Saturday 16th April 2022 3pm – The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League

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Good afternoon and welcome to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game against Kingstonian. Here is your complimentary Progcast.

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THE MAN BEHIND THE CAMERA

Once again, the majority of the pictures used in the progcast today are from the camera of James Boyes. He’s awesome and so are his photos and we just wanted to say thank you, you’re the best.

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for the penultimate home league game of the season against Kingstonian. I know their fans always enjoy an away trip here and hope they have a good afternoon. I’d also like to welcome the visiting officials from Kingstonian and manager Hayden Bird, who is a good friend and is always great to chat to, win lose or draw.

We came away from Cheshunt last week with a credible draw but deserved all three points. Once again, we are left to look at decisions which changed the game and scratch our heads. Kenny’s first booking where the Cheshunt player has kicked him and the penalty decision against Tom Carlse understandably played into the hands of the hosts but once again, we dug deep and a point still gives us hope to grab that final play-off spot. Whilst we can feel aggrieved at some of the decisions that have cost us this season, we can’t lose sight of the progress we’ve made and come into the last eight days of the season still in contention for the Play-offs. We know that unless there is a miracle set of results, should we make the Play-offs then we will be on the road and I’m sure we will travel in numbers, as we have done all season, to support the team.

I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Worthing, Hastings United and Littlehampton Town – what a season it has been so far for Sussex Non-League football. Both Worthing and Hastings United were crowned champions last Saturday and both deserve those honours, having been denied promotion over the last two COVID interrupted seasons. Littlehampton’s achievement in reaching the FA Vase Final has been inspiring, with over 3,000 watching them comprehensively beating Loughborough Students in the semi-final. As I write this, that attendance is the biggest in Sussex Non-League football this season and we wish them well at Wembley on the 22nd May when they face Newport Pagnell Town.

We’ve got three huge games left and I know you’ll get behind the team. It has been a season full of fantastic football and memorable moments – and there could very well be more to come!

Make some noise this afternoon and Come On You Rooks!

Stuart

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SUNDAY 1ST MAY 2022 – THE FINAL HOME GAME OF THE SEASON

Tickets available now

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon everyone. Last Saturday was a big game for both sides. I thought we played really well. We came out of the blocks quickly and created chances, putting everything in place that we had worked on in training. Klassy and Casey had early chances, we hit the post and the keeper made a decent save then out of nothing they get a penalty off the back of one of their long throws. We reacted quickly – JT scored a great goal then converts the penalty and to be honest we go in at half time disappointed we are only 2-1 up.

Kenny picked up a strange booking in the first half where the Cheshunt player kicked him as he followed through from clearing the ball. I’m not sure how that was a booking, even after watching the video dozens of times. But that decision came back to bite us when Ken gets the wrong side of his man, tugs his shirt and by the letter of the laws of the game, he gets a second yellow. No complaints about the second yellow but when you look back at the penalty we got in the first half, surely their player should have seen red for pulling our player back, yet there was not even a yellow.

We were in control but the moment we went down to ten they stuck it on us – I’d expect nothing else from a Craig Edwards side and they got an equaliser and we are under so much pressure. Defeat would have all but ended our season but we defended magnificently. I don’t remember Lew making too many saves despite all their pressure though. We had to settle for the draw – it wasn’t ideal and we felt we should have got all three points. I do cling on to the hope that it is swings and roundabouts and we will get some of the luck that our opponents keep getting.

So today. I have a lot of time for Hayden Bird. They were one of the favourites coming into the season and he recruited well. I’m not quite sure why it hasn’t worked for them this season – they’ve still got some excellent players, Hayden is a good coach and we know it will be a tough game. But we’ve prepared well this week, training hard on Wednesday, working on a 11 v 11. The boys are up for the game and we will know where we are at by the end of the long weekend.

I rarely tweet after a game but I did on Saturday night as I thought the support at Cheshunt was outstanding – we really appreciate it. I’ve not been fortunate to have been at a club before with such a fan base who follow us in numbers home and away. I can’t thank you all enough for the support you’ve given us this season so far – if you can get there on Saturday and cheer us on.

Come on you Rooks!

Tony

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OUR MARCH PLAYERS OF THE MONTH

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LEWES 2 WINGATE & FINCHLEY 3 – SAT 2nd APRIL 2022

A disappointing performance saw Lewes fall to a 3-2 defeat against Wingate & Finchley at the Pan.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that beat Margate 2-0 in their previous game, with Michael Klass replacing Taylor Maloney in the starting line-up.

Lewes got off to the worst possible start, falling behind inside the first minute, as Isaac Tshipamba-Mulowayi broke free down the left and saw his effort blocked, before Antonis Vasiliou blasted the rebound into the roof of the net.

The Rooks were finding it difficult to reach the levels they had shown against Margate, with a Michael Klass strike over the bar from the edge of the area being the closest they came to a quick response.

The better chances continued to fall to Wingate, who saw Dylan Kearney shoot straight at Lewis Carey, before Tyrique Clarke shot wide from just inside the area minutes later.

The visitors doubled their lead on 20 minutes, Vasiliou volleying into an empty net from close range after Kavan Cotter had got in behind and lifted his attempted cross-shot over Carey.

They could have extended their lead further soon after, with Kearney volleying a cross from the left over the bar from point-blank range.

Lewes pulled a goal back after 27 minutes, as Razz Coleman De-Graft cut in from the right before sending a shot through a crowd of players and past Ben Goode.

The Rooks equalised on 37 minutes through Klass, who met a Pritchard free-kick from the right with a superb volley that flew past Goode and into the corner.

The same combination nearly gave Lewes the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Klass could only head another Pritchard set-piece straight at Goode.

