Tuesday 1st November 2022 7:45pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan

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Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this evening’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game against Aveley. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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JOIN THE TEAM & BECOME AN OWNER TODAY!

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VIC BLUNT – RIP

The club were sad to hear the passing at the weekend of Life Member and former groundsman Vic Blunt. Terry Parris, Lewes FC’s Club President has provided some wonderful words about Vic.

“Vic was a very humble man who had a passion for Lewes FC and his pride and joy was making sure that our sacred Dripping Pan surface was as good as possible for each game.

“There was no time off for him, throughout the year there was always something to do and pre-season there was so much to do off the pitch. Let’s not forget that Vic had nowhere near the equipment we have today. The pitch had a manual watering system with a sprinkler hose that he would move around the ground taking several hours. If the game was doubtful, he would be there trying to get it on and would have colourful discussions with referees if they didn’t think it was playable.

“The players loved him, in fact everyone loved him, he would watch training sessions and insist we stayed out of the goalmouths. He was a very proud man, humorous and he would enjoy seeing all the teams use the pitch. He enjoyed the good times including the late 70’s with promotion and the 85 season with our Senior Cup final win and he shared the celebration in the Mayor’s chamber.

“He was our unsung hero and has always been, he lived locally, he loved the Town and gave so much back in so many ways.

“One pre-season our chairman used the wrong grass seed and much to Vic’s disgust we had to have sheep on the pitch to eat it away but still we had a good pitch for our first game.

“Football Clubs survive having people Like Vic, he gave up most of his spare time for the cause, he was an absolute legend.”

We will remember Vic with a moment of applause before tonight’s game.

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good evening everyone and welcome to the Dripping Pan for this Isthmian Premier League game against Aveley. I’d like to welcome our guests from North of the Thames, and hope the players, management, officials and of course, the fans, enjoy our hospitality today. We had hoped to have played this game two weeks ago but the protests at the Dartford Crossing meant the Isthmian League took the decision to cancel the game. Whilst that suited us in some ways, coming off the back of the tough game at Enfield Town, it simply kicked the can down the road.

Anyone who saw our game last Tuesday against Hornchurch cannot have been impressed by both the never-say-die spirit in the squad but also the work rate. We restricted Hornchurch to three chances on goal – I can’t include the penalty in those which was one of the softest I have seen given in all football for a long time. We found ourselves 2-0 down but came back and fully deserved the share of the points. Hornchurch are without the doubt the strongest side we’ve faced this season but we more than held them for 95 minutes.

Saturday saw us progress in the FA Trophy after victory at Chesham United on penalties. Once again we dominated the game, against a side who are in the top 5 at Step 3 in the Southern Premier League South. Whilst Lew will get the headlines for the two penalty saves, it was another solid team performance. The win means further fixture pressure on the squad before Christmas and will necessitate some squad rotation to protect some of the players, such as Razz and Bradley, who have injuries.

The draw yesterday saw us paired against Bognor Regis Town here at the Pan, and coupled with a tough Sussex Senior Cup draw at home to Worthing, who knocked us out last season, means we now face a month with potentially NINE fixtures including tonight. Whilst the league isn’t won, or lost before Christmas, we will certainly be put to the test in the next 28 days.

Finally, good luck to our Under18s who face AFC Wimbledon Under18s on Thursday night in the FA Youth Cup First Round Proper at the Cherry Red Stadium (the old Kingstonian ground), kick off 7pm.

Let’s get behind the team and Come On You Rooks!

Stuart

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good evening everyone and welcome to the first of what seems like a whole season of games this month.

We went into the FA Trophy game on Saturday at Chesham United not really knowing what to expect. Getting drawn away to a team at the same level as us, who are in the top five with a game in hand, and unbeaten at home for 14 months, suggested we would be in for a tough game. We also needed to take Razz and Pritch out of the starting XI to give them two a rest with a big month ahead.

We didn’t start as well as we had planned but once we had equalised from a set play we had worked on, we dominated the first half, and were one pass away from really opening them up on numerous occasions. We had a lot of the ball, pulled them all over the place but just couldn’t get that final pass in place. Looking at the stats we have over 60% of the ball. That’s what we spoke about at half time – the belief that something would come and they were there for the taking.

Second half the game really petered out and it got scrappy.. It was crying out for a bit of quality. We made them work really hard and they tired, but we also had players out there who haven’t yet reached the level of fitness, such as Johnville, Hydie and Ayo, so it wasn’t the best of halves for the fans. There was a couple of good saves from each keeper , including one from a Deshane cross.

When Jamie scored in injury time we quite rightly thought we had won the game but then showed naivety in breaking, looking for a third when we should have held on. Their equaliser came from giving the ball away up the other end of the pitch. And that was it.

We’ve scored two, hit the bar and the keeper has pulled off an amazing save so we felt we had done enough to win, but that little lack of focus at the end could have been our undoing. We are still a little bit too keen to score sometimes – there’s a time and a place for that, as we saw against Hornchurch at the death last week. Champs is always on at the guys to be more street-wise and to close games down when we are winning and I am sure a few of them learnt that on Saturday.

So we went into penalties, which is a mindset thing to me. I told them I wanted them to remove any fear of losing. We’d done well to get to this point and I told them all at this point I didn’t care if we won or lost – I wasn’t judging anyone for missing a penalty. That may sound strange but as I said, it was a mindset thing and I had to try to get them prepared as best I could in just a minute or so. I asked who wanted to take penalties, not wanting any heroes. Eight of the players stepped forward, including Lew but I told him to concentrate on saving them.

I had an experience as a player when we had a game that went to penalties. The manager picked his takers but one of them didn’t want to take on and he told me so. He stepped up and missed and I will always remember that, and how if I was a manager one day how I’d approach a penalty shoot-out, so that is what I did – I asked not told the team.

Lew was the hero, saving two of Chesham’s kicks – I’ve been in shoot-outs with him before and he reads the opponent really well and I was very confident he would save at least one. So I told them if they scored, we’d win. We was calm, Lew made two saves and that was it.

A pleasing performance, a pleasing result. They are a good side and we wish them well. We gave a couple of players a chance on Saturday and saw some positive performances. It was good to see Deshane back and I thought he gave us a little spark near the end, We played Ronan in a different position and he played really well, giving us something to think about in the future.

We put another fixture on the pile and move forward into November, starting tonight with Aveley. They are in exceptional form, and have really adapted well to life in the Premier. They are a big side with pace out wide, hard working in midfield. Dare I say “Hornchurch-esque”? Scopsie is a very good manager and he makes his side hard to break down and beat. I think it will be a similar game to last Tuesday’s against Hornchurch. We know we will have to play well to get something from the game. We had a team meeting last night, watched some of Aveley’s games back and talked about collective responsibility for the game.

We are on a little run and the mood in the squad is good. My number one concern is making sure we stay fresh and that we look after players. But as fans, my number one ask is you continue to give the great support we’ve seen this season. You really make the different, so please keep on going.

Come On You Rooks!

Tony

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LEWES 2 HORNCHURCH 2 – TUESDAY 25th OCTOBER

Lewes staged an impressive second-half comeback to recover from two goals down and pick up a deserved point against Hornchurch at the Pan.

Tony Russell made two changes to the side that beat Margate in their previous game, with Marcel Elva-Fountaine and Tyrique Hyde replacing Johnville Renee and Ronan Silva in the starting line-up.

