Saturday 25th March 2023 3pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan, Lewes
Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against Potters Bar Town. Here is your complimentary e-programme.
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TODAY’S CHARITY COLLECTION – THE BEVERN TRUST
Today you will see collectors around the ground, looking for donations to the Bevern Trust.
The Bevern Trust ensures that people with profound disabilities can live truly active and fulfilling lives, in an environment where they can feel safe, are loved and are offered compassionate care. The Trust recognises the need for residential centres for young people when they can no longer live at home.
In 2019 we celebrated 20 years of caring for profoundly disabled people at our purpose built care home Bevern View. In that time the home has expanded and adapted to the changing nature of adult social care. However, our ethos of loving and person-centred care has not changed.
At Bevern View, we offer a full suite of activities in our sensory room, hydrotherapy in our pool, gardening and other activities like music and art therapy which are all designed to improve the lives of the vulnerable people we care for.
Compassionate care is at the centre of Bevern View. Everything we do is based on each persons strengths and gifts, whilst involving the most important people in their lives – their family. As a charity we aspire to a time when every parent with a disabled child has services in place that offer love and support.
You can also donate online here.
NOTES FROM THE CHAIR
Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against our visitors from Potters Bar Town. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Hertfordshire and hope they enjoy our off the field hospitality today.
Tuesday night’s defeat to Canvey Island was a tough one. We’ve been very proud of our unbeaten record this season – in fact it had almost been a year (2nd April 2022 vs Wingate & Finchley) since we had lost here but we can’t forget that Canvey are the form team in the league at the moment. They arrived on Tuesday night having won eleven of their last 15 games, since the start of 2023, with just one defeat, including victories at Hornchurch, Aveley and Carshalton Athletic. We played really well in the first half, always looking dangerous and it was disappointing to go into the break still at 0-0.
The second half saw Canvey sit back and they took advantage of two mistakes in midfield to break with speed and score. They had done their home work and you have to give them credit for that, and the way they defended. They are not in the Play-off spots due to luck and I would predict they will be in there come the end of the season.
I read some “interesting” comments again about the game from some fans, almost suggesting the team or the management doesn’t care. One really stuck in my head – “they are getting paid to do a job and if they under perform must expect measured criticism”. Yes, our players are all paid but none of they are playing for the money. Most of them have day jobs and they have to juggle being able to get to Lewes for midweek training, and games like Tuesday night with their employers and family. Some of them work in physical roles and then have to try to give it all for 90 minutes on the pitch, others may have to start work very early and for them playing on a Tuesday night (as well as training on Monday and Wednesday) means incredibly long hours.
Unfortunately, the season has been cruel to us in terms of having to play two games a week – in fact we’ve played 14 games on midweek nights (excluding any Bank Holiday games) this season, five more than last season. Whilst we try to balance these demands with the physical and mental impact on our squad, it is a big ask to expect them to come off the back of a physical game like we had last Saturday at Folkestone Invicta and do it all again on Tuesday. That’s not an excuse for the defeat but hopefully before some fans put digital pen to digital paper they think about the why and not just the what.
We’ve got six games left this season and still have everything to play for. You will see a breakdown in this progcast of who has to play who in the remaining four weeks and that there is still a real chance of a play-off spot, and that’s why we need you to get behind the team today and give them that encouragement and lift they need when energy levels are low.
Come on you Rooks!
Good afternoon and welcome back to the Pan. Tuesday was our fourth game in ten days and as I alluded to in my notes last Saturday took a lot out of us – it was a huge effort and we came into the game with a few of the lads not being 100%. Will Salmon, for instance, shouldn’t have really played at Folkestone last week but Will being Will gave us 100% but that effective,y ruled him out of Tuesday’s game. Hydie missed the Folkestone game with a back spasm and was a risk, Pritch was still suffering from the effects of the tackle from the Folkestone player who was later sent off. So we were down to bare bones facing the in form team in the league.
We changed the formation to suit who was available. I thought for the first half it worked and we created some good chances early on – Gondoh has gone through but only hit the side netting, Razz had a couple of opportunities but couldn’t find the target. Some other aspects didn’t work – at times I think we looked disorganised and we adjusted a few things at half time.
To be honest we never got going in the second half. I don’t think Canvey looked dangerous but we gave them the opportunity to play on the break – whilst both goals were from mistakes we made, you have to admire the way they took them. Whilst we made a mistake in the Canvey half for the first goal, the guy has a lot still to do and he showed how good a player he is by taking that opportunity and converting it. The second has come as we are chasing the game. You have to congratulate Canvey – it was a good game and they came out on top. We couldn’t really change much from the bench and we lost Hydie, Jayden and Deon, with all three doubtful for Saturday, the story of our season really. It’s been ridiculously hard to stay as competitive as we have been with so many injuries.
The transfer window shut on Thursday and we tried really hard to bring in a couple of new faces but couldn’t get the agreements in place and so we now go into the final four weeks of the season with what we have. I’m not someone who has ever continuously brought in new players – I like to work with a settled squad but this season has really tested that.
It is what it is and we will focus on our games ahead with our squad. I understand fans get frustrated but as I said at the Fans Forum late last year, don’t be too quick to judge or jump to conclusions. It’s easy to sit/stand there and criticise the boys without really knowing some of the background such as their physical and mental states of juggling work, families and football. We all want to win as much as you do and we, on the bench, hear the encouragement from the stand, and the criticism. It’s important that when we do go through difficult times – and let’s not forget that we’ve only lost four games in four months, all to teams above us or around us. The Pan has always been a positive for us and it was disappointing to hear some of the comments from the stand when we went 1-0 down on Tuesday. All I ask is that you trust us and be as positive as possible. The boys hear stuff and read stuff online and that can have an impact.
Onto Saturday and we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Whilst their results haven’t been as positive as they were earlier in the season, you can’t always read much into the past. They had a man sent off at Cray Wanderers last week that undoubtedly impacted the final score. They will pose threats and we will assess who is fit in the morning to determine how we set up for the game. We’ve given the boys some rest this week because this is our most important game of the season. We need numbers and all of you to be vocal, staying positive, lifting us.
After this one we have a week off, our first one in what seems like ages and that’s going to be critical for us to repair and refocus for the final five games so this game comes off the back of a defeat, with some injuries is a key one to win. I’m asking you to put aside your personal thoughts on how we play, our formation or line up and just support us as we need that more than ever.
I won’t lose belief in the players who came into facing the form side on Tuesday off the back of three successive wins and I ask you to do the same. There’s 18 points to play for and we know some of those around us have really tough games in the next four weeks.
Keep up your excellent support and Come On You Rooks
TUESDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
How about this for a couple of amazing shots of the Pan on Tuesday night? Owen Badman is the drone owner who took this picture and has built up a great collection of aerial shots which you can see here. You can also follow him on Instagram here.
