Saturday 14th January 2023 3pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan
Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game against Corinthian-Casuals. Here is your complimentary e-programme.
JOIN THE TEAM & BECOME AN OWNER TODAY!
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR
Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against Corinthian-Casuals. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials of our friends from South-West London and hope they enjoy our off the field hospitality.
Last week was a great weekend for the club – our Men’s first team went to 2nd place Bishop’s Stortford and ended the Blues year-long, 32 match unbeaten home record which was some achievement. It wasn’t just the 3-0 score line but the way we dominated the game from start to finish. I think Tony will agree that the game showed exactly what this squad is capable of (and we were missing Razz!). On Sunday our Women’s team were very impressive in their 5-0 demolition of London Bees in the FA Cup, setting up a tie against Ipswich Town in a few weeks, and the opportunity to progress further than we have done in our history.
On Tuesday our under18s headed to Worthing for an Isthmian Youth League game, the first game in charge for our new manager, Jon Miller. Jon has succeeded Dale Hurley, who you may have seen recently, has been appointed co-manager, along with Alex Walsh, at Haywards Heath Town. Jon has a strong background in junior football and will work with us on creating a strategy for the coming few years on developing our boys pathways.
You may have seen at Lewes old-boy Ollie Tanner has joined National League York City on loan until the end of the season. Ollie’s opportunities at Cardiff had been limited first by injury and then by a change in manager. However, he did get a decent run last Sunday in Cardiff’s televised FA Cup tie against Leeds United which some of us may have saw.
Today is the first of three games here in eight days, which could see us close the gap on the play-offs. The league is becoming so bunched up towards the top that a couple of wins could see us right in the mix. But, it would be fantastic to see as many of you at these games, our support is an envy of everyone in our league (and a massive thank you to those who made the trip to Bishop’s Stortford on a train strike day).
Finally, a massive thanks to James and Ed Briggs who battled the elements yesterday and today to protect the pitch from the overnight rain and made sure we have a game today – you efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Keep up the noise and Come On You Rooks!
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s game against Corinthian Casuals.
With the way we want to play, every game needs a completely different focus. I’ve spoken last time before the Bognor game about our need for energy for instance and that showed on the pitch. Last Saturday at Bishop’s Stortford was different. We needed to understand and respect them, but ultimately stop them playing how they want to play. They are a very good side. So we denied them the ball, dragging them into areas where they are uncomfortable defending.
It wasn’t the best day for playing football with the heavy rain and a sodden pitch. They started with two up front and two wide men which was a bit of a surprise meaning they would be pressing us high. But we’ve worked hard, especially over the Christmas break in playing against teams like that. But from minute one we played really well. We created chances very early and that unsettled. It was disappointing that we only came in at the break one-nil up to be honest.
I reinforced the message at half time that the game was ours for the taking and we could do what we wanted. We should have had one of the clearest penalties I’ve seen in years when Deon was tripped. Because we won, and won well, those decisions get glossed over but it was a shocker. But we didn’t let it hold us back and scored the second thanks to a great ball by Jamie and Ryan’s superb finish.
Well, what can you say about the third goal? Ayo is an unsung hero. From the moment he walked into the club he’s just been that guy who will do anything for the team, always with a smile on his face. He’s so popular with everyone. I’m glad our recent performances have shone a light on him but you can’t ask for more than a spotlight than smashing one in from 30 yards, can you?
At 3-0 we cooled it off and we played low risk football. They came back into it, throwing everything at us but we handled it. That last 10 minutes did show how well we got our game plan right though. Our debrief this week focused on how well we played – probably the best with this group if I’m honest. Stand out performances from Ayo, Hydie who just gets better and better, and Ryan Gondoh who stepped up with Razz missing due to injury. Deon put in a huge shift, giving us everything.
We trained Wednesday here on the pitch, bringing in the Under18s, which was excellent. Having them there allowed us to work with 11 v 11 patterns – probably the first session like that at such intensity in the past year. We tried a few formations and styles because we never know what we are going to face against Corinthian-Casuals. We’ve scouted them over the last few weeks (annoyingly their game on Tuesday was postponed) and their team changes regularly. They play an unusual shape which makes them a tricky opponent. They’ve won at Billericay, narrowly lost to Stortford – they are no push overs and it’s important we aren’t complacent today.
It’s also important that you, the fan, don’t just expect us to turn up and win. Your support is brilliant but sometimes we have to work hard – every team we face can beat us, everyone brings different challenges we need to overcome. We’ve worked on something new today which you should see and I hope will be the key today.
We’ve found a tempo now that over teams find hard to match that we need to continue. We know that Corinthian-Casuals will be very energetic, lively and have some good players, including one or two new faces. But our dressing room is an unbelievable place to be at the moment. The excitement and team spirit is second to none. They are challenging me and my team to be better coaches and it’s really enjoyable to be honest.
On the injury front, Johnville has started running but we may still give him until next Saturday before we bring him back in. Razz is unlikely to feature in the next three due to his ankle injury which is naturally a blow. But it’s a testament to the quality of the squad we have players who can step in and play at the same high level.
We want to feel like we are the underdogs, hungry to win every ball, make every pass and I want that desire to be in the stands too – I’d love to hear the noise that every yard is appreciated, every tackle is cheered and every goal is celebrated like it’s a last minute cup final winner. You can be that extra 10% in lifting us, especially here where we are still unbeaten in the league.
Get beinthe boys and keep it LOUD!
WEMBERLEEE BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT..
100 years ago this April, Wembley Stadium opened its doors for the first time, when Bolton Wanderers and West Ham faced each other in the FA Cup Final.
The stadium had an initial capacity of 127,000 but it was estimated 150,000 tried to enter the ground for that game.
As you can see from the picture above, the area around the stadium was still “rural”, with little in the way of houses or businesses, unlike the development today.
LEWES 3 BOGNOR REGIS TOWN 1 – MONDAY 2nd JAN 2023
Lewes started 2023 by returning to winning ways, with a dominant performance helping the Rooks to a convincing 3-1 derby win over Bognor at the Pan, reports Tom Harper, pictures James Boyes.
Tony Russell made one change to the side that lost 2-1 at Hastings United in their previous game, with Bradley Pritchard replacing Johnville Renee in the starting line-up, which saw Ayo Olukoga slot in at right-back.
Lewes made a bright start and were ahead after just six minutes, Joe Taylor converting a penalty awarded after Ryan Gondoh had been tripped by Joe Rabbetts in the area.
The Rooks were moving the ball well, passing quickly and always looking to stretch the visitor’s defence.
Bognor looked lively going forward themselves though, Sam De St Croix shooting just wide after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area.
Lewes scored the second goal their pressure had been threatening on 24 minutes, Gondoh calmly guiding a finish between two covering defenders after Taylor had seen an initial effort saved by Killian Cahill.
