosphere for the game. We also have over 40 former players from the 1970s and 80s from both sides here today, organised by Terry Parris and we welcome them all and thank them for their contribution to football in Sussex over the years.

I’ve covered the issues we faced in the run up to the Margate game in terms of the weather later in this progcast but I wanted to thank the majority of our fans who understand how difficult the situation was. I’d also like to thank the volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to help repair the damage caused by Storm Eunice.

As you will have seen, we managed to bring in Rhys Murrell-Williamson two weeks ago to strengthen the squad and with a few weeks left before our registration window closed, our Head of Recruitment Adam Drew is putting in the miles looking at potential new recruits.

There’s been a huge amount of work gone into getting the Pan ready for today and hosting such a big crowd so I’d like to say a big thank you to Maggie, Shrey, James and Mitch who have put so much hard work into the logistics for today.

Finally, our thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine and the devastating situation they find themselves in due to the Russian invasion. We have a number of actions taking place today that shows our solidarity with the Ukrainians.

I’m sure you won’t need much encouragement to make some noise today.

Come On You Rooks!

Stuart

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon all and welcome to what could be one of the defining moments of the season.

Last Saturday at Corinthian-Casuals I don’t think we did enough to win the game – there’s no hard luck stories from our side.  We didn’t play well enough and it was a tight game – credit to Casuals who made it really hard for us and not one that will live long in the memories of our travelling fans, who were excellent again by the way.  It is a tough place to go and who knows how valuable that point and that clean sheet will be come the end of the season.

We’ve done two sessions this week in preparation for today’s game, one of which was a video session looking at Worthing’s strengths, and there are a lot of them.  This season, along with the last two, they have been the team to beat and Adam has done a terrific job there.  

There’s no doubt today’s game will be a cracker – the reverse fixture was 5-4 and I don’t think today will be much different in terms of chances created – one thing I am quite certain of saying is that it won’t be 0-0!  I’ve gone head to head with Adam for years, going back to his days at Hastings and my days at VCD and Cray Wanderers.  He’s a manager, like myself, who wants his teams to keep the ball and be on the front foot attacking so something has to give today.  Something has to give and hopefully it will be a great game for everyone to watch.  Adam has been able to build his outstanding side over a number of seasons and we are still in the early part of our journey but I believe we have the makings of an outstanding side ourselves.

Finger’s crossed we may have the first league sell-out here today for decades so we know the atmosphere will be something really special.  Make some noise, get behind the team and Come On You Rooks!

Tony

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WELCOME FROM OUR PRESIDENT

There has always been great friendship and respect between Lewes and Worthing and also great rivalry, there is never a dull moment when we play each other. A number joining us today played for both teams including myself. We met many times in my time at the club starting early 70’s, we have a mixture of players and management here today who represented both clubs from that time until the present. Being able to get together is really important, very often we see each other celebrating someone we have lost and many of those would have been with us today, this is an opportunity to be together and also to celebrate our lost friends.

Lewes FC are very supportive and proud of our history, we remind ourselves of the good and the bad times and always strive to make improvements. All those here today played their part in the success of each club, each person is proud of their association and every player proud to put that team shirt on. I didn’t want to mention individuals but I will, Micky Edmonds and Pip Parris will be amongst us, both prolific goal scorers and club record holders, just two of many great county players.

We have seen so many changes over the years, both clubs have invested heavily off the pitch making it far more welcoming for the fans and players. All those attending today contributed heavily towards this success and should never be forgotten. Thank you to Lewes FC for allowing us this opportunity. You will see us all in the beer garden next to the Philcox stand which the club have kindly allowed us to use, we will join in the support as fans and you will be able to tell very quickly who played for which club. Enjoy the game.  

Terry

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LIVE MATCH COMMENTARY AT THE PAN THIS WEEKEND

Do you struggle to see the action at The Dripping Pan? This weekend, the Lewes FC Supporters Club will be offering our first live match commentaries for visually impaired supporters at The Dripping Pan, so you can hear what’s happening, no matter where you want to sit or stand in the stadium!

Click here for more details on how you can get a headset

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TOMORROW HERE AT THE PAN

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SQUAD UPDATE

As we get to the business end of the season there’s some movement in Tony’s first team squad. Joining the squad just before the aborted Margate game was Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

Wide man Murrell-Williamson may familiar to some Lewes fans having played 13 games for the club in the 2013/14 season and more recently scoring against the Rooks with a fine finish in January 2022.

Rhys in action against us in January for Kingstonian – Picture: James Boyes

Rhys joins us from Kingstonian where he had made 40 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 8 times and having previously played for Manager Tony Russell at Cray Wanderers throughout 2020 and 2021.

Rhys has played for me before, so I know him well as a player and person and he is brilliant both on and off the pitch. I loved working with him at my old club so when I found out he was available, I did my best to make it happen.”, boss Tony Russell explained.

“He will add a lot to us as a group and I know the people of Lewes will love the way he plays football. He is a fast wide man who is very direct and loves to beat his man and has an eye for goal. I’m sure you will join me in welcoming Rhys to Lewes FC”.

Freddie Parker has joined Sevenoaks Town on loan until the end of the season, with an immediate recall option should we need to bring him back. Brad Santos, who has missed most of the season through injury, has gone on loan to Eastbourne Town for the remainder of the season.