LEWES 0 CANVEY ISLAND 2 – TUESDAY 21st MARCH 2023
Lewes suffered their first home league defeat of the season, as a second-half brace from Evans Kouassi saw Canvey Island leave the Pan with a 2-0 win.
The Rooks started brightly and could have taken an early lead through Ryan Gondoh, who went on a purposeful run down the right before shooting into the side-netting.
Lewes continued to get plenty of joy on their right as the half progressed, an incisive passing move ending with Razz Coleman De-Graft cutting the ball back for both Jayden Davis and Tyrique Hyde to have goal-bound efforts blocked.
Both sides were playing their part in ensuring fans were treated to an open, entertaining game of football under the lights, with Canvey Island pressing high up thd pitch and committing players forward whenever possible as they looked to take the lead themselves.
The better chances continued to fall to Lewes though, De-Graft cutting in from the right before seeing a well-struck effort saved by Bobby Mason at his near post.
The visitor’s first presentable chance of the game minutes later saw Kouassi miss the target from close range after the Lewes defence had been unable to clear a Sam Mvemba long-throw.
The Rooks went close again in the final acrion of the first half, another flowing move ending with Hyde shooting straight at Mason from the edge of the area.
After a first half that saw Lewes look the more likely scorers, the second was the complete opposite, and the tone was set within minutes of the restart as De-Graft was forced to clear a looping header from a left-wing corner off the line.
Lewis Carey was then called into his first meaningful action of the game, making a smart save with his feet to deny Joe Paxman at the end of an excellent run through the Lewes defence.
The Rooks were finding it difficult to keep possession and this resulted in more pressure from Canvey Island, who saw Kouassi make space for himself on the edge of the area before shooting just wide.
The visitors took the lead their second-half pressure had been threatening on 73 minutes, Kouassi embarking on a superb run from inside his own half before finishing emphatically across Carey and into the bottom corner.
Lewes continued to struggle to create chances as they had done during the first half and were caught with a sucker punch six minutes from time, as they lost possession deep inside their own half, allowing Kouassi to be played through on goal and finish past Carey to make it 2-0 snd secure all three points for the impressive visitors.
ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY – 25th MARCH
#1. On this day in 1939, the biggest crowd recorded at Old Trafford for a football match was recorded. Wolverhampton Wanderers were one of the teams, but who was the other?
#2. On this day in 1980, which former England captain made their debut for Scunthorpe United?
#3. On this day in 2007, Italian Giampaolo Pazzini set a record that can never be beaten...what is that record?
#4. On this day in 2017, Lewes lost at Greenwich Borough but which current Rook lined up for the home side?
#5. On this day in 2014, the Rooks hosted Wealdstone in a Ryman Premier League game. What was the final score?
GUESS THE FORMER ROOK
INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS FROM POTTERS BAR TOWN
The foundations for the Mount Grace Old Scholars (Potters Bar) Football Association were laid in spring 1960.
The school’s first team were having a good season, but many of the boys were due to leave at Easter. It was then that Ken Barrett; the P.E. Master of Mount Grace School asked them and old ‘Scholars’ to support him in raising a team.
We were accepted into the Barnet & District League on 29th June 1960. Ken enlisted Bert Wright, the school’s Caretaker and Sven Hammarling and then Bill Venneear. Reserve, 3rd and 4th Teams were added in the following seasons.
In 1965, the Barnet & District and Finchley & District Leagues merged to form the North London Combination. By 1967/68 we had won the Premier Division and the Reserves the Division 1 title and were admitted to Division 2 of the Herts County League.
In 1976 Bill Venneear and Clive Cavalier stepped down and Peter Waller, then the 3rd Team manager, was ‘persuaded’ to take over.
In 1978 many recommended the closure of the Club. But we continued and our three sides were relegated. But from the experience grew a desire never to repeat the mistakes again. Micky Holson became Manager and in 1981/82 we were in the Premier Division, as Division One Champions.
Clive Cavalier rejoined in 1979 and with Peter Waller planned the new Clubhouse and changing rooms. Construction started in July 1982 and in six months, with Frank Bentley’s considerable involvement and help from members, the clubhouse opened on the 9th January 1983.
In 1990/91, we reached the FA Vase 3rd round, before we came back from a 24 point deficit to win the Herts Senior County League Premier Division and the Aubrey Cup.
We accepted promotion to the South Midlands League and changed our playing name to Potters Bar Town FC, to reflect the growing stature of the club and promote the Town. Don Newman stood down as Chairman after 11 years.
We installed the Floodlight system in 1993, the Youth section was reformed in 1993/94 and FA Cup football came in 1995/96. At the end of that season, Peter Waller stepped down as Secretary, after twenty years, to become Chairman.
In 1996/97, the South Midlands Premier Division title was won, but we knew there was too much work to do to apply to the Isthmian League.
The following season, 1997/98, the club reached the quarter final of the FA Vase, going down 2-0 to Kidsgrove Athletic, only conceding in the second period of extra time. We were Runners-up in the league, but won the Challenge Trophy and the South Midlands Floodlight Cup. The Reserves went one better, winning Reserve Division One.
In 1998, Peter Waller and Eddie Harvey, secured a new 21-year lease on the ground, whilst on the site the old school was demolished, replaced by a new Ladbrooke School, Care Home, new car park and Watkins Rise. Sadly, we lost Bill Venneear in November 2000, a victim of cancer. The 150 Seater Main Stand was added in May 2001.
For Season 2001/02, Steve Smart became Manager and by 2002/03, with Paul Surridge, we achieved 3rd place in the league and won the Herts Charity Shield. The Potters Bar Charity Cup followed in 2003/04, but 2004/05 was the most successful of his 3 year reign, winning four trophies; the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division and the Premier Division Cup, Herts Charity Shield and Potters Bar Charity Cup.
The club went on to take the title by sixteen points, remaining unbeaten in the final 19 league matches, including sixteen victories.
Off the pitch, in 6 weeks Club members and Players carried out major improvements and we passed the FA Ground grading and earned promotion to the Southern League Division 1 East for season 2005/06.
Steve Smart stepped down; Kevin Lucas was appointed, and then replaced by Andy Milne. Though we were bottom for six months, we would not give up. Andy Leese agreed to join us in February 2006 and with new players our fortunes changed and we survived relegation, finishing 16th. The club was devastated that season by the death of Ken Woodward, who had spearheaded the ground improvements.
For 2006/07, we were moved to the Ryman League Division 1 North. We enjoyed a most successful FA Cup run, losing away by 3-2 to full-time Woking, of the Conference National, in the 4th qualifying round, after wins against Waltham Abbey, Wealdstone, Maldon Town and Margate by 2-1 away. But we won the Herts FA Charity Cup, for the first time, but lost Kevin Wilmot, as Secretary. Andy Leese left in May 2007 and we appointed Steve Browne, though he resigned in December 2008.
