Monday 2nd January 2023 3pm – The Isthmian Premier LeagueThe Dripping Pan

Rook divider

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

Rook divider

JOIN THE TEAM & BECOME AN OWNER TODAY!

Rook divider

NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s game against Bognor Regis Town. May I start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. It’s been well over a month since we were last here no thanks to the weather but let’s hope we can make up for that by kicking off 2023 with a win.

I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Bognor Regis Town and hope we have a great game this afternoon. The FA Trophy tie back in November was a fantastic game, with Bognor’s young keeper Toby Steward denying us both a win in normal time but also on penalties. He’s been recalled by Portsmouth thankfully, for us!

The enforced break caused by the weather disrupted our run of good form, which saw us win at Haringey Borough and on a freezing cold night at Kingstonian. There’s little we could do about getting those games on, and believe me we tried although once again we still saw the club, and even some individuals, being criticised on Social Media, for supposedly “not wanting the games on”. Unfortunately, we still have a few “fans” who believe in conspiracies and will take every opportunity to criticise the club. We are not perfect, we get things wrong, we could always do better but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone actually got behind the club, and our teams, or, dare I say it, offered to help? I know that’s never going to happen – some people almost seem to want the club to fail just so they can say “told you so”. What I find most irritating is when the club (whether that is myself or anyone else) tries to engage, they don’t or wont listen. Ho-hum.

So many people do so many great things for the club – we have our Grand Prize Draw, organised by our Supporters Club, being held at half-time, as an example. There’s still a chance to buy your tickets before the game and who knows, you could win cash or even a pair of tickets to England v Ukraine at Wembley or Sussex v Surrey in the T20 at Hove – although you will have to sit next to me for both of those!

January is going to be a busy month with the fixtures against Canvey Island (17th Jan) and Wingate & Finchley (31st Jan) slotted into an already full schedule but it’s a great opportunity for us to turn some of our excellent football into points.

Come on you Rooks!

Stuart

Rook divider

TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon and Happy New Year to everyone. It’s great to be back playing here at the Pan today.

The result on Boxing Day was frustrating. We did a lot of work preparing for the Hastings games – we had no choice after the weather knocked out our pre-Christmas games. I thought we were very sluggish in the first five minutes but then got control on the game. They are a very good side and I’d watched their previous two games against Canvey Island and Margate – they play on the front foot and look to dominate the game but I felt we quickly found our rhythm and started to create openings down the wings, with a few balls flying across the area.

It was disappointing that we found ourselves 1-0 down, with a free-kick coming from a long ball. We dealt with the first ball well but when the ball came back in we didn’t pick up the spare man and we were 1-0 down. To be honest that is happening too often for our liking – we need to do the basics. We play great football, nice patterns of play but it is that lack of doing the simple things that gets us in trouble.

The reaction was good – we looked strong and the goal was coming. JT’s had a couple of chances and Ryan Gondah, who many fans were seeing for the first time, hit a shot just over the bar. We finally got the goal with a set-piece Vinesy had worked on in training – deep ball to Razz at the far post and whilst his shot was deflected, there was no way the keeper was going to keep it out.

We were a little disappointed that we were only level at half-time. We felt the game was there for the taking and started well, creating an early chance where Razz had made a fantastic run behind the Hastings defence but the final ball just didn’t quite reach him.

If our goal had a slice of luck about it then Hastings’ second was a whole cake full. We were sloppy in giving away the free-kick but Lew Carey could do nothing when Hasler’s strike hit Will on the shoulder and flew into the opposite corner from where he was aiming. It’s the way it is going at the moment. A few minutes later Ben Pope, who has just been booked, clatters Will and it is a clear second yellow but the referee doesn’t see it. Hastings’ bench certainly did, bringing Pope off immediately. That combination of back luck and bad decisions hurts us again.

We continued to try to find a way back. They changed to a 4-4-2 and I felt we were just too anxious. In the last fifteen minutes we had a couple of chances – how the ball stayed out after hitting the Hastings lad on the six yard line I will never know, then Hydie’s volley was too high.

Of course we came off very disappointed. We are a very good side – we just need to stay focused and concentrate on our defending, especially in dealing with those balls into the box. We regrouped on the training ground on New Year’s Eve and did a full session and the reaction was good but the proof will be in the eating as they say over the next few weeks.

Onto today and I think form goes out the window for these games. We know what type of game we will see today. We know Bognor will try everything to stop us playing the way we want, denying us the ball whenever they can. So, that means we need to stop Bognor getting the ball. Now that approach comes with a risk – if we get it wrong, we could concede a few. If we both get it right then we could see a basketball-style game (hopefully not the score though!). We’ve reviewed the FA Trophy game and have a few ideas up our sleeves.

We are a little short on fit players – we are trying to bring a couple more players in who will fit our style and pattern, as well as acting as cover for some of our injuries but I know Bognor have also had similar issues in recent weeks.

It should be a good game and hopefully one that will see us get back to winning here (or even playing here!).

Get behind the boys. Come on you Rooks!

Tony

Rook divider

THE GREATEST FOOTBALLER OF ALL TIME?

The football world will this weekend mark the passing of the greatest ever football. Pelé was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is recognised as a Guinness World Record. In a career spanning 21 years, the Brazilian only played for two clubs – Santos and New York Cosmos, aside from a number of appearances in charity games, friendlies and of course, in the Allies team in the film Escape to Victory.

There’s a lot been written about his career and his achievements, but here are ten facts and a few video clips of his genius:

Pele was named after American inventor Thomas Edison, his real name being Edson Arantes do Nascimiento as Electricity had just been introduced to his hometown in Brazil when he was born

His family gave him the nick-name “Dico”. He did not get the nickname Pele until he started school, where he used to pronounce the name of the local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bile as Pile. Hence, a classmate of his gave him the nickname Pele. Pele has never liked his nickname, admitting it sounds like “baby-talk.

