Tuesday 14th March 2023 7:45pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan
Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this evening’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game against Brightlingsea Regent. Here is your complimentary e-programme.
JOIN THE TEAM & BECOME AN OWNER TODAY!
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR
Good evening and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this evening’s Isthmian Premier League game against Brightlingsea Regent. I hope that our visitors had a problem-free journey down to us.
Nobody is a winner when we have to reschedule Saturday games to a midweek – our attendances suffer as fans may not be able to attend, we lose hundreds of pounds of stock in terms of drink and food, and of course we have to ask our opponents to travel to us again and the issues we know too well in trying to get players time off work. In the originally arranged game, we had the thermal covers lent to us by the FA to try to protect the pitch, but a decision was made between the officials and the two managers around 75 minutes before the game that it should be postponed. I know many of our fans stayed and grabbed a beer and a pie and watched the team train on the pitch but it’s not the same. It also puts huge pressure on the squad in terms of fitness. Playing twice a week, and training on top is a tough ask for players who also have jobs and we are thankful to them for the effort they constantly show in wearing the Lewes badge.
Saturday was a very important win. It wasn’t the most entertaining game, and we knew it wouldn’t be as we had to counter the threat of Enfield’s very direct game. I thought we were outstanding, completely nullifying their threat and for one deflected effort near the end, Lew Carey didn’t have a save to make. The only goal of the game was an excellent move, set up by a neat lay-off by JT in our own half, and Deon did what he does best. Only Hornchurch have lost more games than us this season (by one), a sign of the hard work that does in on the training ground.
Yesterday we got confirmation that the capacity here at the Pan has been raised to 2,800 (from 2,348) thanks to the work carried out during the summer on the Mountfield Road side. As I write there’s still a few tickets left in general sale for our Women’s FA Cup game on Sunday against Manchester United, but ticket sales have already exceeded the record attendances we got last season against Worthing and Liverpool. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket then please arrive in plenty of time on Sunday as it will be busy!
Get behind the team and Come on you Rooks!
Good evening everyone. Saturday was a very different game to one we are normally involved in. It was a much needed win, and performance, which may of you may not have seen before. We spoke about their threats before the game, so we felt we had to control the performance and they had to work hard to get the ball. It was almost like two boxers, tentatively feeling each other out in the early rounds of a fight. There wasn’t any oohs and aahs but we couldn’t have been happier with the result and the performance – we asked something very specific of the boys and they delivered. It’s testament of the players we have that they executed on that plan exactly as we asked them to do. Enfield had one shot (?) on goal in the whole game, which was a massively deflected free-kick near the end that Lew tipped over.
Our approach meant we couldn’t play our normal expansive game and create loads of chances, although I thought we showed some positive patterns of play in the first period. It won’t be a game that will live long in the memory but we just wanted to make sure we made it as hard as possible for them to play their game. We did score a fantastic goal though – Jaydn to JT and his flick to Deon. Few defenders can live with him when he is running at pace and he took his goal beautifully.
Unfortunately, we picked up a couple of injuries, which always seems to be the case at the moment when we play at home – Will and Ryan both picked up knocks that could see them doubtful for tonight. With such a small squad we’ve been pulling out all the stops since the game to bring in some new faces. Many thanks to JP for getting signatures on a couple of deals last night but fingers crossed there will be two new players who we are really pleased with who could be in the squad tonight.
Tonight it would be easy to look at the league table and presume it will be a comfortable win. That’s always a danger when you are playing someone scrapping at the bottom. They are a good side and they deserve our respect. We drew up there in a really hard game and since then they have won a few games and brought in some new players. We are going to have to be at our best tonight to keep the momentum going.
We delivered a session last night focused on Brightlingsea’s approach. They have a few big lads and they will be a threat from set pieces as well as some pace up front. I said to the players that we can be a bit more expansive tonight and I hope you’ll see us play more akin to how we normally approach games tonight. We will be positive in our team selection and mindset and hope to give you a performance to be proud of – in return I ask you all to be vocal, get behind the team. Wrap up warm, it may be chilly off the pitch but let’s hope we can provide some heat on it.