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THERE MUST BE SOMEONE TO BLAME

There’s nothing the British like to discuss more than the weather. And we’ve had our fair share of it in recent weeks. Storm Eunice came and wreaked havoc to the South of England two weeks ago which led to all bar two games being postponed in our division. It wasn’t just the driving rain that led to issues – some of the strongest gusts of wind caused significant structural damage to buildings, homes and football grounds such as at Potters Bar Town, Bromley and Pagham.

To first dispel the myths or incorrect facts:

“X club didn’t fancy it”. There’s few teams that will not want to play a game. Granted, some may be weakened by injury, illness or suspension but the competitive nature of football means that the overwhelming majority of teams want to play games. I read last week that Aston Villa’s delayed arrival at The Amex for their game against Brighton & Hove Albion wasn’t anything to do with the serious traffic delays on the A23 but because the Villians were “bottling it”. Seriously? Some fans really need to get a grip.

It’s the club’s fault for not arranging an early inspection” The club has zero say in whether a game is postponed related to weather conditions. That decision has to be taken by the appointed referee, or in some cases, a neutral local referee should an early inspection be called. The FA have a set protocol for this and if you want to read it, here’s the Sussex FA version for your pleasure. .Unless a club has significant doubts about the state of the pitch then there is no need to call an early inspection. End of.

“The weather forecast is really poor” If there is no current issue with the playing conditions an inspection is not required. A referee cannot postpone a game on the forecast of bad weather alone without confirmation from the FA in incidences such as we saw on Friday with the Red Warnings issued. In most circumstances if there is any doubt that conditions are worsening, the referee will arrive earlier to inspect the ground. Let’s not get into squabbles about which weather app is the most accurate at this point either.

“You didn’t think of the away club and their fans” Yes, we do. If there was any doubt to a game we would arrange an early inspection prior to them leaving. Travelling clubs and their fans incur costs that can’t be refunded, as too do the home clubs. It is in nobodies interest or benefit for a game to be postponed with an hour or so to kick off.

“You failed to tell us the game was cancelled”. This is the most frustrating one. We use a number of different channels to communicate to fans – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, The Unofficial Fans Forum, our website and our ticketing page. Bar using carrier pigeons or taking an ad in the Argus, we covered every single one within ten minutes of the game being postponed. The 150+ ticket holders all received an email by 2.05pm. I had one fan tell me that he wasn’t aware and turned up at the ground at 2:50pm and that he didn’t use social media so how was he to know it was off. A fair point, but how were we supposed to communicate to him and any others who don’t use these methods? It’s not as if the conditions out of the window at 2pm suggested we were in for an afternoon of clement weather. I’m still waiting for an answer on that. The fan in question also expected the club to refund his train fare from Brighton.

So what happened on Saturday 19th February? Here’s a little timeline for you.

Volunteers started working around 9am, armed with tea and biscuits, on repairing some of the damage caused by Eunice. One of the dug outs was blown over, some of the fencing at the Ham Lane End and at the top of the Terry Parris Terrace has been decimated and there’s a few loose and damaged advertising boards but nothing that would warrant the game being called off.

At 10.30am I arrived and offered to help. I was immediately asked to make tea and keep out of harm’s way. Point taken. The weather was overcast, no rain and little wind. We had no reason to either ask the referee for an early inspection, nor share any concerns with Margate as they prepared to leave the Kent coast.

This was the situation at 11:45am – our volunteers are hard at work mending the damage caused by Storm Eunice. It’s not raining, nor is there any standing water on the pitch. The wind isn’t anything of concern. James Barker is even wearing shorts, Alan Sayers has his “summer’ coat on and Dave Evans is the foreman of the works.

At 12.45pm, with the hard work done, the volunteers are enjoying a well earned pint in the Rook Inn and sheltering from the persistent rain. The wind is picking up but still nothing that is concerning or at the level of Friday. The Margate team and officials, plus a couple of fans arrive soon after.

Just after 1:30pm the referee arrives and goes to inspect the pitch. By now the wind has picked up significantly and there is standing water in areas on and around the pitch. Whilst he feels the pitch could be readied for the game, and the water removed, the strength of the wind and the short-term forecast is a concern to the safety of the players and fans so he calls it off at 1:45pm. At 2pm this is what the corner of the pitch looked like.

I heard the phrase “common sense” a few times mentioned online and in person. Common sense to me was to do everything in our power to host a game for the players, management, officials and of course the fans in the safest possible way. If the heavy rain would have started at 10am, or even 11am perhaps we could have got an earlier inspection but it didn’t. Whilst the forecast was poor for a couple of hours, it wasn’t anything near as bad as we had seen in the last 24 hours. But ultimately it is one person and one person alone who determines whether a game goes ahead and he decided that the conditions prevailed. Naturally, we were disappointed but have to respect his decision, whether we agree or not.

We fully understand some fans will be annoyed, angry, upset and frustrated – we share the same emotions. We fully understand some fans will be out of pocket too, no more than the Margate fans who had made the long journey. Virtually all clubs (and fans) have been in a similar situation before and it hurts. But until the governing body changes the process and approach, we have to follow their rules and that means common sense may be interpreted in different ways.

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CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 0 LEWES 0 – SAT 26TH FEBRUARY 2022

Lewes dropped out of the play-off places after a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Corinthian Casuals, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made two changes to the side that beat Carshalton Athletic 2-1 in their previous game, with Bradley Pritchard and Rhys Murrell-Williamson, making his second debut after returning to the club last week, replacing Casey Pettit and Deshane Dalling in the starting line-up.