The visitors continued to pose a threat as they looked for a route back into the game, with Nathan Odokonyero seeing a goal-bound header blocked by Tom Champion after an incisive passing move down the right.
Odokonyero went close again with the final action of the first half, but could only drag his effort wide with just Lewis Carey to beat.
Lewes were on the front foot from the opening stages of the second half and nearly saw Taylor add to their lead early on, as he latched onto a Tyrique Hyde through-ball before drawing a smart save from Cahill.
The Rooks were soon enjoying arguably their best spell of the game and Razz Coleman De-Graft was unsurprisingly involved in all their best moments, going on a purposeful run and evading several challenges before seeing a powerful strike from the edge of the area deflected onto the crossbar.
De-Graft came even closer minutes later, making space for himself at the end of an exceptional passing move after being teed up by Gondoh and getting his shot away, only for the covering Josh McCormick to deflect it onto the post with Cahill beaten.
Bognor made the most of these let-offs by pulling a goal back in spectacular fashion on 67 minutes through Odokonyero, who cut in from the right before unleashing an unstoppable strike past Carey and into the top corner.
Lewes could have been forgiven for stepping back at this stage and trying to protect their lead, but to their credit, they continued to search for more goals and could easily have regained their two-goal lead when Taylor just missed the target from close range after a De-Graft cut-back.
The Rooks managed the majority of the remainder of the game comfortably, keeping the ball in the Bognor half and ensuring that Carey and their defence remained relatively untroubled.
They scored a third goal to secure the win deep into stoppage time, substitute Deon Moore running in behind and squaring for Taylor to finish into the almost-empty net, before celebrating with the jubilant fans behind the goal.
ROOKS PARTNER WITH DATA TALKS TO IMPROVE FAN COMMUNICATION
We are delighted to announce our partnership with Data Talks, an industry-leading company to transform how we use our data.
Data Talks are already partnered with some of the biggest sporting institutions around the world including PAOK FC, AIK Fotboll, the Austrian Football Federation, and IFK Göteborg.
Following our fans survey, we took on the feedback we received in the need to respond to our fans better and gain a better understanding of their behaviour and experiences.
Our partnership with Data Talks will enable us to improve on our commercial success as well as our need to understand data better in terms of how we handle that.
Following the partnership, Data Talks CEO & Founder, Stefan Lavén, had this to say: “At the heart of Lewes FC is a strong passion for innovation and equality.
“This is evident in everything they do, not least in how they allocate their resources between their men’s and women’s teams.
“So of course, Data Talks could not miss out on the opportunity to partner with a club whose ethos reflects ours.
“With this partnership, Data Talks and Lewes FC have a chance to prove the merit of using data to create unparalleled commercial success, for both men’s and women’s teams.”
What’s more, our CEO Maggie Murphy added: “Football is full of emotion. But when you’re trying to hit targets and make good decisions, you need to be thoughtful and rational.
“For that, you need good evidence, good data and good ways of connecting, understanding and handling data.
“Data Talks will help us to clean up and streamline the way we handle information internally, which in turn, will help us make good commercial decisions and engage better with our fans, owners, partners and suppliers.
“We’re delighted to welcome Data Talks to the Lewes FC team.”
With this partnership, it will also enhance the work that our Fans & Community Engagement Coordinator, Shrey Nilvarna is involved in.
He also had this to say: “The partnership with Data Talks will definitely help us in organising and structuring the data we have internally.
“It will also help in providing more personalised service to all our fans and owners. It will be key in understanding how our fans and owners interact with the club and how we can improve what we offer to them.
“For my role, I like to work with data to improve on match day experiences and marketing of the fixtures, hence this partnership is a leap forward to improving as a club.”
INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS FROM CORINTHIAN-CASUALS
Corinthian-Casuals Football Club was formed in 1939 following the merger of the two great amateur sides bearing those names.
The Corinthians were founded in 1882. N.L. “Pa” Jackson, who was then Assistant Honorary Secretary of the Football Association, aimed to develop a club side capable of bolstering England’s national team and challenging Scotland at international level. A meeting was held at Jackson’s offices in London’s Paternoster Row and thus was the club born. The name ‘Corinthian’ came from a suggestion by England international, H.A. Swepstone, which was accepted unanimously. In the recently published history of the club, “Play Up Corinth,” author Rob Cavallini explains “the most likely explanation for this choice … is the word’s long forgotten meaning – ‘man of fashion and pleasure,’ which captures the whole essence of the playing membership and their sporting ideology.”
The Casuals were formed in 1883 by a group of old boys from England’s prominent public schools and rapidly became a strong force in the amateur game, providing Corinthians with many of their first team players. In 1905 they became founding members of the Isthmian League, won the AFA Senior Cup in 1907 and the FA Amateur Cup in 1936.
The newly amalgamated Corinthian-Casuals Football Club had played only one game before World War II broke out and the league was suspended. Remarkably, the team made the decision to tour France in the spring of 1940 as part of a Red Cross party, however they were forced to return home in haste when the German offensive was launched on May 10th. Come the recommencement of football in 1945, the new club proudly took Casuals’ old place in the Isthmian League, where it would remain for another 39 years. It was decided that they would wear the famous chocolate and pink colours of the Casuals for their home matches, and Corinthian white away.
In 1954, the club beat Epsom 2-0 to win the Surrey Senior Cup. Two years later in 1956, they reached the FA Amateur Cup Final, drawing 1-1 with Bishop Auckland at a packed Wembley Stadium. However the legendary north-eastern club won the replay at Middlesbrough 4-1. A year later, another good run in the FA Amateur Cup saw Corinthian-Casuals reach the semi-final where they eventually succumbed to Wycombe Wanderers at Highbury. After this high point, the club slipped into a long decline, a rare moment of success seeing them reach the FA Cup 1st Round in 1965/66, where Watford won 5-1.
The 1973/74 season was a historic milestone; heralding the FA’s decision to abolish official ‘Amateur’ status. As if in empathy with the end of the amateur era, Corinthian-Casuals steadfastly refused to accept the new ‘semi-professionalism’ and were relegated, for the first time in their history, into Isthmian League Division 2. Further relegation followed after a third bottom finish in four years. Then, in 1984, new ground-sharing rules summarily introduced by the Isthmian League saw the club unceremoniously thrown out of the league after 65 years of continuous membership (and in spite of a 5th place finish!) simply because the club’s long nomadic history meant it shared a ground and thus did not have one of its own (imagine that today!!). Ironically, the year this occurred was the club’s best in quite a while. Casuals reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, holding Bristol City to a goalless draw at Champion Hill, before losing 4-0 in the replay. The club also made it to the 5th Round of the FA Vase, the replacement competition for the FA Amateur Cup.