The visitors started brightly and saw Liam Nash go close twice early on, heading straight at Lewis Carey after getting on the end of a Mickey Parcell cross, before slicing a Sam Higgins centre over the bar from close range.

Lewes were competing well though, and soon began to turn spells of possession into more clear-cut opportunities, Deon Moore shooting straight at Joe Wright in the Hornchurch goal at the end of a purposeful run.

It was Carey’s turn to be called into action minutes later, getting down well to turn a powerful Higgins free-kick round the post.

Hornchurch took the resulting corner quickly and were awarded a penalty when Kenny Clark was bundled over in the box as the Rooks attempted to clear their lines.

Higgins took the spot-kick, drilling it emphatically into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead nine minutes before half-time.

The dangerous striker could have doubled his tally almost immediately, with Carey having to be alert to help an audacious effort from almost on the touchline down the left behind for a corner.

Lewes finished the half strongly and came close to equalising just before the break, as an incisive passing move involving Tyrique Hyde and Razz Coleman De-Graft ended with the former seeing a powerful cross-shot from the right deflected just over the bar with Joe Taylor waiting at the far post for a tap-in.

The Rooks took this attacking threat into the early stages of the second half, substitute Rhys Murrell-Williamson being denied by Wright at his near post after cutting in from the right.

Hornchurch made the most of this let-off by doubling their lead on 50 minutes through Ola Ogunwamide, who ran through and finished across Carey and into the bottom corner after the visitors had won the ball high up the pitch.

At this stage, playing against such an experienced and streetwise team, Lewes could have been forgiven for thinking it was a long way back if they wanted to take something from the game.

There is plenty of character in this Lewes side though and with the backing of the Philcox Stand in full voice, the Rooks started playing arguably their best football of the game.

They could have pulled a goal back almost immediately, Wright making a superb save to keep out Will Salmon’s powerful header from a Jamie Mascoll corner.

The Rooks reduced the deficit on 65 minutes, as Hyde picked out De-Graft, who made space for himself in the area before firing a powerful effort past Wright and into the roof of the net.

This goal unsurprisingly galvanised Lewes, who spent large periods of the remainder of the game camped in the visitor’s half and enjoying plenty of possession in dangerous areas without really testing Wright.

The Rooks continued to push for an equaliser and were rewarded for their efforts with a minute remaining, as the ball dropped to Taylor in the area at the end of a spell of pressure, and he sent a superb low finish across Wright and into the bottom corner to send the home supporters into raptures.

There was still time for the visitors to nearly snatch a winner deep into stoppage-time, as they won the ball deep inside the Lewes half and worked it to Ogunwamide on the right, who cut inside and saw his strike from the edge of the box clip the outside of the post with Carey beaten.

Lewes held on to pick up a point that was deserved on the balance of play, but had seemed unlikely after an hour.

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INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS – AVELEY FC

THE HISTORY

AVELEY FOOTBALL CLUB was formed in 1927 and played in local leagues until 1939. Club activities were then suspended during the war years 1939/45. In 1946 the club was reformed and joined the Thurrock Combination. Aveley twice won the Essex Junior Cup, firstly in 1948, then retaining it the following year. 

Aveley gained Senior League status in season 1949/50 and were elected into the London League, Division One. They were Division Champions in the 1951/52 season. In the same season they moved from Lodge Meadow to their present ground, Mill Field, and were promptly nicknamed The Millers. In season 1954/55 they were Division Champions once again which was followed by election to The Delphian League in 1955/56. They competed in this league until 1962/63 with little success.

1963/64 saw Millers join the Athenian League. Full membership of the Football Association was granted in 1964/65. Season 1970/71 was probably the clubs most successful one. The first-round proper of the FA Cup was reached along with the FA Amateur Cup quarter-finals, they were also Champions of the Athenian League.

Aveley were elected to the Isthmian League in season 1973/74. Here they competed without success in Division One until they were relegated to Division Two North at the end of the 1985/86 season. Millers did however achieve two cup successes during this time. The Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy was won in 1979/80 and the Hornchurch Charity Cup in 1982/83.

The 1989/90 campaign was a memorable one for The Millers. Promotion back to Division One was gained with a tremendous end of season run-in to finish second to Heybridge Swifts by two points. This was followed by a 3-0 victory over Premier Division St. Albans in the final of the AC Delco (League) Cup. This made Aveley the first team from the lowest division to win this competition. After this the club slipped down to Division Three and cup successes were limited to appearances in the finals of both the East Anglian Cup and the Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy in 1997/98.

The 1999 / 2000 season started well with Aveley being un-beaten in the League at Christmas. However, a turn in fortunes saw them slip and eventually finish 9th. This was followed by 6th place in season 2000/01.

A roller-coaster season 2001/02 saw the club finish third behind Hornchurch and champions Croydon Athletic and gain promotion to Division 1 North.

An excellent season for the Millers in 2002/03. Good runs in the FA Cup and Bryco Cup were capped by an appearance in the Essex Senior Cup Final. This did not go Millers way however with Chelmsford City winning 5-0. The Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup was reached, eventually losing out to Canvey Island 2-0. A good run-in saw Millers finish in sixth place in the League.

The 2003/04 campaign saw the club eventually finish in 14th place. Millers matched the previous season’s performance and reached the final of the Essex Senior Cup. This time a much-improved display saw them go down 3-1 to local rivals Thurrock. The final game of the season was another cup final. This time in the East Anglian Cup, and a visit to Spalding United. This also finished in a 3-1 defeat for the Millers.

2004/05 was a disappointing one for Millers first season in the Southern League, the club finishing in 15th place. Compensation, however, came in the form of the Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy. Romford were beaten 1-0 in the final at The Mill Field. Simon Thomas scoring the only goal of the game. Another difficult season followed, on and off the pitch. Millers ended the season with their third manager, Steve Browne, steering them just clear of the relegation places.

A poor League season in 2006/07 was again compensated for by winning the Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy for the second time in three seasons.

After a disappointing start to the 2007 / 08 campaign, November saw the arrival of Rod Stringer as Manager, and fortunes turned with the Millers putting a string of impressive results together to finish the season in Mid-Table. 2008 / 09 saw the foundations that were laid the previous season, bare its fruit as the Ryman League Division One North Championship was won on the last day of the season in dramatic fashion at East Thurrock United. In a tense finish to the season, Millers created a club record of 11 straight away league wins, and Rod Stringer was duly judged as the Manager of the Season for the Division.

2009 / 10 our first in the Isthmian Premier Division saw a great finish to the season, with 12 wins from the last 14 games, taking us into 3rd position and a home semi-final play-off against Boreham Wood. Unfortunately, it was one step too far, and a 1-0 defeat saw the end of a fantastic season.

During the close season Rod Stringer departed for Braintree Town, taking with him his management team, and the whole playing squad. A difficult season was endured with a last day 3-2 win at Hastings being significant as the club survived relegation by virtue of a reprieve despite finishing 4th from bottom of the table.

2011 / 12 was much of the same, and relegation was confirmed after a poor season. Justin Gardner took over the reins in February of 2012, and has this season assembled a strong playing squad that is currently challenging for an immediate return to the Premier Division.

2012 / 13 was a successful season with the team occupying a play off positions all season. Unfortunately, we lost out in the semi-final at Maldon & Tiptree.

The most significant result of the 2013 / 14 season was the news in March that after many years of trying, the Club has finally achieved planning for new state of the art facilities. After a protracted period of negotiations. work commenced on the new stadium build in July 2016, and it is hoped that the new premises will be occupational for the start of the 2017 / 18 campaign.