Wingate made a bright start to the second half and saw Kearney head a Luke Ifil cross over the bar, before Cotter shot wide from the edge of the area as they looked to regain their lead.

Lewes were seeing plenty of the ball but were unable to turn this into clear-cut chances, the closest they came seeing De-Graft shoot over the bar after Deshane Dalling had won the ball back high up the pitch.

The visitors made it 3-2 on 65 minutes, as Jake Eales rose highest at the far post to head a free-kick back across goal for Kearney to finish past Carey from close range.

Lewes did their best to put the visitors under pressure for the remainder of the game, with Joe Taylor drawing two smart saves from Goode.

Wingate managed the game well though, competing for every ball and running the clock down at every opportunity.

This led to eight minutes of injury-time at the end of the game, but the closest the Rooks came to levelling the scores during this time saw a far-post Bradley Pritchard header from a Taylor Maloney corner deflected just wide, and Lewes were left to reflect on a below-par display punished by their well-organised and hardworking visitors.

The Rooks will hope to get back to winning ways when they visit Cheshunt on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Lewes: Carey, Yao, Spencer (Tanner 73), Salmon, Nelson, Pettit (Phipp 69), Klass (Maloney 76), Pritchard, Dalling, De-Graft, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Olukoga, Addy.

Booked: Pritchard, Taylor.

Wingate & Finchley: Goode, Ifil, Emovon, Jordan-Livings (Yeboah 77), Eales, Hobbs, Vasiliou (Achuba 90), Clarke, Kearney (Ofori 70), Cotter, Tshipamba-Mulowayi.

Unused Subs: Hatton, Kessel.

Booked: Ifil, Emovon, Jordan-Livings, Vasiliou, Clarke.

Attendance: 746

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RUNNING FOR UKRAINE

Albion season-ticket holder Anthony Seddon has run 30 Kilometres for Ukraine and plans to run 2469 Kilometres more 

‘This isn’t just a random number. I have decided to run the exact distance from Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium to the Dnipro Arena because that’s the football stadium of the city where I met my wife Anna’, Anthony says. 

Anthony, also an England fan, visited Ukraine in 2012 to watch the European Championships. Their stop in Dnipro was not planned as the city did not host any games, but the old camper van that he and his two friends drove all the way from England couldn’t cope and was mostly driven from one mechanic to another after arriving in Ukraine.

‘As we waved goodbye to Elldis (the camper van) and our beds once again, we were unsure where we would be staying. As luck would have it our mate bumped into an old school friend he’d not seen for 30 years outside a train station in Kyiv, who on hearing our predicament invited us all to stay with him in the flat he’d rented in Dnipro. A 6-hour train journey later we were in a city I’d never heard of and it was that night I met Anna, a journalist from a local television channel who was out with her friend. We were married 15 months later’ says Anthony.  

The couple now has two daughters and live in Portslade. Anna’s mother, Vira, joined them at the beginning of March, fleeing the Russian invasion after an arduous five-day journey. Anna’s brother Alexei and his young family remain in Dnipro, not wanting to be separated.

‘Only a few days after the war started I received a cry for help from my ex-editor-in-chief. The paramedic unit in Dnipro began training anyone who volunteered. However you simply cannot stop severe bleeding with a plaster, and they didn’t have enough supplies’, says Anna. 

The husband and wife team started asking for donations from friends and family at first, and eventually set up a fundraiser. They have delivered tourniquets, bandages, chest seals and burn dressings amongst other medical aid worth £14,000 already.  

‘Just this week the airport in Dnipro was completely destroyed, 6 people were left hospitalised. We see the horror of this war and we cannot sit by and do nothing. Some of Anna’s friends have joined the army and when I see pictures of people we used to go out with now on a tank with a gun, my running suddenly becomes very motivated’, says Anthony. 

Anthony and a couple of his friends who were in Ukraine with him back in 2012 personally delivered emergency first aid items to Krakow on the 18th of March. The packages were then taken to Lviv and, finally, a week later they arrived in Dnipro. Since then Anna has made contact with a network of Ukrainians, living in and around London, who can take the medical supplies to Lviv weekly.

‘The situation changes very quickly. Dnipro used to have two or three air raid sirens a day, but this isn’t the case anymore. The siren is constant these days, everyone is expecting the gates of hell to open from the East as Russian troops are now concentrating on taking the territories there. I am very pleased that I more or less understand the ways of transportation now so we can work quicker’, says Anna.

‘I have planned to run most weeks to try and raise awareness about what we are doing as regularly as possible. After this weekend I will be at the Lewes Athletic Club Easter Monday 10K Fun Run. I was on my own for the first 10K, now every event there is a person or two at least who runs with me to help raise funds and awareness. If anyone else would like to join me please do get in touch, I’m keeping most of the events pretty local!’’ says Anthony.  

You can find the list of planned runs on the run2ukraine website.

To follow Anthony’s journey, please follow his Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/run2ukraine/

Most importantly, please donate to the fundraiser and spread the word. 

Slava Ukraini

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REMEMBERING THE ROOKS FROM YESTERYEAR
HARRY HARDING (2011 – 2013)

The young central midfielder joined the Rooks from Bromley in 2011, having previously been at Reading and soon became a fan favourite with some important goals for the side. He made is debut in a 1-0 win away to Leatherhead in November 2011, then scored in the following game, a 6-0 Sussex Senior Cup tie at East Grinstead Town. The following weekend he grabbed the only goal at Harrow Borough. He played in every game from his debut to the end of the season. He returned to the Dripping Pan in March 2012 under Simon Wormull until the end of the season. In total Harding played 41 games for the Rooks in the two spells, scoring six times.

