SATURDAY 21st 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 Brightlingsea Regent. Here is your complimentary e-programme.
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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR
Welcome to this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against Brightlingsea Regent. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Essex and hope they enjoy our hospitality (to note here that Regent’s hospitality is one of, if not, the best in the Isthmian Premier League), and a safe journey back North of the River.
If you ever wanted proof of how open this division is this season, then you only needed to look at last weekend’s results. Despite our fifth win in six games, we only moved one place up in the table. Prior to 3pm 10 days ago, Bishop’s Stortford were in second but went into their game against Cray Wanderers on Sunday outside the play-off spots. And of course, we need to me
We can only focus on our own results and performances, and whilst it wasn’t the best we’ve played this season against Corinthian-Casuals on Saturday, we won with some comfort, restricting them to a couple of long range efforts late in the game, whilst we continue to probe and create half-chances at the other end. Our high pressing game was the contributing factor in our first goal, and almost saw us score a second in the last minute of the half. Having seen the video of the game back a few times, I still cannot fathom how our penalty was given – the Casuals centre-back made a superb tackle.
We got the game on on Saturday thanks to the efforts of our ground staff and volunteers, but once again with the rain and freezing temperatures, we couldn’t beat the conditions on Tuesday night despite some help from the FA in lending us frost covers. It warmed up enough on Wednesday for us to remove the covers and we managed to get the Women’s Continental Cup game on versus Bristol City.
Thank you to everyone who plays their part in making sure we provide one of the best match day experiences not only in the Isthmian League but in Sussex and beyond. You only have to speak to some of the away fans when they visit us to understand how a visit to Lewes is their favourite away day of the season. Naturally, our form here at the Pan in the last year and a bit has made it a little less enjoyable than it probably has been before!
A huge amount of effort goes into making sure the match runs smoothly, from the planning weeks in advance, to ensuring that we can react quick if things do go wrong or divert off track. What isn’t acceptable though is some of the abuse that is directly aimed at club staff, volunteers and Directors. We’ve seen a rise in this over the past few months and it is not something that we should have to be calling out, let alone accepting. I’ve always made my position very clear – I’m approachable whether here at a game (or at an away game), by email/phone/forum message or whatever your chosen method of communication is. I will always listen and give an honest response. If, for some reason, I can’t answer then I will explain why. Not being given a right to reply, or even worse, having abuse aimed at you is not a way to build open and honest communication and the club will act accordingly.
I’m only talking about a very small minority here but even so it is disappointing. Everyone is entitled to an opinion – when we play badly naturally we are all disappointed and it is understandable that fans may want to voice their feelings. Likewise, some people may not agree with everything the club does but the response should not be to be abusive. We welcome dialogue on any matter – everyone has the right to contribute and by working together, no problem is insurmountable.
One aspect though I will call out is the support the team are getting at the moment. Once again last week the singing and celebrations of the goals was great to hear and please, keep that up. It makes a huge difference to the team.
Next week we have two of my favourite away trips of the season. We travel to Carshalton Athletic on Monday where our fans favourite pub, The Hope, awaits us. Carshalton had been our bogey team up until recently (we lost 7 consecutive games by one goal to them until two seasons ago) but we’ve won the last two against them. They are one of the 13th (!) teams within ten points of the top of the table so it will be a tough game. Then on Saturday we head to Bromley to take on Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane. Not only has Bromley FC’s stadium continued to grow into one that could host League football, but traditionally it has been one where we have taken a sizeable support and really got behind the team – just ask Tony about the 2-1 defeat of his Wanderers side back in 2017! I hope to see as many of you as possible at one, or both of those games.
Come on you Rooks!
Good afternoon everyone.
One of the reasons why the league is so tight at the top is that on their day, everyone can beat anyone. Those games keep us on our toes and we know we are going to be in for a tough game. So when we face a team towards the bottom there is a tendency to ease off a bit. That was my fear last week against Corinthian Casuals and the game became a lot harder than it should have been. That was my concern, coming off such a superb performance as we saw at Bishop’s Stortford – the boys were fired up and went out onto the pitch knowing they had to be at their best to win.
The game against Casuals was in some way the polar opposite. We did the game plan, everyone knew their roles and responsibilities but in the back of my mind that little voice was saying “don’t be flat, don’t be flat”. All of the pre-match media I spoke about not being complacent. We fired up the team before the game but within 10 minutes of kick-off I could just see the levels had dropped. We weren’t playing badly, and nobody was doing anything wrong but it wasn’t at the levels we expect or demand from the boys. We weren’t playing at speed, jumping as high as we should have been or putting in the tackles when needed. Don’t get me wrong, there were positives – we pressed really well and that’s where we got the opening goal from, and almost scored a second in similar fashion before the break.
When we went in at half-time, I was so angry because that was a performance from six or seven weeks ago and I reminded the team of that, those extra team meetings, extended training sessions and self-doubts as to what sort of team we were. We had come a long way since then and the squad understood what it was like to win football matches, and win them well. So why did they want to give all of that up?
The boys knew I was angry and we saw an improvement in the second period. It wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be but we were dominant, got into some great areas and created loads of chances. We did get a stroke of luck in the penalty decision which was really soft and whilst I can see why he may have given it, we wasn’t going to complain about it. JT scored a goal that was ruled out for offside, which looking back seemed the wrong decision. Casuals had two shots on target in the game, with Lew almost being a spectator. But we deserved to win.
We learnt a valuable lesson as a group last week, one that we will take into today’s game against Brightlingsea Regent who are a decent side as we saw when we went there in November, but are on the hunt for points to lift themselves out of the danger zone. Some will expect us just to turn up today and win but we know we are going to have to be at our best – our Bishop’s Stortford best to get all three points.
I’ve watched Brightlingsea’s games against Billericay Town and Hastings United a few times. Against Billericay they created so many chances and should have won the game easily. They beat Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 – it wasn’t a smash and grab and last week they created a lot of chances against Hastings United – Hastings don’t give away many chances so that is testament to how good Brightlingsea can be on their day.
If we turn up and play as we did last Saturday, mark my words, we will get beaten – that’s not a threat to motivate the squad, it is a fact. As soon as you go into the New Year you are on a countdown to the end of the season and what we do this month sets us up for a tough spell in Mid-February to Mid-March when we have to face Hornchurch, Folkestone Invicta, Aveley, Enfield Town and Canvey Island.
It is important we give Brightlingsea Regent the respect they deserve. But if we go into the game with the right mindset and give everything we can look forward to the rewards.
Whilst we were disappointed with the energy on the pitch last week, the same can’t be said for off the pitch. The fans once again kept up the support and thank you as well to everyone at the club who has been trying to get our games on and beat the weather.
Keep up the support today and Come On You Rooks!
LEWES 2 CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 0- SATURDAY 14th JANUARY 2023
Lewes won their fifth game in their last six outings against a dogged Corinthian Casuals side (pictures James Boyes).
After some torrential rain overnight, the pitch was superbly prepared by the staff and volunteers, providing a perfect surface for the Rooks looking for their fifth win in the last six league games. Boss Tony Russell made just one change from the side that won so impressively at Bishop’s Stortford last Saturday, with new loan signing Ryley Scott coming in for Bradley Pritchard, who dropped to the bench.