Keep up the support today and Come On You Rooks!
LEWES WOMEN PLAYERS CALL FOR #EQUALFACUP AHEAD OF HISTORIC QUARTER FINAL CLASH
Lewes FC players have today publicly released a letter sent to Karen Carney, Chair of the Future of Women’s Football Review calling for her to recommend the equalisation of the FA Cup prize fund.
The letter, sent to Carney yesterday, outlined how the club, having reached the FA Cup Quarter Finals for the first time ever, were “no strangers to making history” based on assigning equal playing budgets to its men’s and women’s teams since 2017.
Drawing inspiration from the Lionesses’, players said that they “have decided to use our progress in this competition as a platform for positive change”, acknowledging Carney’s “power to positively change women’s football for our generation and the next.”
Should the team beat Manchester United on Sunday, the club will earn £25,000, a fraction of the £450,000 they would earn if they were male.
Lewes FC has been calling for Equal FA Cup prize money since 2019 and welcomed the increase to prize money this season. However, the men’s prize fund was increased by more than the total amount allotted to the women’s FA Cup, thus increasing, rather than decreasing the prize gap.
Additional funds would “allow clubs to invest more funds in player wages, facilities, equipment, medical care, staffing, travel costs, and everything the women’s football pyramid needs to thrive, and grow. It will mean the players that follow us can focus solely on football.”
Lewes FC has outlined an #EqualFACup proposal which, without an increase in funding, would dramatically improve allocation to women’s teams, as well as to smaller men’s teams seeing 95% of the country’s clubs better off.
In the words of our players, keep the magic – just make it equal.
The complete text of the players’ letter can be found below. The players would invite anyone who would like to add their name to their letter to sign up and pledge your support.
ADD YOUR NAME
LEWES FC Players – Equal FA Cup
LEWES ENFIELD TOWN – SATURDAY 11th MARCH 2023
Lewes returned to winning ways at the Pan, as a first-half goal from Deon Moore helped the Rooks to an important 1-0 win over Enfield Town, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at Hornchurch in their previous game, with Ryan Gondoh replacing Razz Coleman De-Graft in the starting line-up.
Lewes made a bright start and came close to taking an early lead through Gondoh, whose goal-bound effort from the edge of the area was deflected over the bar.
Without being at their free-flowing best, the Rooks continued to look dangerous, with Joe Taylor winning the ball high up the pitch and finding Gondoh, who chose to try and find Moore instead of shooting when through on goal, allowing the visitors to clear their lines.
Enfield were struggling to get into the game so it was therefore slightly against the run of play when they came close to taking the lead, Andre Coker embarking on a purposeful run before shooting just wide from the edge of the area.
Lewes nearly made the most of this let-off by going in front themselves, Jaydn Mundle-Smith sending an acrobatic volley straight at Nathan McDonald after Will Salmon had helped a Tyrqiue Hyde free-kick towards goal.
The Rooks took the lead three minutes before half-time, a quick counter-attack ending with Moore running at the Enfield defence before finishing emphatically into the bottom corner.
Large periods of the second half passed without any chances of note, as Lewes kept the ball well and restricted Enfield to very few moments of promise in the final third.
At the other end, Taylor saw a shot on the turn from the edge of the area go wide as the Rooks picked their moments to try and find a crucial second goal.
The closest the visitors came to equalising saw Lewis Carey react well to tip a deflected Lyle Della-Verde free-kick over the bar with five minutes remaining.
Lewes saw out the closing stages comfortably to record a crucial win at the start of a busy few weeks of fixtures.