Pele was signed by Santos when he was 15, paid just $10 a month He scored four goals on his league debut in a match against FC Corinthians on September 7, 1956.

The Brazilian government declared Pelé an official national treasure in 1961 to prevent him from being transferred out of the country. Pele was appointed as Minister of Sport in Brazil in 1995, serving until 1998.

In 1967, a 48-hour ceasefire was declared in Nigeria so that Federal and Rebel troops could watch Pele play on a visit to the war-torn nation

On October 1, 1977, Pele played his last game as a footballer as Santos played New York Cosmos at the Giants Stadium. He played and scored in the first half of the game for Santos and the second half for Cosmos. When Pele played for the New York ,so many of his opponents wanted to swap shirts with him that the club had to give each of their opponents a shirt after every match. “Pele was the main attraction,” says Gordon Bradley, one of the club’s coaches at the time. “Sometimes we had to take 25 or 30 shirts with us to a match – otherwise, we’d never have got out of the stadium alive.”

As he prepared to kick off in a game during Mexico ’70, Pele gestured to the referee that he needed to tie his laces. The cameras panned in to reveal the forward’s Puma boots — the company subsequently experienced a huge sales boost.

In March 2003, Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen was offered special intensive training in flag-waving in advance of the 32nd Brazilian Grand Prix. Why? Organisers wanted her to do a better job than Pele, the previous year’s flag waver, who got “distracted” and failed to notice Michael Schumacher crossing the finish line!

In 2005, Pele fronted an advertising campaign for the drug Viagra, and was widely credited for breaking the taboo about speaking or receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Pele and Maradona were hardly friends. Pele said in 2006: “For 20 years they have asked me the same question, who is the greatest? Pele or Maradona? I reply that all you have to do is look at the facts – how many goals did he score with his right foot or with his head?” In 2010, Pele said of the Argentinian: “He is not a good example for the youth. He had the God-given gift of being able to play football, and that is why he is lucky.” Maradona’s response: “Who cares what Pele says? He belongs in a museum.”

Rook divider

INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS – BOGNOR REGIS TOWN

THE HISTORY

THE SQUAD

THE RECENT FORM

THE HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

19th Nov 2022FA TrophyLewes2Bognor Regis Tn2
18th Apr 2022Isthmian Premier LeagueBognor Regis Tn1Lewes0
1st Jan 2022Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes2Bognor Regis Tn0
26th Feb 2020Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes0Bognor Regis Tn1
26th Dec 2018Isthmian Premier LeagueBognor Regis Tn2Lewis2
27th Aug 2018Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes3Bognor Regis Tn3

THE LAST VISIT HERE – 19th NOVEMBER 2022

Rook divider

THE PITCH EXPERTS

It’s never easy being involved at a football club, especially when it comes to having to make decisions about whether a game can go ahead. In the last couple of years it hasn’t just been the weather that has lead to games being postponed. We’ve had the COVID-19 situation, and the ongoing impact of that on playing squads and more recently fuel shortages, protesters blocking major roads and train strikes. The impact of the rising energy prices has also seen some clubs moving kick off times to reduce the amount of fuel they need to use.

But the main reason for games being postponed is still related to the weather. Hot, cold, rain, snow and ice. Every season brings a different climate challenge. But it is the cold that causes the most damage, as was demonstrated by a number of games last week being postponed due to burst pipes as the thaw took hold.

But to dispel a couple of myths. Firstly, we never want a home game postponed – we incur significant costs in terms of buying in food and beer which have short use-by dates. If the game is cancelled on a Saturday and moved to a midweek, we see a significant reduction in the number of people who can attend, thus reducing our revenue. We also incur costs if we need to refund pre-purchased tickets. Let’s also not forget that the majority of our match day staff work for the club on a part-time basis and if a game is postponed they don’t earn any wages. More often than not we want to still play, or at least train, so will look to hire a pitch for the team to train on. So it is in nobody’s interest for games to be postponed.

Secondly, only a qualified referee can determine whether a pitch is playable. Not the club officials, managers, directors or staff. If there is a doubt, we can call an early inspection on the morning of the game (in some extreme circumstances it can be the day before) and the referee will assess the current situation but cannot make a call on any potential deteriorating forecast. So if a pitch is playable at 9.30am on a Saturday, but the forecast is for torrential rain, he can’t call the game off on that basis. If a pitch is frozen at 9.30am and the forecast is for sunshine and improving temperature, he can decide to inspect again closer to kick off. BUT in those circumstances, the distance a travelling team has to undertake needs to be taken into consideration.

An example of this was for our game against Wingate & Finchley on the 17th December. The temperatures had been below frozen all week, but we had covered the problem areas. Come the Saturday morning, the covers had prevented a significant frost penetration and the forecast was due to see temperatures rise. BUT at 9.30am when the referee arrived he had to factor in that Wingate & Finchley due to depart North London by 10am. There was no real room for “what if”. The pitch could have been playable by 3pm but there was only a slim chance, according to the referee of that happening. So, he made the call the game was off. There’s nothing more we could have said or done. To give you an idea of what the pitch looked like, below is an amazing drone shot from that morning. You can clearly see the problem area in the shadow of the main stand.

As a side point, has anyone seen our missing solar panel?

Rook divider
Rook divider

2022 IN NUMBERS

Today is the first game of 2023, but what happened in the 48 games we played in 2022?

Well, we won 18 games, drawn 18 and lost 12. In the 2022/23 season we’ve yet to lose here at The Pan, aside from the penalties defeat to Bognor Regis in the FA Trophy.

During 2022 the only teams to win in the league here have been Bishop’s Stortford, Hornchurch and Wingate & Finchley. Hornchurch are the only team to win by more than one goal.