After some good probing play down both flanks the Rooks took the lead in the 9th minute due to a calamitous error from our visitors. Keeper Callum Coulter took a short goal-kick to Sergio Uyi who was disposed by Deon Moore just eight yards out and he squared to Joe Taylor who slotted home almost unchallenged.
Despite all of their domination in possession it took another twenty minutes to create another good chance, although this one was wind assisted when a Jamie Mascoll corner was cleared off the line by Simbarashe Kudyiwa.
One bizarre moment came just towards the end of the half when, as he cleared the ball under pressure on the edge of his penalty box, Lewis Carey was hit by a toy plane which appeared to have come from outside the ground. The referee stopped play and snapped the toy in half whilst a PA request for the owner to come and collect the pieces went unanswered.
The Rooks went into the break leading by one goal but not firing on all cylinders.
The energy and momentum from last Saturday returned in the second half as the Rooks looked to put the game to bed. The second goal came from a fortuitous penalty decision when Tyrique Hyde was adjudged to have been fouled in the area from what appeared to most watching (and playing) as a legitimate challenge. Never one to turn down a chance to score, Joe Taylor stepped up and scored his 22nd goal of the season.
Lewes continued to press forward and created some half chances, including a Ryan Gondoh shot from the edge of the box and an effort from Tyrique Hyde, both missing the target, the latter from a superb run by Deon Moore.
The visitors had their best chance in the 70th minute when Tom Jackson’s effort forced Lewis Carey into his first save of the game, but from the resulting break, Lewes forced a corner where Tom Champion’s header from a Mascoll corner was tipped onto the underside of the bar by Coulter. Back at the other end Jackson again caused some concern for the Rooks when his powerful strike hit the inside of the post but rebounded to safety.
Lewes took the sting out of the game and whilst they could have scored a couple more, it was another three points, a clean sheet and another step towards the play-offs.
MEET OUR NEW DIRECTORS – ANDY GOWLAND
One of our three incoming directors, Andy Gowland has spoken for the first time since winning the election back in October.
Andy is the Group Head of Partnership at Right to Dream, a global football network of academics and pro football which is leading the strategy and creation of purpose-driven partnerships and sponsorship s across the organisation.
Right to Dream has a residential football academy in Ghana and will soon be launching an academy in Egypt next year. In 2016 the organisation brought FC Nordsjaelland (99%), a Danish men’s Superligaen team.
Talking about what Right to Dream stands for Andy shared: “It champions at finding young talent in communities which have not necessarily had the opportunity to be seen.
“Right to Dream is more about empowering and inspiring the world through sport for good. I want to create opportunities to help our people across the club to access different experiences and grow as individuals”
Talking about some of the success that has come out of Right to Dream and FC Nordsjaelland: “The last few years we have seen Mohamed Kudus join Ajax for £16 million, Simon Adingra joined Brighton and Hove Albion who was then loaded out to their sister club in Belgium”
Speaking about when he found out he had won the election Andy said: “I was honoured when I found out as there was a strong roster of applicants as well, and I think everyone brought something different in terms of academic backgrounds on sustainability in terms of Willa [Bailey], to what Tim [Bradshaw] brings in terms of his people development skills and he has a natural connection to Lewes anyway.
“I was honoured to be able to be appreciated for what I can bring and also be recognised for the value I can bring it was a really good feeling, I’ve maybe slowly become emotionally invested into joining Lewes and helping, I genuinely would have been really disappointed if I didn’t, but still would have found ways of staying involved with the club”
Andy first discovered Lewes FC a few years ago when we came to a match at The Dripping Pan and learnt than that the club was different.
“I was in Spain and met Maggie at a football conference and mentioned that I had been toying with the idea of becoming an owner just because I’m a fan of sport for good. I don’t support a club; I support anyone who is involved in sport for good. I mean it’s good because I can go and watch a football match and never be disappointed at who wins.
“Spending time with Maggie as you know she is a great ambassador and spokeswomen for what Lewes is and stands for, and I think it really helped me to understand that it wasn’t a gimmick because there is so much of a lack of authenticity in parts of football.
“Speaking to Maggie helped me to realise that there was a lot more structure being put into place to be able to help Lewes springboard itself and beyond where the players are playing in their respective leagues.
“Hearing and understanding more about how the ownership structure works and the ambitions for the way the owner community will work, made me want to become an owner shortly after
“I looked into a bit more, looked into the strategy and asked Maggie what does Lewes need, rather than asking what can I bring to Lewes, then I started matching it up to what I already have built up in my experience and what I want to bring to football for a club that I can generally build a love and an affinity for which led me to towards creating my application and applying, and turns out I got good amount of votes and people wanted me on board and led me to where we are now
“My background has always centred around helping people in different ways and I’m a massive fan and supporter of trying to help people develop, on the pitch and behind the scenes, so I’m really looking forward to bringing my experience to the club and help its people grow, help the brand and as a by-product hopefully it contributes to both our men’s and women’s team and elevate their progress”
Lastly, Andy spoke to us about what he would like to bring to the role and his future ambitions for the club.
“In the next two years I want to make a real impact to the financial stability for the club, and I think the thing for us is that we need to bring in cash to the club to allow us to maintain what we are doing at the bar we have raised and help contribute to growth and innovation at the same time otherwise we will become stagnant as a club and as a brand
“Bridging onto year 3 or 5 I think it will be key to create and maintain value in the brand and to create the Lewes brand as a brand in its own right that will be globally recognised”
IN A BIT OF TROUBLE? WHAT IS GOING ON AT CRAWLEY TOWN?
The short answer is nobody really knows or understands. The club are now on their fourth manager of the season, with former Swindon Town boss Scott Lindsey appointed in mid-January after Matthew Etherington was sacked just after Christmas. They sit in 21st place in League Two at the time of writing, just three points off the National League trap door. But it is some of the off the field events that have led to the eyebrows being raised in general.
On 7 April 2022, it was announced that the club had been acquired by Wagmi United LLC, a group of US cryptocurrency investors. The new owners promised a new approach to football club ownership (a familiar line touted by other new club owners), talking of building a “tight-knit community” of fans “stretching from West Sussex to anywhere in the world with an internet connection”. After a disastrous start to the 2022–23 league season, new manager Kevin Betsy left the club on 9 October 2022 following a 3-0 defeat to Grimsby Town which left the club bottom of the league. Etherington lasted just 32 days.
Amid what The Guardian called “reckless leadership” and a “shambles”, caretaker manager Darren Byfield was joined in the dugout at the 3–1 defeat by Stevenage by co-chairman Preston Johnson, who proclaimed he was flying in from the US to “support the whole club” and was ridiculed online by Stevenage staff for his lack of understanding of substitution rules. After Crawley fans requested a meeting with the owners, Johnson delayed, saying the club needed to get to “the bottom of sensitive legal issues” before eventually meeting with the Supporters Trust in early January.
But the future is still far from clear. Lots of the noise about “new models”, “new approaches” and “new energy” have yet to materialise. Football is a simple game, with clubs ultimately judged on results on the pitch. Naturally, any innovation that allows clubs to gain advantages is to be applauded, but sometimes you may need to simply recognise that the “old ways are the best”.
