Saturday 23rd April 2022 – 3pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan

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

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon and welcome to the Dripping Pan for the final game of our 2021/22 Isthmian Premier League season on St George’s Day. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Bowers & Pitsea and hope you enjoy our hospitality and have a safe journey home. Today marks the last game in charge of the club for manager Rob Small, after eight years at the helm, which has seen them rise from the Essex Senior League and the club would like to wish him all the best for his next adventure in football.

We’d all hoped that today’s result could determine whether we featured in the play-offs but we have to congratulate Cheshunt for their late surge to take the final spot. Tony always said there’d be one team who put together a late run of form to sneak in and he was right. All four of the sides have a chance in my opinion although there would be some irony if Enfield Town were promoted – we had the best aggregate score against them over any other side in the league this year, winning both games to a total score of 8-2.

We can be rightly proud of the squad and management this season. We’ve endured some tough times in recent years but this season I am sure we have given everyone moments to remember. It is tough to pick out a few, let alone one that sticks in the memory. However, whilst we can allow ourselves some time to look back, we now need to focus on the future. Work has already started on building a squad for next season which will continue the hard work put in place this year. What I would ask though is for some patience in terms of announcements – just because we aren’t shouting news from the rooftops every week doesn’t mean to say there’s nothing going on. Sometimes it is better to say nothing at all until you want to make a statement.

Naturally, there’s a lot of people to thank for the hard work and time they dedicate to the club every season, from our amazing volunteers on a match day, to the work the Supporters Club carry out almost on a daily basis around the Pan and the 3G to keep it looking in good shape. Staff who work behind the scenes such as James and Shrey who put long hours in, whilst our support staff who ensure our first team squad and management have everything they need. We will also be saying goodbye to some players after today and I’d like to thank them for the effort they have put in this season and wish them well in their future careers.

The work that goes on behind the scenes is vital and I’d like to thank Ed Briggs and especially John Peel for the hard work, often going above and beyond, as we try to move forward. We speak numerous times a day, navigating our way through the rules, regulations and laws of the game to ensure we stay on the right side of the footballing authorities.

Our support this season has been amazing, home and away and I know how much that has meant to the squad and management. Even in defeat you’ve showed your appreciation and at times the atmosphere here has been like nothing we’ve seen before. Thank you from everyone at the club to you all.

I’d like to end with a massive thank you to Roger, who had dedicated so much of his own time into preparing our pitch for longer than most of us care to mention. Nobody cares more about the club than he does and his contribution to our ongoing success is hugely appreciated by everyone at the club.

Let’s end the season on a high and get behind the team. Come on you Rooks!

Stuart

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon everyone. So, here we are at the end of the season. Last weekend didn’t go as we hoped or planned. Last Saturday was a rollercoaster of emotions. First half we came in 1-0 up and in complete control of the game. Kingstonian changed their formation and we didn’t react quick enough. But what I would say is that the team showed so much character. Two-all and down to ten men, then we get the penalty in injury time. There’s no one cooler than JT in taking a penalty in such a situation and he gave us the lead for what we thought was the final time.

Then, in the 98th minute it all goes wrong. We concede a throw-in, we don’t get close enough to the men in the box and Klassy gets underneath the ball and heads it past Lew. It was like a scene from a war film at the end with our players on the floor emotionally drained. The dressing room was very down after that but we had to pick them up and prepare to play 48 hours later.

I made changes to the starting side and I thought we started brightly and should have gone in ahead based on the chances. But early in the second half we hit a wall – to be fair so did Bognor and the quality of the game was poor. We had a golden chance when JT put Taylor through but he side-foots it wide then they go down the other end and score. Season over.

It was really disappointing, but we can look back on so many positives. The crowds we are now getting here watching us compared to a couple of years ago, the atmosphere is unbelievable. We’ve seen some fantastic individual performances and the work on building the squad for next season has already begun as we have been sitting down with the players and discussing the future. Playing in front of such a brilliant crowd is a big factor in their minds.

People like Kelly, Maggie and the Directors have done so much putting in place things already for next season. There’s stuff in the pipeline that will be a game changer for us. One thing I do know is that we will be better next season because of the preparation.

For me personally I set myself high standards – I wanted to get promoted and I know how much hard work Vinesy, Nathan and Adam have put in so to come up just short is disappointing. It adds fuel to the fire for next season though and I’m fired up for the new campaign.

Today is Rob Small’s last game as Bowers & Pitsea boss and I know it will be emotional for him. We are down to bare bones due to injury and we are also missing Casey Pettit who has been recalled by Luton Town to be part of their first team squad. That is a real positive for us as a club as Luton see the progress he has made in being with us for the last couple of months. We still plan to end the season on a high and put on a show for the fans.

We’ve been blown away by how well you have treated us. We’ve had a few bad days, such as Potters Bar Town here but you stayed behind to clap us off. Your unconditional support has been amazing. It has been a real pleasure to manage this club and I’m sorry we couldn’t quite achieve something special in our first season. Make no bones about it, we will come back stronger.