In the summer of 2007, a spectators covered area was added and a turnstile block. All four turnstiles have a unique history, as they were all in use at the old Wembley Stadium, until it closed in 2000. Adam Lee was appointed in 2008 and for 5 years served the Club with great distinction and commitment, always improving our league position and reached the Herts Senior Cup Final in 2012/13 for the only time.
In May 2010, to celebrate our 50th year, many former players returned, including 9 who had played in the very first match in September 1960! Bert Wright, one of our ‘founders’, received the FA 50 years service Award. To commemorate the occasion, the Club reverted to Maroon shirts, the same colours that we wore in June 1960. In January 2012, Bert Wright died at the age of 93, having given the club 52 years of service. In his honour, we renamed the Main stand after him.
For 2013/14 we were back in the Southern League. In late 2013, Adam Lee stepped down, succeeded by Jack Friend, then in early 2015, by Steve Ringrose. Our Free Season Ticket Offer was launched for 2014/15 and made the national press. Sadly, we lost Eddie Harvey.
In 2015/16 we reached the semi-final of the League Cup, and then in 2016/17 we made the 4th qualifying round of the F.A. Cup for the second time, including a replay win at Bath City on penalties (our best result against a team from a higher level).
In Summer 2017 the Clubroom was totally refurbished and in August 2018, after raising £100,000 ourselves and 3 years work by John Gibbs, our new Changing Room complex was opened.
For 2017/18 we were back in the Isthmian League Division 1 North. In September 2017, Peter Waller, celebrated 50 years of service to the Club and received an FA Award. Steve Ringrose ‘promoted’ James Duncan to Head Coach and several experienced players arrived.
We started with another successful run in the FA Cup, losing to National South Play Off Finalists Hampton & Richmond Borough, whilst in the FA Trophy we fell to Southern League Premier Division Champions, Hereford, both after replays. We then targeted the Play offs, being 8th in January.
However, in our remaining 22 fixtures, we won 15 and drew 5 and came through to take 2nd spot and promotion, with a win on the final day. As a result, we proudly started 2018/19 in the Premier Division.
The 2018/19 season was to present two challenges:
One: Make the necessary ground improvements to reach the next level ground grading requirements which meant the addition of two new stands – one a 100-seater and the other a 100 standing – this was achieved on time – thanks to the hard work of club members and supporters and fund-raising and grants.
Two: Establish ourselves at step three. This we did – finishing 16th in the in the Bostik Premier League despite the departure of our management team in the season, but we again promoted from within with Lee O’Leary stepping up to player/manager and being joined by Scott Cousins as joint manager. It was another season of significant progress.
The shortened 2019/20 season was another successful one as the club solidified its position at Step three and gained national interest as we took Barnet to a replay in the FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying, whilst the home game being shown on the BBC with a crowd 0f 2011 in attendance.
The 2020/21 season was also curtailed, with the last game being played in October, a 3-1 loss against Leatherhead. The season’s termination did not prevent us from continuing to make progress on and off the pitch however, as on the pitch we were able to enjoy 3-0 wins against both Cheshunt and Cray Wanderers, the latter ending our opponent’s 17 game unbeaten run.
Off the pitch, further improvements were made to the renamed LA Construction Stadium, as a state-of-the-art sprinkler system, a perimeter barrier around the pitch and a new draining system were all installed, whilst the main grandstand was changed to a maroon and white colour with new seats and a repaint in order to match the new club colours.
The 2021/22 season saw a return to playing football and a complete season completed. We went out of the FA Cup in the first qualifying round away to Stowmarket Town but enjoyed our best run to date in the FA Trophy before losing 3-1 away to Braintree Town of the National League South in the second round proper. With an unprecedented wet winter the club was hampered by having a number of home game postponed due to a continuing water logged pitch which put us behind in league fixtures -a lot of mid season work was put into the pitch to aid its recovery. Also Lee O’Leary resigned as manager but the club appointed the experienced Sammy Moore which saw a change in the team’s performances and the club achieved a final position of 13th with 53 points – their best yet at step three…
Emmanuel Agboola – Emmanuel Agboola joins the side having previously played for Corinthian Casuals, meaning he does have experience in the Isthmian Premier League.
The 23-year-old has also had spells at Oxford United where he was signed professionally, Billericay Town and a loan spell at Staines Town.
A product of Reading’s academy, Agboola will undoubtedly bring quality to the side for the upcoming season.
Kasim Aidoo – Kasim Aidoo joined the Scholars in the summer and has been an important player on the left wing.
The 21-year-old developed at Charlton’s academy and made four appearances for Vanarama National League South side Eastbourne Borough last year.
Aidoo’s experience at a higher level, including an appearance in the EFL Trophy against Leyton Orient in November 2020, will be vital to the team for this campaign.
Rudy Allen – A product of the U18’s academy at Met Police FC, Rudy Allen had three seasons with the first team before making the switch to the Scholars mid-way through this season.
The versatile midfielder has impressed and makes for a good acquisition for Bar.
His ability to play in several positions makes him an asset to Sammy Moore, who has managed to further bolster the squad.
Tyler Christian-Law – Experienced central midfielder Tyler Christian-Law has managed to attain playing time at a higher level, such as making 17 appearances for Braintree Town in the 2019/20 season, scoring two goals.
A good leader, Tyler will be hoping to raise the games of those around him, whilst also hoping to make vital contributions on the pitch with his vision and ability to read the game.
Ted Collins – Goalkeeper Ted Collins joined the Scholars on an initial month-long loan from Colchester United which later became a season-long loan.
Collins made a name for himself with a massive performance against Enfield Town at home, when Bar won 2-1, their first win over their rivals since joining the Isthmian Premier League.
Collins has been a fantastic addition between the sticks so far this campaign.
Calvin Dickson – Calvin Dickson joined the club in the early stages of last season and made his debut on the 26th of October in a 0-2 loss against Ware in the Hertfordshire County Cup First Round.
A versatile defender and midfielder, Dickson is a player who isn’t afraid to get stuck in, Dickson is an important member of Moore’s squad.
Dren Hoti – Dren Hoti was promoted from the Under 18’s side by manager Sammy Moore early on in the season, and he will be hoping to repay his boss’ faith in him by providing reliable cover off the bench whilst challenging for a place in the starting 11.
Kamara also has experience paying for the likes of Margate, Herne Bay, Moseley and Greenwich Borough.
Bradley Kauzeni – Bradley Kauzeni joined the club in late October looking to improve the defence, making his debut in a 1-2 win against Hastings.