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”
LEWES VOX POP – YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER
In this edition of ‘Vox Pop’, we asked Lewes fans, via LewesClamour on Instagram, who their most important player in the team currently is. Of all the ‘Vox Pop’ Questions that have been asked so far, this has gathered the most interesting responses, so thanks to everyone that’s given their view. Personally, I think our most important player this season has been Alfie Young. He performs week in, week out, and is able to play at CB, as well as his usual position at CDM. He’s been a top signing. Here’s what other Lewes fans think…
“Taylor, as he can get goals at any moment in the game” – Alfie
“Alfie Young, Mr 7.5 week in, week out” – Jamie
“Gondoh for his fast movement and skills” – Mason
“Hydey, controls the midfield, brilliant attacking, absolutely huge, best midfielder in the world” – Leo
“Gotta be Joe Taylor, 30 goals in back to back seasons” – Perry
“Pritchard – So positive and encouraging. Controls the game so well” – Theo
“I think Moore at the moment. He makes chances and he takes them” – Swoop Art
“Hyde, so important at winning the ball high up the pitch and linking up the play” – Lovethyneighbr
“Carey, kept us in games that we needed a big performance from” – Ollie
“Honestly might be Carey, very reliable keeper, other than him probably Joe Taylor” – Harvey
TO OUR 12th MEN (AND WOMEN) – THANK YOU!
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 departed the club in late February and Dave Limber stepped in as Manager of the R’s.
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.
Henry Day – Defender; Henry joins Regent from Buckhurst Hill in the Essex Senior League where he had been an ever present in defence. Day is a strong agile defender, who also possesses plenty of pace. Day can play anywhere along the back four and will give you 100% wherever he plays, we are excited to see Henry make the step-up in levels and see him develop with The R’s.
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!
Bradley Russell – Midfielder; Brad joins Regent from Stansted where he began this season, last campaign Brad was playing for Hullbridge Sports. Brad is a strong, hardworking central midfielder who will give 100% in a regent shirt. He will be looking to get a run of matches as injuries haven’t been too helpful in the past. If he settles, and stays injury free, he could have a big impact for Regent.
Tevan Allen – Midfield; Tevan is an experienced midfielder, having played over 300 appearances at Step 4 for Bury Town, AFC Sudbury and Coggeshall Town. He is a very versatile midfielder who brings high energy and most importantly high quality to the midfield and is very adaptable with positioning.
Wilson Chingoka – Midfield; Wilson joins Regent from Basildon United, having previously featured for Nuneaton Borough, Tring Athletic, Hertford Town, Wingate & Finchley, and Northwood. At Northwood, he was made captain in 2017-18 and won the Supporters player of the season award for his standout performances. The creative midfielder will be looking to get a chance in Munyard’s team where he will be keen to impress and showcase his ability.
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.
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.
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 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 back in November 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
Hornchurch had what appeared- on paper, anyway- like a guaranteed three points, although bottom side Brightlingsea Regent hoped to shock the Urchins, and they did just that midway through the first half, Andy George putting them ahead. Hornchurch quickly retrieved the situation, Ade Yusuff with his fourth Urchins goal, and they went ahead with twenty five minutes to go, Liam Nash with the second. Ellis Brown quickly added a third as Regent capitulated, and Chris Dickson’s fourth wasn’t long in arriving- three goals in six minutes for the Urchins, who hit the top of the table once more, going two points clear with two games in hand.
Bishop’s Stortford needed a goal deep into added time to avoid relinquishing their hold on top spot in midweek, and after that escape against fifth place Canvey Island they welcomed…sixth place Hastings United. The Blues, with Hornchurch breathing down their necks, had seen their title charge slow with only one win from their last four matches, but they were quickly out of the traps and went ahead after just six minutes, talisman Frankie Merrifield taking his tally for the season to nineteen. It was two-nil on the hour, Darren Foxley putting daylight between the sides, but the visitors got back into the match when substitute Freddie Legg scored- and they had seventeen minutes to find an equaliser. It arrived right at the end, another replacement, Sam Adams, scoring four minutes after coming on- and then it got even worse for the Blues, Ben Pope curling a shot home from the edge of the box. On this occasion added time wasn’t so kind to the Blues, who slip to second.