We’ve scored 87 goals and conceded 71. Joe Taylor and Razz Coleman De-Graft have scored 48 of those goals, of which 31 have been scored here at the Pan. We score on average two goals a game here at The Pan, conceding on average one. Lewis Carey has kept 10 clean sheets in the twenty four games here in 2022. We’ve score 47 of our goals in the first half of games and conceding 35.

We’ve not lost a league game when both Joe and Razz have scored in the same game, and we have won over 70% of those games.

When Razz scores in a league game, there’s a 72% chance that we will eventually win the game. We’ve only ever lost two games when he has scored (at home to Wingate & Finchley last season and away at Hastings United last week)

Our average attendance here at the Pan is 886. Based on the current season, we are the second best supported team in the Isthmian Premier League, based on league games only.

Out of 282 clubs who make up Steps 3 and 4 of the Non-League pyramid, only seven have a higher average attendance than the Rooks. Four of those are based in the Northern Premier League (Macclesfield are top with an average of over 3,200).

We’ve only lost one game after being ahead at half-time and that was the 4-3 defeat at Potters Bar Town last month. On the flip side, we come back from losing 6 times at half-time to draw. We’ve yet to come back to win though. Here at the Pan we’ve not lost a game (bar the Bognor penalty defeat) after being in front at half-time.

We’ve taken more points (16) from teams who begin with the letter C than any other team. We’ve not take any points off anyone starting with a P.

Lewis Carey has continued his record of playing every minute of every game in 2022 and thus since becoming a Lewes player originally back in 2017. In total, we have used just 32 players in 2022, of which 6 have only played four or less games.

Rook divider

LEWES 2 BOWERS & PITSEA 2 – SATURDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2022

Lewes recovered from two goals down to secure a hard-fought draw against Bowers & Pitsea at the Pan, reports Tom Harper, pictures from James Boyes.

Tony Russell selected an unchanged side after Tuesday’s defeat at Potters Bar Town, but was able to name Bradley Pritchard and Deon Moore on the bench on their return from injury.

The Rooks got off to the worst possible start, falling behind after just eight minutes, as a free-kick was headed back across goal at the far post for the unmarked Emmanuel Oluwasemo to head past Lewis Carey and into the back of the net.

Lewes were seeing plenty of the ball without troubling the well-organised visitors, a Tom Champion header over the bar at the far post being the closest they came to equalising.

Bowers & Pitsea looked dangerous on the rare occasions they ventured forward and doubled their lead on 24 minutes through Bola Dawodu, whose diving header from a dangerous left-wing cross found the top corner.

The Rooks continued to find it difficult to create any chances of note, Joe Taylor dragging a strike well wide of the far post and Tom Champion missing the target from the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time against the otherwise untroubled visiting defence.

Lewes were out early for the start of the second half and pulled a goal back eight minutes after the restart, patient build-up play ending with Ayo Olukoga finding the back of the net via the inside of the post with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

The Rooks were playing with more energy at this stage, moving the ball quickly, but continuing to have difficulty getting in behind the Bowers defence.

The few chances that were created in the second half fell to Lewes though, Razz Coleman De-Graft seeing a goal-bound effort blocked before Taylor blasted the rebound wide after the visitors had been unable to clear an Alfie Young free-kick.

Lewes were dominating the game heading into the closing stages, De-Graft stinging the palms of Joshua Blunkell in the visitor’s goal with a powerful strike from just inside the box.

They came even closer to levelling the scores minutes later, as a Jamie Mascoll free-kick from the right wasn’t cleared, De-Graft headed the ball back towards goal where it was helped on by Will Salmon and the ball hit the inside of the post before somehow evading both Taylor and Deon Moore before eventually being cleared.

The Rooks finally scored the equaliser their late pressure had arguably deserved deep into stoppage time, a Mascoll corner from the right deceiving Blunkell and crossing the line, possibly with the help of a touch from Moore, sending the fans behind the goal into raptures and ensuring Lewes finished a challenging week with a hard-earned point.

Rook divider

MEET OUR NEW DIRECTORS – WILLA BAILEY

One of our three incoming directors, Willa Bailey, has spoken for the first time since winning the elections in October.

Willa is just 23-years-old and is excited to bring more diversity into the board, believing her young and fresh energy will help remove the barriers of not having enough women in the decision-making rooms.

Speaking on the night she found out Willa said: “I pretty much just burst out laughing! I was so happy, and it was a really good moment for me.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t believe I would get it, but I just knew that everyone going for it was seriously impressive.

“My family were really happy for me. I called them up and basically rushed them home from a dog walk to tell them!

Willa shared about where her passion and enthusiasm comes from and how her cousin’s football success inspired her.

“My whole family is football obsessed but one moment that resonates with me was in 2018, my cousin captained her University of Cambridge college football team to winning the league.

“Up until that point I had kind of thought the space of football was reserved for men, but for her to not only be able to play but play in a league and succeed was so powerful and that encouraged me to get into football.

“I had contacted Karen [Dobres] previously, who is just an amazing woman, and she mentioned at the time about the board of directors.

“The opportunity arose for me to apply, and I thought I would give it a go. The experience in itself was amazing, it encouraged me to be more involved with the club regardless.

Willa first discovered Lewes FC in 2021, a moment that inspired her beyond just getting involved with the club.

“I initially found out about the club a year-and-a-half ago in 2021, around the time of International Women’s Day.

“There was a piece in The Guardian by Suzy Wrack about the equal pay initiative, and there was a quote from Maggie Murphy basically saying if we want to create change in this country, we can do it but if we don’t utilise football as a tool we’ll just get there slower!

“It just made so much sense in my head and at the time I was planning what to write my dissertation on. I studied Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh focusing on social sustainability.

“So, when it came to my dissertation, being inspired by my cousin and combined with the work I saw Lewes doing, brought me to my title which was ‘Women’s Football – A Game of Resistance.’

“It was basically how the history of oppression for women in football has emboldened us with power when we play, power that transcends the football pitch”

Lastly, Willa spoke to us about what she would bring to the role and her future ambitions for the club.

