Tuesday 25th October 2022 7:45pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan

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

Credit: Doyle
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Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s Isthmian Premier League game against Hornchurch. I’d like to welcome the visiting fans, players, management and officials and hope they enjoy our hospitality.

Hornchurch have come very close to promotion in the last two seasons and will certainly be hoping it’s third time lucky this time around. We know this will be our toughest test of the season so far and hope everyone will get behind the team this afternoon.

We come into the game with a 100% record after three games. It’s a great start to the campaign, but we won’t be getting carried away. We rode our luck at times last week at Potters Bar and that was a great test for our defence, but likewise, we had chances at the other end to have put the game to bed earlier. We will play better and lose on occasions.

We are close to being able to share details of our fixtures in the Fenix Trophy. It’s been a complicated dance so far as FC Oslo’s season finishes in October and they don’t start again until March, but we are almost there with the agreed dates for the group matches.

In the game at Kingstonian 10 days ago, some of the fencing on the terrace behind the goal we were attacking in the second half was damaged. Because that fencing protects fans from a sheer drop at the back of the stand, ground owners Tooting & Mitcham United have had to close part of the terrace until it is properly repaired. We have reviewed the video of the game and can identify those involved. Our away support is superb but causing intentional damage to a ground is completely unacceptable.

I’m sure many of you will have received details of a consultation process we are in with a new football-focused investment fund called Mercury13. Naturally, there’s a lot of opposing views on this and what it means for the club. I’m not using these not to advocate how every owner should react or respond to the proposed ongoing discussions, but I did want to just clarify a couple of points that I’ve seen discussed on social media.

This is not a takeover of our fan-owned club. The discussions have been around a majority stake being offered in Lewes Football Club Women Ltd, a subsidiary of the 100% fan-owned club. The club would continue to be fan-owned, with the board elected on rotation by the owners.

Whilst the investment would be focused into the Women’s team, the whole club would benefit in terms of improved facilities, more resources that support all of our teams and investment into our infrastructure.

It’s no secret that the club have been exploring external investment options for a while. Some may not agree with our strategy to play at the highest level possible for both of our first teams, others will see the possibility to progress into the professional game and benefit from the opportunities that come with that. What won’t happen is the club will end up being burdened with unsustainable debt.

We are approaching a major decision point in the future direction of the club and it is important that all of our stakeholders – owners, fans, players, staff, partners – have an opportunity to provide their opinions and views and I’d encourage everyone who wants to comment and feedback to do so. We will continue to provide updates on the consultation at regular intervals.

Back to today and the three points on offer at the top of the table. Let’s get behind the team and really make a difference!

Come on you Rooks!


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So, three games, three wins, and all is Rosey right? Not quite…

My thoughts from before the start of the season haven’t changed, nor anything I have seen in games or training has made me come off that. This side of Christmas will be tricky, and people reading this might think, how can you say that when we have won the first three games? Let me explain, If anyone had watched those three games, they would have seen three very different performances.

Cray – We controlled the performance with 3-4 flashes of very good play, and we won 1-0 and deservedly so over the 90mins.

Kingstonian – I thought we were brilliant from the start until the end: great football, excellent work rate, just an excellent night’s work. We could have won by more vs a dangerous team and I wasn’t surprised a few days later to see them beat Canvey, a team who finished 3rd last season.

Potters Bar – One team coming off the back of a brilliant performance vs a team who had lost their first two games, with players coming in and out, so on paper, an away win banker? Well, in the first 20 minutes, we could have been 4-0 down but for Nathan Harvey. We were all over the place, with some players doing one thing and others having different ideas! We were really poor the whole game but found a way to win, and that’s great. Don’t get me wrong, but there are only so many times you can get away with that.

So where are we as a team? Exactly where I thought we would be. We have a team that can beat anyone in our league who will only get better the more time we have together. I’m not getting carried away with winning three games, just like I wouldn’t be getting carried away if we had lost three games. We are building pretty much a new team, and I still think we need to add a couple as some areas I feel we need to improve in, and if I’m not seeing what I need to see, we will bring in players who can do it. It sounds ruthless, but me and Joe haven’t worked so hard in the summer to just accept players who can’t carry out what we need from them. We are pumping the players with info, videos and coaching, so we will continue to monitor the team’s progression.

I know I have said it before, but I really mean it. You will see moments of brilliance, but you will also see struggles in games this side of Christmas. I need you to enjoy the brilliance and get behind the team when we struggle, as that will help the team’s progression. Hornchurch, alongside Billericay & Dulwich, are financial powerhouses in our level of football, so they are stacked with great players, and in Hornchurch, a manager whose last job was at Cardiff City in the Championship, so that should give you some indication of the task in hand, but this is why football is brilliant, the players and I get to tests ourselves against top players and managers, so I hope the players are looking forward to the challenge as much as I am. It’s a great chance to see where we are at vs a team that is one of the favourites to win the league.