You can read an excellent summary of the situation from Will Unwin at The Guardian here.
INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS FROM BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT
Brightlingsea Regent, previously Brightlingsea United, have completed around 100 years of competitive football. Firstly, in the Border league, between 1908/1909 to 1970 when they joined The Essex Senior league for 20 years having much success, before going on to join the then Jewson League in 1990 and then back to the Border league in 2001/2002. Brightlingsea United FC and Regent Park Rangers FC amalgamated at the start of 2005/2006 season to become Brightlingsea Regent Football Club. During this time, the squad and club have continued to grow and develop, having success in the Border league Division 1 and cup.
In 2009/2010 new Management team James Webster and Mark Gridley guided Regent to a 4th place finish and followed up the following season in 2010/2011 by winning the Kent Blaxill Essex and Suffolk Border Premier League in a superb season by playing 34, winning 31, drawing 2 and losing just 1 game.
In season 2011/2012, James Webster added Tom Rothery to the Management team in September and they finished their first season back at Step 6 with a creditable 5th place finish. They also reached the quarterfinals of the Essex Senior Cup before losing to League 2 side Dagenham & Redbridge. The 2012/2013 season was successful for many reasons. Firstly, an FA Vase cup run, which was the longest in the clubs history before bowing out in round 3 (last 64). The club gained promotion back to step 5 and the Premier Division with a third-place finish which included a 22-game unbeaten run during the season. In the final game of the
season the team won the First Division KO Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Gt Yarmouth.
The 2013/2014 season in the Eastern Counties Premier Division again proved to be successful for Brightlingsea, gaining promotion after finishing Runners-up to Hadleigh Utd, losing out on the final day by goal difference. The club also reached the last 16 of the FA Vase and in doing so again created more history.
The 2016/2017 season saw Brightlingsea Regent crowned as champions of the Isthmian North Division, notching up an impressive 103 points and finishing 12 points ahead of their closest rivals, ensuring an historic promotion to the Isthmian Premier League.
In October 2017 long-standing manager James Webster left the club to be replaced by former assistant manager and coach Tom Rothery, assisted by Pip Boyland, who maintained the R’s Isthmian Premier league standing and won the Essex FA’s Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup.
2018/2019 saw the Regent achieve their highest ever finish in the non-league pyramid, along with their best ever FA Cup and FA Trophy runs. They also retained the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup with a 1-0 victory at Maldon & Tiptree.
After Tom Rothery stepped down from the manager’s position in September 2019, Colchester United legend Kem Izzet took the hot seat and avoided relegation in his first season in charge, In a season that was cut short in February due to Covid-19.
2020/2021 A later than usual start to the season saw Regent make an early management change as Kem Izzet departed the club in October, replaced with the management duo of Tom Austin and Ryan Salter, arriving from FC Clacton. The season was then curtailed in December and no more football was played.
2021/2022 Tom Austin and Ryan Salter resigned from their positions at the Beginning of November with the club positioned within the relegation places. The R’s appointed Brett Munyard and his team of Mark Healy, Ricky Stubbs and Dave Limber who dramatically saved the club from relegation on the penultimate game of the season with a 3-0 victory over Haringey Borough to secure Step 3 football for the 6th season.
Brett Munyard – Manager; Brett joined Regent last November from White Ensign where he had been for the previous 6 seasons. Brett came to the R’s during a very turbulent time and saved the club from relegation last season. Brett is a very bright young manager who is very passionate, ambitious and dedicated to football. Based in Billericay, the young manager has an extensive knowledge of football at all levels and is a perfect fit for the club’s ethos. We look forward to our first full season under Munyard’s leadership.
Mark Healy – Assistant Manager; Mark arrived at the club with Brett, where he had been Assistant with him for the past 6 seasons at White Ensign. Mark is a more experienced head having previously been at Billericay Town and Stansted, also working previously with current goalkeeper Charlie Turner. Mark prides himself on working in the goalkeeping area of coaching and will be a huge asset to the club as he has shown that he is real clubman at heart.
Ricky Stubbs – Coach; Ricky also arrived with Brett last season, where he also had been with White Ensign for the last 6 seasons. Ricky is more of a quiet, level-headed coach that will build a great bond with his players and help them with all areas of the game. Ricky will be someone that will work on the fitness side of the players and ensuring they are at the level required.
Dave Limber – Coach; Dave come in to join Brett’s coaching team in November last year. Dave has been with Brett as a player in the same teams, as well as coaching for around 10 years and are very good friends. Dave was a decent striker in his playing days before converting to a Defender in his final playing chapter where he was White Ensign’s captain. Limber left Ensign to join Epping as Assistant Manager last season, only to be reunited with Brett at Regent.
Alan Wright – Kit Man; Alan has been with the club for several years in different positions, he has managed and led a team through from youth to men on two occasions at the club. Also, the vice-chairman, Alan is always keen to help and get stuck in on and off the field, he is a fantastic club man who bleeds Brightlingsea Regent. He will be a massive help to all the squad over the next 10 months.
Charlie Turner – Goalkeeper; Charlie signed for Regent after an impressive season for Stansted where he won the Essex Senior League golden gloves trophy alongside two cup competitions, finishing runners-up in the league in 2018. Now into his fourth season at Regent where he has already picked up the plaudits from the Regent supporters. A Strong figure in between the sticks and a fantastic shop stopper to boot. The young keeper will continue to improve and attract admirers from clubs higher up the pyramid.
Andrew George – Defender; Andy joined the R’s in November from White Ensign where he had played over 150 times for the Essex club, also wearing the captains armband on multiple occasions. Andy can play as a full back and centre back with his great versatility, he is a solid, no-nonsense defender who has bundles of energy with a never give up attitude. Andy can become a club legend at Regent!
Jermaine Anderson – Defender; Jermaine joins Regent this summer from Great Wakering Rovers where he finished the season last year with 13 appearances, the start of 2021-22, he was at Basildon United making 16 appearances. The young right back possesses plenty of pace and great positioning play. He is an exciting signing for the R’s and we look forward to watching him progress over the course of the season.
Zack Littlejohn – Defender; Zack joined the R’s last November from White Ensign and quickly became an ever present in Red & Black. He’s performances since arriving have been standout, earning him the Young Player of the season award at Regent. Zack is an assured solid centre back who is comfortable with the ball at his feet as well as in the air. He also has an eye for a goal too having scored 3 times last campaign. The R’s had to fend off lots of interest for Zack over the summer and we are excited to see him in his first full season with Regent.
Jake Thompson – Defender; JT returns to club where he initially joined in 2019 from Witham Town, but whilst studying at university, he only made a handful of appearances. JT started the campaign with Regent last season but departed in November to join rivals East Thurrock United. However, JT had a U-Turn and came back to Regent for the season finally. The 6’4 Centre back has been a great addition for us, not only does he bring a physical presence to our back 4, but he can also use the ball in key areas. Still only 23, he is someone who will keep improving.