The hosts started brightly and saw Benjamin Cheklit send a volley back across goal just wide after good play down the right.

The Rooks were finding it difficult to build any momentum as they looked to continue their recent good form, with the home defence dealing comfortably with any pressure they were put under.

Lewes gradually began to pose more of a threat as the half progressed though, as Rhys Murrell-Williamson saw a teasing cross-shot from the right evade both Bradley Pritchard and Joe Taylor on its way past the far post.

Casuals always looked a threat in the final third themselves, and Lewis Carey was forced into a fine save to keep out a close-range Emmanuel Mensah volley.

Emmanuel Agboola in the home goal was called into action himself minutes later, denying Murrell-Williamson with his feet after a sharp exchange of passes with Taylor Maloney on the edge of the area.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead in the closing stages of the half, but saw Alfie Bendle flagged offside as he converted a cross from the right.

They then saw Kieron Cadogan shoot wide just before the break at the end of an incisive passing move with only Carey to beat as they looked to capitalise on an impressive spell of pressure.

The better chances continued to fall to Casuals in the second half, with Cadogan seeing a deflected effort hit the angle of post and bar on its way over.

The resulting corner was taken short before being delivered into the box and met by the head of Jack Strange, who saw his effort superbly tipped over the bar by Carey.

Cheklit was left unmarked from this corner, but could only guide his header onto the bar before the ball was eventually cleared.

Lewes were unable to play their usual passing game as the half progressed, with the hosts pressing high up the pitch and ensuring any attacks were snuffed out quickly and effectively.

The game petered out in the closing stages, the final opportunity falling to Lewes, with Michael Klass seeing a volley from just inside the area helped round the post by Agboola. 

With the Rooks fans behind the goal expecting a corner, the referee inexplicably awarded a goal-kick and this was the final action of a game that the Rooks would have hoped to win but could well have lost on the day, had it not been for an impressive performance from Carey.

Corinthian Casuals: Agboola, Tucker, Ojemen, Thompson, Strange, Bolton (Diallo 72), Bendle, Mensah, Sitch (Adelakun 90), Cheklit, Cadogan.

Unused Subs: Djemali, Mills, Pinney.

Booked: Bolton.

Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse, Salmon (Pettit 46), Weaire, Klass, Maloney (McLeod 75), Pritchard, Murrell-Williamson (Tanner 75), De-Graft, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Yao, Hall.

Booked: Taylor

Attendance: 351

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CHANNEL HOPPING

It is amazing to think that professional football clubs today will try every trick in the book to avoid playing games, apart from those in the Premier, and where possible, Champions League. We’ve become used to seeing weakened sides fielded in domestic cup competitions, as well as in the early stages of the Europa, and now European Conference, League competitions.

Whilst COVID has restricted the ability for us all to travel, the time will come again very soon when Premier League managers will be moaning about the Christmas fixture schedule, then happily field strong sides for meaningless mid-season overseas friendlies in exotic places. But fifty years ago, when your average top flight footballer would be expected to play 50+ competitive games in a season, and when squad sizes were often less than 15 player, there were numerous strange tournaments created by the authorities to try and generate some new interest in the game.

These competitions also existed in the Non-League game. The legendary Anglo-Italian Cup existed for ten seasons from 1976 as a semi-professional tournament, which saw Sutton United become the first, and only, English winners back in 1979 when they defeated Chieti. Sutton reached two of the next three finals, losing to Triestina and Modena, with Poole Town sandwiched in between, also losers to Modena.

But one strange tournament that didn’t even manage to complete one competition was the 1972-73 Townsend Thoresen Cross-Channel League. Three Kent-based sides, Dover, Folkestone and Ashford Town (as they were known back then) were paired with St Omer, Boulogne and Hazebrouch in a tournament whereby each of the English teams played their French opponents home and away.

It wasn’t the best time to be launching an international competition as the UK was being crippled by strike action and economic difficulties, whilst the reliance on the cross-Channel ferries meant games had to kick off at tea time in midweeks so that the clubs and their fans could make it home on the same day. Back then a day trip for the Kent club fans, including entry to the games, was about £5 (around £70 today).

The first game of the tournament saw Folkestone play out a goalless draw in Boulogne and whilst the Kent clubs looked to send strong sides across the Channel, the French sides were hampered by visa issues for some of their players. For Dover and Folkestone, both playing in the Southern League at the time, a trip across 25 miles of water was often quicker than many of their trips to all points North and West. But as the season progressed, and the English clubs had to try to fit their league games into a congested season, the tournament simply faded away.

When it was paused (it was never formally cancelled), Dover were top of the table, having won 3 and drawn 1 of their five games. Back then a win was only worth 2 points and so Folkestone could have snatched the inaugural title in their last game had the final fixtures been played.

But it was never to be and we are left with too many questions and not enough answers. One notable player who graced the tournament for Ashford Town was current Watford, and former England, boss Roy Hodgeson.

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INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS FROM WORTHING

THE HISTORY

Worthing kicked their first ball in anger in February 1886. In May 1900 Worthing and Worthing Athletic merged and in 1901 the Club moved to its current home, Woodside Road. In 1920, just after the First World War, Worthing helped found the Sussex County League, winning the championship for the first two seasons; another six titles were won during their stay in that league.