After a solid start to the 2016/17 campaign, Justin Gardner resigned from his role of team manager after a 4 1/2-year term. Terry Spillane was subsequently appointed in October.

August the 1st 2017 is a truly remarkable day in the Millers 90-year history. The day finally arrives with the opening of Parkside, the new home of the Millers. Dulwich Hamlet are the first visitors to open the stadium.

With the new stadium came the exciting appointment of James Webster as the Millers Boss, who joined in October from Brightlingsea Regent where he had led them from Step 7 to Step 3 in 7 seasons.

Our second season at Parkside, witnessed a promotion challenge, finishing runners up, but losing the play off semi-final.

Season 2019 / 20 was memorable not only for the early curtailment of the season, with us sitting again in 2nd position, but a club record run in the FA Trophy to the quarter final where we lost to Notts County at Meadow Lane in front of a record attendance for any Aveley game of 4893 (530 Aveley fans).

November 21 and we welcome Danny Scopes into the managerial post. Danny arrives from a very successful time at Concord Rangers, where he led his Step 2 club to Wembley in May ’21, losing out to Harrogate Town in the FA Trophy in a match against league opposition held over from the previous season.

Season 2021/22 see the Millers achieve promotion by winning the division and taking their place back at Step 3 for the first time since 2012.

THE SQUAD

Manager –  Danny Scopes
Assistant Manager – Glen Alzapiedi
Coach – Danny Alzapiedi
GK Coach –  John Witham
Physios – Steve Madden & Evan Marlow

Goalkeepers:

David Hughes: Prior to joining The Millers in August 2018, Hughesy played for East Thurrock
United, Enfield Town, Thurrock and Harlow Town, where he helped the latter to promotion from
the Isthmian North as the Hawks Number one, making 30 appearances and winning the play-off final against Hornchurch 3-1 back in 2016. Hughes went on to play 82 more times for Harlow in
the Isthmian Premier League before departing to join Aveley at Parkside.

Woody Wells: Young goalkeeper who signed first team forms in November 2021, and went on
to make 5 appearances on the bench.

Defenders:

Emmanuel Dasho: Emmanuel joined The Millers in June 2022 from Isthmian South East side
Sittingbourne. Dasho is a very quick defender who likes to get forward and spent last season at
Sittingbourne helping them to a tenth placed finish. Dasho joined Sittingbourne from fellow
Isthmian South East side Sevenoaks who originally joined at the start of the 2021/22 season.
Eman has also appeared for Glebe, Walthamstow and Witham Town.

Harry Gibbs: Central defender who first made his debut for Aveley back in 2016 in a 5-2 victory
over Ware and went on to make 32 appearances in his first season with the club winning Young
Player of the Year. After six seasons Gibbo has made 157 appearances for The Millers, scoring
16 goals from centre half in the process. During the 2017/18 season Harry made 5 appearances before leaving when former manager Terry Spillane was in charge. That move saw him go to Brentwood Town where he featured at both right back and centre half where he made 47 appearances, scoring four goals, one of them of course coming against us. Harry moved on to Hornchurch in October 2020 and helped the Urchins on their way to win the FA Trophy. But Harry moved back to The Millers in October 2021 and went on to make 39 appearances contributing to four goals on our way to winning the Isthmian North in April 2022.

Jonathan Nzengo: Jonathan Nzengo joined The Millers midway through September 2019 after
departing Romford after starting the season with National South side East Thurrock. In 2018/19 Nzengo was on dual-registration between Romford and former National South side East Thurrock United. For Romford he was involved in 9 goals in 15 appearances, scoring four and assisting five.

Jason Ring: Jason started his career at Burnham Ramblers at the age of 16 and then had
three great seasons at Great Wakering Rovers in the Isthmian North where during the 2018/19
season he had the most appearances with 41 and scored two goals. Ringo joined The Millers at the beginning of the 2020/21 season and featured 11 times, winning eight of those games and only losing three before the season was cut short. Ring went on to make 31 appearances,
assisting three times before missing the last few games of the season due to injury. Jason made a big impact at Parkside, picking up both the Players Player, and Supporters Player of the year.

Ryan Scott: Ryan started his career in the youth set up for Barnet and moved to feature for
Wingate & Finchley and at the heart of Billericay Town’s defence during the 2014/15 season
before making the move to Jon Coventry’s East Thurrock United in the 2015/16 season. Ryan played a huge part in getting East Thurrock into the National South and helped them win the Essex Senior Cup for the first time in their history. Ryan has played over 60 times in the National South for East Thurrock, Concord Rangers and Braintree Town over the last two years. The central defender brings extra in the goals department too, scoring six times during the 2015/16 season which saw East Thurrock promoted to the National South.

Tom Stephen: Tom Stephen joined The Millers in May 2022 after four successful years at
Bowers & Pitsea, helping fellow Essex based side to the Isthmian North title in 2018/19, and a
historic Emirates FA Cup run, ending in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Sky Bet League One side Lincoln
City. Over his time at Bowers & Pitsea, Tom made 126 appearances, 89 of them coming in the
Isthmian Premier League which will bring more experience at this level ahead of the 2022/23
season for The Millers.

Ben Steward: Ben Steward made his way up from the Bowers & Pitsea Under 23 side and
played 27 games for the first team in the Isthmian Premier League last season. Ben also
featured in every single Essex Senior Cup game as Bowers made their way to the final beating
the likes of Chelmsford City, Braintree Town, Great Wakering Rovers and Coggeshall Town.

Midfielders:

Marlon Agyakwa: Marlon came through the ranks at Southend United, and after leaving the
Shrimpers stayed in the area with Canvey Island. He had two spells with the Gulls, the latest in
2018-19- when he played forty six times- after initially playing for three seasons. Marlon also
spent time with Oxford City and Didcot Town, but has more recently been with Tilbury, for whom he made eight appearances during the 2020/21 season and twenty six during the previously unfinished campaign in 2019/20, scoring six times for The Dockers.

Kenny Aileru: Kenny started his career in the Aldershot Town Youth Academy set-up and
featured for Clapton and Phoenix Sports. Kenny made his way up through Phoenix Sports
Reserve side and made 24 appearances for the first team in the 2019/20 season scoring eight
goals and was instrumental in more. Kenny joined The Millers mid-December and made 19
appearances, scoring three times and assisting a further 3 times with Kenny only suffering
defeat once in the league during his first season at Parkside.

Jamie Dicks: Jamie joined us from Bowers & Pitsea in May 2022 after he spent five seasons
with the club, making 151 appearances and scoring 19 goals, helping them win the Isthmian
North back in 2018/19 and helping to establish Bowers & Pitsea as an Isthmian Premier League club and reaching for Emirates FA Cup First Round.

Harry Donovan: Central midfielder who started his career at Arsenal making his way through the youth academy before joining Millwall. At Millwall, he was Under 23’s captain and made a few substitute appearances for the Sky Bet Championship side. Harry joined Dagenham & Redbridge and Havant & Waterlooville in the National League, followed by spells at Braintree and Tonbridge Angels prior to joining The Millers mid-September 2021.

Garrett Kelly: A player who is comfortable at both full back and across the midfield who is in his second spell with the football club after originally joining us at the end of the 2017/18 season, making 9 appearances and scoring one goal against away at Hornchurch. Garrett made 5 appearances the following season before departing to play football in Greece.