“I am leading on Impact on the World, and with that, it’s so hard to quantify what can be done. Football has such a big reach and Lewes as a club has a big voice as well.

“The diversity on the board is a really big thing and one of the barriers to change in football is definitely not having enough women in those decision-making rooms.

“I’m excited to bring that to the board in that sense and also my age as well. Me and Maggie spoke about potentially starting a Youth Council, I think it would be great for us to bring the next generation in to help us with our goals.

“For us to become the most fan-owned club in the country would be incredible and really important in helping us achieve our goals. Increasing ownerships is crucial to my side of what I want to do as well. More exposure means more ability for us to make change.

“It would be great to see both the women and men get promoted. Especially if the women got to the WSL competing with huge football clubs, we have something they don’t, and it would be amazing to showcase that.”

Rook divider

THE FIFA WORLD CUP IN 48 HOURS

Chairman Stu doesn’t like wasting time so managed to fit in six games in six stadiums in just forty eight hours in Qatar two weeks ago, landing in time for our game against Bowers & Pitsea.

You can read more about his travels in Qatar here.

Rook divider

HARINGEY BOROUGH 1 LEWES 2 SATURDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2022

Lewes came back from a goal behind to take all three points with a dominant performance at Haringey Borough.

Tony Russell made two changes to the side which drew with Bowers & Pitsea, Jamie Mascoll replacing the injured Marcel Elva-Fountaine and fit-again Bradley Pritchard replacing Jack Skinner in the heart of the midfield. On the bench was new signing from Sevenoaks Town, Ryan Gondoh and Under18 Jenson Davies.

The home side were the fastest out of the blocks, forcing the Rooks onto the back foot. From a corner in the 10th minute William Dupray was left unmarked and headed home to give Haringey an early lead.

The goal shook the Rooks into action and TQ Addy thought he had equalised in the 20th minute but the first of a number of offside decisions denied the Lewes wide man. However he was to get his goal after a period of Haringey pressure at the other end thanks to an excellent cross from the right by Johnville Renee that eluded Luke Mewitt in the Haringey goal and was gratefully headed home by TQ Addy for his first goal in a Lewes shirt.

The second half was barely five minutes young when the Rooks took the lead thanks to a Razz Coleman De-Graft special, finding the net from the edge of the box.

Joe Taylor had two efforts chalked off for offside as the Rooks looked to close the game out, whilst at the other end the defence held firm, not wanting to add a fifth 2-2 draw out of the last ten games to the tally. However, there was to be no last minute drama and the Rooks fans, who had travelled in big numbers, celebrated three points at the final whistle.

This was the Rooks near their best against a solid, well organised Haringey side. Three points and up to 11th in the table.

Rook divider

KINGSTONIAN 1 LEWES 3 WEDNESDAY 7th DECEMBER 2022

Lewes made it two away wins in four days, with an assured performance helping the Rooks to an ultimately comfortable 3-1 victory at Kingstonian, reports Tom Harper.

Tony Russell named an unchanged side following Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory over Haringey Borough.

Lewes made a bright start and were in front after just eight minutes, Razz Coleman De-Graft beating two defenders down the right before crossing for Bradley Pritchard to finish from inside the six-yard box.

The Rooks were dominating possession and came close to doubling their lead minutes later through Joe Taylor, who shot straight at Rob Tolfrey from a difficult angle after more good work from De-Graft.

Lewes doubled their lead on 28 minutes, as Tom Champion rose highest to head a Jamie Mascoll corner from the left past Tolfrey with the help of a slight deflection.

The remainder of the half saw Lewes continue to see plenty of the ball, without calling Tolfrey into further meaningful action.

The closest they came to extending their lead further before the break saw a Mascoll free-kick hit Alfie Young at the far post before bouncing straight to Tolfrey.

Having struggled to create any chances of note during the first half, the hosts made a bright start to the second, with Lewis Carey forced into a fine save to keep out a long-range strike from Lee Lewis.

Kingstonian were enjoying arguably their best spell of the game, and saw O’Shane Stewart blast a presentable chance high over the bar as they looked to halve the deficit.

It then took a superb last-ditch challenge from Will Salmon to prevent Jacob Bancroft getting a shot away at the end of an incisive counter-attack, as Lewes found it difficult to control the game as they had done before the break.

The hosts pulled a goal back on 77 minutes to set up a tense finale, Bancroft sending a superb half-volley into the top corner from just inside the area after a free-kick from the right had only been partially cleared.

Kingstonian could have equalised almost immediately, Johnville Renee doing just enough at the far post to ensure Dwight Pascal could only guide his header wide.

Lewes managed the remainder of the game well, the introduction of Tyrique Hyde and Deon Moore late on giving the Rooks a bit more pace in the final third.

Moore thought he had secured all three points in the final minute of normal time, but was flagged offside after diverting a De-Graft cut-back into the roof of the net.

The Rooks did score a third goal to wrap up the win in injury-time, Moore getting in behind down the right and cutting the ball back for Hyde to send an exquisite finish past Tolfrey and into the bottom corner off the inside of the post, making it 3-1 and sending the impressive contingent of travelling fans who had braved the freezing temperatures home happy.

Rook divider

DIDN’T WE USED TO PLAY THEM? GREENWICH BOROUGH

Take two famous actors, add in a stack of cash, a former football league player as manager and a host of decent players and what do you have? A team that no longer exists.

The story of Greenwich Borough follows the Bull Durham dream but like so many other dreamers before them, has ended up with them looking up at the stars from the gutter rather than the other way around.

Initially formed back in 1928 as Woolwich Borough Council Athletic Club, the team barely raised an eyebrow until 2016, when despite their name, they won the South Eastern Counties League playing their home games at Dartford FC, with Danny Dyer and Tamar Hussein, who starred with Dyer in The Football Factory and The Business, as directors of the club, whilst Gary Alexander was manager.