Samuel Jeremiah – Midfielder; Sammy is another summer recruit for Regent having signed from Basildon United. Samuel began the last campaign with Walthamstow, who helped him make the step up into Senior football. The young Wideman was previously part of the Bowers & Pitsea Under 23’s Development side where he scored 26 goals for the club, making him the league top scorer. The quick exciting Wideman, has great skill and pace, he will get supporters off their seats. We look forward to seeing Sammy in an R’s shirt
Luke Skinner – Midfield; Luke was another White Ensign signing made in November last year. Luke is a ball winning Centre Midfielder who has a great attitude with tremendous work rate. Luke came in and hit the ground running for the R’s as an ideal partner for Charlie Durling. We look forward to seeing Luke for his first full season with the club.
Kane Gilbert – Midfielder; Kane joined the R’s from Canvey Island at the beginning of the 2019-20 season where he previously made 44 appearances, featuring in every game for The Islanders scoring 7 goals. Before this Gilbert played for Halstead Town where he made 97 appearances, netting on 25 occasions. Kane is a technically gifted player who works hard, with an eye for goal too. The former Peterborough United youngster has become a fan favourite with his constant energy and high intensity. He is certainly not to be underestimated this season.
Charlie Durling – Midfielder; ‘Durls’ re-joined Regent from FC Clacton last season having been away from the club for 4 seasons. Charlie’s last match for Brightlingsea Regent was back in 2016 under manager James Webster, when he departed in the summer to go to University in Brighton. Charlie is a strong, tireless midfielder, who will break up play with his never say die attitude and being a Brightlingsea lad, he will put in everything on the pitch with his love for the town. Charlie is key to this Brightlingsea team and his accolades prove this being a multiple award winner last season. Durls is a big fan favourite among the Ultras!
Dominic Locke – Winger; Dom also came in last season with manager Brett Munyard from White Ensign, where he had made 18 appearances, netting 6 times. Dom netting on his debut in an R’s shirt and is described as the best player in the Essex Senior League by his manager! Locke possesses a great delivery and loves running at defenders. Dom will be a fans favourite in no time at Regent and we are all excited with seeing him progress with us!
Connor Barnby – Striker; Connor joined from White Ensign last season where he has scored 10 goals in 17 appearances! Connor was previously with Runwell Town and Great Wakering Rovers before moving, signing in 2017. Connor will really put in a shift up front with great work rate, serious pace and a natural finisher too. He has had many offers to go to higher levels but has stayed loyal to his manager, this will be a big season for Connor as he settles to life at Regent!
Luke Woodward – Striker; Woody joins Regent this summer from White Ensign to link up with his old gaffer Brett Munyard once more, where he made 39 appearances scoring 18 goals last season. Prior to this, Luke was at Frenford, where he notched 15 times in 19/20. Luke is a strong hard working forward who creates chances and brings others into the game. We look forward to seeing Luke make the jump in levels and become a big hit in a Regent shirt.
Jesse Olukolu – Forward; Jesse joins the Regent from Romford FC where he made 39 appearances, scoring 4 goals. Jesse has also had spells at Tilbury and Basildon United.
Toch Singh – Midfield; Midfielder Toch has spent much of the last three seasons in the Pitching In Isthmian South Central, turning out for Hanwell Town. He joins the Regent from Basildon United. He has also played for Welling Town, Sporting Bengal United and Romford.
Andre Odeku – Forward; Andre joins the R’s from Haringey Borough. A promising young striker, Andre was the top scorer in the u23’s development league last season.
Jason Banton – Midfield; Jason joins the R’s from Herne Bay. He came through the youth ranks with Arsenal and was a young professional at Liverpool, Leicester and Crystal Palace before making more than 50 appearances over two spells at Plymouth. A former England u17, Jason brings plenty of experience with him and his silky skills are guaranteed to impress.
Ryan Kirwin – Defender; Defender Ryan joins us from Enfield Town having spent two seasons with the Towners, quickly establishing himself both in the side, and as a fans’ favourite, with his energetic performances from the left. Deployed primarily as a left-back or left wing-back, he’s also capable of playing in midfield or as a centre-half, and previously turned out for North Greenford United.
Suleyman Zuhdu – Striker; Suleyman joins the R’s from Buckhurst Hill FC in the Essex Senior League, where he scored 41 goals in 41 appearances. A hard working, physical front man with an excellent touch, Suley is set to be very popular amongst the Regent fans after scoring on his debut at Herne Bay.
Nathan Sollosi – Midfield; Nathan joins the Regent from Buckhurst Hill FC where, like Suleyman, he was a prolific goalscorer with 40 to his name last season. Nathan has also played for Redbridge.
Bradley Russell – Midfield; Bradley joins the R’s from Hullbridge Sports. A battling midfielder who likes to get forward, Brad has also played for Stansted FC.
THE RECENT FORM
THE HEAD TO HEAD MEETINGS
|5th Nov 2022||Isthmian Premier||Brightlingsea Regent||2||Lewes||2|
|22nd Jan 2022||Isthmian Premier||Lewes||2||Brightlingsea Regent||2|
|18th Sept 2021||Isthmian Premier||Brightlingsea Regent||0||Lewes||4|
|26th Sept 2020||Isthmian Premier||Lewes||1||Brightlingsea Regent||2|
|22nd Feb 2020||Isthmian Premier||Lewes||0||Brightlingsea Regent||1|
|28th Aug 2019||Isthmian Premier||Brightlingsea Regent||2||Lewes||3|
THE LAST MEETING HERE – 22nd JANUARY 2022
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.
VISITING THE OLD LADY – THE FOOTBALL TOURIST IN JUVENTUS
The final game in the Italian footballing weekend was a hour train ride, according to the schedule from Milan Centrale to Turin Porto Nuova and a visit to watch what has been named the Derby D’Italia by the media. No idea why – the two cities are 90 miles apart, and whilst Juve have won more times by some distance than any other club (36), Internazionale share second place in titles won (19) with city rivals AC Milan. Still, it gave the game some narrative and of course, gave some justification for the eye-watering ticket prices.
The combined total ticket costs for the three other games in the weekend for all of us had been €153 (as I went solo to Brescia). When tickets went on general sale four weeks ago, the cheapest tickets available were €152. Naturally, with booking fees, “convenience fees” and local city tax took the final total to €169 each. Thankfully (in a financial sense), the Current Mrs Fuller had headed back to the UK for work, reducing the outlay slightly.
The fast train network in Italy is fantastic. Not only are the trains fast and direct, but you can travel in luxury and style (a previous trip saw us have a carriage with our own meeting room in) for little more than a standard price ticket. The train to Turin was an hour and we had a narrow turnaround (and check-in) at the hotel before we had to head out into the suburbs for the game. After 40 minutes we stopped at a station and virtually everyone got off. We waited at the station for 10 minutes then departed at a crawl for 5 minutes to Porta Nuovo. Of course, I should have looked at Google Maps and seen that the previous stop, Torino Porta Susa was 5 minutes from our hotel.
I’d been to Turin once before, back in October 2000, watching Juve vs Deportivo La Coruna in the Champions League at the old Stadio Della Alpi – a white elephant of a stadium built for the 1990 World Cup Finals. It was horrible to watch a game at although my judgement was perhaps clouded by the fact I’d been ripped off by a tout earlier in the day when I was trying to find the ticket office. Seeing it closed (unbeknown to me it had closed for lunch), a friendly chap convinced me that the game was sold out, explaining Champions League tickets were Members only, but luckily he had a spare, from his brother no less, which he would sell me for €125. Of course, come kick off when there’s about 15,000 in the stadium and my “best seat in the house” was below pitch level and where the ultras in the 2nd tier threw their discarded, but still burning, flares. The game was a terrible 0-0.