In 1948-49 Worthing joined the Corinthian League and a highest placing of 5th was achieved the following year. The Corinthian League became Division 1 of the Athenian League in 1963 and Worthing enjoyed immediate success, being promoted as runners-up to Leatherhead, as well as reaching the Athenian League Memorial Shield final (losing 2-1 to Chesham United on aggregate).

Worthing left the Athenian League in 1977 to become members of the newly formed Isthmian League Division Two, winning the title in 1981-82. In 1982-83 they won the First Division title and reached the 2nd Round of the FA Cup, losing 4-0 at Oxford United. The next two seasons saw Worthing finish as runners-up in the Premier Division to Harrow Borough and Sutton United, respectively.

At the end of 1984-85 the club’s main stand burnt down, in spite of which they reached the last 16 of the FA Trophy in 1985-86. However the following year Worthing were relegated from the Premier Division. Four years later their season proved disastrous, finishing bottom of Division One with only 10 points and 157 goals conceded.

In 1991-92 former Northern Ireland international, Gerry Armstrong, was appointed manager, and the following season Worthing became the first club to win Division 2 for a second time. Armstrong left in the summer of 1994 and was replaced by his coach John Robson. Premier Division status was regained as runners-up to Boreham Wood in his first season, and they also reached the FA Cup 1st Round (losing 3-1 at AFC Bournemouth).

Worthing finished bottom in their first season back in the Premier and Robson was replaced as manager. Others followed, before Brian Donnelly became manager at Christmas 1996. Under Donnelly’s leadership Worthing won their last five games to escape relegation on the last day. In 1998-99 Worthing won the Sussex Senior Cup for the first time in 21 years. 1999-2000 saw them reach the FA Cup 1st Round for a 4th time, losing at Rotherham United.

In 2001 Worthing celebrated 100 years of playing at Woodside Road, an event marked by the publication of the first book devoted to the Club. In 2003-04 they were promoted to the Premier Division, although relegated once again in 2007. There followed a succession of managerial changes until Adam Hinshelwood first assumed the reins on Christmas Day 2013. Adam moved on in 2015, but after two seasons re-joined Worthing in 2017. The 2017-18 season had lumped the club with the unwanted record of eight straight defeats from the opening day, and this is what lead to the eventual return of Hinch to the managerial hot seat.

The last two seasons saw the Rebels sitting on top of the Isthmian Premier League when the campaigns were curtailed. They will be hoping that coming into today eight points clear that it is third time lucky.

Special mention must be made to Worthing’s U18s, U16s, U15s, U14s, and Women’s teams, who were all top of their respective divisions when Covid suddenly stopped everything. We all know we meet an excellent Worthing side today sitting proudly at the top of the table.

THE SQUAD

Adam Hinshelwood – Manager

Adam made his name at Brighton & Hove Albion, and played a handful of games for the Rooks in 2007 whilst recovering from a major ACL injury. He made the move into coaching as Manager of his local club – Selsey – either side of spells as Assistant Manager at Hastings United, and Burgess Hill Town. He took charge of his first game as Worthing boss on Christmas Day 2013 and narrowly missed out on the Division One South play-offs in 2014/15. After that he was coaxed back into the full-time ranks as Manager of Brighton’s U18s for a spell. He started the 2017/18 campaign at Hastings United, until he answered the call from Woodside Road following a string of successive defeats at the opening of that season.

Harrison Male – Goalkeeper

Harrison joined Worthing in June 2021 after spending 12 years with Leeds Utd. He has represented England at U15/16 and 17s.

James Beresford – Defender

James is a full-back who returned to Worthing in December 2021 from Eastbourne Borough in the National League South. He played for us previously, as well as Lancing, and had trials at several clubs including Brighton and Hove Albion.

Aarran Racine – Defender/Captain

Aarran started out at Southampton, joining their academy at U15s and signed a professional contract in October 2008. After several years at St Mary’s he was released in May 2012 and plays centre-back.

Joel Colbran – Defender

Joel is a full-back who picked up the Manager’s Player of the Year Award in 2018. In his second spell at Worthing after playing for their U18s, he re-signed in 2016.

Will Seager – Defender

Will joined Worthing last summer from Leatherhead where he had played close on 100 games since debuting in 2017. He was previously in youth sides at Carshalton, and Kingstonian.

Luca Cocoracchio – Defender

Luca graduated from Worthing’s Academy and was scouted to join Brighton & Hove Albion in 2018. He was later released after a short time and re-joined Worthing.

Cameron Tutt – Defender

Cam started with Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18s, debuting in November 2017. but it was the following campaign that he became a regular. He was released from The Amex and signed for Worthing in summer 2020. .

Jasper Pattenden – Midfielder

Jasper played for Adam Hinshelwood in Brighton & Hove Albion U14s and was with the Seagulls from under-8s up to under-16s. He shot to prominence 2018-19 after making his debut in the FA Trophy replay at Burgess Hill Town at the end of October.

Danny Barker – Defender/Midfielder

Danny began his career at Brighton & Hove Albion where he captained their U18s and was promoted to their U23s at the start of 2017/18. Unfortunately, after playing his first game against Newcastle United, injury cut short his time with The Seagulls and he joined Worthing in the February.