After leaving the Rooks he played for Carshalton Athletic, Chatham Town, Erith & Belvedere (where he won the SCEFL Step 5 golden boot award) and Phoenix Sports.

Aged just 30, Harding is still playing in the Isthmian Leagues, currently turning out for Faversham Town where he has played 26 games this season, scoring 8 times including one at Whitehawk back in March.

You can read an interview with Harry from a match programme back in the 2011/12 season here.

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INTRODUCING OUR NEW COMMERCIAL PARTNER

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STAN THE MARATHON MAN

One of the members of our Youth Wing, who have followed us home and away this season, recently ran the Manchester Marathon. Stan Lahood is at university in Manchester and took part in the event, wearing his Lewes shirt with pride and raised over £1,000 for Greyhound Gap, a charity that helps find homes for greyhounds. Top work Stan.

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INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS….KINGSTONIAN

THE HISTORY

Kingstonian began life as Kingston & Surbiton YMCA in 1885, renamed Saxons FC in 1887, Kingston Wanderers in 1890, and Kingston upon Thames A.F.C. in 1893. Old Kingstonians split away in 1908 but reunited with Kingston upon Thames A.F.C. in 1919 to form Kingstonian FC.

The club joined the Athenian League, finishing as champions in 1924 and 1926, and stepped up to the Isthmian League in 1929. Kingstonian won the FA Amateur Cup in 1933 and the Isthmian League title in 1934 and 1937. They reached the FA Amateur Cup final again in 1960, losing 2-1 to Hendon in their first Wembley appearance.

Relegated in 1979, they returned to the Premier Division in 1985, moving to a new ground at Kingsmeadow in 1989, topping the Isthmian League in 1998 to win promotion to the Football Conference. Kingstonian won the FA Trophy in both 1999 (beating Forest Green Rovers 1-0 in the final) and 2000 (3-2 against Kettering Town) under manager Geoff Chapell; and in 2000 finished fifth in the Conference.

Having knocked Brighton out of the FA Cup in 1994, and drawn at home to Leyton Orient in front of a crowd of 3,495 in 1998, Kingstonian reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2001, knocking out Brentford and Southend United, before going out 1-0 in a replay to Bristol City. However, that same season they were relegated back to the Isthmian League and suffered relegation again in 2005.

Financial difficulties soon caused a downturn in the club’s fortunes, including the sale of their Kingsmeadow ground to Wimbledon AFC in 2003 – though Kingstonian continued to play there until 2017 (the ground having then been bought by Chelsea). They suffered relegation again in 2005.

Under Alan Dowson the club was promoted back to the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2009. However, after finishing second in 2014 but missing out on promotion, Dowson resigned. Kingstonian won the Isthmian League Cup in 2016. Ground-sharing for one season with Leatherhead in 2017-18, Kingstonian then took on a three-year ground-share with Corinthian-Casuals FC at King George’s Field.

The 2019-20 season may have been curtailed by the pandemic, but new manager Hayden Bird’s arrival gave the club an enormous boost, and the club’s supporters were rewarded with fine runs in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy: the Ks reached the first round of the FA Cup defeating Macclesfield Town 4-0 before bowing out in second round  at home to AFC Fylde on a day that saw them host that afternoon’s edition of BBC Football Focus. Their FA Trophy run was most notable for a fine 3-1 victory over Woking at King George’s Field, but again ended in round two.

Our visitors were due to play in a County Cup semi-final against Chertsey Town at King George’s Field last Wednesday, but the match was postponed by the Surrey FA to a date to be fixed. They are currently sitting 8th in the table on 57 points.

THE SQUAD

Hayden Bird – Manager

Hayden was appointed to the role of first team manager in May 2019 after he decided to end a successful time as manager of Merstham. Hayden, who has also had success as manager of Croydon Athletic, Carshalton Athletic, and Bromley, joined the Moatsiders in January 2012 and subsequently took the team to unprecedented success, including the FA Cup First Round in 2016, four consecutive Surrey Senior Cup Finals between 2015 and 2018 (winning in 2016 and 2018), promotion from Division One South in 2015 via the play-offs, and in 2018-19 he took his team to the Premier Division Play-Off Final. In his first season as K’s manager, he led the club to their best FA Cup run in two decades when they reached the Second Round.

Julian Schwarzer – Goalkeeper

Julian is the highly-rated 21-year-old son of former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. He is a Fulham U23 ‘keeper who joined Kingstonian in February, on loan until the end of the season. Julian is a temporary replacement for K’s injured legend, Rob Tolfrey, who holds the record for the most appearances made in goal for the club.

Bryant Bilongo – Defender

Bryant is a full-back who signed for Kingstonian from Hanworth Villa in the summer of 2021, having spent the majority of his career progressing through the ranks at AFC Wimbledon.

Declan Skura – Defender

Another talented young player from Hanworth Villa, Declan is a central defender with experience of academy football at Chelsea, and at Reading. He is seen as a young player with big potential.

Simon Cooper – Defender/Captain

Simon is Kingstonian’s club captain who joined the club from Merstham in the summer of 2019. Formerly with Carshalton Athletic, Guildford City, Chipstead, and AFC Croydon Athletic.

Ollie Cook – Defender

Ollie is a former Fulham and Southampton junior who joined Kingstonian from Merstham in the summer of 2019.

Alfie Young – Defender

Alfie signed for Kingstonian at the end of January from Potters Bar. He is a central defender highly-rated by Hayden Bird.  The 24 year-old former captain of Watford’s youth team, more recently he enjoyed a successful spell at Worthing.

Eze Ebuzoeme – Defender/Midfielder

Eze is a two-footed versatile player signed in March from Carshalton Athletic, and a former England U16 international.