Come on you Rooks!

Tony

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THE 2021/22 SEASON IN 11 PICTURES

Pictures James Boyes and Stuart Fuller

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GET WITH THE PROGRAMME

Today is the 23rd online “Progcast” of the season. The work that goes into producing one is significant and wouldn’t be possible with outside help. Whilst I am very thankful to Tom Harper for his match reports, Paul Sheppard for the opposition team analysis, PJ for his tales of the Stodgebusters and of course, Boysie for his photos, it is a labour of love and one that takes between 6 and 8 hours per game. Viewing numbers, are lower than previous seasons despite our attendances going up

Online programmes aren’t for all – I’m a big fan of the printed version but I am also a big fan of not having to fund something that is loss-making. We were selling less than 100 copies in our last printed version, whilst print and design costs were around £300. I don’t believe we should compromise on content or style so it is hard to justify returning to the old days.

But likewise, I can no longer spend the hours required to produce the online version as it is today, so it is with a heavy heart that this will be my last progcast as editor. I’d have hoped that the progcast would get wider readership, or even interest from within and outside the club – there’s little I can do to alter that. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed, read and give us feedback – it is hugely appreciated.

I will happily work with anyone who wants to take over, and contribute an article or two in the future. But for now it is goodbye from me.

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RUN2UKRAINE

You may remember from our Kingstonian progcast that Anthony Seddon was running for Ukraine in the Lewes Athletic Club Easter Monday 10K Fun Run. Anthony was joined by our Community Manager Shrey on Monday and the fundraising will continue today with a bucket collection around the ground.  

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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OUR SEASON IN TEN RANDOM FACTS

  1. Our most “successful” kit worn away from home was our home kit – we’d worn it once, at Enfield Town away, and won…and then we wore it again on Monday at Bognor Regis and lost! The White and Black combination has delivered an average of 1.9 points on the road, the White and White just 1.4 points per game.
  2. The last Lewes player to score 30 goals in a season before Joe Taylor was Paul Booth who hit 34 in the 2007/08 season, although only 28 were in the league. They played together at Folkestone Invicta and after Joe scored last Saturday Boothy messaged him to say well done.
  3. We’ve only used 30 players this season, of which 7 have played 3 games or less. Bottom of the table Leatherhead have used 86.
  4. Lewis Carey has played every minute of every game. The last player to do that for the Rooks in a full season was….Lewis Carey back in 2018/19.
  5. We’ve only lost twice in the league after scoring first. Conversely, we’ve won four games where the opponents have scored first.
  6. Goals pay the rent, so the saying goes, and this season you could afford a mansion watching Lewes games. No fans in the Isthmian Premier League have seen as many goals as Rooks fans this season as the ball has hit the back of the net 148 times, or an average 3.61 times a game.
  7. We score most of our goals in the 2nd quarter of the game – from the 23rd to 45th minute. During that spell we have so far scored 27 times. We are least likely to score in the first period of the game, hitting the net on 16 occasions from the 1st minute to the 22nd.
  8. We’ve scored more goals in the 90th minute (5 times) than in any other minute of a league game this season which isn’t a surprise considering it includes injury time. Aside from that minute, we’ve hit the net 3 times in the 89th minute. We’ve yet to score in the first minute – the earliest goal we have scored was Joe Taylor’s 3rd minute effort against Brightlingsea Regent.
  9. Of the side that started last Saturday against Kingstonian, only Mitchell Nelson and Lewis Carey, two players in their second spell with the club, haven’t got on the scoresheet this season.
  10. Our average attendance of 858 before today is the fifth highest at Step 3, and is higher than 20 National League sides. It is the highest average league attendance at The Pan for over 15 years.
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LEWES 3 KINGSTONIAN 3 – SATURDAY 16th APRIL 2022

Ten-man Lewes saw their play-off hopes dealt a potentially fatal blow as despite taking the lead three times, they were forced to settle for a point after a 3-3 draw against Kingstonian at the Pan, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at Cheshunt in their previous game, with Juevan Spencer replacing the suspended Kenneth Yao in the starting line-up.

There were few chances of note for either side early on, with a comfortable save from Lewis Carey to deny Walter Figueira being the closest either side came to taking the lead during the opening exchanges.

Lewes soon began to take control of the game though, and should arguably have gone in front through Razz Coleman De-Graft, who was just unable to round Julian Schwarzer and finish at the end of a sweeping passing move.

The Rooks took the lead on 27 minutes through Deshane Dalling, who cut in from the left before seeing his powerful strike from the edge of the area fumbled over the line by Schwarzer.

Lewes continued to enjoy the better chances after the break and came close to doubling their lead, Dalling having a strike parried by Schwarzer before De-Graft saw his effort on the rebound blocked.

Kingstonian made the most of this by equalising on 57 minutes through Ollie Cook, who finished at the far post from close range after a corner from the right had been flicked on at the near post.

The game became more stretched at this point, with both sides looking capable of scoring every time they went forward.