As always, bring the noise – Come on you Rooks!


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  • The club was formed in 1923 as Upminster Wanderers.
  • Hornchurch gained promotion to the new Conference South after finishing fifth in 2003-04, though the season was more noticeable for reaching the second round of the FA Cup. Darlington were beaten 2-0 in the first round, before Tranmere Rovers stole a controversial 1-0 win in front of TV cameras and a capacity crowd at Bridge Avenue.
  • The dream continued a little longer, as under the former Dagenham manager Garry Hill, the team stormed to the top of the Conference South. It seemed too good to be true and it was. On a grim Thursday in November, with Hornchurch top of the table and unbeaten in their last 16 matches, the entire squad, all full time, was released.

  • They had reached the first round of the FA Cup before the collapse and the tie at Boston United was fulfilled by six debutants and a collection of youth team players. Hornchurch took an early lead and gave a valiant show before going down 5-2. The season descended into chaos. Almost 100 players wore first team shirts as new manager Tony Choules contrived to avert relegation, despite a 10 point deduction. Indeed without it the club would have finished in a remarkable ninth place.

  • Season 2021-22 turned out to be the greatest in the history of the club, When the season again came to a premature end in November the Club was still in the FA Trophy and with the Football Association making the decision to complete the competition, be it behind closed doors the Club was able to continue. At first, as they were considered non-elite which meant they were not allowed to train.
  • As Hornchurch progressed the Club were granted elite status and thus resumed training. Having defeated Bowers & Pitsea and Wingate & Finchley in early rounds Hornchurch went on to defeat six clubs higher up the pyramid to make it to Wembley, where they came back from a goal down at half time to win 3-1 against Hereford. This gave manager Mark Stimson his fourth success in the Trophy to go with his winners’ medal as a player.


Nash scored a total of 27 goals in all competitions for Hornchurch last season, and with 3 to his name already so far this season, Lewes will have to make sure they are able to deny him any goal scoring opportunities.

  • Lewes haven’t won in any of their last 7 home meetings against Hornchurch
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#1. Which English stadium, opened on this day in 1995, was almost called the Middlehaven Stadium, after the area it was located in?

#2. On this day in 2014, which Premier League club broke the British Transfer Fee record then lost 4-0 to MK Dons in the League Cup?

#3. On this day in 1928, which new "invention" was introduced for the first time in a game between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday?

#4. On this day in 2017, Lewes drew 2-2 against Sittingbourne. Who started up front for the Rooks?

#5. On this day in 2019 in the 2-0 defeat here to Horsham, which Lewes players was sent off?

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Now here’s a question I bet only a small handful of people would get right. What does CFC stand for after Genoa’s name? Not Club, Not Calcio (ooh, look at you at the back getting all fancy) but Cricket…yep, a sport that has zero following in Italy.  They are Italy’s oldest football club, founded by a group of English men with the purpose to represent England abroad, the original shirts worn by the club were white, the same colour as the England national team shirt. At first Italians were not permitted to join as it was a British sporting men’s club abroad, but they soon relented and the rest is history.

Last season the club were promoted back to Serie A. To make the situation even better, their city rival, Sampdoria were relegated. Whilst to outsiders there may not be the same adversity as there is in Rome or Milan between two clubs in the same city but there is a deep-rooted hate for each other. It doesn’t often spill out into violence, but they won’t be on each other’s Christmas Card lists that’s for sure.

A superb lunch, in one of the maze of streets that drop down from the old town to the port area, a wander around the sights of the city and a leisurely coffee in the scorching sunshine was the order of the day before we needed to head to the ground early.  And by early, it meant that at 4.30pm we were wandering around a locked stadium, some four and a bit hours before kick off.  Time flies when you are having fun, but not so fast when it is 36 degrees, so we did what any self-respecting Football Tourist would do – we made friends with an Italian, who happened to own the Official Bus Drivers Genoa Supporters Club, and five minutes later we were in their club house, bedecked in the thickest scarves, given as gifts.  It was interesting getting their perspective on the Genoa/Sampdoria rivalry which didn’t seem to be as bad as in other cities we had seen.

Last season, us getting promoted and Sampdoria being relegated was up there with my wedding day”, club owner Marco told us.

At 6.30pm the team were due to arrive and thousands of fans had lined the roads on the route to the stadium.  In England we would call it a war zone, in Italy it was called a welcome.  Flares, flags, fireworks and fans.  At one point a fan put his elbows on my shoulders, resting his arms as he held out two flares.  You don’t get that at Potters Bar Town away.