In their first season in the Isthmian League they moved in with Cray Valley Paper Mills literally a stones through from their original ground on the Yorkshire Grey roundabout and finished in third place with 95 points, with a squad that included our very own Bradley Pritchard, Charlie McDonald, Mo Eisa (now with MK Dons), Peter Sweeney, Michael Power and Alexander himself. Our first meeting with Borough came on the 4th October 2016 when a Rob Denness hattrick saw Borough win 4-2 at The Pan. In the reverse fixture in March Borough completed the double win a 1-0 win thanks to a first-half goal from Charlie McDonald. Borough were favourites to win the play-offs but lost 4-3 in the semi-final at home to Corinthian-Casuals.

The following season they started the league at favourites, with new players in their squad including Tom Carlse, Jack Barnham, “Big George” in goal and Tom Beere. We met them in December 2017 at Badgers Mount, with George Landais scoring his one and only goal for the Rooks in a 1-1 draw. In the return fixture at The Pan in March goals from Charlie Coppola and Lloyd Cotton gave the Rooks a 2-0 win. Whilst the Rooks won promotion, finishing second in the table to Carshalton Athletic, Borough finished fourth but once again fell at the Play-off semi-final stage to Corinthian-Casuals.

And then it all went wrong. Rumours that the finances had been severely reduced, then a change in ownership saw Borough finish bottom of the table in the 2017/18 season and were relegated back to Step 5 for the start of the 2018/19 season. 18 months later, after a bizarre attempt to be moved to a league in the north of England, Greenwich Borough resigned from the South Eastern Counties League half-way through the season, and today exist in name only.

Rook divider

THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

Rook divider

ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY QUIZ

Results

#1. Lewis Carey has played every minute of every competitive game for the Rooks in 2022. But which players has played the next most games?

#2. On this day in 1939, the biggest attendance for a British league game was recorded in a game between Rangers and Celtic. But what was it?

#3. On this day in 1971, Blackpool beat West Ham 4-0 in the FA Cup Third Round. What the reason for the surprise heavy defeat?

#4. The Rooks have only failed to score three times here at the Pan in 2022. Two were 0-0 draws, but which team are the only ones to come away with a win ?

#5. Who scored our first goal of 2022?

Finish
Rook divider

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 SkinnerDave Lamb
Jamie MascollMichael KennardRyan Gondor
Marcel Elva-FountaineRhys Murrell-WilliamsonTrevor Norwood
Kenny YaoDeshane Dalling
Tom ChampionTom, Alice & Russ MouldRazz Coleman De-GraftThe Ouse
Will SalmonMichael McDowellDeon Moore
Johnville ReneeDave LambJoe TaylorStuart Fuller
Ayo OlukogaRyan BusbyFraser Middleton-Tozer
Bradley PritchardThe English Soap CompanyFinley Jenkins
Alfie YoungTyrique Hyde
Rook divider
Rook divider

THE FIFA RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – No.202 BAHAMAS

The Bahamas played their first international matches in the 1970 Central American and Caribbean Games, losing their debut 3–0 against Puerto Rico, an 8–1 loss against Netherlands Antilles and 5–0 to Venezuela. They did record their first ever win against Panama, winning 1-0 in 1974. Hardly an impressive start to their life as a FIFA associate member. They only played six further games in 13 years, which included a 13-0 defeat in Mexico.

In March 2000 they won back to back games for the first time in their history to qualify for the next round of the qualification tournament for the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament. However, any hope of booking a trip to South Korea and Japan was dashed with a 13-0 aggregate defeat to Haiti.

Seven games in 2022 have seen two wins (against Turks and Caicos, and Saint Vincent and Grenadines) and five defeats, the last three being in the CONCACAF Nations League tournament. The squad is made up almost exclusively of locally based players, which is surprising considering it is a British Commonwealth nation although they were once coached by former Bognor Regis Town midfielder Gary White. Midfielder Lesly St Fleur has the most caps (31) and the most goals (12).

Their home stadium, the 12,000 Thomas Robinson Stadium is located in the centre of the island’s capital Nassau, opposite Fries with Benefits, naturally.

Rook divider

ON THE ROAD TO – BISHOP’S STORTFORD – SAT 7th JANUARY


About The Prokit UK Stadium

There won’t be many better grounds we will visit this season that Woodside Park, aka The Prokit UK Stadium.  Whilst it may look relatively new, it was actually built back in 1999, but the club have been careful to put it back in its box at the end of each season to keep it looking so good.  The Main Stand has a decent number of seats, set about 5 foot above the action and straddling the half-way line.  Behind this is the decent-sized clubhouse (open from 2 hours before kick-off and various food serving outlets.  Opposite the main stand is a smaller covered seating area whilst both ends offer covered terracing.  There’s also an outside bar at the Town End, although Carlsberg is your only choice.  The club shop also has a decent stock of badges and programmes from around the Non-Leagues for sale.

How to get to The Prokit UK Stadium
There are few easier grounds to find this season than Bishop’s Stortford’s Woodside Park, aka The Prokit UK Stadium.  Well, that is if you are coming by road.  Up the A23/M23, anti-clockwise on the M25, under the river (don’t forget the toll to pay online), exit at Junction 28 onto the M11 North and then come off at Junction 8 for Bishop’s Stortford – stay in the inside lane as you approach the junction and then at the roundabout take the second left (avoiding the temptation to go into the services), then a left at the next roundabout and follow the road for 500 metres and then a right as if you were going to the recycling centre (aka “the tip”).  Of course, you could combine the opportunity to watch the Rooks with the disposal of some household waste but if not take a right into Dunmow Road for the ground.  Plenty of parking is available but it will set you back £2.  Distance from The Pan to Woodside Park is exactly 100 miles (if you follow the most direct, albeit not necessarily the quickest route due to traffic) and should take around 90 minutes.