I did however, see something that very few people in the world have seen “up close and personally”. The year 2000 coincided with the twenty year cycle of the Shroud of Turin being put on public show. Tickets were sold out months in advance and there was a waiting list of thousands to see it with only a small handful of people given access every day. I was wandering through Piazza San Giovanni when I saw a sign that said ‘Shroud” and an arrow. A group of youngish adults were in front of me and so I followed them, not knowing anything at the time about the ticket situation, or even what I was walking into.
It was a wet day and everyone was wearing jackets. We were welcomed by an ordained chap, in Italian, then ushered into a large chapel where everyone bowed their heads. Some of the group removed their jackets to reveal eclesiastic clobber on. Before I could make my apologies and quietly leave, stage left, a curtain was slowly raised and there before us, was the Shroud. I have no idea how I had managed to blag my way into one of the hottest tickets of the century and hadn’t even realised it. It was pushing my luck too much to take a picture (this was when mobile phones only allowed us to make calls, and play games such as snake) so I kept my head bowed, waited a respectable 5 minutes and left. A tall tale, but one that is 100% true.
So back to the year 2022 and Juventus were now playing at the Allianz Stadium, a functionally modern affair, built on the site of the Stadio Delle Alpi, which sits some way from the city centre. We got a tram, with was supposed to be a football special and dropping us right outside the ground, it we were having no public transport luck and it seemed got the only tram heading roughly in the right direction that terminated 20 minutes walk from the ground.
Finding the stadium was easy. Finding the way in was less simple. I mean, it is a 41,500 capacity arena, which lit up the Turin sky. But part of the redevelopment had seen a shopping centre, museum, gym and various restaurants built on the side of the stadium where our gate was supposed to be. I’m not stupid..OK, the combined intelligence of the three of us makes us “collectively” not stupid but we could not see any signs, or ways into the stadium. The game had just started but it seemed that the stadium had been locked down. We eventually found a steward, explaining the issue that we couldn’t find an entry gate let alone Gate D which was the one we needed.
“I have worked here 4 years and have never heard of this problem” said a steward. We literally walked away in the direction we had just come from where Gate D apparently was before we heard another group say exactly the same thing.
Gate D finally located we entered the stadium. Our seats were slap-bang next to the Inter fans, although this being Juventus, it was a very sanitised version of Italian football. The wide concourse concourse had an ice cream cart, a popcorn stand and a few Instagram booths. It felt like being backstage at the Ideal Home Exhibition.
We weren’t the only “tourists” in the crowd. Our section, handily acting as the human shield between the more hardcore Juve and away fans, was filled with club shop toting, scarf wearing, videoing fans. No wonder the tickets were so expensive – it was a tourist trap. There were fans around us wearing Juve shirts, Inter shirts, Brazil shirts, Chelsea shirts and even a Lewes shirt (OK, so that was me – I’d naturally gone with our white and black away number).
The atmosphere was OK – there was no tifosi, setting the rhythm and woe betide anyone who “lit” a e-cigarette, let alone a flare. The Inter fans, encased in glass wedge, made their feelings known, occasionally launching a plastic cup of beer (we hoped) over the top. The game was fairly even – both sides had experienced disappointing starts to the season and were desperate for points to put pressure on the top five.
Both sides had players familiar to our Premier League – Juve’s keeper these days is former Arsenal stopper and Scrabble player favourite Szczesney whilst Inter have former Manchester United player Henrikh Mkhtaryan and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko. The visitors also had two players carrying names of cities of culture – full-back Milan Skriniar, who may struggle to get a move to any other city in Italy and Dutch midfielder Denzil Dumfries, who has never actually been to the home of Queen of the South.
It was a tense first half with few chances. The biggest talking point of the half came when Lauren came back carrying three beers in one hand which brought a round of applause from the Inter fans for her dexterity. In other words, it wasn’t a classic.
A half-time light sound, with the in-stadium DJ providing the ear-splitting tunes went down well with the social media obsessed fans who posed in every direction possible. The world may have progressed but the slow deterioration of the half-time entertainment is lamented in modern football.
We finally had a goal in the 52nd minute. Inter’s corner was cleared and Juve had a spare man as they broke with speed. Kostic neatly turned his man, sprinted clear then crossed it for Rabiot to slot home.
Ten minutes later and Juve thought they had a spectacular second. Kostic’s corner was superbly volleyed Danillo, but the VAR somehow saw a handball, after six minutes of checking, that nobody else did after he struck the ball.
Juventus wrapped up the game and all three points with five minutes to go, again capitalising on the counter attack before Nicolo Fagioli smashed the ball home from the edge of the box. Cue the shower of beer/other strange orangey liquid coming from the Inter fans.
Thankfully, the exit from the stadium at full time and onto waiting buses was far more straight forward than before the game. However, any hope of finding anything open in terms of bars or restaurants at 11pm on a Sunday night was quickly dashed on the walk back from the metro station to the hotel. Turin is no Milan or Rome for its school night after hours partying.
And so another successful European Football Weekend drew to a close. Logistics had worked well and whilst it was ambitious to take in four games in thirty hours, it was doable, albeit with the unexpected route marches to and from Monza. Football in Italy delivers on so many levels – the passion of the fans, the technical ability of the players and the complete lack of queues at the bars are all major pluses. So here are my five quick tips to make the most of a weekend of culture, calcio and coffee.
- Double check with the official websites to ensure kick off times have not moved, especially for games outside of Serie A. Whilst the fixtures are now being set weeks in advance, there are occasional short-term rearrangements.
- Keep a close eye on when tickets go on sale via the official websites and ticket agencies. Most clubs use the likes of Vivatickets or Ticketone so it is worth registering with them so you get a heads up when they go on sale. Don’t worry if there’s still none on sale at first – some clubs will only put tickets on sale a week before the game.
- The most expensive tickets in most grounds are the “Preferencia” – many of the older grounds have limited cover – a trait that goes back to Roman times when the gladiatorial arenas only provided shelter to the wealthy, or preferencial ticket holders. So if you want cover, you have to pay for it! Tickets in the Curva are behind the goals and can often be in with the ultras.
- Do your research into how to get to the grounds – if you are travelling by public transport it is often worth buying your return tickets earlier in the day to avoid queues around kick off time.
- Get to the grounds 30 mins to an hour before hand. That will give you time to find the entrance you need (Juventus), go through the ID checks (Monza) or reach your seats which can often be high up in the Gods (Milan).
ISTHMIAN LEAGUE ROUND UP FROM IAN TOWNSEND
Leaders Hornchurch had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Pitching In Isthmian Premier to six points with victory over Canvey Island, as their two nearest challengers, Cray Wanderers and Bishop’s Stortford, meet on Sunday at Hayes Lane. The Gulls, who won the first meeting between the sides back in August by two goals to one, seemed to have other ideas, however, and went ahead on twenty six minutes, Evans Kouassi with the opener. Just before the break they made it two, Bradley Sach scoring against the Urchins for the second time this season.