Teo Kurtaran – Defender/Midfielder

Teo was captain of Hanworth Villa’s U18s team that reached the FA Youth Cup Second Round in 2019, where they were beaten by AFC Wimbledon. The Dons subsequently signed him and he was part of their side that reached the EFL Youth Alliance Cup Final. After impressing in pre-season, Teo joined Kingstonian in the summer of 2020.

Kenny Beaney – Midfielder

Kenny is an experienced midfielder who joined the K’s from Merstham in the summer of 2019 and also operates as player-coach. Previous clubs include Dulwich Hamlet where he was captain of their promotion winning team in 2018, Wealdstone, Beckenham Town, Grays Athletic and Thurrock.

Gus Sow – Midfielder

Gus of course helped us win promotion to the Isthmian Premier in 2018. He began his career at Crystal Palace and had a loan spell with Finnish team FC Honka Espoo. Gus also played at St Albans City, Dulwich Hamlet, and Merstham. He joined Kingstonian in the summer of 2019.

Kershaney Samuels – Midfielder

Kershaney signed for Kingstonian from Carshalton Athletic in the summer of 2021, having previously played for Dulwich Hamlet and Merstham. He was an integral part of Merstham’s squad that reached the Isthmian League Play-Off Final in 2019, at the same time winning the club’s Footballer of the Year award.

D’sean Theobalds – Midfielder

D’sean is a 26 year old recent signing last month from Welling United. His previous clubs include Dartford, Tonbridge Angels and Leatherhead.

Alex AddaiMidfielder/Forward

Alex is a 28-year-old reunited with manager Hayden Bird, having signed from Hemel Hempstead Town in February. A familiar face to many K’s fans the speedy winger made 28 appearances for them in the 2014-15 season. He has also played for Torquay Utd, Grays Athletic, and Merstham.

Nyren Clunis – Midfielder/Forward

Nyren joined Kingstonian in the summer of 2021 from Carshalton Athletic, but is best known for his long association with Dulwich Hamlet. He made his Dulwich first team debut aged 17 and went on to make 486 appearances for the club, scoring 117 goals.

Lewis Pearch – Midfielder/Forward

Lewis is a young player who signed from Merstham in the summer of 2019. He was an integral part of Kingstonian’s fine run to the FA Youth Cup First Round in the 2019-20 season.

Daniel Ajakaiye – Forward

Daniel re-joined Kingstonian in the summer of 2021 from Havant and Waterlooville, returning to the K’s having originally signed from Whyteleafe in November 2017, before moving at the end of the 2017-18 to Hastings United. This season he has scored 20 goals in all competitions.

Walter Figueira – Forward

Walter is a 26-year-old striker re-united in February with manager Hayden Bird, having been in his Merstham team that reached the Isthmian Premier Division Play-Off Final in 2019. He left Merstham in the summer of 2019 to sign a professional contract with Waterford in the League of Ireland Premier Division, going on to play for Derry City, and Sligo Rovers. Walter spent 3 years in Chelsea’s youth academy;  previous clubs also include Platanias and Acharnaikos, in the Greek Super League, and a spell with Portuguese club Moura.

THE HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

DateHomeAwayCompetition
3rd Jan 2022Kingstonian 4Lewes 2Isthmian Premier
7th March 2020Lewes 1Kingstonian 2Isthmian Premier
16th November 2019Kingstonian 3Lewes 1Isthmian Premier
23rd March 2019Lewes 3Kingstonian 0Isthmian Premier
3rd November 2018Kingstonian 2Lewes 1Isthmian Premier
30th October 2016Kingstonian 2Lewes 1FA Trophy

THE CURRENT FORM

THE LAST MEETING HERE – 7th MARCH 2020

Just a couple of weeks before we were plunged into lockdown and our season was ended, the visitors came away from the Dripping Pan with a 2-1 win thanks to first half goals from former Rook Gus Sow and Daniel Bennett. James Hammond pulled one back in the second half as the 604 fans shivered on the terraces.

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REMEMBERING DAVE NASH – PAUL BRINKHURST

A group of fans are attending the match in memory of Dave Nash who passed away during lockdown in September 2020 and  who was a avid supporter of Lewes FC for a number of years.

Dave, otherwise known as Nashy, supported Lewes home and away and although he could be outspoken at times he was always fully committed in his support of the team. He always enjoyed his pre match ritual with a pint in the Lansdowne where he would put the world to rights and discuss his beloved Chelsea FC and the price of beer in different pubs.

He sponsored Steve Brinkhurst (Brinky) for a number of years and always encouraged his friends and family to follow the Rooks, he also coached a number of cricketers in his younger days who are here today to remember Nashy.

His son Russell will also be at the game and hopefully we will see the rooks win and continue their play off push.

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ON THIS DAY IN ROOKS HISTORY – 16th APRIL 2014

The Rooks hosted Wingate & Finchley at the Pan in a midweek game eight years ago today . The final score was 3-0 to Lewes, but what else do you remember about the game, and that season?

Results

#1. Which current Hastings United player scored the opening goal for the Rooks?

#2. Which current Rooks made an appearance as a late substitute?

#3. How many current Isthmian Premier sides were league opponents in that season (Including Lewes)?

#4. Wealdstone won the league but which current Isthmian Premier League side finished 2nd?

#5. Which Rooks player who started that game is now a manager within the Isthmian Leagues?

Finish
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AN UPDATE FROM BRAD’S PITT & THE COMPOST CLUB

I’m Michael and I’ve been helping Men’s team player Bradley Pritchard with the community garden in the stadium. I’ve been involved since June last year when Bradley called to ask me about compost. We spoke about the project and how he wanted to bring people together through growing and the power of football.