Brendon Shabani: Having joined in November 2021, Brendon became an integral part to our
midfield and squad making 23 appearances and notching two assists in his time at Parkside last season. Brendon started his career at Sky Bet League Two side Leyton Orient and after being there from the age of 12, Brendon signed his first professional contract in 2019. Brendon went on to be in and around the Orient squad involved with their FA Trophy Third Round victory over National North side Blyth Spartans.

Oscar Shelvey-Negus: Oscar joined The Millers after impressing during pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 Champions winning season. After signing first team forms, Oscar went on to make a great impact and the young midfielder made 27 appearances throughout the season. Oscar also signed dual-registration with Essex Senior League side Redbridge in September 2021, featuring once for The Motormen in the London Senior Cup against Tooting & Mitcham United.

Benas Vaivada: Vaivada, a young and exciting talent joins The Millers from Margate after
scoring four goals in 20 starts for the Kent side, scoring the winner against Haringey Borough
which sealed Margate place in the Velocity Trophy Final. Prior to signing for Margate, Benas
played for Tower Hamlets guiding them to survival in the SCEFL, at Step 5. Due to Benas
success at that level he caught the eye of Margate who snapped him up and he delivered them
to a cup final and just outside the play-offs in the Isthmian Premier League last season.

Connor Witherspoon: Connor Witherspoon joined The Millers during the 2017/18 season for
an undisclosed fee from Isthmian Premier League side Brightlingsea Regent where he helped
the R’s become Isthmian North Champions making 68 appearances for them. Prior to
Brightlingsea Regent, Connor featured for Brentwood Town leading them to the Isthmian
Premier League after winning the Isthmian North play-offs.

Forwards:

Alex Akrofi: Alex has now signed on for what will be his fourth season with The Millers. Akrofi
joined us back at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign after leaving Tonbridge Angels at the
end of the 2017/18 season in the Isthmian Premier League, where he featured for two seasons
prior scoring 34 goals in 68 games. In his first season for Aveley, Alex featured in 42 games,
scored 21 and assisted 17 times, in 2019/20 a further 25 goals and another 17 assists in 38
games helped The Millers to second place and a FA Trophy Quarter Final before the season
was cut short due to the pandemic. At the beginning of the 2020/21 season Alex re-joined
Tonbridge Angels in the National South where he helped Angels to a FA Cup First Round
appearance against Sky Bet League Two side Bradford City before that season was cut short in
early February 2021.Akrofi re-joined The Millers in the Summer of 2021 with some unfinished
business and helped us win the Isthmian North with 9 assists and 26 goals in 43 appearances.

Manny Ogunrinde: Manny signed for The Millers at the beginning of the 2020/21 season from
Grays Athletic and went on to make 6 appearances scoring one in the opening day winner on
his debut against Dereham Town. That season was then cut short and Manny signed-on for the
2021/22 season, making 39 appearances, scoring 9 and assisting on 8 occasions.

George Sykes: George joined The Millers from local rivals Tilbury during the 2019/20 season
and scored on his debut in the FA trophy match away at East Grinstead. Sykes went on to score
15 and assist 10 in 27 games before the season ended early. In 2020/21 George made 10
appearances, scoring 5 and assisting twice before moving onto Brentwood Town, however, that
season was stopped in November. George then re-joined The Millers at the start of the 2021/22
season, making 42 appearances, scoring 20 goals and assisting a futher 10 times, helping us
win the Isthmian North

THE FORM

THE HEAD TO HEAD RESULTS

7th April 2012Isthmian Premier LeagueAveley0Lewes0
9th October 2011Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes4Aveley 1
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FRENCH CUP UPDATE

Back in September we wrote in this fine progcast about the absurd regulations in the French domestic cup which saw overseas teams from the other side of the globe to compete. Well, last weekend saw the next round of games and two ties in particular that did nothing to appease the climate change protesters.

Fourth tier ASM Belfort headed East to take on AC Venus, located on Tahiti whilst Hienghere, New Caledonia’s champions last season flew the other way, taking on Saint-Quentin. Both ties involved round trips of about 20,000 miles, with approximate journey times of 50 hours apiece.

Hienghere led 1-0 late into the game in North France but two late goals from Olympique Saint-Quentin deny the New Caledonian side a place in the next round, and the record of the furthest that a side from Oceania had gone in the cup, whilst in Tahiti there was also no shocks as ASM Belfont won 3-0.

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FA TROPHY & PREMIER ROUND-UP BY IAN TOWNSEND

Hornchurch started the day six points off the top with three games in hand, and without a goalkeeper, Joe Wright having to drop out just before kick off. That meant that midfielder Joe Christou went in goal, but the Urchins went ahead just before the break at Margate– Sam Higgins getting his twelfth of the season and scoring for the sixth successive league match. The Blues have so often relied on Ben Greenhalgh to get them out of trouble over the last two seasons, and he drew them level eight minutes after the break, but the Urchins almost immediately restored their lead, Liam Nash moving into double figures for the season. Three points were secured with a third goal three minutes from time, Jack Munns with that one, and the Urchins closed the gap at the top to three points and made it three wins in a row against the Blues- rather remarkably given their keeper crisis.

Aveley ended a run of two defeats with two victories in the last week, in League and Velocity Cup. The Millers were on the road to Brightlingsea Regent, without a positive result in the league since August Bank Holiday Monday, and it was no real surprise when Blaise Riley-Snow put the visitors ahead after eleven minutes. The away pressure continued and it was three-nil by the break, two goals just before they all trooped off for a half time orange coming from Harry Gibbs and Kenny Aileru. Within eleven minutes of the restart Ryan Scott made it four-nil, and the same player made it five just before the end- but the Millers still weren’t done, and Aileru made it six. Regent have now gone nine matches in all competitions without a win, and have conceded thirty nine goals in thirteen league matches. The Millers stay fourth, but are now only three points off top spot.

Enfield Town welcomed Herne Bay to the QEII Stadium. The Towners had two draws and two defeats from their last four matches and were looking for their first win this month, but had a decent start, Lyle Della-Verde opening the scoring from a free kick after just six minutes; however they couldn’t hold onto their advantage and Marcel Barrington soon equalised for Bay. Home delight was restored when an own goal made it two-one just after the half hour, and they were even more delighted when Della-Verde converted another free kick to make it three-one just before the hour. Barrington reduced the arrears for Bay almost immediately, but it took only three minutes before Lewis Knight made it four-two, and that was that. Six hundred and seventy eight watched on.

Canvey Island had hit a poor run prior to the arrival of Kingstonian, with one win in four, but they went ahead after just nine minutes, Connor Hubble converting from the spot. Bradley Sach doubled their lead just before the half hour, and the same player ended a first half rout with a third just before the break. At that point the Gulls eased off and we had no further goals, and they remain two points shy of the top five.

Into the FA Trophy now.

Carshalton Athletic had won their last three home matches by one goal to nil, but any hopes they had of continuing to resemble George Graham’s Arsenal were dashed in the first minute when Kings Langley went ahead at Colston Avenue. Kings Langley went down to ten men midway through the second half, but the Robins couldn’t take advantage and departed the competition.

Folkestone Invicta have hung out the ‘under new management’ sign for the first time in twenty six years after Neil Cugley’s decision to step away from the role and concentrate on his other responsibilities at the club. The stripes welcomed Horsham to the BuildKent Stadium looking for a positive response after being less than their best of late, and they took the lead three minutes from the end through Ibrahim Olutade. Ade Yusuff then doubled their advantage right at the death, and most of the six hundred and sixty two in attendance were delighted.