Lewes could have regained their lead as Michael Klass saw a close-range strike saved by Schwarzer and from the resulting clearance, substitute Daniel Ajakaiye ran through and saw his cross-shot cleared from almost on the line by Will Salmon.

The Rooks did go back in front on 70 minutes, as excellent play down the right by Dalling ended with the winger crossing for Joe Taylor to head past Schwarzer from inside the six-yard box.

Lewes had the visitors on the ropes and Schwarzer was forced into a smart save to keep out a powerful strike from Ollie Tanner which seemed destined for the far corner.

Once again, Kingstonian made Lewes pay by levelling the scores on 76 minutes. Figueira was the scorer, finishing low past Carey from the edge of the box after good play down the left by Ajakaiye.

The Rooks were dealt a major blow with four minutes remaining, as Mitchell Nelson was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge in midfield, leaving Lewes to look for a winner with ten men.

To their credit, Lewes kept their heads up and nearly went in front for a third time through Tanner, who saw a strike hit the inside of the post after being teed up by De-Graft.

The Rooks kept the loose ball alive, and were then awarded a penalty when Taylor Maloney was fouled just inside the box at the start of injury-time.

Taylor took the penalty and sent Schwarzer the wrong way from the spot to give the ten men of Lewes the lead for a third time, sending the home fans into raptures.

Lewes managed the game well for the majority of injury-time but disaster struck with the final meaningful action of the game in the 97th minute, as a Kingstonian cross from the left was inadvertently headed past Carey by Michael Klass to level the scores and leave the Rooks three points adrift of the play-off places with only two games remaining.

Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse (Tanner 62), Salmon, Nelson, Pettit (Phipp 74), Klass, Pritchard (Maloney 62), Dalling, De-Graft, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Olukoga, Addy.

Booked: Spencer, Nelson, Taylor, Phipp.

Sent off: Nelson.

Kingstonian: Schwarzer, Clunis (Samuels 57), Cooper, Young, Cook, Beaney, Addai (Pearch 77), Sow, Figueira, Theobalds, Kurtaran (Ajakaiye 57).

Unused Subs: Ebuzoeme, Whitnell.

Booked: Cooper, Beaney, Kurtaran.

Attendance: 1,021

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HE DIDN’T LEGO OF HIS DREAM

Ten year old George Rice used his Easter Holidays wisely, building a Lego model of the Dripping Pan. George and his family are Watford Season Ticket Holders but having seen the Hornets lose 10 at home on the spin, starting coming to our home games. His Dad, Daniel, takes up the story:

“George loves his Lego and as the Dripping Pan has so many unique features he decided to challenge himself and try and build it. As its Easter holidays he had some time but didn’t take him too long, maybe 4 hours over the last 2 days.”

George, his sister, Mum and Dad are with us here today and we hope they have a fantastic afternoon.

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INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS – BOWERS & PITSEA FC

THE HISTORY

Bowers and Pitsea FC are relative newcomers playing under their current name since 2004, and stepped up to the Isthmian League in 2016. They play at the Len Salmon Stadium in Pitsea, Essex, which has a capacity of 3,500, or 2,000 (200 seated) depending on contrasting online information.

Bowers United, founded in 1946, began life in the Thurrock and Thameside Combination which they won in 1959. They became founder members of the Essex Olympian League in 1966 before moving up to the Essex Senior League in 1974, which they won in 1981 and 1999.

In 2004 Bowers United merged with Sunday league neighbours, Pitsea, to form Bowers and Pitsea FC. Under current manager Rob Small they finished runners-up in the Essex Senior League in 2015, going one better a year later to win the league and gain promotion to the Isthmian League. That season was notable too for their cup run in the FA Vase, which took them to the semi-finals where they were narrowly beaten by eventual winners Morpeth Town.

In their first season in the Isthmian League Division One North, 2016-17, they finished a creditable sixth. A year later they finished third, but were beaten in the play-offs by Canvey Island. They won promotion to the Premier Division in 2018-19.

This season Bowers and Pitsea sit 16th in the league on 44 points. This match looks to be manager Rob Small’s last in his successful 8 year leadership, and we wish him well.

THE SQUAD

Rob Small – Manager

Rob joined Bowers & Pitsea in the summer of 2014 from Essex Olympian outfit Southminster St Leonards FC. Rob has called time on his successful spell with the club and leaves at the end of this season with two League Titles, one League Cup, Bowers’ first ever FA Cup First Round, their first ever Essex Senior Cup Final and their best performance in the FA Trophy.

Mitchell Beeney – Goalkeeper

Mitchell joined the Chelsea academy from Gillingham in 2007 where he spent 3 years, and in 2014-14 made 4 appearances for England’s U19s. He joined Bowers this season. Beeney played one game for The Rooks in the 2020/21 season…against Bowers & Pitsea.

Alex Bentley – Defender

Alex has made 41 appearances for his club this season. He signed in July from Tonbridge and has also played for Dagenham & Redbridge.