I quickly became a regular in the garden on a Friday, and along with some friends in the community, we have now established raised beds and have a couple of compost tumblers to turn food waste into soil food!

We have recently set up a lovely little herb bath, and sown chard, radish, peas and carrots along with a host of wildflowers. Among the wildflowers were seeds from The Depot and we’re very grateful for those. We also just picked up some broad beans, broccoli and rhubarb from friends at Aweside Farm in Arlington.

We’ve seen plenty of biodiversity in the garden already and we even had an encounter with a snake. If only Bradley moved as fast as that on the pitch!

I managed to secure a small amount of funding for the garden, and we also got sponsored for a whole bunch of tools from Draper so we are ready to have people come and get involved with watering, sowing and harvesting soon as well!

Outside of the garden I run a community compost scheme called Compost Club where we collect food waste from residents and businesses and turn it into living compost, full of a diversity of microorganisms to regenerate soil. I also offer education opportunities on composting and the soil food web. We are currently crowdfunding to increase our capacity for food waste collection and processing, and to make the collections emissions free with an electric van. Did you know that UK households throw out 6.6 million tonnes of food waste every year?

Do check out www.crowdfunder.co.uk/compost-club for more info and please share it with anyone who might be interested in what we’re doing.

Also get in touch with either myself, Bradley or the club if you’d like to get involved with the community garden at Lewes FC.

You can email us at either info@lewesfc.com or at info@compostclub.online and we’ll get you added to our group WhatsApp and have you in the garden with us in no time!

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CHESHUNT 2 LEWES 2 – SAT 9TH APRIL 2022

Lewes produced a resilient performance to leave Cheshunt with a hard-fought 2-2 draw, despite playing with ten men for the majority of the second half, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that lost 3-2 at home to Wingate & Finchley in their previous game, with the fit-again Tom Carlse replacing Juevan Spencer in the starting line-up.

Lewes made a bright start to the game and could have taken an early lead through Michael Klass, who got in behind the home defence before being denied by Preston Edwards.

The resulting corner was taken quickly, with Bradley Pritchard crossing for Casey Pettit to volley over the bar.

Pettit came even closer to opening the scoring minutes later, volleying a Pritchard corner against the outside of the far post from a tight angle.

Cheshunt gradually grew into the game and saw Adam Crowther head a free-kick from former Lewes midfielder Kayne Diedrick-Roberts over the bar.

The hosts were given an excellent chance to take the lead on 24 minutes, as Tom Carlse was adjudged to have fouled Mo Camara in the area as he looked to help on a long-throw from the right.

Reece Beckles-Richards took the penalty and sent Lewis Carey the wrong way from the spot to put Cheshunt 1-0 up.

Lewes continued to create the better chances though, with Razz Coleman De-Graft seeing a goalbound effort blocked after a long throw from Mitchell Nelson had caused panic in the home defence, before volleying over from 12 yards after a Pritchard corner had been headed into his path by Will Salmon.

The Rooks deservedly levelled the scores three minutes before the break, as Joe Taylor ran onto a De-Graft flick-on and finished well across Edwards and into the bottom corner.

Lewes then took the lead their first-half performance had arguably warranted right on the stroke of half-time, Taylor emphatically converting a penalty after Deshane Dalling had been tripped in the box by Crowther.

The hosts started the second half on the front foot and should have levelled the scores within minutes of the restart, as Joe Re charged down an attempted clearance from Carlse and sent in a cross from the right that Diedrick-Roberts could only slice wide at the far post.

A tough assignment became even trickier for Lewes on 57 minutes, with Kenneth Yao shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge as he attempted to stop a Cheshunt counter-attack.

Unsurprisingly, the hosts began to see more of the ball at this stage and started to put the Lewes defence under extended periods of pressure.

Despite this, they were being limited to half-chances, a Jamie Reynolds effort well over the bar being the closest they came to an immediate equaliser.

Lewes could even have doubled their lead on the break, Taylor shooting over the bar after the ball dropped to him just inside the area at the end of an incisive passing move.

Cheshunt punished this missed opportunity by levelling the scores on 72 minutes, Camara finishing past Carey from the edge of the area after good play down the left.

The hosts spent large parts of the remainder of the game camped in the Lewes half but continued to find clear-cut opportunities hard to come by, with substitute Rowan Liburd shooting over after latching onto a long ball from Edwards and Re sending a long-range strike straight at Carey as they looked to press home their numerical advantage.

Lewes saw out the final few minutes to secure a hard-earned point heading into the final three games of the season.

Cheshunt: Edwards, Ekongo, McLean, Kassarate (Dib 58), Crowther, McKenzie, Beckles-Richards, Re, Camara, Diedrick-Roberts (Liburd 66), Reynolds.

Unused Subs: Puemo, Ojo, Marsh.

Booked: Ekongo, Kassarate, Crowther.

Lewes: Carey, Yao, Carlse (Phipp 68), Salmon, Nelson, Pettit, Klass (Maloney 89), Pritchard, Dalling (Spencer 59), De-Graft, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Addy, Tanner.

Booked: Yao, Pettit.

Sent off: Yao.

Referee: Thomas Holden

Attendance: 325 (approximately 75 travelling Rooks)

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ON THE HUNT FOR STODGE…STODGEBUSTERS ON THE ROAD

We are right into the business end of the season now. This was not necessarily a must-win, although a win would be great of course, but it was certainly a must-not-lose. The previous week’s unexpected loss at home to Wingate and Finchley had been nothing short of a catastrophe. A win would have seen us sitting pretty but we don’t do things easy at Lewes. We would certainly have to defend a lot better than we did seven days earlier to get a result at Cheshunt. We had some help in midweek when Cheshunt lost at home to Hornchurch. It’s fair to say we are not great fans of Hornchurch after the shenanigans during our last visit, or their ground, but we were grateful for their contribution to our cause.