Haringey Borough and Billericay Town met at Coles Park for the second time in little over a month. The Blues won their last meeting by three goals to nil, and they went ahead in this one six minutes before half time, Chris Dickson opening the scoring. It was two-nil Town on fifty one minutes, John Ufuah doubling their advantage, but the hosts then struck back to set up a frantic finish, Chaynie Fage-Burgin scoring with eleven minutes left. The visitors made things safe just before the end, Ufuah making it three-one.

Harlow Town may be five places from the bottom of Pitching In Southern Division One Central, but Bishop’s Stortford needed not to read too much into that statistic. The Hawks had been excellent against Isthmian sides this season, knocking former winners Hornchurch out of the competition in the last round and also defeating Ashford Town, Great Wakering Rovers and Brentwood Town in cup competitions this season. The Blues, unbeaten in ten matches across all competitions, went ahead on sixteen minutes through Oliver Peters, and doubled their advantage just before the break, Peters puncturing the Hawks rearguard once more with a beautiful free kick finish. Peters completed a hat trick with thirteen minutes left, and there was time for Frankie Merrifield to get his ninth of the season to make it four-nil.

We had a Sussex derby as Hastings United welcomed back Burgess Hill Town. United came into this match with six wins from eight- a run during which they kept six clean sheets- but they would undoubtedly have remembered that the last time the Hillians arrived at Pilot Field they left with a victory. Town, in their best form of the season so far, travelled on the back of a five match unbeaten run during which they’d won four- but it was a Hillians old boy who made them miserable early on, Ben Pope striking after eleven minutes, chipping the keeper. Alex Brefo made it two-nil just before the half hour mark with a fine strike from distance, but the Hillians struck back through Dan Perry to go in at half time just the one goal behind. The gap was two goals once more when Pope made it three-one, but Hitman Perry once more lived up to his nickname and again narrowed the deficit. The two goal advantage was restored by Chinedu McKenzie with seventeen minutes remaining, and that was that. Five hundred and seventy five watched the action.

Uxbridge will perhaps have wished that their match with Wingate & Finchley had taken place a couple of weeks ago, as the visiting Blues had really found form in their last two matches, scoring eight goals without reply- but it was the red army who were given something to cheer as Alex Witham put their side ahead eleven minutes before the break. They were cheering once more when Alan Hedley made it two ten minutes after the restart, but Dylan Kearney, in fine form of late, got one back- and the Blues had twenty four minutes to equalise. It took them only three, Alkeo Bani making it two-two, but they then had a player sent off, Michael Olarewaju seeing red, and the hosts took advantage, Scott Donnelly scoring from the spot to make it three-two. Victor Osobu rounded off a fine Uxbridge performance with a fourth just before the end, finding himself clear after the visitors sent everyone forward in an attempt to grab a late leveller.

Weston Super Mare were the hosts as Bognor Regis Town made a long trip for a seaside derby. Weston are in second place in Pitching In Southern Premier South, having lost only one league match, and they were ahead after just five minutes- but the Rocks turned the game on its head when Nathan Odokonyero equalised with eighteen minutes left and then put them ahead six minutes later. That’s thirteen goals for the season for the Rocks number nine.

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LEWIS CAREY – HIS STORY

As a youngster, our man between the sticks, Lewis Carey struggled with gambling addiction as he was developing his career. Last year, Lewis bravely featured on BBC News South East to discuss his experience with the issue. Almost a year on from that interview and in line with our supported anti-gambling campaign, Gambling with Lives, we spoke to Lewis in further depth.

“The detrimental affect it has, will ruin someone’s career,” said Lewis on gambling from a personal note. “It affects your whole way of life.

“When you’re young especially, you’ve got to be so dedicated to the game that nothing can affect that mentality. When gambling gets into your lifestyle and daily habits, it will just tear apart all the time and effort you need to be focused on football, keeping in shape, eating right.”

Lewis started his career at Bristol City with high hopes of climbing the football pyramid even further. Although he’s gone on to great success with the likes of Eastbourne Borough, Thamesmead Town and the Rook, he said, “You just can’t physically and mentally do it because you’re elsewhere. Your thoughts are not where they should be, and you’re craving gambling rather than football. I was a young pro, and I can’t say it was the only reason why I didn’t make it to play in the premiership but, it did hold me back looking back on it now. I wasn’t putting everything I had into football but I was so deep into my gambling. It’s very tough for a youngster to try and do it both.”

When asked what he’d tell his younger self, or someone struggling with gambling at the moment, he said, “Reach out to someone, whether that being family or a friend. If you’re in a pro club, or semi pro, anyone within the club. Because I never thought it was going to get as bad as it did, just having a conversation with someone saying, “I think I’m going down the wrong path or not being able to stop”. There’s so much help out there, you can turn things around and there are people that can help. You’re not the only person struggling with it.

“There’re hundreds of thousands of people struggling with it, boys, girls, men and women, it’s such a common theme within life. Someone else will be going through the same experience and there’ll be help out there. If I had found that out as a pro ten years ago, it was different to how it is now with talk about mental health, addiction within football. In this day and age just have a conversation with someone which I know is easy to say because it’s the hardest thing to do, but it’s the best thing to do and knowing there’s help out there could save a life or career.”

Since 2019, as a club we have backed the Gambling with Lives campaign as the first to do it in our county. Therefore, we do not promote advertisement of gambling sites or activities.

“Lewes not promoting gambling is something I definitely admire,” said Lewes on our current policies. “There aren’t many clubs that are up there promoting the fact they won’t take any money from betting companies.

“Every club other than the top six in the premier league are after as much money as they can to keep going especially in these weird times. So for a club to stand up against gambling, is quite honourable because it’s not an easy thing to do.

“As long as I play for Lewes, it’ll always be a point where I’ll do everything I can to stand with them, and promote that they’re such a great club when it comes to saying no to any sort of gambling advertising. It’s such a great thing for a club to do and I feel quite lucky to be able to play for a club doing it.”

You can call Gambling with Lives on 07864 299 158 or click the link here to find out more.

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CHESHAM UNITED 2 LEWES 2- SATURDAY 29th OCTOBER 2022

A pair of saves from Lewis Carey in a penalty shoot out saw Lewes proceed to the Second Round Proper of the FA Trophy at Chesham United (pictures from Danny Last).

With games still coming at a rate of twice a week, Rooks boss Tony Russell rested Bradley Pritchard and Razz Coleman De-Graft from the starting XI for the tie against Southern Premier League South play off hopefuls Chesham United, with Johnville Renee and Rhys Murrell-Williamson starting in their respective places.

The home side seemed the most comfortable in the early stages, making good use of the width of the pitch and took the lead in the 8th minute when Ricardo German was able to move in front the touch line then pulled the ball back to skipper Frankie Sutherland whose shot from the edge of the box eluded Lewis Carey.

The lead lasted just over ten minutes before Rooks skipper Tom Champion headed home at the far post from a Jamie Mascoll corner. The goal gave the Rooks a boost and Joe Taylor was a whisker away from scoring after his shot smacked against the bar.

Lewes finished the half the stronger but it was the home side who emerged the sharper in the second period. However, the Rooks back line held firm and it was a forty five minutes where it seemed the game was destined for penalties.