Another contender for Match of the Day came from Parkside, where Aveley looked to avoid any manager of the month curse as Folkestone Invicta came to call. The Millers hit five on their visit to the Kent coast to November, and nobody expected a repeat of that, but the hosts went ahead ten minutes before the break, Ryan Scott heading home the opener. Invicta levelled just after the hour through Ian Gayle, and both sides pushed for a winner- and it arrived three minutes from time, the hosts taking the points through a Benas Vaivada header. Aveley end the day in third, two points behind the leaders, having taken twenty five points from their last twenty seven.
Canvey Island came within a hairs breadth of defeating leaders Bishop’s Stortford for the second time this season when the two met in midweek. The Gulls were back at home and taking on another set of Blues, Margate, and with only one defeat from their last ten matches the home faithful were expecting another three points- but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time, Ben Greenhalgh with the opener from the spot. The Gulls levelled nine minutes after the restart, Elliott Ronto beating the visiting rearguard with his head, before wing wizard Evans Kouassi made it two three minutes later. Kouassi then quickly added another, three goals in six minutes for the hosts, but the visitors made the closing stages interesting when Freddy Barton scored with two minutes remaining. They weren’t interesting for long- Canvey roared back up the other end and scored two more goals, Kouassi with his hat trick from distance, Bradley Sach with a fifth, and the Gulls up to fourth.
Carshalton Athletic, four points away from the play offs at kick off, travelled to a side with far bigger problems, Corinthian-Casuals, their hosts without a win since Monday 2nd January- and those problems got bigger still when Karl Arinwande scored for the Robins after just seven minutes. It was two-nil on the half hour, Crossley Lema heading home that one, his sixth of the campaign, and any chance of a Casuals comeback seemed to have departed when substitute Jared Myers saw red on sixty five minutes. The Robins capitalised and added a third goal, Calvin Ekpiteta with that one, and in the closing stages Chinedu McKenzie added a fourth. Casuals did get a goal back, Morgan Williams with a consolation, but that was all it was- and Athletic are now only two points away from fifth place.
Cray Wanderers play off hopes have been damaged by their inability to turn one point into three, after drawing twelve matches this season- but they didn’t have that problem this weekend. Wands welcomed a side in freefall, Potters Bar Town with only one win from their previous ten and having fallen from first to thirteenth during their last fourteen matches, and went ahead just before the half hour, Yahaya Bamba opening the scoring. The Scholars then made their own lives even more difficult, Alieu Njie seeing red, and the ten men were further behind when Dan Bassett made it two, ten minutes after half time. Destiny Oladipo added a third with twenty three minutes remaining, Sam Wood quickly got a fourth, and eight minutes from time Rio Campbell made it five. That was that, Wands up to eighth- three points away from the promised land.
Kingstonian saw their four match unbeaten run come to an end at Hornchurch in midweek, and welcomed a side who also saw a good run end on Tuesday night, Horsham, who lost at Herne Bay. The Hornets were ahead on fourteen minutes, Kadell Daniel with his first Hornets goal- and Daniel had another eight minutes before half time, and then another six minutes later, a fine first half hat trick. The Hornets continued in the same manner after the restart, Daniel Ajakaiye making it four, and although Imran Kayani got a late consolation for the K’s it made little difference to the outcome. The Hornets are ninth, the K’s cushion over the bottom four cut to five points.
Billericay Town hosted a battle of the Blues as Wingate & Finchley headed to New Lodge. The travelling Blues had only one defeat from seven, and took the lead nine minutes after half time, Elliott Long opening the scoring with his head- and that turned out to be that. The visitors eleven points clear of the bottom four, Billericay in twelfth.
Herne Bay hoped to move themselves closer to safety by defeating their second Sussex side this week, as Bognor Regis Town travelled to the Kentish seaside. The Rocks did Bay a favour in midweek, hammering Brightlingsea Regent, but they did them no favours after three minutes of this one, Sam De St Croix firing them ahead. The lead lasted until the very last minute, when Bay grabbed a goal, Laurence Harvey with the leveller- and somehow they then found the time to score another, Connor Dymond earning what may be a vital three points for the hosts, who are five points from safety with a game in hand.