The hosts hit back just after the hour, Sam Higgins scoring from the spot after Canvey were penalised for handball, but if their fans got excited at the thought of a comeback it soon appeared to be a false dawn, as within five minutes Conor Hubble had restored the Gulls two goal advantage, converting a fabulous free kick. That was that, and Canvey are up to fourth- and have done the double over our leaders.
Elsewhere in Essex, third bottom Bowers and Pitsea played host to fourth place Enfield Town. The Towners had lost only two of their last ten- both one-nil defeats- and were quickly ahead at the Len Salmon, Andre Coker opening the scoring in the first minute. Sam Youngs doubled their lead from the spot eleven minutes before the break after he was on the wrong end of a foul, and Youngs made sure of the points when adding a third on the hour. Five minutes later James Richmond made even more sure with a fourth. An own goal got Bowers on the scoresheet with fourteen minutes remaining, but it made no difference to the outcome- and the Towners jump to third.
Aveley welcomed Wingate & Finchley to Parkside. Neither side were in the best of form, each having won only three of their previous ten matches, but the visitors were undoubtedly buoyed by the thumping they gave to Dulwich Hamlet in the London Senior Cup in midweek. The Millers took the lead six minutes before the break, Harry Gibbs with the goal, and as it turned out that was enough for three points. The Millers are fifth, the third of three clubs on forty two points- and have completed a double over their visitors.
Carshalton Athletic were hammered in the Velocity Cup in midweek, but given they sent out a team crammed full of youth players that perhaps wasn’t a surprise. They travelled to Haringey Borough looking to extend their seven match unbeaten league run, but fell behind fifteen minutes from time, Alphonso Kennedy with the opening goal. That turned out to be the only goal of the game- the Robins seven match unbeaten run in the league ended, and Borough doing the double.
Two of our form sides met on the Kent coast, as Folkestone Invicta opened the doors to Billericay Town. The last time the Blues travelled to Invicta was during their promotion season, and they lost that one in a campaign when they swept almost all before them- but they went ahead in this one on the stroke of half time, Bradley Stevenson with the opener. The equaliser arrived with twenty minutes left, Ibrahim Olutade with it, and that turned out to be that. Six hundred and eighty two watched on- and congratulations to Ronnie Dolan on his three hundredth appearance in stripes.
Hastings United were on the road- indeed, a number of roads, all rather long- to the Essex coast as they travelled to Brightlingsea Regent. Their hosts were two unbeaten- victory over Bishop’s Stortford followed by so nearly another at Margate last weekend- and they went ahead from the spot on twenty seven minutes, Suleyman Zuhdu opening the scoring. When United fell behind in the first fixture between the sides this season, they hit back by scoring four- but the next goal took only a minute to arrive and went to the hosts, Dominic Locke making it two. The visitors returned to the field after the break fired up, and got one back on forty nine minutes through Kane Penn. Before the hour mark Penn wrote his name on the scoresheet for a second time and drew his side level, and the turnaround was complete six minutes from time, Jack Dixon making it three-two to the visitors. That was that, and Regent must be sick of the sight of United.
Horsham’s Camping World Community Stadium saw the arrival of the travelling hordes of Margate. The Hornets, who hammered the Blues in last season’s Velocity Trophy Final- were five matches unbeaten, whilst their visitors were six without a win, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Jack Strange opened the scoring for the hosts on sixteen minutes. The lead was doubled seventeen minutes from time, Tom Richards making the Hornets more comfortable and delighting the majority of the eight hundred and nine watching on after finishing a cross from substitute Lucas Rodrigues. There was still time for a third, Rodrigues with that one right at the end- and a fourth in added time, Jack Mazzone making it a truly miserable trip home for the visiting faithful and helping Rodrigues to a second assist of the afternoon.
On Tuesday night all of the scheduled Isthmian Premier League games were postponed.
INVESTING IN YOUTH
Back in August whilst I was on my regular travels around England to watch games, I visited Harborough Town, whose Chairman Lawrence Jones I know well as being head of the FA’s National Game Board (essentially the numero uno in Step 3-7 football). His side had just been promoted to Step 4 for the first time and were facing Yaxley.
In 45 minutes of extraordinary football, Harborough scored eight goals without reply, including a four minute hat trick for striker Nat Ansu. Whilst Yaxley went in at half-time 8-0 down, they hadn’t actually been that bad. Harborough Town hadn’t yet won a game and seemed to score every time they went forward. The second half was a major improvement and a goal aside in the second period at least gave some comfort.
Unfortunately, things didn’t get better for Yaxley. In fact they lost their next 22 games, right up until Saturday when they faced Harborough Town again. A couple of weeks ago, manager Andy Furnell stepped down and the club appointed Sammy Mould as interim.
At 20 years old, Mould became the youngest manager in the top nine levels of English football. And on Saturday he managed the club to their first win, a 3-1 victory against Harborough, despite being 1-0 and down to 10 men with just half an hour to go. The win, their first points since the opening home game of the season, sees them now “just” 15 points from safety.
Mould was forced to stop playing himself after a bad reaction to a Covid jab resulted in a blood clot on his lungs.
Mould says he has been contemplating a career in management since the age of 12 or 13 and had no hesitation in accepting when invited to replace Furnell.
“I was a decent footballer but I was never going to play in the Premier League or the Championship. I think I could have progressed in the game with the right guidance, but I was never going to be the next Wayne Rooney,” he said.
“I do, though, understand the game and my ambition is to manage in the Premier League.”
Mould is aware he is going to need a lot of coaching badges to get anywhere near to realising that ambition, but said the main thing he had learned so far from managing players is that “experience is worth a whole lot more than badges”.
“People can have all the badges in the world, but haven’t got the people skills to motivate a team,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
Yaxley have 13 league games left to play this season in what Mould acknowledges is a “massive relegation battle” – but there is a prospect of silverware as they face Eaton Socon in a Huntingdonshire Senior Cup semi-final on 24 January.
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||Dave Lamb|
|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|||
THE FIFA RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – No.201 ERITREA
“The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to within 25km of Eritrea’s land borders, as the borders are currently closed”
Eritrea is located in East Africa. It is bordered to the northeast and east by the Red Sea, Sudan to the west, Ethiopia to the south, and Djibouti to the southeast. But the FCDO’s sage advice doesn’t bode well for anyone planning on ticking off the country as a Football Tourist but with pirates patrolling the coast, civil war raging across the country and minefields galore, Eritrea isn’t top of mind for many football trips.
The country is relatively young – they gained their independence from Ethiopia following a referendum supervised by the United Nations in which the Eritrean people overwhelmingly voted for independence, and subsequently declared its independence and gained international recognition in 1993 and was admitted into the United Nations as the 182nd member state in May of that year.
They actually won a game before they gained independence, beating Chad 1-0 in 1992 in only their second ever game. In January 1999 they played their first every home international, gaining a credible 0-0 draw against Cameroon in Asmara, the capital of the country. Out of the 84 games they have played since 1992 they have won 14, drawn 19 and lost 51. The most impressive of results was probably in 2000 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition where they held Nigeria to a goal less draw in Asmara. Unfortunately, a 4-0 defeat two weeks later in Lagos saw the Red Sea Camels, as they are known, eliminated.