With four of the six minutes of injury time played, the Rooks took the lead. Rohan Silva’s run went unchecked, Beasant made a save but the rebound was pounced on by Joe Raylor and he squared to Jamie Mascoll who tapped home. But the cup drama wasn’t over just yet. Chesham’s sub Karl Oliyide found space in the area as Lewes failed to clear the ball and he equalised with seconds remaining.

And so to penalties. Jamie Mascoll took first and gave the Rooks first advantage. Frankie Sutherland’s first effort for the home side was then saved by Lewis Carey. Having never missed a penalty in a competitive match for Lewes, few would have bet against Joe Taylor failing to double the lead but his penalty was tipped into the post by Sam Beasant. Chesham then levelled the score with their next kick, Ricardo German sending Carey the wrong way. Sub Mitchell Nelson’s kick was unstoppable to give the Rooks the lead again. Karl Oliyide then sent his kick the wrong side of the post to really give the Rooks an advantage, increased to 3-1 when Alfie Young powered his home. This meant it was all or nothing for Jack Connors. Lewis Carey guessed right and the Rooks had won their first penalty shoot out since beating Farnborough an an FA Cup tie in 2018.

Penalties:

  • Mascoll scores (1-0 Lewes)
  • Sutherland saved (1-0)
  • Taylor saved (1-0)
  • German scores (1-1)
  • Nelson scores (2-1)
  • Oliyide misses (2-1)
  • Young scores (3-1)
  • Connors saved (3-1)

Attendance: ??? (approximately 20 travelling Rooks)

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PLAYER SPONSORSHIP

You can sponsor the player of your choice, subject to availability, for the 2022/23 season and get your name in lights, plus a home or away shirt signed by your player and presented to you at a home game. Contact Shrey for more details at Shrey@lewesfc.com.

PLAYERSPONSORPLAYERSPONSOR
Lewis CareySusie ArlettJack Skinner
Tom CarlseMichael McDowellRonan Silva
Marcel Elva-FountaineRhys Murrell-WilliamsonTrevor Norwood
Kenny YaoDeshane Dalling
Tom ChampionTom, Alice & Russ MouldRazz Coleman De-GraftThe Ouse
Will SalmonDeon Moore
Mitchell NelsonBilly BeauzileJoe TaylorStuart Fuller
Ayo OlukogaFraser Middleton-Tozer
Bradley PritchardFinley Jenkins
Alfie YoungJamie Mascoll
Tyrique HydeJohnville Renee
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THE FIFA RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – No.210 – ANGUILLA

Located to the East of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, there’s plenty more things to do that play football it seems in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla. Whilst not quite considered to be part of the cricket dominated West Indies, Anguilla has provided a number of athletes for Great Britain, including Zharnel Hughes and Shara Proctor, but perhaps it is in football where their sporting success may lie.

The current squad has a number of English-based players including Binfield’s Kian Duncan, Luke Paris from Windsor and striker Calvin Morgan who plays for step 7 Chalvey Sports, alongside 43 year old goalkeeper Darius Lantan and 38 year old defender Javille Brooks, the current top scorer in the squad with two goals.

In their 83 international game history, Anguilla have won 8, drawn 8 and lost the rest. Those eight victories have come against three sides – British Virgin Islands (4 times), Saint Martin (3 times) and Monserrat once, although only two of these games came in competitive matches. In the rare occasions they have played significantly higher ranked sides in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers they have been thumped, such as against El Salvador in 2008 (12-0 and 4-0), Guatemala in 2019 (10-0 and 5-0), Trinidad and Tobago in 2019 (a record 15-0 defeat) and Panama last year (13-0).

In January this year they recorded a 2-1 win against the British Virgin Islands at Bisham Abbey, in Marlow in a friendly then followed it up with a win in Saint Martin, two weeks later, the first time they had won consecutive games in their history.

Home games are played at Raymond E. Guishard Stadium in the capital town, The Valley, a 1,100 capacity sports ground, nearly twice as many as those who live in the town. Chuck Norris once lived on the island – that in itself is a great reason to visit for their next home game against St Lucia in March 2023.

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ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY – 1st NOVEMBER

Results

#1. On this day in 1930, Manchester United beat Birmingham City at Old Trafford. But what was the significance of the result?

#2. On this day in 2014, The Rooks took on Harlow Town in the FA Trophy. Which player, now playing in the county league scored the only goal of the game?

#3. Tonight, the best supported team, based on average attendance, below Step 2 in the Non League game are playing at home. Who are they?

#4. In the Champions League tonight, Viktoria Plzen host Barcelona. But what country are the home team from?

#5. Which former Rook has played for tonight's visitors Aveley this season?

Finish
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DID WE USED TO PLAY THEM? THANET UNITED

Technically, we still do play them, or at least the current incarnation of them – Margate. For those who paid attention in GSCE (or CSE in some cases) Geography, you’ll know that the Isle of Thanet is the area of Kent right at the most eastern extremity, where the seaside towns of Ramsgate and Margate are located.

Margate (Town) FC started life in 1896 and went through a number of false dawns, when new owners arrived, promised big things, then left, leaving the club in a precarious or even financially terminal position. In fact, by the time of the start of the Second World War in 1939, they were on their fourth entity.

Financial woes were never far away, even when the club made history by a) reaching the FA Cup Third Round in 1971, b) losing 11-0 to Bournemouth with Ted MacDouggall scoring 9 of the goals in that round, and c) a year later hosting Spurs in the same round of the cup in front of a record 14,500. Ten years later, in a bid to change the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch, they renamed themselves at Thanet United.

In their first season with their new name and new badge, they finished bottom of the Southern League South Division, conceding 110 goals in a campaign where they amassed just 17 points. They were lucky – a restructure of the Non-League pyramid the following season saw them retain their place in the league and a mild improvement on the pitch led to a 14th place finish.

But it was in the 1986/87 season that Lewes faced Thanet United for the first, and only time. It was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie, played at Hartsdown Park, with the Rooks winning 2-0. Whilst there is scant detail of the game, bar the score, it is a pretty good bet that at least one of the goals was scored by someone with the surname Parris.

After finishing in 20th place, and avoiding relegation by one place in the 1988/89 season, the club decided to change their name back to Margate and have never looked back since. Well, apart from the periods of almost crippling financial difficulties which forced them out of their ground for a number of years.

Today, Margate is a great away day and they seem to have found some stability at last. The long-promised ground redevelopments are underway and within a few years they will have a stadium and facilities that will provide them with a significant financial cushion. And there’s no plans to drop the iconic name ever again, meaning that the tie between the two sides 36 years ago will remain the one and only competitive game in history.

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THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE 2022/23 SEASON

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TALES FROM THE FOOTBALL TOURIST – FACT-FINDING IN THE HEART OF SCOTLAND

Fact: Facts make the world go round. It’s not love, or money, but facts.

Some facts are throw-away ones, instantly forgettable, others have some relevance but once in a while you stumble across one that you sneak under your coat, hoping no one else has seen the topical brilliance of it.

A wet Tuesday night to Falkirk is hardly the place you’d expect to find such a fact but here I was, minding my own business, chatting to a fan on the bus from Falkirk High stadium when enlightened me. Of course, I didn’t believe him. Nobody would believe him. I asked my group of football friends. Nobody knew. That’s when you know you’ve got a fact that you can dine, or at least drink out on.

I’ve teased you enough. I’ve verified the facts and they appear to be true. So here goes.