In 1988, Corinthian-Casuals were invited to Brazil by Sao Paulo Athletic Club (SPAC) to help celebrate their centenary. SPAC had been the club of former Corinthian Charles Miller, the man credited with introducing football to Brazil. It was Corinthian’s visit to Sao Paulo for a game against SPAC during their Brazilian tour in 1910 that had led to the formation of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.
To celebrate the club’s first tour of Brazil since the First World War, Corinthian-Casuals also played a Corinthians Paulista XI in a match at the majestic Pacembeu Stadium, which was billed as “a father and son reunion” which the sons duly won 1-0. The goal was scored by none other than Brazilian legend Socrates (left), who played much of the second half for the visitors in the famous Chocolate and Pink.
It is a tribute to the historic significance of this event that Corinthians Paulista and Brazil legends Rivelino and Wladimir also played in the match. A YouTube video of the game, which was televised live in Brazil on Globo TV can be found at the bottom of this page.
1988 was a truly historic year as the club, in addition to touring Brazil, finally secured its first ever home ground, taking over the lease at King George’s Field from the crippled Tolworth FC. A colossal effort from the club’s members helped to transform the ground – installing turnstiles, terracing and seating, as well as completing the construction of the clubhouse. A runners-up berth in 1993 and winning the League Cup in 1995 were the highlights of the Spartan League era, before the club switched to the Combined Counties League in 1996. This was a greatly improved experience. In the first season, a runners-up spot was achieved to at last win back our place in the Isthmian League.
In 2000/01, a 5th place finish – the team’s best finish for many years – saw them miss promotion by a meagre three points, whilst the Reserves won the Suburban League South and London Intermediate Cup. In May, the club toured Brazil again, winning the Sao Paulo Athletic Invitation Cup. Victories were achieved over Paulistano and Sao Paulo AC, though SC Corinthians Paulista’s U21’s inflicted a 2-0 defeat.
The next season saw the reorganization of the Isthmian League, with a top 6 finish guaranteeing a place in the new Division 1 South. Despite being in the running for much of the season, a late slump saw the Corinthian-Casuals slip to finish in 10th place. However, thanks to some astute thinking, the ground had been improved anyway, gaining a “Grade B” award. Thus, due to circumstances elsewhere, the promotion places sank to as low as 11th and the club got to play its highest level of football since 1978.
Season 2006/07 saw regime change, Brian Adamson was appointed as new manager and hopes were lifted towards an improvement in fortunes. The season was certainly a tale of two halves, with the club eventually finishing second from bottom with more points than they had achieved since 2004/05, a somewhat pleasing 34. The team were very young, the majority without Isthmian level experience, and needed to gain that experience quickly. Up until December, it looked like the team would never get above 10 points. Luck did not seem to be on their side, frequently losing by a single goal. But they played exciting football, all with a speed and passion that had not been seen for several years at the Tolworth ground. With the arrival of the New Year, fortunes changed and the team produced a run of seven games without defeat. They continued with mixed fortunes, right up to the final game of the season. Here they needed to beat Leatherhead to get off the bottom of the table to be in with any hope of avoiding relegation. The 3-1 victory achieved just that, thanks also to the late merger of Hayes & Yeading.
While the 1st XI were finding Lady Luck a little fickle with her favours, the Reserves were steadily working their way up the Suburban Premier table. They showed strong nerves when beating Sutton United in the Champions Cup semi-final 2nd Leg, coming from behind to win 2-1 on aggregate. And then in the final, when they beat Waltham Forest 4-2 on penalties, following two hours of football and as many goals apiece. Their second trophy came from a rematch of the previous season’s London FA Intermediate Cup final. This time the Reserves held their nerve to beat Metrogas 5-4 on penalties.
In 2008 the club enjoyed the momentous honour of celebrating 125 years of football with a commemorative match at Wembley Stadium. After staying up on merit for four consecutive seasons it is clear that the hard work, vision and dedication of management team, Brian Adamson, Kim Harris and Keith Holloway, was beginning to pay dividends.
The 2010/11 season was the most memorable for many years as the club lifted the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time in 57 years when Leatherhead were defeated 2-0 in the final at Gander Green Lane. This triumph was a fitting tribute to Brian Adamson who stood down as manager at the end of the season to be replaced by Matt Howard.
In 2015 Corinthian-Casuals returned to Brazil to take on SC Corinthians Paulista’s First XI for the first time in an historic match organised to celebrate the the opening of the Brazilian club’s brand new stadium Arena Corinthians. Predictably, the Sao Paulo team came out on top, winning 3-0, but Casuals were welcomed as heroes by the locals in a truly memorable tour which was superbly documented in the BT Sports film ‘Brothers In Football’.
James Bracken’s arrival as Manager at the start of the 2015/16 season heralded the start of an exciting new era at Corinthian Casuals and the club only missed out on a spot in the play-offs due to a controversial points deduction. However, the following season saw the club reach the play-off Final, drawing 0-0 at Dorking Wanderers only to be cruelly denied promotion following a penalty shoot-out.
Despite the disappointment, James led Corinth to their second consecutive play-off Final in 2017/18. Sadly, once more the team were to fall at the last hurdle, losing the Final in yet another penalty shoot-out. However, due to Thurrock’s resignation from the League, Corinthian-Casuals earned promotion to Step 3 as the losing Finalist with the best points-per-game average over the season.
Casuals entered the Isthmian Premier Division 2018/19 season with excitement and anticipation and successfully retained their position in the League . In the summer of 2019, The club made its first foray into Europe for many years, participating in the inaugural Egri Erbstein Tournament in Hungary. The occasion was celebrated by the UK Ambassador to Hungary, Iain Lindsay, OBE, who hosted a reception at the Embassy in the club’s honour. After beating Budapest Atletikai Klub (BAK) in the semi-final, Casuals triumphed 1-0 over Testveriseg SE with a last minute winner in the final to lift the trophy in Budapest.
The 2021-22 season would be James’ last as he moved on to challenges new, replaced first by Tony Reid and more recently Justin Fevrier.
Goalkeeper Callum was previously with Colchester United and Aldershot Town, and he appeared for Maldon and Tiptree, and Bowers and Pitsea on loan from United. Amongst his other previous clubs are East Grinstead Town and- recently- Ashford Town.
One of the youngest players to ever put on a Casuals First XI shirt. At just 16, made his debut against Bishop’s Stortford this season. This young goalkeeper has spent time in Brentford’s youth system.
Defender Kraig McLeod spent time last season with Enfield Town and Brightlingsea Regent. He has also played for Maldon & Tiptree. He came through the youth ranks at Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers, and has also played for Basingstoke Town and Hendon. He is a Grenada international.
Defender Malakai has most recently been with Merstham, where he made a dozen appearances this season. His previous clubs include Carshalton Athletic, where he made a dozen appearances last season, and he also spent a short time with Erith & Belvedere and Woodford Town.