Dean Cox – Midfielder

Dean is a former teammate of his manager Adam Hinshelwood at The Albion where he made close to 150 appearances from his Championship debut in 2005, up to his departure in 2010. He has also played for Leyton Orient. He joined in summer 2021 from Eastbourne Borough.

Jesse Starkey – Midfielder

Jesse started his career at Portsmouth before a move to Chelsea in 2006. In the summer of 2013 he joined his home town Brighton & Hove Albion. He signed for Worthing in 2017, and has had spells at Swindon Town, and Gillingham.

Reece Myles-Meekums – Midfielder

Reece is a winger who featured in Brighton & Hove Albion’s youth team at the tender age of sixteen. He signed for National League Bromley after his release by Brighton, and joined Worthing in 2017-18.

Marvin Armstrong – Midfielder

Marvin trialled with Worthing in the Summer of 2019, and it was his stunning solo effort at Three Bridges that really made people sit up and take note and sealed a move to Woodside.

Darren Budd – Midfielder

Darren played for Whitehawk after being released by Brighton & Hove Albion, then made a first debut for Worthing in 2011 before moving on to play for Bognor Regis, Eastbourne Borough, Horsham, and Burgess Hill before his return to Worthing.

Dayshonne Golding – Midfielder/Forward

Former Rook Dayshonne scored eleven goals in thirty-five appearances on the wing for us before leaving for Worthing. He started his career on the books at Dartford, and also played for Hastings United.

Ollie Pearce – Forward

After several years at local rivals, Bognor Regis Town, Ollie made the move along the coast in the 2018 close season. A home-grown Rock, he made his first team debut at seventeen before going on to enjoy a goal-laden career at Nyewood Lane. If my sums are right he has scored 34 goals this season in all competitions.

Callum Kealey – Forward

Callum had a spell at Lewes after his release by Brighton & Hove Albion. He went on to Met Police where he again attracted attention from top clubs. He moved to Worthing in December for a second spell from Dorking Wanderers on a temporary arrangement.

THE LEAGUE HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

23rd Oct 21 – Worthing 5 Lewes 4
29th Sep 20 – Lewes 1 Worthing 3
19th Feb 20 – Lewes 1 Worthing 3
13th Aug 19 – Worthing 3 Lewes 1
12th Jan 19 – Worthing 3 Lewes 4
3rd Oct 18 – Lewes 3 Worthing 4

THE FORM

OUR LAST MEETING HERE – 29TH SEPTEMBER 2020

In a stormy game, Worthing ran out 3-1 winners with the Rooks keeper Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke sent off after 15 minute for an alleged handball outside of the area. Sub Gary Noel went between the sticks and kept a clean sheet for 15 minutes before former Lewes striker Dayshonne Golding gave the visitors the lead. Young Bromley loanee Jude Arthur then levelled the scores. At half-time Noel was unable to continue and young centre-back Nic D’Arienzo took the keeper’s jersey and gave a man of the match performance despite conceding twice in the second period after Leon Redwood put through his own net and Golding added a second.

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THE POSTER BOYS

The third in the a retrospective series looking at some of our most iconic posters features former Rooks manager Darren Freeman in a homage to the US hit series Breaking Bad and the main character Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston. The game in question saw the Rooks come from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw with late goals from Jack Dixon and Jonte Smith. The visitors left back that day? That’ll have been Tom Carlse.

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ON THIS DAY IN ROOKS HISTORY – SAT 5TH MARCH 2016

Six years ago we welcomed Hendon here to the Pan in a Isthmian Premier League game…but what can you remember about that game?

Results

#1. The Rooks took a 2nd minute lead thanks to a goal from which Lewes centre-back?

#2. What was the name of the Rooks winger who started the game, one of only a handful of appearances for Lewes?

#3. What was so unusual about the game and our opponents?

#4. Who ended the game in goal for the Rooks?

#5. What was the final score?

Finish
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ISTHMIAN LEAGUE ROUND UP BY IAN TOWNSEND

Our league leaders, Worthing, welcomed one of their erstwhile challengers, Enfield Town, and got our first Pitching In Premier goal of the afternoon when Jasper Pattenden got his seventh of the campaign, firing home after a super ball from Davide Rodari. Rodari, on loan from Crawley Town, doubled the home advantage eight minutes after the break, as photographed by Marcus Hoare, and then the former Hastings United man got the third on sixty five minutes. Percy Kiangebeni sealed a terrible day for the Towners when seeing red, and the Worthing lead is up to eight points.

Bishop’s Stortford, still with pretentions of catching the Mackerel Men at the start of the day, were putting their eight match unbeaten run on the line as they travelled to Margate. The hosting Blues have also been in good form, with only two defeats from ten, and neither set of Blues could manage to score- although Stortford stay second.

Hornchurch have been on a fantastic run, and hadn’t lost in the League since November 23rd. The Urchins were on the road to relegation-threatened Leatherhead, who had lost only one of their last six, and it took fifty six minutes for a goal to arrive- but when it came it went to the visitors, Tobi Joseph finishing after a fine ball from Liam Nash. Sam Higgins made it two eleven minutes from time, and that result lifts the Urchins into fourth.

Folkestone Invicta welcomed another set of seasiders, Bognor Regis Town, and got themselves ahead on ten minutes when Alfie Paxman converted from the spot after a foul from Bognor keeper Amadou Tangara. The next action was a red card, and it came to the Rocks, Ashton Leigh seeing red six minutes from time, and that put paid to any thoughts of a comeback. Invicta are fifth.