The current World Record Transfer Fee was last broken in 2017 when Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona €198m for Neymar Junior. It was the 39th time the world record had been broken since 1922. Why 1922 you may ask. The reason is so astounding that you, like me may just spill your cup of tea (assuming you are holding one at this very moment) which isn’t ideal when you are on a bus.

Deep breath…A hundred years ago the record was broken for the transfer of West Ham United’s striker Syd Puddefoot for the sum of £5,000 by…Falkirk.

The transfer, announced on the 7th February 1922 was greeted by incredulity by the Football Post. “When will this folly on the part of football clubs come to an end?” The newspaper asked, more amazed that it was “little old Falkirk” who had been the buying club, who at the time were hardly one of the greats in the Scottish game. Puddefoot had been based in the region during the First World War and may have been “tapped up” by someone close to the club during that time but apart from putting 2+2 together, there’s no logical reason why the Englishman would have swapped London for the 7th biggest town/city in the Central Lowlands. What we do know is that a couple of Falkirk directors got a train down to London on the 7th February 1922 with five thousand pounds in cash and brought Puddefoot home with them (about £200k in today’s money).

He didn’t settle too well (no surprise there) and the club signed his brother Len during the close season to make him feel more at home. He had a fractious relationship with the fans as he told the press a few years later, constantly feeling that he had to prove himself.

“It is the attitude of spectators that upsets me,” he told the London Evening Standard in April 1924. “Twice this season I have leaped over the railings after spectators who have called me names no man could endure… my offence, so far as I can see, is an English accent.”

Puddefoot left for Blackburn Rovers in 1925 but for a whole 28 days one undred years ago he was the world’s most expensive player. He can’t even claim to have been usurped by anyone more glamorous with Sunderland paying £5,500 for Warneford “Wayne” Cresswell from South Shields in March.

As coincidence would have it, 100 years on and here I was, a West Ham fan, on a train as it sped through Sunderland and South Shields (well, close by) en route to Falkirk. A standard Tuesday night really. I should have been some 483 miles south of the Central Lowlands, readying myself for Lewes vs Aveley, but the ongoing protests on the QE2 Bridge had led to the game being postponed, without any consultation to us, by the Isthmian League. Naturally, Falkirk was my back up plan for the night.

Lying almost equidistant between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Forth Valley, Falkirk is no bleak post-industrial wasteland. Voted Scotland’s most beautiful town a decade ago, Falkirk is a popular stopping-off point enroute to the Highlands, with the junction of the Forth and Clyde, and Union Canals at the Falkirk Wheel a wonder of modern engineering.

Talking of engineering, is there many finer structures in the town than the Falkirk Stadium. A 6 minute bus trip from Grahamston station drops you right outside the stadium, opened in 2004 to replace town-centre based Brockville Park, now a supermarket. The club had ambitions at the turn of the millennium to play once again in the Premier League but their ground was deemed unsuitable. They became the first, and only club, to be denied promotion to the top tier after winning the First Division title in 2003/04.

In 2005 the club moved into the new ground, located on the edge of the town, playing in a one-sided ground for a season before stands were built at each end. Nearly twenty years later the 8,000-ish capacity stadium is still short of an East Stand. But it did the job and after winning the 2nd tier in 2004/05, they took their place in the Premier League the following season.

You can’t deny it isn’t a smart stadium, although the missing side contributes to the Arctic winds that whistle around the stadium. I arrived just a few minutes after kick-off and was faffing around trying to find a seat in the surprisingly busy South Stand when Brad McKay gave the home side the lead, nodding in a corner. Five minutes later and it was 2-0, Juan Alegria slotting home from the edge of the box. The Colombian, on loan from Rangers, added his second and Falkirk’s third five minutes before the break to effectively kill the game off.

The second half was more memorable for the shocking performance of the referee, who denied both sides clear penalties and made numerous other strange calls that certainly seemed to favour the away stand. When Alloa’s Conor Sammon netted with a few minutes to go I swear the referee did a little skip for joy. But it was too little, too late and the Bairns had all three points and leap-frogged FC Edinburgh and Montrose into second place in the table.

Alas, there was nothing to commemorate the moment in history which saw Falkirk be record breakers, and the most famous football in the world, even if it was for such a small time.

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THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS

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TONIGHT’S TEAMS

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STODGEBUSTERS UNITED ONCE AGAIN AT CHESHAM

One thing we like about Cup and Trophy games is that sometimes we get the chance to visit grounds of clubs in different leagues to us. Sometimes it’s a new ground but in this case it would be a ground we hadn’t visited for nigh on twenty years. We only have vague recollections of that last visit (it’s an age thing) but it was midweek and an FA Trophy game. It was quite early in Steve King’s first tenure when there were still some of Jimmy Quinn’s players at the club. We lost the game but what sticks in the mind of PJ is a conversation with a couple of players afterwards. There was a rumour that our new striker debuting that night was actually the brother of the player we thought we had signed. He really wasn’t very good and was never seen again. How much truth there is in that we don’t know but it certainly wouldn’t be the last time we had a player for just one game.

Treasurer Al wanted to drive to this one but bowed to democracy when PJ, Roly and Gary voted to go green and do the train.  The slight problem with this journey was that Chesham is at the far end of the Metropolitan Line in Zone 9 and Travelcards only cover up to Zone 6. One would think that there wouldn’t be a problem getting a tube ticket for just the last few miles but one would be wrong. After exhaustive research we discovered we would have to get off at, say, Moor Park, go out and tap back in contactlessly and get back on the next train 30 minutes later! Either that or pay a lot more for a ticket from Baker Street where we changed. Bleedin’ ridiculous. We had no intention of paying TfL twice!

Gary and PJ joined Roly and Al on the 9.57 from Lewes. It’s fair to say that Al is not a fan of public transport. He likes trains about as much as we like Love Island. We almost got to Plumpton before Al moaned for the first time about how he wished he had driven. We assured him he would have a good day out while silently hoping that nothing went wrong or we wouldn’t hear the last of it. A victory would help a lot of course.

Roly had provided jelly babies but they were so more-ish they didn’t even last to Wivelsfield. PJ produced a bag of Fox’s Glacier Fruits that would last all day.

It was pretty incident free to London Bridge where we swapped to the Jubilee line. Al’s moan count hadn’t been too bad but a crowded tube train and getting his head caught between the doors soon put it into double figures. A change at Baker Street, where one of us always mentions Gerry Rafferty (ask your parents) with memorable sax solos, and onto the less manic Metropolitan Line.

We chose to get off at Northwood and have lunch there instead of simply waiting for the next train. The Village Express looked the best of a very scant selection of cafes. Despite some dodgy TripAdvisor reviews it all looked very promising with a selection of the usual Stodgebuster fayre. The tea even turned up in a proper earthenware teapot and Al volunteered to be mother. Thirty(!) minutes later the food turned up by which time some other customers had complained about the wait and left without actually eating. Village Express? They must be joking. The poor waitress took some flak but it really wasn’t her fault. The meals weren’t bad but weren’t amongst the best we’ve had either. We had a couple of full English and a couple of eggs, chips and bacon. We know our chips and these weren’t quite right as they seemed a bit dry. We reckoned we would give it a 6 on the Stodge-o-meter, partially due to the wait. We still gave the waitress a healthy tip as we genuinely felt a bit sorry for her. People were still complaining as we left.