They are yet to qualify for any major tournaments – in fact they haven’t played a game since a 1-0 home defeat to Sudan in January 2020. One of the reasons for that has been the frequent incidences of players seeking political asylum when they play away games! Oh, that and the ongoing hostilities with Ethiopia.
The last squad assembled by coach Alemseged Efrem featured players from all over the world, including a handful playing in Sweden, one in Norway, Poland, UAE and Ethiopia (from the superbly named Ethiopian Coffee Club). The Eritrean Premier League hasn’t taken place for three seasons, with current champions Red Sea FC having won eight previous championships, with Asmara Brewery the only other club to break their monopoly in the last decade.
IF you really wanted to watch the Red Sea Camels, then after arriving at Asmara International Airport (via Istanbul) then you need to head to the International Stadium in the University district. There’s an aptly named hotel (“Stadium”) close by which has the distinction of having a 1 star review on Google.
ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY – 21st JANUARY 2023
#1. On this day in 1927, the match between Arsenal and Sheffield United became the first game in England to....
#2. On this day in 2018 former Chelsea and Manchester City striker was elected President of which African country?
#3. On this day in 1997, Peter Shilton played his 1,005th and last Football League game but who was he playing for at the time?
#4. On this day in 1961, Fulham conceded the first goal of the game against Sheffield Wednesday after just 30 seconds. What was so unusual about the goal?
#5. On this day in 2017, the Rooks travelled to Ramsgate for a Isthmian League South game. What was so unusual about the Rooks bench for the game?
THE STODGEBUSTERS CONQUER BREAKFAST AND BOROUGH
It may have been a few weeks ago but we can never get enough of the Stodgebusters tales…
Haringey Borough away. It didn’t seem long since we had been here. It was actually in March and we drew two-all. It sounds a bit of a faff to get to but it’s quite an easy trip on the train, tube and bus for this one. It’s a well trodden path and once we had checked that the various strikes on all three of these modes of transport weren’t going to affect us it was always going to be the way for the Stodgebusters to go. We’ve never driven there but being North London it would probably be a nightmare. At £18.30 each for all the days travel we don’t think that’s too bad. As long as it all works OK of course……
We were reduced in numbers for this trip. Only PJ and Roly were up for it. Gary, Alan and Steve were unavailable. They were busy, probably counting their money or something. A lengthy job we believe. Rumour has it that one of them has a mattress so high he needs a ladder to get into bed.
So it was the 10.57 out of Lewes to allow us plenty of time for lunch and any delays. The train and platform were quite busy but we were onboard and into a couple of seats quicker than Usain Bolt on steroids. It was a pretty smooth and trouble free journey. We discussed the goings on in that minor tournament in progress in Qatar and shared some Trebor Extra Strong Mints. Apparently Trebor is Robert spelled backwards in honour of one of the companies founders over a hundred years ago. Follow us for more useless trivia.
Off at Victoria and down onto the tube. We have to do this leg several times over a season and the Victoria Line always seems to be rammed with people. We just about got on by breathing in although it didn’t show. Luckily it was only for one stop. Off at Green Park and onto the Piccadilly Line to Wood Green. This was the polar opposite as we had a carriage virtually to ourselves.
Off at Wood Green and time for lunch. We usually frequent the Kantin Kitchen just across the road from the station. It’s very good, probably a cut above our usual choices, but we were only there back in March when, from the bus, we spotted a promising looking chippy restaurant just around the corner. We love a decent chippy. We had a look in the door, it looked basic but very clean and pleasant. We don’t like places where you feel like you should wipe your feet on the way out. Two huge jars of pickled eggs and pickled onions on the counter caught our eye. This looked like a proper chippy. We quickly decided that they would be graced with our custom.
Fish and chips has rocketed in price everywhere recently for several reasons and there have been warnings that there will be many Great British chippys going out of business. Cod and chips in Wood Green would cost £12.20. A price unthinkable not so long ago, but that is still a couple of quid cheaper than Bankers in Brighton where PJ can often be found. Some bloke at the next table had cod and chips, and although not in the same league as Mac’s Plaice in Brightlingsea it did look quite good. Anyway, the Pukka pies looked appetising (and a lot cheaper) so we plumped for a couple of steak and kidney pies and chips at 6 quid a head. PJ is very partial to a Pukka Pie and they are a staple in his household, although he recently had the misfortune to find one that was empty. Fair play to Pukka, though, who didn’t quibble about the complaint and offered generous recompense. We didn’t have any complaints about our food. The pies were full and the chips were excellent with none of those little hard bits. Pale, but cooked perfectly, sizzling hot with a hint of oil still on them. A splash of Sarsons and some salt made them even better. It was all well worth the tip.
The W3 bus for the last leg of the journey to White Hart Lane was coming along the road just as we exited. What good timing . This was going too well.
Haringey only charge a fiver for us old codgers. That must be the cheapest in the league. After a swift half of Guinness and a Kopparberg in the bar it was time for the action. Haringey Borough have played at Coles Park since 1930 although back then the club was called Wood Green Town. It later became Haringey Borough, then Edmonton and Haringey was formed after two clubs merged. They finally settled on their present name in 1976. One has to say it’s not the best ground we’ve ever been to. Viewing is good but there’s no cover at either end. They have a decent seated stand and a rather ramshackle looking corrugated iron structure down one side that would get very cosy if there was a decent crowd and the heavens opened. They do have 3G though which should help our game.
It was a familiar start for Lewes. We had plenty of pretty possession in the opening ten minutes but Haringey looked like they meant business by forcing a trio of corners. We get nervous at corners and sure enough, the third of them found an unmarked Haringey player who steered his header past Carey for one-nil. Too easy. Lewes weren’t knocked out of their stride though and kept playing the ball around nicely and had a TQ Addy goal disallowed for offside. It looked OK to us. Well, it would do wouldn’t it? On the stroke of half time we had a break down the right and the ball was crossed beautifully by Renee. It was only chest high but it caught the keeper in two minds whether to come for it or stay on his line. He did a bit of both which was fatal as TQ Addy came tearing in from the wing and nodded it in for one-all.
The second half was barely six minutes old when Razz unleashed another special from the edge of the box which found the far corner. As has been the case for a lot of the season Lewes were by far the better footballing team but couldn’t put the game to bed by getting a third. A couple of offside goals for Joe, one of which looked decidedly iffy, didn’t help our nervousness either. Haringey kept pumping the ball into the box and several times we had trouble clearing it. Like Count Dracula we really don’t like crosses, and our hearts sunk every time they won a corner. But we survived and it was a very welcome and deserved three points to put us into eleventh place. We really need to string a few wins together to get us up the table a bit more. After some high-fiving with the players it was a quick dash to the bus stop for another game of sardines on the W3.