Kingstonian had gone rather off the boil of late, a run that had seen them take only two points from their last eighteen seeing them plumet out of the top five. The K’s travelled to Cheshunt, who got back to winning ways last time out after a poor run of their own, and the Ambers took the lead with twenty minutes left, Rowan Liburd with the goal. That was that, and the K’s are now eight points behind the side in fifth, having played two games more.

Carshalton Athletic travelled to face bottom side East Thurrock United. The Rocks, with only four points from their last thirty, need to start picking up wins if they are going to climb out of the danger zone, whilst their visitors also needed a win to retain a chance of gatecrashing the playoffs. After a goalless first half we looked to have a goalless second half, despite a red card for United debutant Oli Coker, on loan from Southend United- but deep into added time the ten men grabbed victory, Johnny Ashman lifting them off the bottom once more.

Horsham entertained relegation-threatened Cray Wanderers, and it was the visitors who got the early breakthrough, Chris Dickson scoring after thirteen minutes, but the day got better for the hosts on the half hour, or at least Tom Day did, as he equalised. The Hornets were ahead just before the break, Will Miles up from the back to score for the third game in a row, but Wands hit back to equalise on sixty five minutes, Cameron Brodie drawing them level. That was that, the Hornets thirteenth, the Wands nineteenth.

With three wins from four the Sammy Moore effect has been extremely positive for Potters Bar Town. The Scholars travelled to face a Bowers and Pitsea side who have also looked much improved of late, with only one defeat from five, and they went ahead just after half time, Samson Esan sending the travelling fans wild. That was that, and Town are up to fourteenth.

Haringey Borough went ahead against Merstham midway through the first half, Adam Morgan with the goal. Any hopes of a comeback disappeared when Barry Hayles was dismissed for the Moatsiders with ten minutes left, only eight minutes after he had arrived from the bench, and Borough held on for victory.

An own goal gave Wingate & Finchley the lead against Brightlingsea Regent on the half hour, and then Dexter Peter gave the visitors hope by getting sent off two minutes from time. They took advantage, Aaron Blair equalising from the spot right at the end.

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ON THE ROAD TO…LEATHERHEAD – TUES 8TH MARCH

About Fetcham Grove
Leatherhead’s ground is a perfect Non-=League venue – old rambling stands, a decent bar and hospitable fans. The main stand is a small covered affair with an old tin roof, steeped in history, next to which is a covered terrace that almost runs down to the corner flag. Behind one goal is a good-sized covered terrace which sits on a hill and at the other end is covered hard standing. The club has a decent bar with an area to watch the game from outside whilst having a beer. You will also find the small shed club shop in this area.

How to get to Fetcham Grove
The ground is located close to the town centre which does require a bit of concentration to find in the last mile or so. Head north on A23/M23 then clockwise (for a change) around the M25. Leave the M25 at Junction 9. At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, take the 2nd exit signposted A246 Cobham. At the next one roundabout, take the first exit. You will pass an Esso garage on the right and then a Shell garage on the left. Immediately after the Shell garage, there is a give way sign. Take the outside lane and follow the road round to the right.
As you go down the hill, switch to the left-hand lane and follow the road round a sharp left turn. After a Pumping Station (left hand side) the road bears round to the right. Take the first turning left (before railway bridge) and the entrance to Leatherhead Football Club is approximately 50 metres on the left-hand side. For the car parks carry on down the road for a hundred yards and you can park free of charge in the Leisure Centre. Journey time from Lewes is around 50 minutes.
If you are coming by train, then the ground is a ten-minute walk away. Head out of station and head downhill. Cross the main road (Randalls Way) and into Station Approach. Follow this road, running parallel to the railway line. At end of road turn left and then right into Waterway Road. When you reach the Waterworks roundabout you will see the entrance to the ground. Trains from Lewes will require a change at Clapham Junction and take around 90 minutes.

Admission at Fetcham Grove
Admission this season are £12 for adults, £8 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under16s £5 and Under12s are admitted free.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the Running Horse on Bridge Street which has some centuries-old history and some decent beer on tap. The Edward Tylney is a Wetherspoons venue in the High Street, opposite the Dukes Head. Another decent pub is the Penny Black in North Street that also has a decent outside area.

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A WORD FROM OUR COMMERCIAL PARTNER OF THE WEEK

We all need a drop of paint once in awhile so what better way for a football club to get a bit of a discount than having a commercial partner in that space? Daniel Levy is a cute businessman and so when he decided to spend £750 million in loose change on a new stadium, he also did a deal with Dulux to become Tottenham Hotspur’s Official Paint Supplier back in 2021. The partnership didn’t get off to the best start when they made a couple of ill-judged tweets about the club’s lack of silverware. One user asked if the dog mascot could play centre-back, to which the official Dulux account replied: “He might do a better job.” When another suggested Dulux could “paint the dusty trophy cabinet”, Dulux replied “don’t be silly, surfaces should be dust free before painting”.

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INTRODUCING TODAY’S CHARITY – RISE

At today’s match we are delighted to be collecting money for Lewes FC’s SisterShip and Sussex’s domestic abuse charity – Rise. Rise work to provide emotional support and practical help to survivors of domestic abuse and their families. Given recent high-profile events in the football world, this is a charity particularly close to our hearts at the moment. Anything you can give to their collection tins today would be hugely appreciated, and will be match-funded by the government from their Tampon Tax Fund.