He was also a product of Brentford’s academy.
Jacques Kpohomouh – Defender Jacques Kpohomouh arrived from Herne Bay in the second half of last season last season, and the 25-year-old Guinean has since become a regular in the Scholars backline.
The most notable club Kpohomouh, or Kpog as he is also known, has played for is Hemel Hempstead, whom he played for in the 18/19 season.
Shadrac Kweme – Defender Shadrac Kweme was promoted to the first team early on in the campaign by Sammy Moore from the U18’s team.
He will hope that he can show his quality in his first year playing senior level football and attempt to break into the starting eleven as well.
Adam Martin – Having played for Farnborough and Beaconsfield this season and a former pro, Adam Martin will want to add to our midfield which has started the campaign very promisingly.
The 33-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the middle of the park.
The Englishman also featured for local rivals Enfield Town as recently as 2018, also playing for AFC Wimbledon.
Sam McRitchie – Sam McRitchie will hope to add to our already strong midfield in his maiden year in Maroon.
The Australian is a good friend of Moore’s and will hope to contribute to what looks to be an exciting squad this campaign.
Miles Mitchell-Nelson – Miles Mitchell-Nelson joined the club in October and made an instant impact, scoring on his debut against Canvey Island.
The former East Thurrock and Southend defender is a vital part of the team at centre back.
Quentin Monville – Winger or attacker Quentin Monville started his Potters Bar career in style, netting a late winner against Herne Bay.
The former Bowers & Pitsea player has proven his pace and determination in Maroon.
Monville was also on the scoresheet with a vital winner against Aldershot Town in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round to send his former club to the FA Cup First Round last season, where they lost 1-0 to Lincoln City.
Quentin’s ability to get on the end of crosses and convert penalties means he is an asset to the club.
Ike Olaiya – Striker Ike Olaiya makes the step up to men’s football this campaign having featured previously for our U18’s side.
The youngster is known for being a clinical finisher, and will hope to force his way into the starting eleven despite his age this term.
He scored a brace in Bar’s 4-1 win over Baldock Town in the Herts Senior Cup.
Frazer Shaw – Defender and captain Frazer Shaw arrived at the club in February 2021 from Kingstonian and will be looking to help push the team on with his experience and knowhow.
The 27-year-old left back was a product of the West Ham academy and has played for the likes of Concord Rangers, Dulwich Hamlet and Leyton Orient before arriving at the Scholars.
Finlay Titchmarsh – Finlay Titchmarsh has asserted his position in the side in his maiden year at the club.
He scored his first goal for the club in a 3-0 win against Billericay and has been able to contribute in both defence and attack for Bar.
The young defender has huge potential and played over 36 times for Royston last season.
The 19-year-old was previously with Vanarama National League side Barnet & Southern League outfit Royston Town.
Theo Woerner-Peacock – Midfielder Theo Woerner-Peacock was brought into the first team by Sammy Moore, having previously been a player in our U18’s team.
The youngster will be hoping to continue to impress the manager and his coaching staff throughout the rest of the season.
THE HEAD TO HEAD
|22nd Nov 2022||Isthmian Premier League||Potters Bar Town||4||Lewes||3|
|4th Dec 2021||Isthmian Premier League||Lewes||1||Potters Bar Town||5|
|28th Aug 2021||Isthmian Premier League||Potters Bar Town||1||Lewes||3|
|17th Oct 2020||Isthmian Premier League||Potters Bar Town||1||Lewes||1|
|14th Sept 2019||Isthmian Premier League||Lewes||3||Potters Bar Town||3|
|2nd Feb 20291||Isthmian Premier League||Lewes||0||Potters Bar Town||0|
THE LAST MEETING HERE – LEWES 1 POTTERS BAR TOWN 5
REMEMBERING MARGATE – LEWES IN DREAMLAND
Anyone who attended the Margate away fixture last season, knows how special the place is. I remember it like it was yesterday. Jumping on the train from Lewes to Ramsgate, then a rail replacement bus from Ramsgate to Margate, and we were finally there, and it was beautiful. Dreamland in the distance, the harbour arm in front of us, it felt like we were on holiday. There’s no need for me to ramble on about it though, here’s an extract taken from Lewes Clamour’s 21/22 season review, that explains why that day in Margate was so special.
I’ve said this to a few of the Youth Wing members before, Margate away last season will perhaps be one of the greatest away days of all time. Until next weekend, when we return…
ANOTHER FINE MESS
Back in late January The Rooks headed to Carshalton Athletic for the chilly Monday night game. On arrival, having had the information on our kit, the referee determined that our white away shirts “clashed” with Carshalton’s red and white spider web shirt. Naturally, we couldn’t wear our red and black home shirt, but fortunately, we always travel with our green third shirt. It was a bit of a plain because the players were not allowed to wear their undershirts/shorts as they have to match the primary colour, which in this case was green.
But an eagle eyed league official spotted that our shirts did not have the required Pitching In decals on the shirts – we are only given enough to cover our standard home and away shirts. This was the first league match we had to wear green this season and it is unlikely we will need to wear it again so the cost of buying more decals and putting them on the shirts “just in case” simply wasn’t something we had thought of doing. A petty offence but one that still earned us a small fine and a slap on the wrist from the league.
BUT, as you will see in the photo on the right below, just two weeks later, Carshalton took on Bognor Regis Town and were allowed to wear their white shirts (and their white undershirts), as too were Enfield Town when they played them just five days after the Rooks game.
A fair cop? I don’t think so.
But I wonder if professional clubs are fined when they have kit issues, such as the ones below?
Moving from top left to bottom right, Man City’s keeper Ederson was made to wear a pair of Crystal Palace socks when the two sides met in mid March. When Sheffield Wednesday arrived with their famous blue and white stripped shirts at Tranmere Rovers, it wasn’t much of a surprise that there would be a kit clash. Travelling without an away strip, Wednesday were forced to wear Tranmere’s away kit.
In the 2008/09 season Brighton & Hove Albion’s kitman decided to pack their blue home kit for the trip to Leicester City, who have only played in blue shirts since their formation around 140 years ago and consequently had to don the Foxes yellow away kit.
In the bottom left hand corner we have Crystal Palace against Barnsley. Naturally, Barnsley couldn’t wear their normal red shirts, but felt that their change strip of black and dark blue striped shirts would be acceptable. They weren’t and so they had to don Palace’s away kit.
Chelsea‘s kitman forgot to pack the away shirt for their trip to Coventry City in 1997 and there was a clash to the home shirt. The result? A delay in kick off to allow Chelsea to change into the Coventry away shirt.
And finally, possibly the best kit clash of all time (story from Squadnumbers.com website).