So onto Cheshunt. The four regular Stodgebusters discussed all of this on the 10.27 out of Lewes. Steve produced a bag of genuine Maynards Jelly Babies. PJ’s budget doesn’t stretch to such luxuries and could only come up with a pack of Aldi Fruit Drops. Gary bizarrely had brought a tube of Love Hearts(!) We hadn’t seen them since 1968. Maybe they had been in his pocket since then with that ten-bob note.

This journey would be a right rigmarole. No trains to Victoria meant we had to go to London Bridge, and with no Northern Line in meant a bit of changing. A zone 6 Travelcard doesn’t quite get you to Theobalds Grove either so we had to have an extra ticket for one stop at the very end. But at a shade over £20 each  all-in it wasn’t too bad a price. We were very comfortable on our train but without any warning we were told to get off at Haywards  Heath as the train was terminating. Oh great. It shouldn’t have been a big deal though as we would get on the Thameslink train behind which was the same train we would be getting on at London Bridge to get to Finsbury Park anyway.  But a whole 12 coach train load had just decamped onto the platform and were waiting for the same train. It was pretty full already with seats few and far between. It was every man for himself. PJ was down the carriage faster than Ollie Tanner chasing a ball down the wing and he got a seat. The other lads weren’t so lucky and ended up standing. Why is this train so busy? It then dawned on us that the Albion were away at Arsenal. This would be the obvious train for Albion fans to get as Finsbury Park is spitting distance from The Emirates. Luckily some nice young chap decided to help the elderly and offered Gary his seat. You know you are getting old when someone does that for you.

Off at Finsbury Park. First phase done. The horde of Albion fans all turned right for the exit en-masse while we turned left for the Victoria Line.

” Where’s Steve and Roly?”

“They were right behind us”.

“Maybe they went down the other stairs”.

Nope. They weren’t on the platform. They had vanished. We skipped the first train and PJ volunteered to climb, puffing and wheezing, back up the 100+ steps to find them. No sign of them . Where the hell are they? We ruled out abduction by aliens, adopted the Top Gear approach to just carry on regardless, and jumped on the next tube to Seven Sisters. The tunnels leading to the Overground at Seven Sisters were deserted and eerily quiet for a Saturday afternoon. It reminded us of that scene from An American Werewolf In London, but the only growl we could hear was coming from Gary’s belly.

The missing duo eventually caught up on the platform at Seven Sisters. They had got caught up in the throng of Albion fans and gone with them. Thankfully the gang was back together for the last leg of the journey.

The cafe lined up for the day was The Olympic Cafe just outside Theobalds Grove station. We had been here once before and it was pretty good so in we piled. It had all the usual fare that us Stodgebusters like. We don’t tend to vary our choices very much and three of us went for a calorie filled ham omelette, chips and beans while Gary plumped for a healthy Olympic Breakfast (a large Full English without black pudding). It was teas all round to wash it down. We are very rarely disappointed with our choice of cafes. This was no exception. It was excellent food and excellent service from very friendly staff. It’s exactly what one wants. A good clean no-frills eatery and value for money.

It’s only a ten minute stroll to the ground. After a rousing “Come On You Rooks!” to the lads in the warm up area we made a bee line for the turnstiles. Six quid for us old codgers. That’s good. Cheapest in the league we think.

After all the usual banter with the regulars the action started with Lewes playing all the football. We were playing well, even though the pitch looked very bobbly, and carved out a couple of good chances. Lewes were well on top and Carey hadn’t had to make a save.

“This is usually when we concede” said someone.

Cheshunt had hardly had a kick. Except for one kick at Kenneth Yao, when he and a home player both went stretching for a ball. To be honest we don’t know who kicked who but better eyes than ours said Yao got kicked. It was only a coming together but somehow the referee decided he would book the Lewes player. Cheshunt are another one of those teams who surround the referee en-masse waving imaginary cards at every opportunity and this may have swayed his decision. When will the authorities stamp this out? Make it like rugby where only the captain can approach the referee. Anyway, little did we know how much this ridiculous decision would affect us later on.

A couple of minutes later it got worse when Tom Carlse dared to lightly touch the back of an opposing player with his fingertips and down he went like a sack of King Edwards. Enter the referee again and he decides it’s a penalty. It was softer than a 9-pack of Andrex. Penalty despatched and we are one down. Totally undeservedly too.

It looked like we might go in at half time one down. But up stepped Joe Taylor who got on the end of a lovely build up by Klass and Razz and fired home. What a relief. Three minutes later Deshane Dalling burst into the area and was upended blatantly and obviously. Joe despatched the penalty with aplomb as the keeper helpfully dived out of the way.

Second half and it’s more of the same with Lewes on top. Cheshunt were, frankly, disappointing. How were they challenging for a play-off place? Enter the referee again. A break down our right and Yao tries to cut it out but the home player goes tumbling. This probably was worth a yellow card but thanks to that ridiculous first half decision Kenny is now taking an early shower with over half an hour to play. This changed things completely. Faced with only 10 men Cheshunt found some space and started to pose a few problems. Lewes hung on for 15 minutes but succumbed to a break down their left, a cross and a ball fired home just inside the post. We didn’t fancy us scoring with only 10 men against a revitalised Cheshunt. Could we hold out? Everyone was constantly checking phones to see how Folkestone were doing. Damn it. They’re winning. But then a little cheer went around……..The Casuals  had equalised at Invicta! Could they hold out too? Lewes defended heroically, so much so that Carey didn’t have to make any real saves, and Lewes nearly nicked it at the end but Spencer’s touch let him down at a crucial moment. A 2-2 draw and thankfully the Casuals hung on too meaning a point wasn’t the end of the world.