This is a picture of Ava Harding, Fundraising and Engagement Manager from Rise, meeting Lewes midfielder and founder of our community garden, Bradley Pritchard, along with local compost expert and Lewes owner, Michael Kennard.

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REMEMBER THE LESSER KNOWN ROOKS – YASIN BEN EL-MHANNI

Keeping up the theme with former wingers, today we remember Yasin Ben El-Mhanni who made 11 appearances for the Rooks in the 2015/16 season, scoring just once. The youngster joined the Rooks from Farnborough but not before he had made a name for himself for his skills video which earned him an amazing opportunity where he was flown to Spain and acted as a body double and skill consultant for Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.

After he left Lewes he joined Newcastle United and earned the nickname the “Non-League Riyad Mahrez, although I am not sure anyone at the Pan saw that level of skill or commitment from the winger. He was released by The Toon in controversial circumstances, joining Scunthorpe United where he played just 8 games.

He started this season with Chesham United in the Southern Premier League but was released before Christmas and appears to be club-less at the moment.

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ON THE ROAD TO…HARINGEY BOROUGH – SAT 12th MARCH

About Coles Park
The ground is slowly being developed by the ambitious owners, including the installation of a 3G pitch, but it is still a one-sided affair with the main stand which can seat 280 straddling the half-way line and offering good views of the game, whilst just to the side of this stand is a covered terrace. Apart from that it is hard-floor standing on the three other sides with very little in the way of shade. There is a decent sized clubhouse behind the main stand and some excellent food options from a pop-up stand in between the main stand and the covered terrace.
The ground was used for games during the 2018 CONIFA World Cup.

How to get to Coles Park
It doesn’t matter which way you choose to get to Coles Park, you will encounter traffic as you try to navigate towards North London. Head up the A23/M23 and then anti-clockwise around the M25. Now you have to make a choice. Either head under the Thames through the Dartford Tunnel and continue around the M25 to junction 25 then head south on the A10 through Enfield until you hit the junction with the A406 North Circular Road OR M25 to junction 2, head London-bound on the A2, through the Blackwall Tunnel, A12 northwards then join the A406 at the Redbridge Roundabout and follow anti-clockwise until the junction with the A10.

Follow the A10 south towards Central London for around a mile and then take a right into White Hart Lane. The ground is on your left-hand side. There is a large car park in the ground as well as plenty of street parking if you continue down White Hart Lane and take any of the roads on the left. It is around 90 minutes from Lewes and a driving time of around 2 hours 15 minutes accounting for the poor traffic.

The nearest train station is probably White Hart Lane, which is a 20-odd minute walk. Simply head out of the station and turn left into White Hart Lane (don’t get confused by the brand-spanking new Tottenham Hotspur ground!). Alternatively, the nearest tube is Wood Green which is about a mile away. Exit station and take a left onto Lordship Lane, then a left into Perth Road. Follow this all the way until it meets White Hart Lane and then a right and the ground is 250 metres on the right.

Admission at Coles Park
Admission this season is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 16s admitted free of charge.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is The Two Brewers in Scotland Green which doesn’t appear to have much of a choice of beers, whilst the Victoria just a couple of doors away is not a bad option. The nearest Wetherspoons is the Spouter’s Corner, on Spouter’s Corner which is close to Wood Green tube station. The Bohem Tap Room is highly recommended but a good 20-minute walk from the ground in Myddleton Road, N22.

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THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE PARTNERS

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

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THE STODGEBUSTER’S TAKE A NON-CASUAL APPROACH TO FOOD

So another visit to King Georges Arena, this time to see the Rooks take on Corinthian Casuals. It’s only twice a season but it seems like we are always going there. After another top level G5 summit on WhatsApp we decided that the train situation was still looking too dodgy and it would be too much faffing about. It was still a bus replacement service to Three Bridges which is enough to put anyone off. There was only one train per hour back from Tolworth leaving at ten minutes past the hour. More than five minutes of injury additional time and it could be a struggle to get to the station in time unless one was on the Olympic Selection Committee shortlist for the 1500 metres. We are a little bit outside the qualifying times these days although we can move pretty fast when food is on offer. We could give Usain Bolt a run for his money to a Shepherd’s Pie. PJ hates having to rush out the gates before the referees full time whistle has finished sounding too. The lads on the pitch deserve some applause after a game rather than seeing the fans run out of the gate like Billy Whizz.

So Steve volunteered to drive to this one in his Chelsea Tractor picking up Turnstile Alan and Roly in Polegate, then Gary the Badge and PJ at the usual place, the Lewes Prison bus stop. We always get funny looks from the passengers when the Brighton bus turns up and we don’t get on it. Well, we assume it’s because we don’t get on it. PJ handed around the Caramel Eclairs and Roly produced a bag of Jelly babies. There was a lot of traffic about probably due to some minor league game going on at the Amex stadium. After a small diversion via Shoreham (don’t ask) and a late lane changer  testing Steve’s ABS  braking we got on the A23. Most of us were quite confident of a win although PJ was more cautious and went for a draw.