Ben Steward – Defender

Ben is a centre-back with 31 appearances for his club this season.

George Wind – Defender

George is a right-back who started his career at Colchester Utd. He has also played for Hornchurch, Aylesbury Utd, and Billericay Town.

Callum Leahy – Defender

Callum could be a recent signing who was previously with Grays Athletic, and Hornchurch.

Thomas Stephen – Defender

Thomas is an ever-present for his club with 42 appearances this season.

Joshua Rusoke – Defender/Midfielder

Josh we think is a recent signing who has also played for Aylesbury Utd, and Hornchurch.

Danny Norton – Defender/Midfielder

Danny appears to play in defence or midfield and once a youngster at Tottenham Hotspur.

Michael Ademiluyi – Midfielder

Michael, a midfielder, moved in August from New Salamis of the Spartan South Midlands League, but is better known from his time at Haringey Borough.

James White – Midfielder

James has previously played for Harlow Town, Canvey Island, Concord Rangers, and East Thurrock.

Max Cornhill – Midfielder

Max was recruited in summer 2018 from East Thurrock where he played for 6 years. He has also played at Chelmsford City.

Quentin Monville – Midfielder

Quentin signed from Barking in 2018. The former Wingate & Finchley winger has made 43 appearances for his club this season.

Jamie Dicks – Midfielder

Jamie plays central midfield and has previously turned out for Romford, and Aylesbury Utd.

Mitchell Gilbey – Midfielder/Forward

Mitchell has scored some important goals from midfield. He joined Bowers from East Thurrock, and also played for Canvey Island, Tilbury, and Great Wakering Rovers.

Daniel Trendall – Forward

Daniel joined Bowers from St Neots Town FC in 2019. He looks to have made 38 appearances but of goals I cannot say.

Lewis Manor – Forward

Lewis may likely be Bowers’ leading scorer this season with umpteen goals in all competitions.

Bradley Sach – Forward

Brad is a young forward with experience at Dover Athletic, Aylesbury Utd, Potters Bar, and Hornchurch.

THE HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

DateHomeAwayScoreCompetition
11th Dec 2021Bowers & Pitsea Lewes1-3Isthmian Premier
6th Oct 2020Bowers & PitseaLewes1-1Isthmian Premier
21st Sept 2019LewesBowers & Pitsea1-2FA Cup
17th Aug 2019LewesBowers & Pitsea0-2Isthmian Premier

THE CURRENT FORM

THE LAST MEETING HERE – 21st SEPTEMBER 2019

The two sides met for the first time back in 2019/20 and ended up facing each other twice in a matter of weeks, first in the Isthmian Premier League and then in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. The Rooks took a second half lead in an even encounter, when Kane Diedrick-Roberts converted a spot kick but two goals from the visitors in the 71st and 76th minute saw them progress to the Third Qualifying Round for the first time and the Rooks once again exit at an early stage in the competition.

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AN EASTER TREAT FROM 40 YEARS AGO…THANKS TO DAVE EVANS

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THE POSTER BOYS

“Why fit when you were born to stand out?”

There is so much still to love about Dr Seuss’ wisdom when you are an adult and for World Book Day back in 2016 our match poster honoured both Seuss and his most famous character, The Cat in the Hat, or the Lewes take of The Rook in the Book.

The game against Hendon in Darren Freeman’s first season in change saw the Rooks claim another draw, 2-2 in this instance with goals from Lloyd Cotton and Charlie Coppola, in front of a crowd of just 374. The Rooks second half of the season form saw them draw 11 out of 21 games in a campaign that ultimately saw them relegated.

Random fact for you. Seuss was not a Doctor. He received an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth University in 1956, nearly 20 years after he first published one of his legendary books.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”

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REMEMBERING THE ROOKS OF YESTERYEAR – JAKE BUSS (2017)

Normally when I write this section I have to consult with the oracle of Lewes playing records, Kevin Brook, but for this one I know the full story and the statistics.

We’ve had many players who have only made one appearance for the Rooks but in the case of goal keeper Jake Buss there is an interesting story behind the stat.

Back at the start of the 2017-18 promotion season, the Rooks number one was Chris Winterton. However, due to a combination of work commitments and the pregnancy of Mrs Winterton with not one, nor two but three daughters, Chris had to miss our opening midweek game of the season against Guernsey.

At such an early stage of the season, finding a keeper to stand in was hard but they managed to secure the services of Newhaven’s number one, Jake Buss on a dual registration basis. But there was a dilemma. Lewes had been drawn at home to Newhaven in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, a tie that would take place three days after the game against Guernsey. If the county league side wanted a mole in the Lewes camp, they couldn’t have asked for a better situation.

Whilst Darren Freeman conducted his team talk, Buss was sent out onto the pitch with Assistant Manager and Goalkeeping coach Ross Standen so he couldn’t take any dressing room secrets back down the road and then left soon after the final whistle.