Joining us at the back end of 2022 is Joe Halsey – a former Luton Town Academy full back who played for all the sides below the first team. He then moved on to Chesham United.
Zac comes from a strong South African footballing family and we’re delighted to welcome him to King George’s this season. The defender has plenty of experience at this level and higher having played for Hampton & Richmond, Met Police and Walton Casuals.
Now in his fifth season with the Casuals, popular full-back Jack joined the Casuals from Eastbourne Town where he received Manger’s and Player’s player of the season plaudits before joining Corinth. Was a firm fan favourite at the Saffrons and is certainly the same here at King George’s. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more determined and hard-working player.
Corinthian-Casuals Manager and Players’ player of the season, Captain Ricardo joined us in 2021 from Whyteleafe where he also picked up similar honours. Highly praised by both former bosses, Harry Hudson and James Bracken for performances beyond his years, the midfielder has great leadership qualities that’ll hold him in good stead.
Centre-back Reuben joins the Casuals this season having played twenty one times for Merstham last term. Won Man of the Match honours with AFC Wimbledon in the league. Has also played for Basingstoke Town and Truro City.
Another centre-back who joins under Justin Fevrier. He was a youth and first team squad member at Aldershot Town, and later went on to play for Metropolitan Police.
Casuals fans will have noticed a new deep-lying midfield presence in the side recently. Tom Jackson joined us in November having previously played for Guernsey and Whyteleafe. Before that, he came through the youth ranks at AFC Wimbledon and Woking as well as playing a part with Kinetic – our Academy partners.
One half of footballing twins, Luke impressed during pre-season and looks to be a fine addition to the squad. Formerly with Oxford City and Kidlington, the 20 year old is a promising attacking midfielder.
A former Crystal Palace youngster, Hakeem is a powerhouse midfielder who signed from Horsham in 2018. Hakeem has had spells at Margate, Whitehawk, Carshalton Athletic, Lewes and Havant & Waterlooville amongst others. Once scored from the halfway line at Brightlingsea Regent. Despite his imposing size, ‘Hak’ is alarmingly quick.
Sam is an attacking midfielder who spent time towards the end of last season with Bognor Regis Town, making nine appearances- including one against Casuals. Sam also spent time with the Rocks during the 20-21 season- what there was of it- making a loan move to Nyewood Lane from Havant and Waterlooville. He was an Academy player with Southampton and Stevenage, and has also played in Australia, for Preston Lions.
Midfielder Merrick joins the Casuals this season having begun as a youth at Southend United and Fulham. He’s since gone on to turn out for Bishop’s Stortford, Carshalton Athletic, Canvey Island, Staines Town, Merstham, Hendon, Walton Casuals, Grays Athletic, Haywards Heath Town, Sutton Common Rovers and East Grinstead Town.
25 year old defender born and grew up playing football in Germany having featured for a number of semi-pro clubs. Since moving to London, Dave has played for South Park and Hendon before joining the Casuals.
Youngster who’s impressed this season under Manager Justin Fevrier. Previously at Carshalton Athletic from whom he joined via Haywards Heath Town.
Sergio Uyi is a former Nigeria U23s international centre-back who previously played in Italy, coming through the youth ranks at Torino. He went on to play in Lithuania, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Sudan, Romania and Oman – he’s like a footballing Simon Calder!
Reon Donkor is a quick and skilful winger who played youth football for Halifax Town, impressing enough to make the first team squad. He previously spent a little time with Stockport County and with Prestwich Heys, and played some youth football with Leatherhead. Before joining Casuals in January, he was an Under 21 with Aldershot Town.
Represented Fulham in their impressive academy up until joining the Casuals in summer 2022. The Scottish midfielder began his playing career with Queens Park in Glasgow, making Tyler one of a select group of players to have historically played for the two great sides, ever connected in history.
Now in his third season at the Casuals, ‘Bozie’ began his career at Crystal Palace where he made two senior appearances before eventually finding his feet in non-league. Wilfried Zaha once named Nat as the player he could not displace in the Palace youth set-up! Pinney has featured for several clubs such as Woking, Kingstonian and most notably as player of the season at Eastbourne Borough. Certainly become a fan favourite since joining Corinth.
A new centre-forward for Casuals who scored on his debut in the 2-1 win over Billericay in December 2022. Lewis was previously at Broadbridge Heath last season.
Manager – Justin Fevrier
Justin joined Casuals in October 2022 as Manager. He was second in command to Martin Dynan at both South Park and Haywards Heath Town, leaving the Sparks alongside his now former boss in January to assume a similar role at Hanbury Park. A UEFA B licenced coach, he was formerly the boss at Lewisham Borough, and Assistant Player/Coach at Banstead Athletic. As a player, he also turned out for Welling United, Croydon Athletic, Waltham Forest, Kingstonian, Dulwich Hamlet and Staines Town as well as representing his national side, Dominica twice.
THE RECENT FORM
THE HEAD TO HEAD MEETINGS
|27th Aug 2022||Isthmian Premier||Corinthian-Casuals||1||Lewes||1|
|26th Feb 2022||Isthmian Premier||Corinthian-Casuals||0||Lewes||0|
|23rd Nov 2021||Isthmian Premier||Lewes||1||Corinthian-Casuals||2|
|1st Feb 2019||Isthmian Premier||Corinthian-Casuals||1||Lewes||0|
|23rd Oct 2019||Isthmian Premier||Lewes||1||Corinthian-Causals||0|
|5th Mar 2019||Isthmian Premier||Corinthian-Casuals||0||Lewes||2|
THE LAST MEETING HERE – 23rd NOVEMBER 2021
ROOKS LAUNCH COMMUNITY TICKET SCHEME
We are delighted to announce that we have officially launched our community ticket scheme which gives you the chance to give back to our community.
This has been created to help local people who are worst hit by the cost-of-living crisis to attend Lewes FC home matches.
As you may already know, we have been helping local food banks for several years, by collecting donations at matches and helping at supermarket collections.
But we are now giving our fans the opportunity to give back to local people who are worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis and who simply don’t have the spare cash to be able to attend a football match.
Particularly at the Dripping Pan, a match is so much more than the football. It’s where everyone is welcome and where friendships are made and nurtured. Lewes FC is a community club, and everyone is invited.
So, you can now go on to our ticket site and buy Community Tickets. Each ticket will cost £10 and that will cover the price of a meal and a drink at the game.
The club is adding no admission charge and will make no profits from these tickets. When you are buying your own ticket, maybe add a Community Ticket or two at the checkout. Or, even if you can’t go yourself, or already have a season ticket, why not make a special visit to the ticket site and pass on the joy and togetherness of matchday at the Dripping Pan.
The club will print out the Community Tickets and pass them on to local food banks who will distribute to their clients to use at any home match of their choice.