We all agreed it was a game we should have won. Lewes were by far the better team when they had eleven players. We don’t like criticising referees but a couple of very poor decisions really did cost us dear. Bring on Kingstonian on Saturday. Another make or break game.

The Stodgebusters will return at Bognor Regis Town.

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THE POSTER BOYS

There’s been a number of films released that have tried to glamorise the life of the football hooligan. Most, such as Green Street, The Firm or ID are pretty poor but one that sides head and shoulders above the rest is The Football Family. Released in 2004 starring former Greenwich Borough Directors Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan, it was an adaptation of the book of the same name by John King.

Lewes adapted the poster for a game against East Thurrock United in December 2012 and softening the main graphics to depict the Rooks and the Rocks fans mingling rather than the Stone Island wearing hooligans from the film’s poster.

The game was a pretty forgettable 1-1 draw with Ben Godfrey scoring the Rooks goal. There’s even some old footage of the game that can see seen below.

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WHO’S UP AND WHOSE DOWN IN THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE

Isthmian League North

It is a three way fight for the championship in the Isthmian North. Aveley currently sit top but missed a huge opportunity last week when they were beaten at home by Hashtag United, allowing Canvey Island and Stowmarket Town to close the gap. The former beat Romford 13-0 last Saturday which boosted their goal difference significantly and took them to within two points of the top. Stowmarket’s defeat on Tuesday night at Felixstowe & Walton United means they (Felixstowe) are now in with a shout of a late charge into the play-offs along with Brentwood Town’s and Grays Athletic’s.

Stowmarket Town’s spacious Greens Meadow

At the bottom Romford were relegated some weeks ago, having conceded 125 goals so far this season and it seems they will be joined by Witham Town or Barking. Whoever isn’t relegated is almost certain to face a play-off against a Step 5 second place side for their survival in the league.

Isthmian South Central

Bracknell Town were crowned champions some weeks ago and have dropped just ten points all season. However, they may have to wait a few more weeks to determine whether they will head into the Isthmian or Southern Premier League. Who will join them via the play-offs is still very much open with three games to go. Chertsey Town have all but secured a top three finish and thus a home tie in the semi-finals, whilst 4th place (and another FA Cup victor from the lower leagues over the Rooks) Bedfont Sports need one more win to seal their spot. The final two places sees four teams separated by four points – Basingstoke Town, Hanwell Town, Uxbridge and Marlow. If Basingstoke or Marlow are victorious they too may be moved laterally to the Southern League.

Hanwell Town’s Reynolds Fields Ground

Due to Whyteleafe’s withdrawal from the league on the eve of the season, the South Central as run with 19 rather than 20 teams. There’s still some debate as to whether this means one or two automatic relegation spots. What we do know is that Staines Town and Chalfont St Peter are guaranteed to be in the bottom two and relegated due to their points per game. There is still some debate as to whether third from bottom, currently with five teams separated by four points, would go into a play-off with a Step 5 second place side.

Isthmian South East

Hastings United finally got their hands on the championship at the third time of asking last weekend. Ashford United are guaranteed a play-off spot and will fancy retaining second spot, which they have held for most of the season. Cray Valley Paper Mill and Haywards Heath Town have a four point cushion over 5th in third and fourth place respectively meaning in all truth the final spot in the play-offs is between Herne Bay and Ramsgate despite Burgess Hill Town’s surge up the table.

Haywards Heath Town’s Hanbury Stadium

At the bottom five teams are separated by five points, with Whitstable Town and Phoenix Sports currently sitting above the trap door. The good news is that all of the sides have enough points to avoid automatic relegation whoever finished third from bottom, entering into the play-offs with Step 5. That is currently Lancing although Whitehawk’s recent form means they are in serious danger of being in that situation.

So putting on my Mystic Meg veil I am predicting the six promoted teams being:-

Aveley, Stowmarket Town, Bracknell Town, Chertsey Town, Hastings United and Cray Valley Paper Mills with Romford, Barking, Staines Town, Chalfont St Peter, Whitstable Town and Lancing relegated, and Witham Town and Whitehawk in the play-offs to avoid relegation to Step 5.

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ON THE ROAD TO…BOGNOR REGIS TOWN – MONDAY 18th APRIL

About Nyewood Lane
Nyewood Lane is a picturesque ground that has an open feel to it. One end is overlooked by ‘Seasons”, the clubhouse and has a small open terrace in front. Opposite is a small covered terrace, at the Sports Club End, which has a small electric scoreboard on its roof. On the North side of the ground is a small covered terrace, being a few steps high, which runs for around half the length of the pitch. On the other side is the new Main Stand, completed during the lockdown in 2020. The team dugouts are located in front of this stand and these are sunken into the pitch side. On one side is a separate small covered area that has a mixture of seating and terrace.

How to get to Nyewood Lane
From Lewes head west on the A27 all the way to the Fontwell Roundabout and take the A29, the second exit, passing the racecourse on your right-hand side. Continue to follow the A29 towards Bognor Regis town centre, passing over numerous roundabouts until you get to South Bersted and the roundabout where the B2259 intersects.  Take the fourth exit and then the third left into Hawthorn Road.  After ½ mile just after passing the Co-Op on your right-hand side, take a left into Nyewood Lane and the ground is 200 yards on the right-hand side.  Journey time around an hour from Lewes (38 miles).

There is ample on-street parking in Nyewood Lane and surrounding roads. There is also free parking available within the Bognor Sports Club, via the entrance in Hawthorn Road. There is a turnstile giving access into the ground from this car park and you will also find a bar within the Sports Club which you are very welcome to use.