Finally, Bowers & Pitsea welcomed Haringey Borough. Bowers, nine points from safety at kick off and having lost their previous seven matches, fell behind six minutes before the break when Ben Allen opened the scoring, but they hit back with twenty one minutes remaining, TQ Addy with the equaliser- and the same player then completed the turnaround with another four minutes later, putting his side ahead. The Len Salmon faithful finally had three points to celebrate, and have cut that gap to salvation to six points.
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|
|Archie Tamplin||Michael Kennard||Ryan Gondoh||Dave Lamb|
|Jaydn Mundell-Smith||Dave Lamb||Rhys Murrell-Williamson||Trevor Norwood|
|Alfie Young||||Deshane Dalling|||
|Tom Champion||Tom, Alice & Russ Mould||Razz Coleman De-Graft||The Ouze|
|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||Harvey Walker|||
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 – 14th MARCH 2023
#1. On this day in 1973 Plymouth Argyle played a friendly in front of 38,000. Who was the attraction?
#2. On this day in 2007, Arsenal played Manchester United at Highbury in front of 38,187, 4,000 more fans than Spurs had on the same night. But was was unusual about the game?
#3. On this day in 1947 New Brighton's manager made his debut for the club...but how old was he?
#4. On this day in 2004, Man City beat Man Utd 4-1 in the Premier League. Which legendary striker opened the scoring for City after just 3 minutes?
#5. On this day in 2015 the Rooks headed to Maidstone United for the Ryman Premier League game. One of the unused subs for the Rooks has a familiar ring. Who was it?
NO BRIDGE TOO FAR FOR THE STODGEBUSTERS
Why do we do it? We try and be as green as possible and take the train to as many games as we can, even though it’s far more expensive than sharing petrol costs. It does make it feel a bit more of a lad’s day out, but some days, when things go wrong, it does make one wonder whether suffering the rail service is worth it. This would be one such day.
We left in plenty of time with PJ and Gary joining Roly on the 10.55 from Lewes bound for Victoria. Plan “A” was to get on the District Line (the green one) at Victoria, get to Elm Park, hop off and have some lunch at the imaginatively named Elm Park Café, and then get back on the tube for the last couple of stops to Upminster Bridge. Easy Peasy, and we would be at our least favourite ground in the league probably an hour before kick-off. Maybe we would even stay in the café a bit longer and have a pudding.
Enter Network Rail to torpedo everything.
We had barely taken our seats and dished out the Butter Mintoes when the first bad news of the day arrived via the Tannoy. The train would be terminating at Haywards Heath and we would all be tipped out due to signal problems at Balcombe. Here we go again! We all piled onto another train at Haywards Heath heading to Victoria that was pretty full already, so it was like bleedin’ sardines. But before it left, a Cambridge-bound train pulled in next door and it had empty seats! That looked a better bet. Surely it would stop somewhere convenient in London? To blazes with standing all the way, we were across the platform like young whippets and claimed our seats as if it were musical chairs. Seeing our tactics prompted a wave of followers. Well, who could blame them? One can usually trust a Stodgebuster to make the right call. One had to feel sorry for the poor platform staff bloke in a hi-viz trying to deal with a tidal wave of angry travellers and probably some verbal abuse. Whatever he gets paid it isn’t enough.
This train would be stopping at Blackfriars. That‘s good as it’s also on the District Line. We pulled out of Haywards Heath, eventually, and proceeded at a pace that even The Stodgebusters after a good Full English could run faster than. After what seemed like a hundred signal stops and half a lifetime we got off at Blackfriars two and a quarter hours after we left Lewes. Honestly, George Stephenson’s Rocket could have got there just as fast. We had all paid £18.30 for this pleasure, and to think fares would be going up the day after! Anyway, we agreed Southern Rail would certainly be coughing up three Delay Repay claims in the near future. It’s a good job Treasurer Al wasn’t with us. He would have been apoplectic over the delays. He drove to the game and had a right chuckle about it all when we caught up with him at the ground later.
Time was getting a bit tight for lunch. It’s a long way to Upminster Bridge. We would have to make a lunch decision nearer Elm Park.