Buss kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win and was back between the sticks three days later, captaining Newhaven as they came back from 3-0 down after 35 minutes to claim a 3-3 draw. The Rooks won the replay 4-1 and Jake’s services were never called on again.

Buss is still the number one at Newhaven.

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BOGNOR REGIS TOWN 0 LEWES 1 – MONDAY 18th APRIL 2022

A flat Lewes performance saw the Rooks’ play-off hopes ended with a 1-0 defeat at local rivals Bognor.

Tony Russell made four changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Kingstonian 48 hours earlier, with Ayo Olukoga, Tom Phipp, Taylor Maloney and Ollie Tanner replacing Juevan Spencer, Tom Carlse, Casey Pettit and Bradley Pritchard in the starting line-up.

Lewes started brightly, knowing that they need to win to keep themselves in with a realistic chance of making the play-offs, and saw Tom Phipp have a long-range effort helped onto the bar by Amadou Tangara early on.

The hosts were comfortable on the ball but were finding it difficult to test Lewis Carey, an Alfie Bridgman curling effort from the edge of the area going just wide being the closest they came to opening the scoring.

The Rooks were having the same problems as the half progressed though, with Michael Klass shooting wide after good play down the right by Deshane Dalling as they looked to make the most of the possession they were enjoying.

Joe Taylor then went close to giving Lewes the lead just before the break, capitalising on a misunderstanding at the back before shooting over the bar from distance with Tangara out of position.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with both sides enjoying spells of possession without really looking like breaking the deadlock.

Bognor’s high press nearly saw them opening the scoring through Charlie Ball, who saw a strike from the edge of the area deflected off target after a loose pass from Ayo Olukoga.

Lewes were inches away from making the most of this let-off minutes later, an excellent one-touch passing move ending with Taylor Maloney shooting just wide after being teed up by Taylor.

The hosts began to pose more of a consistent threat heading into the closing stages, with Nathan Odokonyero shooting straight at Carey after getting in behind the Lewes defence.

Bognor took the lead on 79 minutes through Dan Gifford, who ran onto a ball in behind and finished with aplomb past Carey.

They came close to doubling their lead almost immediately, Carey parrying a Gifford strike before Odokonyero saw his goal-bound effort on the rebound blocked.

Lewes pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but were unable to create a chance of note, with the Rooks falling to a disappointing 1-0 defeat in their final away game of the season.

Bognor Regis Town: Tangara, Robb, Bridgman, Davies, Cook, Howick (Robson 46), Whyte, Bell (Holland 88), Ayoola (Brook 56), Gifford, Odokonyero.

Unused Subs: Barnes, Wyatt.

Booked: Davies.

Lewes: Carey, De-Graft, Salmon, Olukoga (Murrell-Williamson 83), Nelson, Klass, Tanner (Addy 69), Maloney, Taylor, Phipp (Pettit 61), Dalling.

Unused Subs: Yao, Spencer.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 870 (approximately 250 Rooks fans)

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THANK YOU…TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED US THIS SEASON HOME AND AWAY

Picture credits: James Boyes and Stuart Fuller

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TO OUR DEPARTED FRIENDS – GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

There are few football clubs in Britain that do not take their name from the location where they play. Yes, we can argue about the proximity of Crystal Palace to Selhurst Park, West Ham to Stratford or even Everton, Forest Green and Tranmere being real places (they are) but go north of the border and you will find Rangers, Celtic and Heart of Midlothian in the Premiership who give no clue to their location in their name. And then there is Queen of the South.

Located in the market town of Dumfries, close to the English border, Queen of the South is the nickname of the club as well as the town. Dumfries got its nickname ‘Queen of the South’ from David Dunbar, a local poet, who in 1857 stood as a candidate in the general election and in his speech referred to the town as”Queen of the South”. The club also has an unusual nickname, “Doonhamers”, a version of the phrase  ‘doon hame‘, a version of “down home”. Not that many people want to move away from the town according to Rightmove, who ranked it as the happiest place to live in Scotland in 2017, perhaps because of the number of pubs, which on the mile walk from the station to Palmeston Park, home of Queen of the South, totalled 12.

The club also claim to be the only football club mentioned in the Bible (Luke 11:31 “The Queen of the South shall rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them) although the words “Bury” and “Orient” as in the Leyton variety do also appear in the texts.

The football club haven’t had a remarkable history despite their unusual names. But they still hold a number of records – Palmerston Park has the tallest floodlights in Scottish Football and the steepest terrace to get the pulses racing. They haven’t played in the top flight for nearly fifty years and were staring relegation from the Championship (step 2) in the face as they hosted Inverness Caledonian Thistle in mid-April.

Actually, they needed a miracle. Nine points adrift with just three games to play, they had to take maximum points and hope that either Dunfermline Athletic or Ayr United dropped points. To make it all even more interesting, QOTS would face those two sides in their last two games. But first they hosted play-off bound Inverness Caledonian Thistle in a game billed as the “longest names in British football” at a total of 39 characters long, which was conveniently shortened to QOTS v ICT on the match tickets.