In 1978 much of the world still watched TV in black and white so wherever possible televised football matches had to be contested by one team in light strips and one in dark. With that in mind, in February 1978 FIFA wrote to the French and Hungarian FAs to advise them that Hungary should play the World Cup game against France in their red home strip, and France should wear their white away kit.
However, in late April or early May FIFA changed their minds, and decided that France should wear their blue home strip and Hungary their white away kit. Alas, FFF official Henri Patrelle gave this communiqué only a cursory glance, binned it and forgot about it.
So, come the day of the match, both teams turned up in Mar del Plata with only their white strips.
No-one guessed anything was up until the French took to the field to warm up, blue tracksuit tops over their white shirts. Their opponents were already out on the pitch. Henri Michel noticed something suspiciously white-looking under the Hungarians’ red tracksuit tops.
“White shirt?” Michel asked Peter Torocsik.
“White shirt,” came the reply.
The French officials were asked where their blue shirts were. The answer was 400 km away in Buenos Aires.
A couple of World Cup gophers were rapidly despatched in a car to ask the local football club, Atletico Kimberley, if they had a set of dark strip to lend the French. Fortunately Kimberley played in green and white stripes and agreed.
Here is where the story gets interesting from our point of view – the Kimberley shirts had no numbers. France’s squad of sixteen for the match included Bernard Lacombe (number 17), Dominique Rocheteau (18), Didier Six (19 – you’d think coach Michel Hidalgo would have given him 6) and Olivier Rouyer (20). There were only 14 outfield shirts in the Kimberley set. Kimberley didn’t mind the French ironing numbers onto their shirts, but they drew the line at having gaps in their numeration. The shirts would have to be numbered 2-11 and 13-16. (In Argentina 12 is for the substitute goalkeeper.)
So, after kick-off was held up for 40 minutes for the numbers to be ironed on, the teams finally took to the field, with Rocheteau wearing 7, Rouyer 11, and Claude Papi, whose squad number was 12, wearing 10. On the subs’ bench Six wore 16 and Lacombe, though an attacking midfielder, had to wear 2 as it was the only remaining shirt. He wasn’t brought on so we didn’t get to see a number 2 making surging forward runs from the middle. The French blue away shorts had numbers, so these five players turned out with one number on their shirt and another on their shorts.
The French players weren’t put off by these shenanigans – they won 3-1. Some of the Kimberley players were in the crowd, flushed with pride at their shirts seeing World Cup action.
Credit to @RetroshirtsFC for the above information.
WILL POWER – THE ENGLISH COACH TAKING FRANCE BY STORM
There used to be a website called Les Rosbifs that tracked the progress of English players and managers abroad. Whilst the headlines in the past have been grabbed by the Beckham’s, the Owen’s, the Brady’s and even Ian Rush, who once said that playing in Italy was like “playing in a foreign country”, there are dozens more who pass under the radar, often plying their whole career overseas.
Prior to the start of this season, few people will have heard of Will Still, yet here we are and he is one of the most talked about coaches in Europe, even being lined up by some media outlets as the new manager of West Ham, Crystal Palace or even Spurs.
Still was born in Belgium to English parents and never actually played in England, learning the game through the youth systems in Belgium, before getting his first coaching role with Preston North End in 2014. At the time he started using the data in Football and Championship Manager to learn scouting and how to spot talent from data.
His first head coach role was in January 2021 with Beerschot in the Belgium top league as caretaker but at the end of the season, a new manager was appointed. Still then joined French top flight side Reims as assistant manager, travelling back and forward from Belgium on a daily basis, and combining the role with study for his UEFA Pro-Licence, the requirement to manage in France. With the travel causing a major issue, he left Reim and joined Standard Liege.
At the end of the 2021–22 season, Still got a call back from Reims, to go back to the Ligue 1 side as an assistant manager. After head coach Oscar García was sacked on 13 October 2022, Still took over as caretaker manager. Following an undefeated stretch of five games, he was appointed as manager for the rest of the 2022–23 season, becoming the youngest manager in Europe’s top five leagues at 30 years of age. Due to him not holding a UEFA Pro Licence, Reims get fined €25,000 for every match Still manages…however, since taking the role, Still took Reims on an amazing 17 game unbeaten run, a record in Ligue 1, including victories over Monaco and Toulouse, and a headline 1-1 away at PSG, finally losing their streak with a 2-1 defeat at home to Marseille last weekend.
Whilst Still refutes the claim that his success is purely down to his love of computer football management games. However, it is the hook that the media still hang their hat on and they naturally are linking him with any potential vacancy in the Premier League.
THE RACE FOR THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER PLAY-OFF PLACES
So, with just six games to go, it is still all up in the air. Hornchurch’s draw at Haringey Borough on Saturday, coupled with Aveley’s amazing run of form suggests the title will go North of the Thames to either of those two, plus Bishop’s Stortford. But who could fill those other play-off spots? Let’s take a look at who has to play who in the final four weeks of the season.
|Hornchurch (73)||Aveley (70)||Bishop’s Stortford (70)||Canvey Island (68)|
|Margate (H)||Brightlingsea (H)||Bognor Regis (H)||Hastings (H)|
|Enfield Town (A)||Haringey Bor (A)||Carshalton (A)||Wingate (A)|
|Horsham (A)||Bish Stort (H)||Aveley (A)||Kingstonian (A)|
|Billericay Tn (H)||Canvey Isl (A)||Brightlingsea (H)||Aveley (H)|
|Carshalton (A)||Horsham (H)||Enfield Town (H)||Folkestone (A)|
|Bowers & Pt (H)||Enfield Town (A)||Herne Bay (A)||Lewes (H)|
|Enfield Town (63)||Cray Wanderers (60)||Horsham (59)||Hastings United (59)|
|Herne Bay (A)||Horsham (H)||Cray Wand (A)||Canvey Isl (A)|
|Hornchurch (H)||Enfield Town (A)||Hornchurch (H)||Herne Bay (H)|
|Cray Wanderers (H)||Corinthian Cas (H)||Enfield Town (H)||Potters Bar (A)|
|Horsham (A)||Herne Bay (A)||Hastings Utd (A)||Horsham (H)|
|Haringey Bor (H)||Kingstonian (H)||Aveley (A)||Bognor Regis (H)|
|Bish Stort (A)||Haringey Bor (A)||Brightlingsea (H)||Bowers & Pt (A)|
|Carshalton Ath (58)||Folkestone Inv (55)||Billericay Town (51)|
|Billericay Tn (A)||Bowers & Pit (A)||Carshalton (H)|
|Bish Stort (H)||Kingstonian (H)||Bognor Regis (A)|
|Folkestone (A)||Carshalton (H)||Hornchurch (A)|
|Hornchurch (H)||Margate (A)||Bowers & Pit (H)|
|Potters Bar (A)||Canvey Isl (H)||Margate (H)|
|Wingate & Fin (H)||Bognor Regis (A)||Corinthian Cas (A)|
THE FOOTBALL TOURIST IN THE LAND OF FIRE, ICE AND £15 BEER
It was never my intention when booking a trip to Iceland as a Christmas present for The Current Mrs Fuller that football would be on the agenda. Come on, it is still in the depths of winter in these parts, the season isn’t due to start until mid-April and naturally, the pre-season league cup wasn’t even scheduled, was it? Was it? OK, so I MAY have seen there were games on prior to the weekend and that MAY have swayed my planning in choosing to visit Thursday to Saturday rather than the weekend, where there were no games, but the official line we all stick to is that flights and hotels were significantly cheaper on Thursday because there was a conference at the weekend – a GeoThermal Ecological thing. That’s the one and nobody is going to say different.