It was gone 2pm by the time we reached Elm Park and alighting for the planned lunch looked a bit iffy. Curses. Lunch has often been the highlight of the day for this fixture when we weren’t doing so well in seasons past. We would probably have been ok for time, just about, but we erred on the side of caution and stayed on the tube as PJ had found a chippy and possible eatery near the ground. Oh great…… The café was closed. But it didn’t really look like a Stodgebuster type establishment anyway. The sign saying “Patisserie” usually means it’s not our scene, so with about 40 minutes to kick off we gave George’s Fish & Chips a try. Anything would be better than stadium food. It was only a takeaway, but they had a couple of chairs and a table which we took advantage of while watching the Sky football build up on TV. One has to say the food on offer looked very good. PJ was in first with a jumbo sausage and chips. Gary and Roly had a couple of fishcakes and chips each. The place was pretty quiet so everything was cooked fresh for us meaning it was all piping hot. It wasn’t on a par with Mac’s Plaice in Brightlingsea, but it was bleedin’ good. The chips were excellent and although we only had small portions they were so plentiful we wondered what a large portion looked like. It wasn’t the kind of lunch we had planned, but circumstances had dictated otherwise. We always prefer a table, stodge on a plate with a knife and fork, but we have to give it a nine on the Stodge-o-Meter.
Sorry Hornchurch, but we really don’t like your stadium. If we had to miss one awayday in a season it would be this one. Our main beef with the place is that there’s an eight lane athletics track around the pitch distancing one from the action. If one goes behind the goal one finds oneself so far behind the goal that it’s almost in a different time zone. There’s also a discus/hammer net and other athletics paraphernalia in the way. Enfield Town has a track too, but they have it well organised to allow access across the track to behind the goals at each end. Come on Hornchurch. Get it sorted. With behind the goal being a non-starter we had to make do by standing down the side. The problem there is that there is no elevation. The highest one can get is three steps up from pitch level. For younger eyes this might be fine, but for us Specsavers regulars it can be a struggle to see what’s going on by the far touchline. Honestly, it would drive us nuts if we were Hornchurch supporters and had to watch our team there every other week. Maybe one would get used to it. Maybe we have just been spoiled by having the superb visibility that we have at The Pan. We might try to remember binoculars next time.
We weren’t overly confident of a result here. We needed a win really to stay in touch for a play-off place, but it would be a tall order with Hornchurch going well. We’d had our moments here in the past. Not least of all the 5-1 victory a few seasons ago when Brinky unforgettably scored. Jack Rowe-Hurst and Ade Olurunda each netted in separate one-nil victories years ago. But we’ve suffered defeats too. Last season’s fixture was very physical. Lewes got kicked all over the pitch with the referee seemingly unconcerned by it all. Mitchell Nelson got provoked enough to react. It was only a push away, but the referee was concerned enough by that to bring out the red.
The great news was that Razz was back in the starting line-up, but the bad news was our bench only had three sitting on it. The squad seems a bit short on numbers, but Tony, if you’re reading this, you can always rely on us to help out. Especially if you need a bit of extra pace up front. The recently departed Jamie Mascoll surprisingly popped up on the home bench, and we found out that Johnville Renee had also flown the nest to Enfield Town. We would be facing him next week.
Finding the best place we could to watch, we soon saw Razz doing his dazzling stuff in a bright Lewes start. It wasn’t long before a lovely cross by Deon Moore was volleyed home beautifully by Joe Taylor for one-nil. The pitch really wasn’t very good with the ball bobbling about a lot causing a lot of misplaced passes. The barrage of abuse it must get from discus, javelin, hammer throwers and shot putters can’t help much. It’s fair to say that we were under the cosh a bit for the rest of the half. Carey was having a blinder, and Tamplin at makeshift right-back was playing out of his skin to keep the home team at bay. But one sensed an equaliser was coming, and it did after about 35 minutes. A free kick put them in behind our defence and a ball across the box was swept home.