We tapped in for the last leg and were soon tapping out at Chesham and walking through the town centre towards the ground, bumping into fellow Rooks fans on the way.

Chesham United have a very nice old fashioned ground with some decent steep terracing on all sides, cover and a couple of refreshment outlets. The gents could do with some attention though. Travelling fans were a little down in numbers but it was still a decent turnout.

Lewes had Razz on the bench. We hoped Tony was just giving him a rest in preparation for the upcoming game against high flying Aveley. No Brad either. Apart from that it was a full strength team.

Lewes started ok and were on top but, on eight minutes, as is all too common, Chesham got the ball on their right and the ball was laid back for someone on the edge of the area who placed the ball perfectly just inside the post for one-nil somewhat against the run of play. Before long Lewes were level when Tom Champion sneaked up unseen at the far post for a corner. Completely unmarked, and with enough space to hold a village fete, he headed the ball back across goal and into the far corner. Cue the celebrations. Another corner caused chaos and the ball fell to Joe whose eight yard half volley crashed back off the bar.

The second half was nothing to get excited about.  Chesham had the best of it and they looked the more likely to score. Penalties loomed ever larger as we entered additional time. Then, at 90+5 out of the blue a Lewes shot was parried and Joe’s pass across the Chesham box found Mascoll at the far post for a tap in. We were ecstatic. Would there even be time to kick off again? A large number of home supporters had seen enough and were moving towards the exit. We were almost celebrating a win when we won the ball back after the restart.

 “KEEP THE BALL!!!    KEEP THE BALL!!!    COME ON REF, THAT’LL DO !!!”.

We lost the ball in midfield. The ball into the box wasn’t cleared. There seemed to be about 15 players in our area and unfortunately the ball found its way to a Chesham player who crashed it home on 90+6. Absolutely unreal. Damn and blast (or words to that effect) were uttered quite loudly. All we had to do was keep the ball for sixty seconds and we didn’t. The home supporters who had been trudging out did a U-turn that Liz Truss would have been proud of and retook their places.

Penalties. The groundsman told us that Chesham weren’t very good at penalties (or words to that effect). We didn’t know how good we were as we’ve only ever seen Joe take them. He’s pretty good but not allowed to take all five. Something we didn’t know at the time was that the Chesham keeper was Dave Beasant’s son.

Mascoll took the first penalty and crashed it impressively high into the net. Carey saved Chesham’s first to huge cheers from the Lewes contingent, who then gasped when Joe’s penalty was pushed onto the post and out via the keepers head. Great save. Chesham scored to even it up. Mitchell Nelson had been brought on very late. We assumed it was to shore up the defence but maybe Tony had pulled a master stroke by bringing on a penalty maestro.  He whacked Lewes’ third penalty expertly into the side netting giving Beasant Jr. no chance even though he went the right way. The next Chesham kicker sent Carey the wrong way but also put the ball the wrong side of the post to more Lewes cheers. Next up was Alfie Young whose kick was reached by the keeper but somehow the ball squirmed under him and trickled in. Beasant Snr. would have something to say about that. The fourth Chesham penalty had to be scored or it was curtains. Carey dived right and saved it. We were jubilant. Lewes win 3-1 after 4 penalties each.  What a relief after that last minute catastrophe. We would be in the draw on Monday.

Talking of draws, we found out on the train home that we will face Worthing at home in the Sussex Senior Cup. That will be tough.

The journey home was long, uneventful and Al’s moan count got up to about the mid 30’s. We lost count to be honest.

The Stodgebusters will sadly NOT return at Brightlingsea. Clashing with Bonfire Night has torpedoed that for us. PJ is in a Society and will be marching, and others can’t get back into the town until 1am due to road closures. Missing our very favourite restaurant is harsh and it was like a dagger through the heart when the fixtures were released and we realised we wouldn’t be going. We will be back champing at the bit for the next away game though wherever that may be. It won’t be the scheduled Kingstonian game because we will be playing in the Trophy somewhere that day. It might be Potters Bar on the 22nd November.

Come On You R

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ON THE ROAD TO…BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT – SAT 5th NOVEMBER

About The Taydal Stadium
North Road is a fairly basic affair and whilst the club are seeking the funding to improve facilities, we should hope to visit when the weather is inclement.  There is a decent-sized club house with a lean-to cover, whilst there is a small covered stand to the left of that as you look at it and a further bit of cover down the same side.  Behind one goal there is a covered stand to the side of the goal whilst the rest of the ground is open to the elements.  Food and drink available in the excellent clubhouse.

How to get to The Taydal Stadium
This is the Rooks longest away league trip of the season both in terms of miles and time.  Head up the A23/M23 then Anti-clockwise around the M25, under the Thames (don’t forget to pay for your Toll online) and then at junction 28 head onto the A12 towards Chelmsford.  Stay on the A12 for almost 40 miles before taking the junction for A120 to Colchester North/A1232/Clacton Harwich.  Follow for around 5 ½ miles and then take A133 at the roundabout. 

After a mile turn left onto Great Bentley Road (B1029) then a right into School Lane after ¾ mile.  Turn right into Station Road after ½ mile and then 2nd exit at roundabout onto Clacton Road/B1027.  Next roundabout take 1st exit to Brightlingsea Road.  Then left into Ladysmith Avenue, left into Seaview Road, right into Spring Road and finally a left onto North Road.  Then pull up, breathe a huge sigh of relief and go and grab a beer.  That 129-mile journey should take around 2 ½ hours if you are lucky.  Street parking is your best option.

The nearest station is Alresford which is on the branch line from Colchester and thus requires a change there.  Journey time is around 1hr 20mins including the wait at Colchester.  From Alresford it is either a cab or the 87 or 62 bus from the station to Brightlingsea Spring Chase then a 5-minute walk to the ground.

Admission at The Taydal Stadium

Admission this season is £12 for adults, £7 for concessions (senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 12s admitted for a £1.  

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is The Cherry Tree on Church Road which appears to do good food, although one reviewer on Google said that the ‘foul-mouthed’ landlord spoilt their afternoon. Ye Olde Swan is an Adnams pub in the High Street whilst in Brightlingsea Marina you may be able to track down a local Colchester Brewery brew. The favourite with the Rooks fans in previous seasons has been The Station Inn which is a 10 minute walk from the ground.

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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 Willa Bailey, Tim Bradshaw, Ed Briggs, Scott Currie, Stuart Fuller, Andy Gowland, Lucy Mills, John Peel, Sally Taplin, Trevor Wells
Chief Executive Officer Maggie Murphy
Club Secretary John Peel
Fan Engagement Manager Shrey Nilvarna
Youth Secretary Ryan Sullivan
Operations Manager James Barker

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Peter Brook, Dorothy Brook RIP, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox RIP, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris RIP, 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
First team coach Nathan White
First team physio Toni Miller
Goalkeeping coach Grant Hall
Match logistics Clive Burgess & Vikram Dogra
First Team Performance Analyst Henderson Russell
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 Editor Stuart Fuller, Ashley Adamson-Edwards and Stan Lahood
Club Photographer James Boyes

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NEXT UP AT THE DRIPPING PAN

FOLKESTONE INVICTA FC

TUESDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2022 7:45pm

THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

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TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. It was their first points of the season. They ended up finishing bottom and conceding over 100 goals.
  2. Luke Blewden
  3. Macclesfield – they average 3,095 this season
  4. Czechia (or Czech Republic to you and me)
  5. Kayne Diedrick-Roberts