This was my fourth trip to the land of fire and ice, and I’d yet to see a game. I’d had a wander around the national stadium at Laugardalsvöllur, the 10,000 capacity ground next door to the biggest outdoor swimming pool on the island but never had the sniff of a game. Pick the right weekend and you cannot walk more than a few hundred yards in Reykjavik without stumbling on a ground – with 30 clubs playing in and around the city.
It wasn’t all about football naturally. After the almost complete failure to see the Northern Lights on our long trek to the Arctic Circle the weekend before, whilst 10 miles down the road at home in Kent they were treated to the best nocturnal display in living memory, we aimed to give it another try in Iceland. Add in a trip to the latest “in place to whip your clothes off” (copyright Bridget Fuller, December 2022) at the Sky Lagoon, which has the world’s biggest single glazed window apparently (one of my favourite world records by the way), the opportunity to try whale, puffin or rotting shark and pay north of £15 for a beer and you had the makings of an excellent short break.
There were games on both nights we were there but I didn’t want to be greedy so suggested we only went to one on each night, rather than the two which was possible. I had no idea what to expect. Average attendances for league games in the Pepsi Deildin, the top flight in Iceland, were less than 800 in 2022, with the best supported team being U Breiðablik Kópavogur, the upstarts from Kópavogsbær in the Höfuðborgarsvæðið region of Reykjavik who had won the 2022 league championship. I’d like to see you ask a taxi driver to take you there after a beer or two.
Our (my) plan had been after a day of wandering the streets of Reykjavik to head up the hill to watch Valur, the twenty three times champions of Iceland, before a late dinner and as many drinks as the second mortgage would cover. Iceland has very strict closing times, with almost every restaurant closing at 10pm, and normal pubs at 11pm. The rise in “craft and cocktail culture” (copyright Stuart Fuller, March 2023) has led to an easing of some of these licensing rules and it is now possible to drink until 1am in many bars – they are easy to find as they have ATMs conveniently located outside.
Valur has spent most of it´s time in Icelandic top flight football, having only played 3 seasons in the clubs history outside the top tier, and is one of the most successful football clubs in Iceland with 23 Icelandic championships and 11 Icelandic Cups. For the past three seasons they have entered the Champions League (as just the champions do in some of the smaller leagues in Europe – fancy that!), losing to Rosenborg, Maribor and Dinamo Zagreb respectively. European football does pose a problem, as the surprise package from Norway this season, Bodø/Glimt, showed in that whilst the rest of the domestic league shuts down for the winter break, they have to keep playing in Arctic conditions.
The club holds the record attendance to a football match in Iceland with 18,243 spectators in attendance v Benfica in 1968, although that was at their old stadium. The current stadium, Hlíðarendi (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈl̥iːðarˌɛntɪ] if that makes it any easier for you), opened in 2008 and is a one sided affair, attached to an indoor sports hall. As with most pitches in Iceland, it is a 3G, as too are most in the country, which is understandable with the weather in these parts for six months of the year.
The performance of the national side in the last few major tournaments, both Men’s and Women’s is attributed to providing community facilities based around 3G pitches around the country, both indoor and outside, encouraging more youngsters to play the game. At this point the Football Association will skip to another website rather than facing an inconvenient truth of the lack of investment at a community level and the correlation to national team success.
Information on the game, aside from location and kick-off time was scant. My Icelandic is rusty to say the least but from Google Translate it appeared entry was free and coffee was 250ISK (£1.50) or vice-versa so we made our way towards Perlan, the “Futuristic revolving glass-domed fine dining restaurant in park setting, with cocktail bar” that sits atop a hill overlooking the city, ducking into the ground just before the ascend requires oxygen. It was indeed free entry, and coffee was indeed 250ISK. Confident in
my Google’s ability to make sense of Icelandic, I tried to order a hit dog in local language, which just led to smirks from the young girls behind the counter, who responded in perfect English, pointing me in the direction of the condiments, adding “that means sauces in English”. Thanks.
The single stand afforded some good views of the sunset to the west, which were the highlight of a goal less first half. Valur have a decent squad, made up of Icelanders, Danes, a Dutch keeper and former US international Aron Jóhannsson, born of Icelandic parents in the US. They huffed and puffed against a spirited HK, or to give them their full name, Handknattleiksfélag Kópavogs side, promoted to the top division for the start of the 2023 season, hailing from just outside the capital. Kópavogur is one of Iceland’s most prominent sites for Icelandic urban legends about the huldufólk, or elves, as we would better know them.
There was little to shout about in the second period and with two minutes to go we headed out, conscious of the 9pm food curfew. As we stepped out of the ground, of course, we missed the one and only goal, scorer still to this day unknown.
The following night we had the joy of Thróttur Reykjavík vs Fylkir at Þróttarvöllur, a venue not a stone’s throw away from the National Stadium, but also a similar distance from the RVK Brewing Company taproom, which I am not ashamed to say, waylaid us for a good 75 minutes of the game, by which time the away side had gone into a 2-1 lead and that’s how it stayed. There’s sometimes more to life than football, as the RVK C & C Stout (“This is what do you get when you introduce a dozen cinnamon rolls to a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark, handsome and sophisticated with an intensely complex flavor profile. One may find notes of coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and liquorice intertwined in a delicate balance’) proves.
Reykjavik is up there with the best for a weekend (or late week) getaway. Yes, it is expensive and yes, it can be freezing (the temperature dropped from a daytime high of 8 degrees when we were there to a low of -13 a week later), but the scenery, the friendliest of people, the food, the beer and occasionally, the football, make it a sure-fire winner of a weekend.
ON THE ROAD TO….MARGATE – SATURDAY 1st APRIL 2023
About Hartsdown Park
Hartsdown Park is still a work in progress. I know I also wrote that
three four years ago before we last visited. This is partly due to the fact that the last decade some of the ground (including the Main Stand and terracing) have been demolished in preparation for the building of new structures, but due to off the field changes in the boom and bust economy of Non-League football, the promised new stands have failed to materialise.