MEET THE DIRECTORS – TIM BRADSHAW
Incoming Director, Tim Bradshaw, has spoke for the first time ahead of his election recently.
“I was over the moon to be fair!” said a delighted Tim on the back of the election.
“I was so surprised because it was such a strong group of candidates, a really impressive group of people.
“With only three places to fill I thought well I’ll give it a go and that’s good in itself but to actually be selected I was really quite amazed. But over the moon of course.”
Tim moved to Brighton in 2012 at a time where fan ownership was very new at Lewes and was gifted an ownership from his wife after attending games with his son-in-law.
He started volunteering for the club only this year and it was there, that the idea to stand for election came.
“They announced there was elections for directors and getting chatting to people around the ground, a few said I should go for it!
“I’m here regularly for the football but I am also here for the social change agenda as well. It is what drew me to the club in the first place, what was beginning to happen here.
“That ultimately is what made me become a fan of the football here so the two things have always intertwined a bit. I believe in the club and what it is trying to do, which is what has led me here.”
So what will Tim bring to the club as a Director?
“I think I’ll bring enthusiasm and energy. I real enthusiasm for the football and the social change. I love speaking with everyone associated with the club, because the vibe amongst everyone involved is so positive.
“I have an ability to connect with people, I think, I see myself very much as a people person. Whether its other directors, external stakeholders or anyone coming to the club, I think I can connect with them.
“I also have a real background in coaching, not so much on the football side, I’ll leave that to Tony and Scott! But the more general sense of coaching people to be their best.
“My day job is with the University of Sussex as a careers’ coach, coaching people to manage their careers effectively, that’s quite important for the playing staff which I think I can bring to the table.
“I know that some of the people who put me forward as a director, saw me as someone who could be the voice of the fan on the terrace.”
Lastly, Tim gives us an insight into what he finds special about Lewes and his hopes for the future.
“It’s definitely the people that makes us so unique, it’s all well and good having the ethos that we do but ultimately, it’s the people that make it happen.
“The future of the club is the need to succeed on multiple fronts and in a way that’s sustainable. I don’t just mean environmentally, which is something also that needs to be addressed, but we need to be sustainable in our football and all areas of the club that support each other.
“My journey within that I hope to be bringing people together, representing people’s views, reaching consensus, thinking strategically but also remembering the people involved.”
IAN TOWNSEND’S ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW
Leaders Hornchurch had what looked to be a tricky trip, as they headed to the Sussex seaside to take on Hastings United. The Pilot Field side were on their best run of the campaign, seven matches unbeaten-a run which had seen them keep three clean sheets and concede only four goals- but they had no answer to The Urchins, and silenced much of the eight hundred and fifteen watching on by scoring two first half goals and adding a third after the break. Tom Wraight was prolific in front of goal last season but got only his fourth of the campaign when finishing a cross from Sam Higgins on seventeen minutes. Liam Nash has been prolific this season, and doubled his sides advantage with his sixteenth goal six minutes before the break, and with eighteen minutes to go any chance of a United comeback was ended by Rickie Hayles. The Urchins open up a three point gap at the top.
Cray Wanderers extended their unbeaten run to nine, but couldn’t extend their winning run to five. They did, however, stave off the Manager of the Month curse, taking a point in a hard-fought match at Canvey Island. The Gulls went ahead on nineteen minutes, a wind assisted Connor Hubble corner forced home by Elliot Johnson (although it was also described as an own goal so who knows?), with Wands levelling eleven minutes after the break, Yahaya Bamba heading home a free kick.
Enfield Town had been in fine form, welcoming Kingstonian on the back of a run which had seen them lose only one match from their last nine. It’s now two defeats from ten as the K’s, who had previously taken only one point from the last twenty one available, got the only goal of the game. It came to Great Evans, and it arrived in the twenty fourth minute- and it gives the K’s a four point cushion over the bottom four.
Aveley hoped to get back to winning ways against a side who had gone six matches without a win, Bognor Regis Town. The last time they had met, at Parkside in August, Bognor delivered their best performance of the season, winning by six goals to one- but we had none of that excitement at Nyewood Lane, both sides having to be satisfied with one goal and one point. Nathan Odokonyero scored the opener for the Rocks four minutes before the break, his nineteenth of the campaign- whilst Kenny Aileru got the equaliser for the visitors nineteen minutes from time.
Potters Bar Town, who had fallen out of the top five after taking only one point from their last five matches, made it one point from six matches as hosts Billericay Town eased to victory. Eze Ebuzoeme opened the scoring just after the restart, and a goal from Marvin Ekpiteta midway through the second half wrapped up a victory which lifted the Blues to ninth- only two points behind fifth place Aveley.
Carshalton Athletic are our form side at present, and welcomed Horsham to Colston Avenue with only one defeat from their previous ten matches. That run continued, but both sides had to settle for a point. Femi Akinwande gave the Robins an early lead, but the Hornets equalised on the stroke of half time, Jack Mazzone’s fifteenth of the season earning them a point. Horsham have only one win from their last thirteen meetings with the Robins.
Folkestone Invicta took a three match winning streak to Wingate & Finchley and extended it to four. A goal in each half did the damage, Ade Yusuff getting his twenty fourth of the season- this one from the spot- and scoring for the sixth successive match, whilst Ira Jackson finished off the Blues just before the hour. Invicta climb to within four points of the top five, whilst Wingate lose against Invicta for the sixth time in succession.
Corinthian-Casuals, much improved and with three wins and two defeats from their previous five, welcomed Haringey Borough, who had won only one of their last seven. The last two meetings between the clubs had ended in draws- two-two back in August as Casuals relinquished a two goal lead at Coles Park- but Borough controlled this one with a goal in each half. Bobson Bawling opened the scoring for the visitors on the half hour, and despite Casuals best efforts Borough got a second with nine minutes left, Stefanos Georgiou with that one. By the way, as our image shows, it was a bit damp! Thanks to Stuart Tree for the photograph- more here.
Managerless Margate welcomed second bottom Brightlingsea Regent. Regent, boosted by their win over Bishop’s Stortford, nevertheless fell quickly behind at Hartsdown park, Matty Macarthur scoring after just two minutes- and it was two-nil on sixteen, caretaker boss Ben Greenhalgh doubling the hosts advantage. At this point Regent roused themselves and quickly got a goal back, Zack Littlejohn halving the arrears, and they equalised just after the half hour, Suleymen Zudhu making it two-two. Six minutes after the break the comeback was complete, Dominic Locke making it three-two to the visitors, and it looked like they’d claimed a valuable three points only for the hosts to level deep into added time, Emmanuel Oke getting them out of jail.
Bottom side Herne Bay welcome Bowers & Pitsea, who were two places and six points above them. Bowers remain two places better off, but the gap has narrowed to three points as Bay picked up their first league win in three months. Rory Smith gave the hosts a perfect start after just three minutes, and two minutes later it was two-nil, Yannis Drais with that one. Billy Crook got one back from the spot just after the half hour, so the next goal was all-important, and it went to the hosts, Marcel Barrington making it three-one just after the hour. That was that- Bay stay bottom, but now they have hope.
THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
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.
|Lewis Carey||Susie Arlett||Deon Moore|
|Jamie Mascoll||Michael Kennard||Ryan Gondor|
|Johnville Renee||Dave Lamb||Rhys Murrell-Williamson||Trevor Norwood|
|Alfie Young||||Deshane Dalling|||
|Tom Champion||Tom, Alice & Russ Mould||Razz Coleman De-Graft||The Ouse|
|Will Salmon||Michael McDowell||Joe Taylor||Stuart Fuller|
|Tyrique Hyde||Finley Jenkins|
|Ayo Olukoga||Ryan Busby||Fraser Middleton-Tozer|||
|Bradley Pritchard||The English Soap Company||Ryley Scott|||
BISHOP’S STORTFORD 0 LEWES 3 – 7th JANUARY 2023
Lewes’ fine run of form continued with an impressive 3-0 victory at second place Bishop’s Stortford.
Unbeaten in over a year, in a run that stretched to 32 games and seen them concede just six goals at home in this campaign, the Rooks gave arguably their best performance of the season to grab all three points and move to within four points of the play-offs. With Razz Coleman De-Graft injured, joining Johnville Renee on the sidelines, Rooks boss Tony Russell brought in Deon Moore to start, with new signings Archie Tamplin and Ryley Scott making the bench.
The Rooks started on the front foot with Joe Taylor hitting the ball over in the 2nd minute from a corner, and Jamie Mascoll forcing two saves from well-positioned free-kicks before taking the lead in the 11th minute when a mix-up between the Stortford defence and keeper Jack Giddens led to JT having the simplest of tasks to slot the ball home from six yards.
Two minutes later Lew Carey pulled off a spectacular finger tips save from Alfie Young’s back header, although the flag went up for an earlier infringement in the move, a feat he repeated from a Ryan Henshaw effort in the 25th minute. In between Tom Champion had to be alive to a strong run by Donell Thomas. But the Stortford threat in the first period was limited by some excellent midfield work by Hyde, Young and Pritchard.
Lewes always looked a threat as they broke and could have doubled their lead in the 36th minute when a great run by Deon Moore and cross-field pass saw Ryan Gondoh in but he took a touch too many and the danger passed. Just before the break Ryan Charles almost found the corner of the Lewes net with a swift turn and shot from a corner, whilst at the other end only the stickiness of the pitch denied JT a simple tap in after Gondoh repeated his flick from last week against Bognor Regis and carved open the defence.
Two minutes into the second half and Lewes had possibly the strongest claim for a penalty they have had all season when Deon Moore beat one man, cut inside but was completely upended. The referee must have been the only person in the ground who didn’t see the foul which led to the Bishop’s Stortford bench howling with laughter as they knew they had got away with that one. But the Lewes pressure didn’t let up and five minutes later Gondoh made it two-nil when he took Jamie Mascoll’s cross field pass in his stride and found the corner of the net.
The home side threw on a couple of subs and knew they needed something fast to get back into the game, but the Rooks kept causing threats on the break with JT forcing Giddens into a superb save and Deon Moore almost allowed to run through on goal. At the other end, Carey made a smart save from a powerful strike by Merrifield.
Lewes put the game to bed in the 71st minute with some style. A well worked move into the area was punted clear by the Stortford defence but an on-rushing Ayo Olukoga took one touch before smashing the ball home from 30-yards.
Stortford huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way through the solid Lewes defence and Gondoh came within a whisker of grabbing his second and the Rooks fourth in the 90th minute when his curling effort just went wide.
Make no mistake this was as impressive and emphatic as the scoreline suggested and moves the Rooks up the table, sitting nicely just four points outside the play-offs.
THE STODGEBUSTERS GO INTO BATTLE AT HASTINGS
After nearly three weeks without any proper football, and having to think up new excuses not to be hauled to Dunelm Mill, TK Maxx or suchlike, we were looking forward to this. That World Cup thing out in the Far East somewhere was no substitute for the real stuff in the Isthmian League.
Steve stuck his hand in the air when we were looking for a driver for this. The Pilot Field is not easy by train even if there were any running. It’s a bit of a hike from station to ground and a bit much for us old codgers. We were on our way at 1.15 with PJ riding shotgun but only armed with Opal Fruits. Gary joined the party on the Phoenix Causeway and Roly in Polegate.
We had no plans to take in any Stodge. There probably wouldn’t be anywhere open and to be honest, we were all still pretty full of turkey, stuffing, veg, Christmas pud and a myriad of other gastronomic delights from the day before. We just hoped the Lewes team hadn’t over indulged like we had. We had even recommended Steve give his tyres an extra puff of air before the off.
It was a very easy journey. Very smooth with no hold ups and we swapped stories of what Santa had brought us. We would be ok for socks and after shave for another year. Maybe he would also give us three points.
This game could be our last ever visit to the Pilot Field. It seems the cost of upkeep and keeping the ground grading intact is costing them too much. It looks like Hastings United will possibly be sharing Priory Lane, a ground we are not fans of, with Eastbourne Borough next season if a council vote doesn’t go their way. They want to build a new stadium elsewhere in Hastings but the council doesn’t seem very sympathetic to that. It’s not the best ground in the league but it’s a shame that another old stadium with one of the most charming old stands might not be hosting football for much longer. There’s a lot of history there. The Pilot Field hosted the Hastings Saxons speedway team for a couple of years in the late 1940’s until the local residents got fed up with the noise and put a stop to it. A lot of the track is still visible to this day.
We had all bought online tickets before thanks to Hastings announcing that the Lewes allocation was selling fast. What a rigmarole that was. We found their ticketing app the most un-user friendly system ever. Or maybe it was just us old ‘uns. We needn’t have bothered as there was a cash and card turnstile open and that queue moved faster that the online ticket queue! Now there’s a thing.
Half an hour to kick off so time to bandy some words with the regular faces, but we wouldn’t be partaking of the ground catering for a change. Very un-Stodgebuster like!
Lewes named a strong looking line up and, as usual, started very well. We were dominating and playing all round Hastings but then it was a case of the old, old story. A cross came into our box, a shot was saved by Carey but, as always seems the case, it landed perfectly for another United player to poke it home. One down against the run of play. Not an unusual scenario for us.
We were still playing quite well but the finishing wasn’t there until Razz did a little sidestep with the ball and forced it home just before half time. One all at the break but we should really have turned our superiority into more goals. We have a habit of paying for that and we would do so again.