I’m often asked where the Rooks would fair north of the border. Based on the crowd watching this one on a fine April evening I’d say very well, with less than 650 in Palmerston Park, two hundred less than the average at the Pan but in terms of one the pitch, whilst the play was often wayward, you could see flashes of professional skill from both sides in a pulsating game. The home side took an early lead – goals have been an issue this season and QOTS came into the game as the league’s lowest scorers, but had conceded the most. At the other end Inverness were the second top scorers and had the third meanest defence.

The visitors equalised in the 17th minute and fair play to the 40 or so fans who had made the 470 mile round trip (or 13 hours each way on the train) on a Tuesday night as they celebrated wildly. However, it was the home side who regained the lead just before half time, and hung on for 50 minutes to keep their Championship place alive for at least four more days.

If you are ever passing through the region the town is definitely worth an hour or two of your time. Some decent pubs (although I’d perhaps avoid the Fleshers Arms and Dickie’s Bar which made Wetherspoon’s look palatial), friendly locals and a football ground steeped in history.

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS

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THE 2021/22 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

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TODAY’S TEAMS WILL APPEAR HERE ABOUT 2:15PM

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GOING UP, GOING DOWN

Your final regular update on promotion and relegation issues.

What do we know for sure?

Hastings United and Aveley will join us in the Isthmian Premier League next season, having won the Isthmian League South East and North respectively. Whilst Bracknell Town won the Isthmian League South Central some time ago it is very likely they will go into the Southern League Premier South.

What don’t we know yet?

Going into the last Saturday of the season there are still no teams confirmed as relegated from the Isthmian Premier League, with any two (or even three) from Leatherhead, Merstham, East Thurrock United or Cray Wanderers going down. The latter’s win on Wednesday night against East Thurrock puts them in a good position, but their last game is at Bishop’s Stortford today.

We also don’t know who will join us via the Play-offs from the three leagues below. In the Isthmian North there’s a high chance that is Stowmarket Town or Felixstowe & Walton United win the play-off they will head into the Southern League Premier Central. If it is Brentwood Town or Canvey Island they will join us in the Isthmian Premier.

There’s no doubt that the winner of the Isthmian South East play-offs from Ashford United, Haywards Heath Town, Cray Valley Paper Mills or Herne Bay will come into the Isthmian Premier League, whilst in the South Central League it is likely the play-off winners (Bedfont Sports, Chertsey Town, Hanwell Town plus either Basingstoke Town or Uxbridge) will go into the Southern Premier League South.

Coming down from the National League South seems to be two way fight between Welling United and Billericay Town, whilst the question of teams moving laterally cannot be ruled out with potentially Bishop’s Stortford or Cheshunt in range of a move sideways if they do not win the play-off.

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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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SO WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THIS SEASON?

Results

#1. Who scored our first league goal of the season?

#2. Which Rooks player received a red card away at Potters Bar Town?

#3. Had we beaten Met Police in the FA Cup, who would we have played in the next round?

#4. What's the highest position the Rooks have been in the Isthmian Premier league this season?

#5. What was the half-time score in our away game at Margate in October?

#6. In the 7 games we played between 11th September and 23rd October, how many goals did we score?

#7. Two players have scored a hatrick for the Rooks this season. Joe Taylor is one, but who is the other?

#8. Who scored our last goal in 2021?

#9. Which player started the first game of the season at Cray Wanderers and didn't feature again for the Rooks?

#10. In which game did we have an attendance of 449, our lowest one of the season?

finish
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THANK YOU TO BADGEMAN BRIAN

Brian “Badgeman” Ashdown has been a regular feature at the Pan for many seasons. The dapper 76 year old can be seen on the pitch at the end of every home game awarding the man of the match award, dating back to 1985.

Brian has been following the Rooks for over 25 years having hung up his whistle as a referee. Having always collected badges, he saw that the club didn’t produce their own badges and so he started making them to commemorate the numerous trophies and honours the club won to raise funds for the supporters club, raising thousands in his time.

For the last couple of season Brian has awarded a prize for the man of the match, funding them out of his own pocket and two end of season prizes including the Golden Boot.

People like Brian are what makes Non-League football so great and we thank you for everything you do for the club.

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TODAY’S TEAMS

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STODGEBUSTERS COMPLETE THEIR TOUR AT BOGNOR

A depleted Stodgebusters crew still hadn’t fully recovered from the disappointment of that 97th minute Kingstonian equaliser two days earlier. But here we were, ready to go again. PJ was picked up by Brick Top Alan (formerly known as Turnstile Alan) at Lewes Prison bus stop. Steve was already on board. If we hadn’t recovered how, must the players have felt? They had to go out and perform again less than 48 hours later. What a kick in the unmentionables that equaliser was.

We were depleted due to Gary the Badge and Polegate Roly both testing positive for the dreaded Covid19. They had possibly contracted it on while playing sardines on the train or tube during the Cheshunt expedition. PJ and Steve had somehow managed to swerve the bug.