At the Hartsdown Road End is the only structure remaining from the “old ground”. This is quite unusual looking, as although it has a few steps of open terrace at the front, behind it has an enclosed small covered terrace, which is sandwiched between the Clubhouse bar and other club buildings. If you stand on this terrace then to your left are a couple of temporary stands. They are situated either side of the half way and are all seated and covered. However, they are quite small being only four rows high. The opposite side is dominated by portacabin-type structures that are located in the middle with some flat standing areas on either side. These contain the team dressing rooms and the team dugouts are located out front.
The remaining Tivoli Park End (known locally as the ‘Coffin End’), has a very small covered terrace that is located directly behind the goal. To either side of this small temporary structure are flat standing areas that are uncovered. During 2017 a new artificial 3G pitch was installed at the ground.
How to get to Hartsdown Park
Margate is one of our longer trips next season, but Hartsdown Park is relatively easy to find. A23/M23 then M25 anti-clockwise. At junction 5, head down the M26 and then join the M20. At junction 7 head onto the A249 towards Sittingbourne then join the M2 at junction 5 heading towards Canterbury/Dover. On reaching the end of the M2 take the A299 towards Margate.
Stay on the A299 for sixteen miles, until you reach a roundabout which is the junction with the A28. At the roundabout take the second exit onto the A28 continuing towards Margate. After passing a BP garage on your right and then the Hussar pub, also on the right, you will pass through a set of traffic lights. Take the second right onto the George V Avenue (sign posted Ramsgate A254) and follow this road up and around to the left (passing the Hartsdown Academy School on your right). At the end of the road you will reach a T-Junction where you turn right into Hartsdown Road. The entrance to the ground is further down on the left. There is a small car park at the ground, but as you would expect this fills up rather quickly. Otherwise there is plenty of surrounding street parking available. Journey time for the 88-mile trip is two hours.
Margate station is located just under a mile from Hartsdown Park and is around a ten-minute walk. It is served by trains from London St Pancras International, London Charing Cross and a slower route from London Victoria. As you come out of the main station entrance, bear right and walk up the station approach. At the roundabout turn right into All Saints Avenue and go under the railway bridge. Turn left into Tivoli Park Avenue and cross the road to walk alongside the park. After 350 yards turn right down a surfaced footpath. The floodlights of the ground can be seen to the right. The path leads directly to the turnstiles at the South East corner of the ground on Hartsdown Road.
Admission at Hartsdown Park
Admission last season was £12 for adults, £9 for concessions (senior citizens), £5 for Under18s and accompanied under 11’s are admitted free of charge.
Fancy a beer?
There’s a decent sized Clubhouse bar at the ground which also has a big screen for the pre/post-match game. Margate Town Centre is around a 15-minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs to be found. On Marine Terrace there is a Wetherspoons pub called the Mechanical Elephant. Whilst if you also like your real ale then the Northern Belle pub on Mansion Street has been listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for a number of years now. Also, of note is the Lifeboat pub on Market Street, which also has a wide range of real ales and ciders.
THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
THE FIFA RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – No. 190 BRUNEI-DARUSSALAM
Hands up. Who really knows where Brunei-Darussalam is in the world? I’m sure most of us have heard of the Sultan of Brunei, and his vast wealth, but where does he live? The Middle East would be a good bet but you’d be some 5,000 miles away.
Brunei-Darussalam is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its South China Sea coast, it is completely surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Brunei is the only sovereign state entirely on Borneo; the remainder of the island is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia. As of 2020, its population was 460,345. The government is an absolute monarchy ruled by its Sultan, with its huge wealth coming from the export of its extensive petroleum and natural gas.
Football had always been played in the state but it wasn’t until 1959 that a national side was created, joining FIFA as an associate member in 1969, with their first international being played in May 1972 against Malaysia as part of the Asian Cup Qualification tournament. They lost 8-0 in Bangkok. Two days later they lost 10-0 to the hosts, Thailand and then 9-0 to Indonesia a few days later. Not the best debut in the game.
It would be another eight years before they recorded their first win, in their tenth game, beating the Philippines 2-0, then a few days later grabbing a 3-2 win over Indonesia in the 1980 Summer Olympics Qualifying tournament. The euphoria didn’t last and they only won two more games in twenty matches over the next five years.
In September 2009, the Brunei Football Association (BAFA) was suspended by FIFA due to governmental interference in its affairs, which started with a decision by the Brunei authorities to dissolve BAFA and to replace it with a new federation in December 2008 and it would be two and a half years before they were readmitted into the FIFA family.
As of the end of December 2022, in the 130 games Brunei have played, they have won 20, of which 7 have come against East Timor and 5 against the Philippines. Their last set of games, in the qualification for the AFF Cup, has seen them win once (against East Timor) and lose five, including the 5-1 defeat to Cambodia on the 29th December.
Current Technical Director is a chap called Paul Munster, an Northern Irish man who has played and coached across Europe in his career. Former coaches include Paul Smalley (ex-Notts County), Steve Kean (former Blackburn Rovers manager) and former Everton skipper Mick Lyons. Quite what attracted them to the opulence of living in one of the richest places in the world is unknown.
The current squad is made up completely of players who play in the Brunei Super League. One of the most successful teams in the league is Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Football Club, or DPMM, who have also spent time in the Malaysian and Singapore leagues.
The national stadium, the 28,000 capacity Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium can be found in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan, no more than a 10 minute drive from the airport. It has some of the best floodlights in world football, a reason in itself to pay the ground a visit.
COAST TO COAST – THE STODGEBUSTER’S TAKE ON FOLKESTONE
Another trip to the Garden of England for what would surely be another tough game, and one probably both teams needed win to stay in the playoff reckoning. It’s always difficult at Invicta although we haven’t done too bad there lately. Last season we nicked a 2-1 win to keep our playoff hopes alive. We will never, ever forget the end of that game. We were poised by the exit as the referee’s additional six minutes meant we were getting very tight on time for the train home. We dare not leave though as Invicta had a very dangerous free kick on the edge of our box. A free kick that would have a massive bearing on whether we made the playoffs or not. It would almost certainly be the last kick of the game. It seemed to take an age to organise the wall.
“Just kick the ******* thing!”
It sailed over the bar like a Owen Farrell penalty and was heading for France. As soon as it cleared the bar we were out of the blocks like Ben Johnson on those stair rod things. Six minutes later we were sitting on the train in need of some oxygen and smelling salts. Never again.
That wouldn’t happen this time. There were no trains. It would either be a driving job or simply not go. With the second option not being an option, and our two normal drivers being unavailable, it was up to abnormal driver PJ to do the honours. Treasurer Al couldn’t make it for tax reasons and Steve was out of the country on holiday. Booking a holiday during the football season? His Stodgebuster membership might have to be reviewed for that.