The second half seemed to be mostly one way traffic and not the way we wanted it. Carey and the defence performed some more heroics to keep them out, along with some wayward finishing. Lewes looked dangerous on the break though, with Razz doing what Razz does and getting in dangerous crosses from the right. But it was his replacement, Ryan Gondoh, who put us back in front by converting another Deon Moore cross. It was a bit against the run of play but who cares? We were delirious as Ryan, with that huge smile on his face, joined the fans at the fence for some chaotic bonding and celebration. There was still nearly a quarter of an hour to go though. Could we hold out? It could have got even better when Hyde out-muscled a defender and was through on goal, but the keeper came out and made a great save. Damn him. Three-one would surely have been game over. The onslaught continued and sure enough that old Achilles Heel resurfaced. From their umpteenth corner it was fired in at head height to the near post and a Hornchurch player got his head on it first to direct it past Carey to further spoil the day.
A point is usually a good result at Hornchurch and should be celebrated. But we needed all three really if we harbour any hopes of making a play-off place. We need to go on an extremely impressive run to make it now.
Network Rail had thankfully sorted out their issues, and the journey home was flawless, with some good banter on the way home with a few other Rooks fans. It hadn’t been the very best day out as we like our lunch, but it would have been much worse if we had lost.
The Stodgebusters will return at Folkestone Invicta via The Beano Cafe. Train strikes and planned engineering works won’t stop us!
THE 2023 ROOKER PRIZE
Successful musicians, writers & actors Gary Kemp & Guy Pratt and publishers Hachette UK announce backing for innovative competition for new writers.
Everyone has a novel in them, right? But does everyone have the time to write one? And what if, 100,000 words later, it isn’t any good? Where do you even start? This is where The Rooker Prize comes in…
The Rooker Prize is a writing competition designed to open up the possibility of writing a novel to everyone. Because all entrants have to do is write the opening 250 words of a novel. That’s it. Just that.
Perhaps surprisingly, the competition is the brainchild of a football club. But not just any football club. Lewes FC became 100% fan-owned in 2010 and since then has forged a reputation for using football as an engine for social good. Having democratised football, the club, known as The Rooks, have decided to spread their wings and help to make novel-writing more accessible too.
Following last year’s successful trial run-out, The Rooker Prize has now attracted the interest of podcasters Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd). They host the UK’s most popular music podcast “The Rockonteurs” where they interview fellow musicians about their career.
Guy Pratt explained: “Rockonteurs is all about great stories, like so many great songs, so I’m all for encouraging storytelling in its many myriad forms. I’m also proud to support my brilliant local team in any way”
Gary Kemp added: “We love encouraging new songwriters, so this feels like an easy step, doing what we can to help new novel writers too. It’ll be fun to see what happens.”
The winner of The Rooker Prize receives a beautiful carved wooden trophy plus £250 to go to the charity of their choice. But from this year, Hachette UK – one of the UK’s leading publishing groups -has stepped in to offer an incredible and exclusive additional prize. The winner will receive an hour’s feedback/coaching session at Hachette UK’s offices in London where their entry will be discussed with an experienced Editor, to hopefully help kickstart a new career.
The only condition for entry is that you have to be an Owner of Lewes Football Club. But that’s easy as anyone in the world can sign up for their single share via the LewesFC.com website.
The Rooker prize is now open for entries.
- Type your 250 word opening to a novel and the book title on one side of A4
- Attach it to an email to Rooker@lewesfc.com with the subject line: ROOKER PRIZE ENTRY, and put your name and contact details in the email.
- Closing date is Friday 14th April 2023
- The winner will be announced on International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day – April 27th
Notes for Editors:
Judges are former Lewes FC director Karen Dobres, author Mark Crick, and football journalist and writer Suzy Wrack.
THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE COMMERCIAL PARTNERS
OUR LAST TRIP TO FOLKESTONE
Saturday’s away day to Folkestone is, again, another huge fixture, just like last season. Here is an extract from the 21/22 season review by Lewes Clamour, detailing what was one of our best away days of the season…
ON THE ROAD TO….FOLKESTONE INVICTA – SAT 18th MARCH 2023
About The BuildKent Stadium
Without a doubt, one of the best stadiums we will visit this season. An open terrace with fantastic views of the Kent countryside, with a roofed one at the far end where you can generate some real noise. Add in a seated stand and one of the best football memorabilia shops in the Non-Leagues and you have it all.