With Steve’s dodgy knee and Alan’s unfortunate habit of jinxing any train we go on, we decided to drive to Nyewood Lane via the obligatory cafe. Saturdays game was the main topic of conversation of course. We agreed we were very unlucky to concede that O.G. so late but a little naive in allowing the ball to be at that end of the pitch for it to happen.

The journey was a doddle. Where was all the Bank Holiday traffic? We sailed through all the usual pinch points at Worthing, Littlehampton and Arundel and arrived in Bognor with nearly a couple of hours to spare.  Head Restaurant Research Officer PJ had lined up the Syrup Cafe in the town centre for the days gastronomic bonanza. We had been here once before, a few years ago on a Bank Holiday and we don’t remember having cause for complaint. What luck too. Alan got a parking space right outside the door and in we went.

What a smashing place. Very clean and airy. Plenty of space too. Not like some places where you lean back and bump heads with the person behind. There was a very extensive menu to choose from and once decided it was up to see the girl at the counter.

“Number one breakfast please”.

“OK darling. That is £3.95 darling”.

What a bargain!

“And a cup of tea”.

“That’s £5.20 then darling. Thanks darling”.

About fifteen darlings later we were all seated back down with three very healthy Full English breakfasts on the way. What a friendly pleasant girl. Now that is how to treat customers and make them feel welcome. It’s not been often but we have met one or two less than welcoming individuals over the years.

The tea turned up in a proper teapot with china cups and saucers with a Biscoff biscuit on the side. Very nice. A pleasant change to the builders type mugs we usually get.

This must have been the cheapest lunch we have had all season but it certainly didn’t lack in quality in any respect. So that Gary didn’t feel too left out while isolating at home, PJ sent him a photograph of all the full plates before we got stuck in so he could see what he was missing. That would cheer him up. The food was excellent. Together with the facilities, value, very friendly and helpful staff we have to give it a full ten on the Stodge-o-meter. We couldn’t fault it. It was one of the best places we have been all season. If any reader finds themselves in Bognor Regis and fancies a decent lunch and a cuppa we can definitely recommend the Syrup Cafe.

There was time for a couple more darlings as we left and it was off to the ground.

Bognor has never been great on concessions. For a while there was no such thing but us old codgers got a couple of quid off and got in for a tenner each. Still the dearest concession we’ve seen all season. Since our last visit they have built a huge cover over the terrace at the bar end. It is quite impressive and we thought how nice it would be to have a similar thing over the Terry Parris Terrace back at the Pan. Being basically a perspex roof it probably isn’t that expensive either. They have all new P.A. speakers which are impressively loud and make one stand well away from them. Highway to Hell sounded very impressive but when the teams were read out it sounded very garbled and we could hardly make out a word.

Ollie Tanner was starting. That was good news. No doubts about it. This was a must win game and hopefully Cheshunt would slip up against Bishops Stortford.

Lewes started well and Phipp hit the bar very early on. Lewes were playing all the football but, as usual, we couldn’t find that final ball and we were convinced the linesman was guessing some of the offside decisions against us.

Damn it. Cheshunt had gone one-up. But Folkestone were losing. Lewes were on top and we felt confident we would force a breakthrough at some point. But half time came with no score.

“We’ll have them second half”.

No we wouldn’t. The second half was a bit of a non event. Bognor came into the game more and we started to look rather tired. Carey made a good save but then the inevitable happened. Ten minutes from time one good ball in behind the defence and the home player slotted home nicely. Our hearts sank just like they had in the 97th minute on Saturday. It certainly rocked us. They very nearly scored again straight after when Carey made another good save and the follow up was blocked. We never really looked like getting an equaliser and the game petered out to a disappointing one-nil defeat. It mattered little as Cheshunt had surprisingly held on to beat Bishops Stortford anyway. So that was that as far as playoffs go. We trudged away deflated by another defeat that didn’t look on the cards for most of the match. The last few games had been an anti-climax and we didn’t get the points we probably should have.

So that’s yet another odyssey around the grounds of the Isthmian Premier League done and dusted. At least one Stodgebuster has been at every game including the cups and pre season friendlies. PJ did the bleedin’ lot and, touch wood, the final home match v Bowers will complete his set. Despite the late disappointments it has been a very good season. It has been great to be mixing it at the top end of the table after a few seasons of looking over our shoulders to see who’s below us. Our hearty thanks go to Tony, Joe and their staff and players for the ride, providing us with a team playing good football, and Chairman Stuart, JP and the club staff for making it all happen.

No summer rest for the Stodgebusters though. They will go straight into pre-season training. Gary can be regularly found getting into shape at the Green Man in Ringmer while PJ has many training camps in the Brighton area.

The Stodgebusters will return for the first pre season friendly. Wherever/whenever that may be.

***Want to join the Stodgebusters for a game next season? Free Day Memberships available. Just see any member. ***

A happy summer break to you all.

Come On You Rooks!