For those arriving by train then your best bet is a service from London Liverpool Street which runs to Bishop’s Stortford in about 35 minutes.  From the station it is a good 20-minute walk to the ground or five minutes in a cab.  Pros of walking are that you get to visit a couple of decent pubs on the way (see Fancy a beer) and it costs you nowt.  Quickest way by foot is to cross the railway bridge and take a right into London Road.  Take first left into Warwick Road then follow to the end when it merges into Dunmow Road.  Follow this, and once you’ve dog-legged to your right around the golf course, take the left-hand road (Woodside) for the ground.

Admission at The Prokit UK Stadium
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £8 for concessions (U16s, senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 12s are admitted free of charge.  

Fancy a beer?
The Saffron Brewery is based in Bishop’s Stortford and worth trying to track down a pint or two of local ale.  The Half Moon has a fairly good write up on UnTappd so could be worth a shout in North Street.  The ever-reliable Wetherspoon option is the Port Jackson on Riverside Wharf, whilst the Red Cow on Dunmow Road is the nearest pub to the ground

Rook divider

KISS ME HARDY…NELSON DEPARTS FROM THE PAN

Two weeks ago we said goodbye to former skipper Mitchell Nelson as he departed for Cray Valley Paper Mills. It was a tough decision for Rooks boss Tony Russell as Nelson has been a regular in the centre-back position for him at Cray Wanderers and Lewes since he came at the start of last season. But with Will Salmon and Tom Champion forming a strong partnership at the back and Alfie Young in midfield who can drop back in when required, opportunities for Mitchell were limited.

Mitchell, in his second spell with the Rooks, made 47 appearances and was an almost every present last season. We wish him all the best at Cray Valley.

Also departing the Pan is Jack Skinner. Jack joined us in the summer and made 17 appearances for the Rooks this season. Rhys Murrell-Williamson has duel registered with Southern Premier League side Hendon to gain some match fitness as he returns from injury.

Rook divider

THE STODGEBUSTERS RECEIVE ROYAL TREATMENT AT KINGSTONIAN

It’s a bit of a strange week this one. Kingstonian on a Wednesday, and Carshalton on the following Monday. We don’t usually play those evenings. Three games in 6 days too. This would put a bit of strain on the squad which we understand has a few injury niggles already. With it being flippin’ freezing too that would make the pitch at Imperial Fields even harder and more dangerous. PJ had looked out the thermals and the gloves in preparation for this one. He can’t comment on the others underwear choice though.

Gary and Steve again couldn’t make this one, the lightweights, so it was Treasurer Al driving with Roly riding shotgun. PJ jumped on board at Lewes Prison bus stop at exactly 5.45 and a bit. Would that be enough time to get there with all the rush hour traffic? The M25 and A217 are not famous for free flowing traffic. It was actually plain sailing all the way, apart from one biker pulling out dangerously and incurring Al’s wrath. We pulled into the car park just before 7pm. We didn’t fancy getting out of the nice warm car just yet but eventually we went for it.

Blimey it was cold. We hadn’t been here for a few years as we hadn’t been in the same league as Tooting and Mitcham for quite a while. Kingstonian are new lodgers having changed this season from sharing with Corinthian Casuals. What a sad state of affairs losing your own ground and then having to move around like nomads. Kingsmeadow was a nice ground, was easy to get to on the train and, most importantly, had the excellent FatBoys Cafe just around the corner. We had many a good pre-match fill up in there and one rarely walked out of there with less than 3000 extra calories. It was a firm favourite on the Stodgebuster calendar. Imperial Fields isn’t a bad ground although the staffing levels seem to be a bit light. The usual turnstiles have gone and we got in via the players entrance which unusually led us into the ground via the players tunnel.

The ground catering didn’t really look up to much at first glance. It might have been ok but Al was the only one of us who took the plunge so we have to rely on his opinion. He had a burger and chips. He reckoned the chips were ok but he only gave the burger a very lowly 3 on the Stodge-o-meter. It certainly didn’t look very appetising. It resembled a McDonald’s 99p burger. No thanks. Stodgebusters don’t do McDonalds but one or two of us are partial to an occasional Uncle Sam’s. We did overhear that the jerk chicken pasta was quite good though.

Blimey it was cold. We took our positions behind the goal. After Saturdays victory at Haringey we actually fancied a win. Lewes were unchanged from that game. K’s still had Rob Tolfrey in goal for them. He seems to have been with them for years and years, and before anyone could shout “Power To The People!” he was picking the ball out of the net. Razz had done a bit of Razz magic to beat a couple of defenders and put in a pinpoint low cross for Brad to pass the ball into the net. The K’s defenders were strangely claiming offside but Razz was almost on the line when he passed it so how could it be?.

It was two-nil twenty minutes later when it was Lewes who scored from a corner for a change. Tom Champion met the ball perfectly and put it wide of the keeper to his right.

There were other good chances and Lewes could easily have gone in at half time five up. It had been a dominant first forty five from the Rooks.

Blimey it was cold. We had a quick warm up in the bar at half time and a KitKat each to help keep the energy levels up. Cold beer didn’t seem attractive at all.

Out for the second half and a brief reminisce for PJ who remembered standing in the same spot nearly 20 years earlier when a very wayward Tom Graves shot took his young sons hot dog clean out of his hands. He didn’t offer to replace it.

As expected K’s had a bit of a go in the second half and played a lot better. They had probably had the hairdryer treatment during the break. The ball spent more time up the other end and we relied on catching them on the break. It was getting colder and the pitch was getting whiter. K’s were creating some chances and could feasibly have drawn level but for a great Carey save and some last ditch defending. One sliding tackle from Salmon was particularly impressive as the K’s player was through and about to pull the trigger. Will came flying in and took the ball as sweet as you like. If he had got that wrong it would have been at least a yellow.