What a splendid day it had been. Trust Southern Rail to put their oar in and take the edge off it though. They did it by cancelling a couple of consecutive Lewes bound trains and several consecutive Brighton trains. Apparently this was due to “congestion”. How could there be congestion with no trains running? We were stuck at Victoria for over an hour gazing at the departure board hoping something would change and wondering whether we should bankrupt ourselves by buying a coffee. We even considered getting a train to Bognor Regis and change there but were put off when literally hundreds of others had the same idea and stampeded when it was announced. It resembled the start of the London Marathon. We decided to stick it out which turned out to be the right decision. We eventually got back into Lewes at 20.30 but delays don’t seem so annoying when you’ve won.
However, Southern Railways Delay Repay scheme would be hearing from us. Again. We actually ended up getting half our fare back.
The Stodgebusters will return at Carshalton Athletic.
THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS
ON THE ROAD TO..CARSHALTON ATHLETIC – MONDAY 23rd JAN 2023
About War Memorial Sports Ground
The War Memorial Sports Ground is one of the best grounds in the Isthmian League, the ground started life as plain old Shorts Farm back in the 1920’s. The first part to be developed was the grandstand, originally bought and transported piece by piece from Epsom Racecourse down the road. In 1968, gale-force winds battered this stand so much that it had to be demolished. Today the main feature is the huge covered terrace that runs down the side of the pitch, allowing ample room for thousands of fans even if it is more likely today to only house a few dozen.
In addition, the ground boasts a good sized, if small in length, grandstand and plenty of standing room down the side of the pitch. Behind the north end is a small cover whilst at the south end the cover extends across the full length of the terrace. The club claim to serve the “Best Burger in English Football” from the new eatery in the corner of the pitch, next door to the club shop, both allowing you to watch the action whilst waiting to be served.
How to get to The War Memorial Sports Ground
Carshalton is not the easiest place to get to from anywhere else apart from South London by car especially if you have to travel through Croydon which can be blocked by shoppers on a Saturday, and commuters in midweek. If you are coming from the south via the M25 then take exit 7 signposted Croydon and follow the A23 past the old Croydon airport before taking a left after a few miles onto the A232.
Follow this road for a couple of miles, passing Beddington Park on your right before you enter Carshalton. Pass through the High Street, passing the two large ponds on your right and take the next right into West Street. Pass the Racecourse and Hope pubs on this road and then immediately after you pass under the railway bridge take a left into Colston Avenue. The entrance to the ground is down a small alley about 150 yards on your right. This is a busy and narrow road so I would avoid parking down here – there is a car park at the ground or park on West Street or Colston Avenue. Journey time for the 48-mile trip is just over an hour.
Carshalton is in Zone 5. The station is only a few minutes’ walk from the ground – take a right out of the exit and walk down the hill. Turn right, walk under the railway bridge and then left into Colston Avenue – ground is 150 yards on your right. Journey time from Lewes is 1 hour 50 mins if going via Victoria or 20 minutes less if you change at East Croydon and Mitcham Junction. Off-Peak returns cost around £20.
Admission at War Memorial Sports Ground
Admission this season is £11 for adults, £8 for concessions (senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 18s are £3. You can buy tickets in advance here.
Fancy a beer?
Whilst relatively small in size, Carshalton has a few decent pubs within a stone’s throw of the ground. On West Street (take a left out of the station) there is the Greyhound and The Hope which was certainly a favourite with the Lewes travelling support last season, whilst in The High Street there is the Woodman, Coach and Horses and Fox and Hounds – all of which are worth a visit. There is a decent sized bar at the ground and beer can be taken outside whilst the game is on.
Will appear here around 2:15pm
ON THE ROAD TO….CRAY WANDERERS – SATURDAY 28th JAN 2023
About Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers will still be calling Bromley’s Hayes Lane home for a few more season whilst their new ground at Flamingo Park in Sidcup is built. Not that they are suffering too much at Hayes Lane as the National League side has invested heavily in the ground in recent years including the construction of a new all seated stand behind the goal in the old wooden stand – behind this is the impressive Broomfields bar and restaurant. At the far end covered terracing remains. At one side is the modern looking John Fiorini (Main) Stand has had a face-lift whilst a new terrace has been built adjacent to it. The covered all seated main stand doesn’t have any supporting pillars and sits astride the half way line whilst opposite is a decent sized, quite steep terrace that gives some excellent views of the cricket pitch next door if the football isn’t up to much. There is also a decent-sized clubhouse which has a strange exclusion zone outside for drinking beer in, policed by stewards. One of the better grounds we will visit on our travels that’s for sure.
How to get to Hayes Lane
Exit the M25 at Junction 4 and take the A21 towards Bromley and London. After five miles for left at the traffic lights onto the A232 towards Croydon/Sutton. At the 2nd set of traffic lights turn right into Baston Road (B265). Continue straight on this road through Hayes. The road becomes Hayes Lane and after the mini roundabout the entrance to the ground is down on the right. There is a small car park at the ground, otherwise street parking. Total travel time from Lewes for the 53-mile trip from Lewes is around an hour and twenty minutes.
The ground is a fifteen-minute walk from Bromley South station (not North which is miles away!), frequently served by trains from London Victoria which is in zone 5. Simply head right out of the station, cross the road and walk down Westmoreland Road, taking the first left into Hayes Road and following this all the way down to Hayes Lane where the ground is opposite you. Journey time is around 90 minutes and an Off-Peak Day Return is £33.20. Alternatively, a number of buses run past the ground including the 314 from Eltham, 146 from Bromley Town centre and 119 from East Croydon which takes around the same time as the train but obviously much cheaper.
Admission at Hayes Lane
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 16s are £2. You can buy tickets in advanced here.
Fancy a beer?
Aside from the excellent facilities at the ground, Bromley town centre is a fifteen-minute walk away and has plenty of drinking establishments for all tastes. Opposite Bromley South Station is the popular Richmal Crompton pub, whilst The Tigers Head on the walk towards the ground is a good bet. For something a bit different, Bromley has a Belgos on Kentish Way at the back of The Glades shopping centre. At the north end of the pedestrianised High Street is The Partridge which is well known for decent pies and the craft beer mecca, The Star & Garter.
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 31st JANUARY 2023 7:45PM
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TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS:
- History was made at Highbury when the First Division fixture between Arsenal and Sheffield United became the first football match to be broadcast live on the radio. In order to help the listener follow the play the Radio Times printed a numbered grid of the pitch with commentator Henry Wakelam giving grid numbers in his commentary
- Former World Player of the Year George Weah was back in the limelight in a football stadium. No the 51-year-old hadn’t made a playing comeback but the National Stadium in Liberia – the SKD Stadium in the capital Monrovia – hosted his inauguration ceremony as the President of Liberia. A crowded stadium witnessed his oath of office following his election as President in December when he promised to unify the country and fight corruption
- Peter Shilton played his 1005th and last match in the Football League for Leyton Orient against Wigan Athletic. The 9 matches he had played for the O’s had seen him become the first person ever to play in 1000 League matches. Wigan won 2-1 and went on the win the Division 3 title.
- Fulham’s Alan Mullery did something a tad unusual – he scored an own-goal just 30 seconds after the kick off before the opposition had even touched the ball! Sheffield Wednesday made the perfect start without trying in the First Division match at Craven Cottage and it didn’t get much better for the Londoners – they lost 6-1.
- Chris Winterton was named on the bench – the first time we had named a team with two goal keepers for a league game for more than five years