The stadium’s old uncovered terrace has now been renamed the Wilmoths Citroen End after one of the newer sponsors. This terrace backs onto Folkestone Cricket Ground (recently renovated as part of the Three Hills Sport Facility) and provides a great viewing point from behind the goal, especially through the summer months. This terrace is closest to the players’ tunnel, the Sid Burvill Entrance and the main toilets located just inside the entrance.
Finally, there is the Remland Stand, aka the ‘shed’ stand, located at the Cheriton end of the stadium. Its long, low covered terrace stretches the entire width of the pitch, and the acoustics create a fantastic echo for match day noise. This is the diehard fans’ favourite and creates the most noise and atmosphere. Bar Invicta is located just outside the main turnstiles whilst there is another bar inside the ground along with some decent food options.
How to get to The BuildKent Stadium
It’s a fair old trek down to Folkestone Invicta but it is certainly worth the journey. Head up the A23/M23 then anti-clockwise on the M25. At junction 5 stay on the road as it becomes the M26. This will then become the M20 and you need to stay on this until junction 13, then head south onto the A20 (Cherry Garden Avenue). At the traffic lights, turn left onto the A2034 (Cheriton Road), pass the Harvey Grammar School and Stripes club – the ground is next left before Morrisons’ supermarket, opposite the cemetery. Some car parking is available at the ground, with street parking around Cherry Garden Avenue your alternative option. Journey time for the 100-mile trip is around an hour and a half assuming the traffic is good.
There is an alternative route cross-country for those averse to the British motorway system that involves following slow-moving vehicles down country lanes which is 40 miles shorter but may take around the same time.
If you are coming by rail (good luck with that on a rail strike day!) then disembark at Folkestone West (Folkestone Central is about same distance from ground). On leaving the station follow Station Road right and take left onto Beachborough Road, then right onto Cheriton Road. The ground is visible on the left-hand side of the road, immediately after the Harvey Grammar School. It is around a 2-hour slog by train, either up to London Victoria and then out again or via Hampden Park and Ashford International.
Admission at The BuildKent Stadium
Admission this season is £12 for adults, £9 for concessions (senior citizens and students), Under18s £3 and accompanied under 5s are admitted free of charge.
Fancy a beer?
There’s very few pubs within walking distance of the ground, although there is the Park Inn Hotel opposite Folkestone Central. However, get into the town centre early and head down to the harbour-side for some excellent offerings on The Stade including The Royal George, The Ship Inn and The Mariner.
ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT…OR NOT
I’m sure most of you have heard of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence-based tool that can give you the answers to almost everything. Whilst waiting for a kettle to boil last night, I decided to give it a go….and here’s the results…..I think it is safe to say that our jobs as programme editors are safe for awhile yet.
SUNDAY 19th MARCH 2023 – THE BIG ONE
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 21st MARCH 2023 7:45PM
THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS:
- A capacity crowd of nearly 38,000 were packed into Home Park for a friendly between Third Division Plymouth and mighty Santos of Brazil who included Pele in their line-up.
- An FA Youth Cup attendance record was set at the Emirates when 38,187 were present for first leg of the semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United, Arsenal won 1-0. Just up the road at White Hart Lane North London rivals Spurs were in action in a UEFA Cup Round of the Last 16 match at the same time – and were watched by a crowd of over 4,000 fewer people!
- New Brighton manager Neil McBain had a few team selections problems for the Division 3 (North) match against Hartlepools on this day in 1947. The former centre-half had to play himself as goalkeeper for his one and only League appearance for the club – at the age of 51 years 4 months
- Robbie Fowler opened the scoring for Manchester City in the third minute of the game
- A youngster called Joe Taylor was an unused substitute for. the Rooks….no relation to our number 9 though.