Kingstonian pulled a goal back on 77 minutes. It was a superb strike from the edge of the area into the top corner. Carey had no chance. Memories of Potters Bar were stirred. Surely not again! They could even have equalised straight after but for Renee putting off an attacker just enough to ensure a header from a very dangerous position was put wide. We kept looking at our watches and wondering if they had stopped. Considering our first half dominance we really shouldn’t have been in this position.

Tyrique Hyde and Deon Moore were brought on to freshen things up and we looked to be holding on reasonably comfortably. Almost on full time Deon Moore had the ball in the net from another Razz cross only for it to be ruled out for offside. OK, we weren’t in line but it looked a very dodgy decision to us. Where’s VAR when you need it? Never mind. In injury time Moore supplied Hyde whose shot from the edge of the box was exquisitely placed just inside the post for 3-1. And that was that. Two wins on the bounce. Maybe Gary and Steve should stay away more often.

Blimey it was cold. Our feet were so cold we could hardly feel them. Getting limbs working again after 45 minutes was an effort for us old ‘uns. The players and management came over to the fans at the end and shook hands with everyone who had turned out on such a bitterly cold night. Thanks guys. We really appreciate nice touches like that. We reckon that there were about 30 odd Rooks fans there in a “crowd” of, apparently, 231. Well, a lot must have been hiding somewhere as it looked like there was about 100 less than that. We’ve played Kingstonian many times over the years and they’ve had a decent following. That following seems to have sadly drifted away. We counted a meagre eight fans behind the goal. The aforementioned groundsharing can’t help. Is there a tendency for some clubs without their own ground to lose their identity? Could we imagine Lewes having to leave the Pan and groundshare with, say, Whitehawk?  They need their own ground, or at least some concrete plans for one. Best of luck to them.

Rook divider

HASTINGS UNITED 2 LEWES 1 – MONDAY 26th DECEMBER 2022

A lacklustre display saw Lewes suffer a 2-1 derby defeat at Hastings United, reports Tom Harper.

After going nearly three weeks without a game, Tony Russell handed starts to Tyrique Hyde and Ryan Gondoh in place of Bradley Pritchard and TQ Addy.

Lewes moved the ball well early on and came close to taking the lead through Joe Taylor, who dragged an effort just wide from the edge of the area.

Hastings soon grew into the game though, and went in front with their first chance on ten minutes, as Ben Pope saw a powerful close-range strike saved by Lewis Carey after Lewes had been unable to clear a deep free-kick, only for the loose ball to fall to Jahmal Hector-Ingram, who had time and space to take a touch and steady himself before finding the bottom corner.

The hosts kept Lewes at bay comfortably for the next 20 minutes or so, defending well and always looking capable of creating chances on the break.

The Rooks gradually began to pose more of a threat heading into the closing stages of the half, Louis Rogers making a smart save to deny Taylor, before Razz Coleman De-Graft saw his effort on the rebound blocked.

Carey had to be alert at the other end minutes later to keep out a powerful long-range strike from Pope.

Lewes were soon enjoying their best spell of the game and saw Taylor force another fine save from Rogers at the end of a sweeping move down the right.

The resulting corner, taken by Jamie Mascoll, was clipped to the edge of the area to De-Graft, who saw his powerful strike take a slight deflection on its way past Rogers and into the back of the net to level the scores on 37 minutes.

Hastings made a bright start to the second half and came close to regaining their lead within minutes of the restart, Hector-Ingram cutting in from the left before seeing his effort saved by the legs of Carey.

The hosts went back in front on 57 minutes through Sam Hasler, whose free-kick from the edge of the area took a deflection and flew past Carey and into the bottom corner.

This still left Lewes with plenty of time to respond for a second time, but despite enjoying the majority of the ball, they were unable to get in behind the host’s defence and force Rogers into any meaningful action.

The best of the few chances that were created fell to Hastings on the break, with Carey called into action to superbly tip a Sam Adams strike round the post.

The closest Lewes came to equalising late on saw a Ryan Gondoh cross turned over the bar from almost on the goal-line by the covering Jake Elliott, and Tyrique Hyde then sent a volley comfortably over the bar deep into stoppage time, leaving the Rooks to reflect on a disappointing second half and a derby defeat on Boxing Day.

Hastings United: Rogers, Worrall, Stone, Chalmers, Dixon, Pope (Adams 67), Hasler, Brefo, Penn, Hector-Ingram (Hull 85), Elliott.
Unused Subs: O’Mara, Moynes, Scott.
Booked: Worrall, Pope, Adams.

Lewes: Carey, Renee, Champion, Salmon (Pritchard 74), Mascoll (Addy 77), Young, Olukoga, Pritchard, Gondoh, De-Graft, Taylor.
Unused Subs: Hall, Moore.
Booked: Champion.

Attendance: 1,677 (approximately 150 Rooks)

Rook divider

THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE BOXING DAY ROUND UP BY IAN TOWNSEND

Second place Bishop’s Stortford and leaders Hornchurch had identical records from their previous ten matches- twenty one points and only one defeat- but it looked as if the Urchins were well on their way to doing the double over the Blues when they took an early lead at the R&D Advisors Stadium. Liam Nash broke the deadlock on fourteen minutes with his fifteenth goal of the season- but after that the traffic was all one-way, and the hosts were doing all of the driving.

Oliver Peters drew the Blues level just before the break with a fabulous free kick, to the delight of most of the seven hundred and thirty six watching on- and after the break the Blues piled on the pressure- albeit in a different strip, as they changed to yellow because it seemed that their blue and the Urchins purple was giving the spectators a headache! Ryan Henshaw put them ahead on fifty two minutes when he headed home a corner, Jonathan Giles made it three on the hour, and just before the end Frankie Merrifield got his twelfth of the campaign- and fiftieth in a blue (yellow) shirt- to make it four.