Hastings came out second half, changed it a bit and pressed the ball harder. They broke up the play really well, stopped us playing and forced errors. A desperate challenge of the edge of our box stopping their player going clean through with the ball resulted in a yellow card and a free kick. We were actually relieved as some of us thought he had given a penalty and might even brandish the red card. Relief turned to dismay though as the free kick was blasted into the wall. It could have gone anywhere. But no. It took a wicked deflection and, of course, ended up in the corner of our net. Why don’t we get luck like that? The second half was a non event for the travelling fans. We never really looked like turning it around. Lots of nice passing in non dangerous areas but we had no penetration. Hastings continued to break up the play and make it scrappy and were guilty of at least three glaring misses whereas we don’t remember the home keeper having to make a serious save. A couple of blocked shots and one over the top was about as close as we came.
It was all very disappointing. We were the better footballing side, again, but had somehow lost, again, and probably deservedly so in the end.
It was a slightly downcast atmosphere in the car on the way home and the conversation was all about why we lost and what should be done about it. Well, we are all experts aren’t we? And we all have vast knowledge of managing and coaching at this level.
Another Sussex derby in a weeks time. Bognor at home. We owe them one after that horrible FA Trophy defeat on penalties. Two nil and we mucked it up.
The Stodgebusters will return at Bishops Stortford via (hopefully) the excellent Bridge Cafe.
THE FIFA RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – No.202 ARUBA
Hands up who could pin point Aurba on a map? No, me neither. Grab a magnifying glass and focus on the top left hand corner of South America and there, just 12 miles off the coast of Venezuala, is a set of islands, known as the ABC Islands that belong to the Kingdom of Netherlands. The A of those islands, and the biggest of the three, is Aruba (the others are Bonaire and Curaçao).
With a population of around 110,000, the island has a similar population size to Dover. The island is currently very proud of Dutch international Denzel Dumfries, the first islander to play in the World Cup Finals. Football is the most popular sport on Aurba – that honour being Baseball, closely followed by Kite Surfing and Spearfishing.
However, we are here to talk football and so let’s explore the history of the beautiful game on the island. Between 1924 and 1933, Aruba only played against Curaçao, although these matches are not considered official. Aruba participated in its first tournament at the 1955 CCCF Championship, where they finished in 5th place. In 1958, Aruba became part of the Netherlands Antilles until their secession in 1986.
Following its split from the Netherlands Antilles, the Aruba Football Federation was affiliated in 1988 with CONCACAF and FIFA. Aruba entered qualifying for the 1989 Caribbean Cup, and in its first group match it suffered the worst defeat in its history, at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago, which crushed them 11–0. They played their first World Cup qualifying match against the Dominican Republic as part of the 1998 World Cup qualifying, losing 6-3 on aggregate.
Aruba have currently played 91 International Games (the last being 1-0 win on the island of Curaçao), winning 12 games, but they have never beaten any team more than once, the greatest victory undoubtedly being against Puerto Rico. Out of the remaining games, 21 have been drawn and 63 have been defeats.
The current squad (as of the games in November) was made up fully of players playing on the island in the Aruban Division of Honour for teams such as Britannia, River Plate, Juventus and Estrella.
The team’s most recent FIFA rank is 202, which is their second lowest rank in history (they slipped to 203rd in October 2022), while their highest FIFA rank was 50 in 1924. The team’s home stadium is the Guillermo Prospero Trinidad Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium located in the capital city Oranjestad, Aruba (which is about the same size at Burgess Hill), a short goal-kick from Queen Beatrix Airport. The stadium was originally named after the former Dutch queen Wilhelmina but was changed to Guillermo Prospero Trinidad Stadium in 1994.
ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY – 14th JANUARY 2023
#1. On this day in 2017 the Rooks beat Herne Bay 3-1. Why was the game so unusual?
#2. On this day in 2014 we traveled to Canvey Island. The Rooks raced to a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes. What was the final score?
#3. On this day in 1911, Grimsby Town met Croydon Common in the FA Cup First Round. Grimsby won 3-0 but the game was ordered to be replayed. Why?
#4. On this day in 1961, Blackpool created a Football League first but what was it?
#5. On this day in 2018, referee Tony Chapron did what in the game between Nantes and Paris St Germain?
DIDN’T WE USED TO PLAY THEM? HARLOW TOWN
Yes. Yes, we did. And fairly recently too. In fact our last meeting came less than four years ago – 26th January 2019 when we lost 2-1 at The Harlow Arena in the Isthmian Premier League for a game best remembered for serious injuries picked up by Leon Redwood and Luke Blewden on what was a seriously poor 3G pitch.
Whilst we went on to finish that season in 11th place, Harlow finished bottom and were relegated to the Isthmian League South Central, then moving sideways to the Southern League Central last season. But the good news was they were finally able to relay their 3G pitch. So good was the promised new surface that Eastern Counties Premier League side Cannons Woods moved in, with their Chairman claiming on Social Media that they now were playing “on the best pitch in the league”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
The pitch turned out to be the tipping point for the club. The club laid a new “carpet” in the summer but it has caused them, and tenants Cannons Wood, no end of problems. A game was abandoned in early November due to standing water not draining away.
Harlow beat Hornchurch in the FA Trophy less than three months ago on penalties before a 4-0 defeat to Bishop’s Stortford in front a crowd of 805, the best the Harlow Arena has seen for many a year. But it was all to come to an end just a few weeks later. Fans were shocked when the club announced that they were shutting up shop:
Their final match was on the 6th December 2022 where they lost heavily (6-2) at Biggleswade Town. I’m sure they will rise from the ashes in the future, perhaps away from the Harlow Arena, but for now, we can only look back on a club that we used to meet on a regular basis.
Our recent record against Harlow was a mixed bag. We had a 100% record at The Dripping Pan (all wins), the last game being in October 2018 when Michael Dome-Bemwin and Ronnie Conlon gave us a 2-1 victory in front of 430 fans. Away from home our recent record is also 100% but all defeats, including that 3-2 defeat in the FA Trophy in 2011.
THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS
STODGEBUSTIN’ ON THE FLIGHT PATH
It’s one of our longest trips of the season to Bishops Stortford. It’s not really feasible on the train. It can be done but its a right rigmarole and pricey. The fact that there were no trains running anyway wouldn’t help much either. This would surely affect the travelling Rooks numbers too as several always use the train.
Treasurer Al kindly volunteered to drive so everyone met up at Rolys Park and Ride, aka his driveway, in Polegate for the days fun to begin. PJ had passed a late fitness test after having to miss the Bognor game. Steve wasn’t going, and then he was, which meant it would be pretty cosy with 3 in the back of the car all that way.
What would happen today? Anybodys guess. Anyone can beat anyone in this league. Gary fancied a draw. Roly and Steve were confident and plumped for a narrow victory. PJ studied the form and concluded that with Stortford riding high and unbeaten at home for over a year it would be a tall order to get anything from the game and predicted a defeat. He would have taken a point before kick off. However, maybe he should have taken into account that Stortford had surprisingly lost 2-0 very recently at Brightlingsea.