If coming by train (approx. 90 minutes and at least one change at Brighton), either take a taxi (approx. cost £4.50) or if walking, turn right out of Bognor Regis station and walk along Linden Road until you reach Parklands Avenue, where there is a footpath on your left (opposite Town Cross Avenue) that leads all the way to the entrance of the football club – should take around 15 minutes to walk.

Admission at Nyewood Lane
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £10 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under18s £5 and accompanied under16s free of charge.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is The Wheatsheaf, which is a pub-restaurant chain, on Hawthorn Lane, about five minutes away from the ground.  The pub of choice in the past has been the Wetherspoons outlet, the Hatters Inn on the corner of Queensway and West Street.

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LIFE IN A NORTHERN TOWN

As Worthing were playing down the clock at Brightlingsea Regent last Saturday, safe in the knowledge that they would be crowned champions at the final whistle, 220 miles north the Northern Premier League title was still poised finely in the balance.

Leaders Buxton were beating already relegated Grantham Town to maintain a two point cushion over pre-season favourites South Shields with just three games to go. Two seasons ago South Shields were 12 points clear at the top of the table when the season was deleted from the records. They tried to reverse the decision through the courts but ultimately they were unsuccessful and had to do it all again this season.

Buxton were in 18th place in that table so the turnaround has been surprising. But they deserve their place at the top of the table. They’ve won more, lost less, scored more and conceded less than anyone else in the league and have built a strong squad that has experience at a higher level and a mix of their own youngsters such as former Leicester City winger Ash Chambers and full-back Sean Newton.

For trivia fans, Buxton’s Silverlands stadium is the highest ground in England and whilst it isn’t quite in the same league in terms of altitude as La Paz in Bolivia, it is a fair trek uphill from the town centre. The club have been playing here since 1884, a year before the Rooks landed at the Dripping Pan and are enjoying one of their best seasons ever which has included hosting Morecambe in the FA Cup 2nd Round in front of 3,642 which will have certainly helped the bank balance. The club installed a 3G two seasons ago and now benefit from the community use of that too.

On Easter Monday they host Matlock Town, their local rivals, who themselves topped the league in early 2022 before a torrid run of form that saw them take three points from a possible 18 and relegate them down to third. Win that one and the National League North beckons.

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

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TODAY’S TEAMS

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COMMERCIAL PARTNER OF THE WEEK

We are going back over twenty years to remember one of the longest running sponsorship deals in English football. Sharp teamed up with Manchester United in 1982 and the deal ran through 18 seasons until 2000, which saw their name on the shirts in the golden era for the club including the treble season of 1998/99. However, surely the greatest squad wasn’t that of Giggs, Beckham, Scholes and Schmeichel but that of Ron Atkinson’s side featuring Wilkins, Robson, Macari and of course, Sharp white goods including Betamax records, “Boom boxes” and microwaves. Possibly the greatest pre-season squad photo ever.

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THE 2022 LEWES FC SUPPORTER SURVEY

We are proud to call The Dripping Pan home to many amazing people: aka Lewes fans! We are also a fan-owned club with 2200+ owners in 35+ countries worldwide.

We strive to continuously improve all aspects of the club, on and off the field, to ensure that Lewes FC continues to be a sacred, valuable community asset and a force for good.

The Supporters Survey aims to gather feedback, insights and suggestions from our fans, owners, and supporters in Lewes and around the world. It will help us to better understand what our supporters think about wide-ranging aspects of the club and it will help us to prioritise actions, according to what our supporters tell us is most important.

The Supporters Survey includes questions related to your impressions of the club, your match day experiences at The Dripping Pan, and your experiences as a supporter outside of match days.

Fill out the Lewes FC Supporter Survey and enter a raffle to win one of five new season home shirts!!

Because who doesn’t like an incentive?!

We highly appreciate you taking the time to fill out the Supporters Survey with as much detail as possible.

Deadline for completing the Supporters Survey: Monday 2nd May 2022.
(The 5 raffle winners will be announced before Sunday 8th May 2022).

And what will we do with the Supporters Survey results?

A professional research agency will analyse the results, which will help us to prioritise our actions in the coming months. And we will publish the results (all responses are anonymous of course!)

THANK YOU!

P.S. Any questions or doubts, please don´t hesitate to contact Lucy Mills at lucy@lewesfc.com

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AND FINALLY…..

It takes some doing to go through a whole season unbeaten but with just one game left, Combined Counties Premier North champions Hanworth Villa are about to join a unique club of being “invincible” through a whole league campaign. The Villains secured promotion some weeks ago and will likely join the Isthmian South Central League next season for the first time, having won thirty and drawn three of their games so far, breaking a performance record held by AFC Wimbledon nearly 20 years ago. They are the only club in the top 10 divisions of English football to remain unbeaten this season – Long Eaton United were the last challengers who went 27 games before defeat.

The club, based near Feltham just off the A316, have scored 84 goals and conceded just 14 this season. At home they’ve dropped just two points and that came in their first home game of the season against Edgware Town. The squad includes players such as Jerome Federico who have played at a much higher level, as well as Ben and Sam Merson, sons of former Arsenal player Paul, who turned out for the club twice in the 2019-20 season, have been among the goals this season.

For those wanting to tick off a new ground, details of how to get to Rectory Meadow can be found here.

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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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THE FINAL HOME GAME OF THE SEASON

SATURDAY 23rd APRIL 2022 – 3PM KICK OFF

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. Jack Dixon
  2. Rhys Murrell-Williamson
  3. 10
  4. Kingstonian
  5. Jay Lovett