Our choice of dining for the day would be the Barwell cafe in Chessington. We had stopped here for the Kingstonian game and it was very good and worth another bash. It would also spare us going into Tolworth and doing battle with the Roundabout from Hell. Our plans don’t always run smoothly though. As we pulled onto the forecourt we noticed it was shut. This was bad news. What are we going to do now? Our usual cafe in Tolworth Broadway would involve some traffic, parking and possibly some walking making it a bit tight for time. Being late to a game isn’t an option. “We’ll get something to eat at the ground”. “To hell with that” said PJ who is not a fan of club food after a few unfortunate incidents over the years. “Let’s try and find somewhere else. We have well over an hour until kick off and we are only ten minutes from the ground”.

A couple of miles up the road in Hook our trained eyes spotted a possibility in the shape of Jenny’s Cafe. It looked OK from the outside so Steve did a cheeky U-turn, parked up in the housing estate opposite and in we went. Oh yes. This looked very good. In fact it looked a lot better than what we had planned. It wasn’t Cordon Bleu but Jenny’s Cafe had the biggest menu we had ever seen anywhere. Whatever you wanted they had it and at a very reasonable price. There was so much to choose from but we plumped 4 full breakfasts and one liver with onions dinner. It was all very good and everyone was well satisfied. We had quite accidentally stumbled across another little gem. It seemed very clean and all food cooked in full view. Just how we like it. It would be of no use if we were on the train but it will probably become our go-to diner when driving this way again. How had we missed this place considering the years we have been going to Casuals? Anyway, we gave it yet another 9 on the Stodge-o-Meter and left a healthy tip.

Back at the car and Steves satnav found a convoluted route via back roads to the ground avoiding the Roundabout from Hell and we arrived with 20 minutes to spare. Happy Days.

Team news was that Rees Murrell Williamson was back with the Rooks and straight into the team. Ollie Tanner was also back too, albeit on the bench. This should be interesting.

Not a lot happened in the first half. Williamson forced the Casuals keeper into one excellent save and a couple of crosses whizzed across the box that no-one could get a toe on but that was about it from Lewes. Casuals had their chances too. They won too many of the battles in midfield for our liking. But we felt sure we would come out a better team in the second half.

As it happened the second half was a bit of a non-event for Lewes. We were second to the ball most of the time and the Casuals keeper was severely under employed. There was a period when the Rooks defence was really under the cosh. A series of corners rained into the Lewes box and only some excellent reflexes from Carey and the woodwork kept the ball out of the net. We have some tall lads so we wondered why opponents win so many headers in our box? Ollie got on the field for the last 15 minutes but he hardly got a kick apart from one overhit free kick.

The home keeper made his only real save of the half in injury additional time when he pushed a shot around the post but the referee mysteriously gave a goal kick. We were quite happy with a point in the end considering how the game had gone. We felt we were second best on the day. The home fans seemed very happy with a point as they celebrated as if they had won the F.A.Cup, the Grand National and Boat Race all at once. We didn’t realise we were that big a scalp. One wonders how they would have celebrated if they had actually won. The Casuals weren’t the most skilful of teams but they were organised, ran and ran, won a lot of the 50/50’s and pressed relentlessly forcing errors from Lewes. We will certainly need to be better to get anything from the Worthing match coming up.

The Stodgebusters will return at Leatherhead.

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TODAY’S TEAMS

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AND FINALLY….A CAT-A-STROPHIC MISTAKE?

Firstly, this is not a story in any way related to animal cruelty or the senseless actions of a certain West Ham United player but one where a cat has divided a club.

Meet Gareth. A few years ago Gareth turned up at Hayes Lane, home of Bromley FC. With no clue on who owned the cat, and him seeming at home in the club house, Bromley adopted him as their own. As the club redeveloped the ground, Gareth was often seen during games wandering around the building work, occasionally venturing onto the pitch, enjoying the heat on the 3G pitch. During the winter you’d find him snuggled up on a chair in the bar or even on the photocopier.

But at the start of the year rumours appeared that Gareth was being evicted as his face didn’t fit the image of a potential Football League side. There was uproar from the fans, and even some staff, as the move started to become a PR nightmare for the club. It seemed the club had relented at one point, but then without warning, he had gone despite the fact Gareth is still listed by the club as “one of the team”.

He has been “transferred” just a few miles away to Step 5 Beckenham Town and whilst he had a good new home, there was a final (for now) sting in the tail as his new clubs rechristened him ‘Becks’.

Feelings still run deep though…

“His names Gareth and you’ll not see many Bromley fans down your gaff in future,massive own goal your pathetic attempt at being not very funny. Really poor form this from you.”

“This is an absolute insult to @bromleyfc fans. Was considering coming down to a game this season but forget it.”

“You’re having a laugh, about ‘Becks’. Can’t just change his name ffs, get yer own cat and call the poor thing ‘Becks’, this one’s called Gareth..”

I’m sure the tail of Gareth/Becks still has a pur-fect ending somewhere but for now I will paws as I have a feline that the next chapter is about to begin.

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LEGALS AND CREDITS

“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
Fan Engagement Manager 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
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 – A TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH AS THE ROOKS TAKE ON THE BISHOP’S

SATURDAY 19th MARCH 2022 – 3pm

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

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ANSWERS TO TODAY’S QUIZ QUESTIONS

  1. Lloyd Cotton
  2. Miguel Baptista
  3. We had played them just 5 days previously
  4. Chris Winterton
  5. 2-2