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PATHWAY UPDATE

The newly formed Lewes U14’s have had a very successful first season at the club. The side also ran by Dale Hurley and U18 coach, Jacob Baitup, have won their League Cup beating AS Eastbourne 2-0 in the final, goals from Omar Abdsami and Kallum Fuller-Thompson. 

The U14’s need 1 point from their remaining 2 fixtures to clinch the league title, results permitting elsewhere the league title could be decided Friday (22nd) if AS Eastbourne fail to win. 

Hoping for a treble this season the young Rooks are also in the County Cup semi final, awaiting the winner of AS Eastbourne or Hassocks Phoenix in their upcoming quarter final this Sunday. The semi final is an away tie on Sunday 1st May with the final scheduled for Sunday 15th May. 

A brilliant first season for these young men who will be doing a lap of honour with their league cup trophy this afternoon at half time. 

The U14’s last home game of the season is tomorrow, Sunday 24th vs Worthing 4:30pm on the Rookery 3G, if anybody wants an insight into the future.

The U18’s finished their season with an FA Youth Cup 1st round tie, as Isthmian Youth League South runners up and Sussex County Cup semi finalists.

A season that saw 3 players make their first team debuts; Benjamin Hack and Kaiden Hummerston – both who will still be part of the U18’s set up next season. Harrison Page, a second year centre forward was the other to make his senior debut. 

Alfie Bendle signed scholarship forms at AFC Wimbledon at the start of the season, aged just 16. Alfie signed a pro deal when he turned 17 earlier this year.

Another player is currently on trial at a professional club, more information will be announced over the next few weeks. 

On the pitch the Rooks played their home fixtures at Hayward’s Heath, we thank them for their hospitality this season. Particular highlights were the emphatic 5-0 win vs Whitehawk, 6-0 win vs Hemel Hempstead in the FA Youth Cup and the 2-1 away win vs Worthing. 

Kaiden Hummerston finished as top scorer with 25 goals.

The young rooks will be looking for a couple of new additions to join the squad for next season. Details for trial dates / pre season training will be announced soon.

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A WORD FROM OUR COMMERCIAL PARTNER OF THE WEEK

GOAT logo will appear on the sleeve of the future jersey 2022-2023 (Mock-up for illustrative purposes only)

We are bang up to date with this week’s head-scratching commercial partner with Paris St Germain this week announcing a tie up with GOAT. Over to PSG to try to explain what the deal is and who GOAT are:

“French sports giant Paris Saint-Germain and GOAT, the global platform for the past, present and future, announced a major multiyear global partnership that will see GOAT become the new official sleeve partner of the club. In addition to GOAT’s presence on the sleeve of the club’s men’s first team shirts, the partnership will see the two brands collaborating to promote GOAT’s premium platform and its offerings to a new generation of football and fashion fans worldwide.

GOAT will join the club as an Official Partner until the end of the current season before becoming the sleeve partner and one of the club’s Principal Partners beginning in July 2022. The GOAT brand will be displayed on all of the club’s performance kits, including training, warm-up and match apparel.

With innovation at the forefront of both brands, the partnership will introduce first-of-its-kind initiatives, including unique content and collaborations. The partnership will also strengthen each brand’s global footprints, reaching a wider audience in key markets.

“We are delighted to welcome GOAT into the Paris Saint-Germain family with this partnership that will see them join the exclusive roster of club partners present on our iconic jerseys,” said Marc Armstrong, Chief Partnerships Officer of Paris Saint-Germain. “GOAT is a perfect fit for the club and further supports our position as a leading global sports and lifestyle icon for fans all over the world. Together we will develop exciting and creative experiences to connect with supporters everywhere.”

I’ve read that four times and I am still none the wiser who or what GOAT are.

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AND FINALLY…AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN

Sin Bins have been a ‘thing’ in Non-League football for Step 5 and below for a number of seasons. They are used against players who show dissent against the officials, leading to a punishment on the sidelines of ten minutes, much the same as the yellow card rule works in rugby.

Saltdean United game in the Southern Combination Premier Division two weeks ago when the home side were reduced to SEVEN men for a period in the second half with four players serving time “in the bin”. Despite the significant numeric advantage, the visitors, 5-0 up at the time, could only add one further goal before the sides were evened up.

The minimum number of players on the pitch is 7 and whilst some games have come close to an abandonment, the last such major match impacted by a lack of players was the infamous Battle of Bramall Lane in 2002 when Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United went down to six players against West Bromwich Albion.

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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…

SUNDAY 1st MAY 2022 – 2PM KICK OFF

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. Adria Munoz Fernandez
  2. Matthew Hurley
  3. Stephen Okoh
  4. Matthew George
  5. 0-0

THE END OF SEASON QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. Ollie Tanner
  2. Killian Colombie
  3. Farnborough
  4. Second (once in September and once again in October)
  5. Margate 2 Lewes 1
  6. 27 goals
  7. Taylor Maloney away at Margate
  8. Deshane Dalling in the 89th minute at Horsham
  9. Fintan Walsh
  10. Leatherhead