PJ picked up Gary in Lewes and Roly in Polegate at 11am. This is a rotten journey. It’s only 69 miles but on country roads, with countless temporary traffic lights and dodging potholes it would take over two hours. Longer if we got caught up behind something slow moving. PJ didn’t know the way after Hastings so relied on the satnav. There was an error on his part as he had inadvertently set it to “shortest route”. Consequently, we found ourselves taking a rather unorthodox route along some very interesting roads. Somewhere in Hastings we were advised to take a right turn. PJ had misgivings. This didn’t look right. The road made the moon surface look like a snooker table. But we went for it as the technology said that was the way to go. The road had some very nice expensive properties on it and it was obvious why there was a surfeit of Range Rovers and suchlike. They needed them for their road! A Fiesta ST with sport suspension is not ideal. Even at walking pace it nearly shook our fillings out. Then..…what the hell is this? Oh, well done TomTom. The end of the road had a locked gate across it. There was no option but to turn around and go bumpity-bump all the way back to the main road. Now, PJ had only updated his satnav maps a fortnight earlier, and the gate was considerably older than that, so one wonders how many other users get caught out by this? Technology? PAH! Come on TomTom. Sort it out!
After that little deviation we stuck to the main roads, headed for Rye and stayed on the A259 all the way, ignoring any diversions the bleedin’ satnav said.
Invicta’s ground was easy enough to find but we had just missed the last space in the car park. Someone had parked a motorhome and taken up four spaces which we didn’t think was particularly cricket. Never mind, we found a space on the road outside and set out on the ten minute walk to The Beano Café. We were getting hungry.
We visited the Beano Café last season. It’s certainly not The Ritz but it does a decent, reasonably priced meal and one can read The Beano Annual 1982 or watch Turkish league football while waiting for one’s food. Three slightly varying Full English’ with tea and toast. Lovely stuff. At about £6.80 each it was a bargain.
We quite like Invicta’s ground. The end without cover isn’t great if it’s raining but we would be ok today. It has good terracing each end, and hence good visibility. It has a very good club shop and Gary was in there straight away for some badge stall stock. The thing that isn’t so good is the pitch. It’s not the best. However, maybe it doesn’t look that good because we are spoiled these days with our new superb hybrid pitch and compare everything to that. On the other hand, if one takes time to watch an episode of The Big Match Revisited on ITV4, where they show football from the Stodgebusters youth of the 1970’s and 1980’s, one would say that Invicta’s pitch is superb. It is eye-opening how pitches have improved since those mud-heap days where one could often play Spot The Blade Of Grass. Derby’s Baseball Ground always seemed one of the worst.
We weren’t overly confident of getting a result here. But it was probably a must win. The first half was pretty tight. The ball did spend a lot of time at the other end but we don’t recall Carey having to extend himself too much. In the 36th minute ex-Invicta player Joe Taylor broke away and instead of lashing it home he squared it for Deon Moore. Deon was closed down very quickly but somehow the ball squirted up in the air between them and looped beautifully over the keeper and into the net. Who it actually came off last we didn’t know, but Deon got the credit. The home supporters and their drummer were suddenly very quiet. But we weren’t!
We expected a second half onslaught. Again, the ball spent too much time at the other end for our liking and one felt a goal was coming. It came in the 73rd minute when a shot from Heard took a nasty deflection off Will Salmon and gave Carey no chance. We didn’t fancy our chances of a winner until the goal scorer, Heard, took his turn at clattering the much-fouled Ryan Gondoh six minutes from time. He saw a second yellow and was off, much to the displeasure of the Invicta support closest to the incident. There was a barrage of colourful language being used to inform the referee he might have got it wrong. Who would be a referee? An enraged member of the home bench was also dismissed we think.
“Hey, we have a chance of nicking a win here!”
Lewes were well on top for the last few minutes but didn’t make the most of it. Until additional time that is. Another corner to Lewes was lumped in. It wasn’t the greatest corner but caused chaos in the Folkestone box. The ball very nearly went out for a goal kick, but someone in a Lewes shirt hooked their foot around it and put it back in the danger area while the defenders just watched. It fell to Deon Moore who swivelled and put it in the bottom corner. It was pandemonium behind the goal with sexagenarians, septuagenarians and even an octogenarian jumping all over the place with the youth wing in celebration. One would think we had won the Champions League. The home players were enraged as they claimed the ball had gone out. It happened only eight feet in front of us and we don’t think it did. But we would say that wouldn’t we? The keeper ran over and remonstrated loudly with the lino. The lino had two posts, a net and at least three players between him and the ball so he probably couldn’t see anything. It was all in vain. All the keeper got for his trouble was a yellow.
We held on quite comfortably for the three beautiful, precious points. The players came right over to the barriers so we could show our appreciation. They showed their appreciation for us too. Thanks lads. We love it.
What a great day it had been. It was a happy car on the way back. It had also been Dodge The Pothole In The Dark, but PJ still had 4 mostly round wheels and tyres by the time we got home.
The Stodgebusters will return at Margate on April Fools Day.
THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PARTNERS
LEGALS AND CREDITS
“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”
Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.
Honorary President Terry Parris
Chair Stuart Fuller
Directors Willa Bailey, Tim Bradshaw, Ed Briggs, Scott Currie, Stuart Fuller, Andy Gowland, Lucy Mills, John Peel, 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
NEW UP AT THE DRIPPING PAN
FRIDAY 7th APRIL 2023 – 3pm
THE ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS:
- What is still a record crowd for Old Trafford was set on this day when 76,962 were present at the FA Cup semi-final between Wolves and Grimsby. Wolves won 5-0
- Ian Botham was best known as a cricketer but on this day in 1980 he made his debut as a footballer for Scunthorpe United, coming on as a sub in the Division 4 match at Bournemouth. He couldn’t be described as a footballing legend at the Old Show Ground – he didn’t make his starting debut for another 2 years (and that a 7-2 home defeat by Wigan) and in all played for Scunthorpe in 11 League matches and an FA Cup tie.
- England Under 21s met their Italian counterparts in the first match at the new Wembley Stadium in front of a 55,700 crowd. Giampaolo Pazzini scored the first goal after just 29 seconds and went on to score a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw. England’s goals came from David Bentley, Wayne Routledge and Matt Derbyshire.
- The Rooks lost at Greenwich Borough with the only goal scored by Charlie McDonald. In the starting line up for the home side was one Bradley Pritchard.
- Rhys Murrell-Williamson lined up for the Rooks in the 3-0 defeat here at The Pan to Wealdstone
GUESS THE FORMER ROOK