Potters Bar Town, who started the day in third place, travelled to the side five points and four places behind them, Enfield Town. By the end that gap was one place and two points after the Towners climbed to fifth with a comprehensive victory on Donkey Lane, and extended the Scholars winless run to four matches. Sam Youngs gave the hosts a perfect start with a third minute goal, only for Mohammed Kamara to equalise just after the half hour. Debutant and new signing from St Albans City restored home advantage just before the break, and after the restart we witnessed the Youngs show, Sam weighing in with two more goals to take the match ball and his hat trick and deliver a valuable three points for his side.

Cray Wanderers had lost only one of their previous ten matches- and that run stretched to one in eleven as they comfortably defeated Margate at Hartsdown Park. Tom Derry gave them the lead ten minutes before the break, Anthony Cook made it two just after the restart, and the Blues hopes finally departed when Sam Blackman saw red just before the hour. Josh Allen, on from the bench for just five minutes, got a third for the Wands fourteen minutes from time- maintaining a fabulous away record which has seen them lose only twice in twelve matches. The visitors climb to third, the Blues and their manager, Andy Drury, parted company after the match.

Canvey Island, in fifth place at kick off, had the chance to climb as high as second place as they welcomed Bowers & Pitsea– but instead they saw their wings firmly clipped, Bowers doing their survival hopes a power of good. The visitors hadn’t lost to the Gulls since 2017, and they went into the lead six minutes before the break, Adalberto Pinto opening the scoring. The Gulls tried with all their might to snatch something from the game, but the second goal, which arrived right at the end, also went to Bowers- Dylan Thistleton ensuring only their second win in ten games.

Carshalton Athletic have top five pretentions, and are outside the play off places only on goal difference after a narrow win over Kingstonian. Crossley Lema got the only goal of the game, and delivered the Robins sixth one-nil win of the season. That’s one point from eighteen for the K’s.

Billericay Town got back to winning ways impressively last week, and they faced a side who must struggle to remember what a win feels like, Brightlingsea Regent. The last time our bottom side won a league match was on August Bank Holiday Monday, when they defeated…Billericay Town- but they couldn’t do it again at New Lodge. After a goalless first half the Blues took the lead on fifty eight minutes through Eze Ebuzoeme, and ten minutes later the same player doubled their advantage. The visitors hit back from the spot, Suleyman Zuhdu holding his nerve, but within seven minutes John Ufuah added a third for the hosts- and an own goal made it four soon afterwards.

We had a Sussex derby as Bognor Regis Town welcomed Horsham. The Rocks had only thirteen available players for their midweek Trophy defeat in Banbury, but did manage to fill the bench for this one- although Dan Gifford had to drop out due to injury and Brad Lethbridge missed out due to illness. It took until just before the break for the opening goal to arrive, but when it arrived it was. Beauty, Jack Mazzone giving the Hornets the lead with his fourteenth of the season. The Rocks fought to get back into the match, but a quick break right at the end of the match saw Daniel Ajakaiye seal three points for the visitors, who are eleventh- but only four points away from the top five. Five without a win sees the Rocks down to fifteenth place, whilst six hundred and ninety six watched on.

Second bottom Herne Bay hosted an improving Folkestone Invicta. Bay were also improving, having drawn their last three matches, and they went ahead on twenty minutes, Mason Saunders-Henry opening the scoring with his third of the campaign. Invicta have Ade Yusuff in prolific scoring form, and he levelled from the spot just before the break- his twenty second of the season- and ten minutes after the restart the visitors grabbed what proved to be the winner, Ibrahim Olutade lifting them to thirteenth and sealing a double over Bay.

Wingate & Finchley welcomed Haringey Borough. The last time they met, on August Bank Holiday Monday, the two sides delivered a goalless draw- and it turned out that Boxing Day was just the same, if colder.

On Tuesday, Aveley got back to winning ways- and back into the top five- with a comprehensive win at Corinthian-Casuals. The Millers went ahead six minutes before the break, Siju Odelusi heading home the opener- and it was two-nil just before the break, Benas Vaivada finishing off a cross from Temi Babalola. With nineteen minutes left the visitors made quite sure of three points, Kenny Aileru firing home- his shot deflecting off the post. The hosts then came to life, and substitute Nathaniel Pinney pulled a goal back with eight minutes remaining, but that was as good as it got for Casuals, who remain third from bottom.

Rook divider

THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS

Rook divider

TODAY’S TEAMS

Rook divider
Rook divider

LEGAL 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
Communication Manager Jack Towers
Commercial Manager Steph McLaughlin

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

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editor Stuart Fuller, Ashley Adamson-Edwards and Stan Lahood
Club Photographer James Boyes

Rook divider

NEXT UP AT THE DRIPPING PAN

SATURDAY 14th JANUARY 2023 3PM

CORINTHIAN-CASUALS

THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Rook divider

TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. The crowd of 118,567 at Ibrox for their ‘Old Firm’ match between Rangers and Celtic was, and still is, the highest attendance for a League match in Britain. Rangers won 2-1 and went on to win the Scottish title with Celtic as runners-up.
  2. Joe Taylor – 65 games
  3. Blackpool thrashed West Ham 4-0 in the FA Cup. That was bad enough for the Hammers but then it was discovered that four of their players – and the club physio – had been drinking at the nightclub of former boxer Brian London until the early hours of the match-day. Manager Ron Greenwood had wanted to sack the players – Bobby Moore, Brian Dear, Jimmy Greaves and Clyde Best – but they received bans and fines. Dear and Greaves soon left the club and it was said that the working relationship between manager Greenwood and club captain Moore was never the same again
  4. Bishop’s Stortford beat us 1-0 here in April – the only side to stop us scoring at home and take all three points
  5. Razz Coleman De-Graft scored in the 45th minute of our game here on New Year’s Day 2022 against Bognor Regis Town