The Dartford Tunnel was a breeze for a change. The first destination would be the Bridge Cafe in town. This meant parking in the Jackson Square shopping mall car park and mingling with the Saturday shoppers. PJ tends to keep quiet about this. If he was to mention a shopping centre to his significant other she would be on his case to come along and spend his money. Her half-Nelson can be pretty persuasive too. Every season we make the same mistake and exit the mall on the opposite side of the building from the Cafe and end up walking all the way around the outside to find the place. We’ll get it right one day.
The Bridge Cafe doesn’t change much. It still looks very clean and tidy, always a plus point. We’re not fond of places where you feel you should wipe your feet on the way out. The menu looks exactly the same as it did a couple of seasons ago except for the prices of course. We missed out on our visit here last season as the traffic had been so bad at Dartford that we were running late, had to skip lunch and make do with the in-ground catering. Not a very satisfactory state of affairs as lunch is always a highlight of the day. In fact, in some of the more forgettable seasons past it has been the only highlight of the day!
The Mission Impossible at £13.95 looked quite interesting but even we baulked at the amount on the plate. The Mega Meal looked more manageable but still too much for us. We’re not fans of black pudding either. So four slightly differing English breakfasts were ordered up whilst Steve decided on fish and chips. Well, there was a hitch as they were out of fish so he had to make do with steak pie and chips. The Bridge wouldn’t be getting a full ten for that.
It was all pretty good. It certainly wasn’t the best we’ve ever had but it was perfectly acceptable and almost certainly a cut above the in-ground catering. We gave it an eight on the Stodge-o-meter.
With about an extra ten thousand calories on board we had a brief stroll through the shopping centre, without stopping once, back to the car and onwards to the ground.
Despite trying to blag that we were directors we had to cough up the two quid to park. We’ve tried saying we are players in the past but that was probably pushing our luck a bit. Their car park is huge. But it needs to be as the locals don’t seem to understand that the white lines on the tarmac are for parking between. Many cars had effectively taken up two spaces in a free for all.
It’s certainly one of the better grounds to visit. Cover on all four sides, good visibility and quite modern but without that Lego/Meccano feel that some of the modern out-of-town stadia can have. The pitch wasn’t so good though. It was very worn in the goalmouths and was a lot lumpier and bumpier than we like for our Brazilianesque passing game.
We took our spaces behind the goal for kick off. Well, three of us did as Alan and Gary were still queueing for a cup of tea and the half time Mars Bars which never, ever last to half time. They had already spent at least 10 minutes queueing. We were certainly down on numbers behind the goal. The train strike had taken its toll.
No Razz in the squad. That certainly wouldn’t help our cause as he has been prolific this season and his goals are usually spectacular. As usual we got off to a fast start and were on top immediately with Joe firing narrowly over. Regular Lewes supporters will know that this doesn’t mean a lot. We’ve lost count of how many impressive starts we’ve made only to go one down against the run of play. This was different though because very soon a dreadful back pass from a home player was pounced on by a very alert Joe who poked it past the keeper into the net. We have history with Mr Giddens in the Bishops Stortford goal. He went into meltdown last season when Lewes grabbed a late equaliser and someone in the Lewes faithful gave him some barracking along the lines of “one save keeper. You only had to make one save!” The Youth Wing were certainly in fine voice and were aiming plenty of banter in his direction. It was still one nil at half time. We felt that we should have been further ahead and hoped that we wouldn’t pay for it in the second half as has been the case in other games.
The second half followed the same pattern and we were very relieved when Ryan Gondoh got on the end of a pass and slotted home a second for Lewes. It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes, the keeper actually got something on the shot and should have done a bit better. That fact was reiterated to him quite substantially by the Lewes contingent behind the goal. He still didn’t bite though. There wasn’t much he could do about the Lewes third. Ayo ran onto a clearance and “did a Razz”. He hit it very hard from about 25 yards out and it flew like an arrow into the net just inside the post with Mr Giddens diving valiantly but well beaten. It was a thing of sheer beauty if you were a Lewes fan. Ayo set off up the pitch like a man possessed in exuberant celebration with teammates in hot pursuit. It looked like he enjoyed that. We certainly did. In fact we were inordinately happy with the situation. We felt relaxed with the 3-0 lead as the home team never really looked like getting back into the game. But no-one dared mention Potters Bar!
It finished 3-0. What a splendid day out it had been. We had played really well from one to eleven on a pitch that shouldn’t have been conducive to our style of play. One of their fans in a group heading for the exit early said we were the best team he had seen all season. Bishops Stortford’s unbeaten home record had been broken. They hadn’t looked like a promotion chasing team but maybe we caught them on an off day. Mr Giddens didn’t bite once which was a surprise although he gave his own defenders more than one tongue lashing for exposing him. The players came over for some high fiving and everyone had a smile on their face. The Youth Wing had sung for the entire ninety minutes and it’s a miracle they had any voices left. More awaydays like this please!
Three home games now. We could really make headway into a play off spot if we get those games right.
The Stodgebusters will return at Carshalton Athletic.
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, Trevor Wells
Chief Executive Officer Maggie Murphy
Club Secretary John Peel
Fan Engagement Manager Shrey Nilvarna
Youth Secretary Ryan Sullivan
Operations Manager James Barker
Communication Manager Jack Towers
Commercial Manager Steph McLaughlin
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 and Stan Lahood
Club Photographer James Boyes
NEXT UP AT THE DRIPPING PAN
TUESDAY 17th JANUARY 2023 7:45PM
THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS:
- We’d faced Herne Bay away just four day before, beating them 4-1
- The final score was 3-3 – goals from Nathan Crabb in the 9th and 12th minute, then Luke Blewden in the 28th minute put the Rooks 3-0 ahead but a second half hat trick from John Sands gave Canvey Island a share of the points
- Towards the end of the second half one of the linesmen handed his flag to a Grimsby official to take over from him as he had a train to catch! The FA upheld the protest, annulled the result of the match and ordered it to be replayed. But things didn’t go too well for Croydon Common. They made that long trip north again on January 26th for a Thursday afternnon kick off – and lost 8-1 this time!
- Cheung Chi Doy was picked to make his first team debut for Blackpool against Wolves at Bloomfield Road on Saturday January 14th 1961. But the day that saw the first Chinese-born player appear in the Football League was cut short – the match was abandoned after just nine minutes because of fog! He made his official debut the following week against Blackpool but made just one further first team appearance (scoring a goal) before leaving Blackpool.
- Ref Tony Chapron had been knocked to the ground after an accidental collision with Nantes defender Diego Carlos and he then then kicked the player and sent him off after giving him a second yellow card. He was later banned for six months, half of which was suspended