Inside the stadium it was even better. The Stadio Luigi Ferraris is one of the most iconic in the world, with its four brown brick towers. It looked good when the redevelopment was completed in time for the 1990 FIFA World Cup but the inside of the ground is in dire need of modernisation. My seat was in the section reserved for away fans when Sampdoria were at home, so the seats were broken, the view was restricted and the facilities not existent. But who cared. The atmosphere was crackling.

Alas, Genoa’s return to Serie A wasn’t a triumphal one. The visitors Fiorentina blew them away with three first half goals from Biraghi after 5 minutes, Bonaventura 6 minutes later and Gonzalez just before the break. Ten minutes after the break it was four thanks to Mandragora although the home fans did have something to cheer about when Davide Biraschi pulled one back. Not once did the home support waver, and when a flare was aimed onto the pitch from the tifosi, swift retribution came from the fellow ultras to the assailant.

Italian football has a heart of darkness. Corruption, mismanagement and crisis. But the fan culture is intense and nothing like anything else we will see in England. Go now, get to the stadium very early and join in the party.

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Credit: Doyle
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‘Nathan Harvey was outstanding at Potters Bar on Saturday I thought.. looks a really useful signing’ – Mike W

‘Kalala looks to have filled the void left by Razz, exciting, out-of-your-seat kind of player. Nathan Harvey had a great debut after joining late, brave and athletic despite his supposed selling feature being his distribution. Chris Whelpdale – Although I think most of his work goes unnoticed, his timing into the box to take his debut goal is noteworthy, especially in a team that likes to camp outside the box. Ryan Gondoh – An obvious fan favourite, has somehow found another level already’ – Joe Ketchum

Wood has been great at holding and linking up play, just needs that first goal to get going’ – Perry Anderson

Penney and Vint look like a serious duo under Russellball’ – Ollie Audis

Of the new ones: Alfie Egan, Arthur Penney & Kalvin Kalala. Old guard – Ryan Gondoh’ – Chris Roberts

Got to say, KLK and the great Gondoh have looked the goods so far. We knew Ryan was flyin’ so it goes to KLK. He can be a real handful this season’ – Ash Head

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In this new segment in the Progcast, we welcome young Harvey Lock, who throughout the rest of this season, plans to rate each Isthmian Premier team’s away kit, as we all know we’ve seen some unique kits during our time…

Home Kit:

A new design and colour scheme for their centenary, going back to their original blue and white colours – big fan of the ‘quarters’ design with the royal blue and white, with the sponsor keeping the more recognisable red in the colour scheme; the old style collar and buttons is also a nice touch, giving the shirt plenty of class. 8/10

Away Kit:

I’m not 100% sure if this is the away kit for this year, but I imagine if it is, they won’t wear it against us anyway; as it seems the club have gone for their now-traditional red as the away strip this season, which have been pretty consistently good for as long as I remember; Macron always do a good job with kits, and years of making red hornchurch kits have made this new spin on their away version just as good, and the white trim with patterns on the sleeves also giving a certain aura of class around it, overall a very nice set of kits for them this season. 7/10

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Our fixtures for the weekend start tonight (written on Friday) – and we’ve some exciting clashes in prospect over the weekend. Here’s our Pitching In isthmian Premier preview

Our Pitching In Isthmian Premier action starts, rather unusually, tonight (Friday) – as Margate welcome Cheshunt to the seaside.

Gate have had a fairly positive start to the campaign, winning two of their three matches, with their only defeat coming against title favourites Hornchurch. The Ambers, in contrast, have taken only one point from their opening three matches and will be hoping to kickstart their campaign on the Kent coast. The last time the two sides met, back in December 2021, the Ambers twice came from behind in a two-two draw which saw nearly all of its action in the last twenty minutes.

Onto Saturday now, and leaders Enfield Town welcome a Cray Wanderers side who really haven’t had the start to the campaign they would have expected. Both sides have a one hundred percent record of sorts, but the Towners have the only one that either would like. The last four meetings between the sides have ended in draws.

Second place Lewes host our match of the day, the Rooks welcoming Hornchurch to the Dripping Pan. The Rooks have been in the news this week, with a proposal from a consortium to purchase 51% of their Women’s team seemingly dividing the fanbase, but a win over the Urchins would certainly bring everyone together. Both sides remain unbeaten, the Rooks having won every game, but Lewes haven’t defeated Hornchurch since October 2018, although four of the six meetings between the sides since have ended all-square.

Chatham Town have been something of a Premier revelation, and the latest side to challenge their perfect record are Potters Bar Town, who arrive at the Bauvill bottom of the table, without a point, and hoping that this will be the weekend for a change of fortune.

Billericay Town have won each of their opening three matches by one goal to nil, and we’re sure Blues fans would be delighted to continue that record as Whitehawk come to call. The Hawks are still searching for that first victory, although they have drawn two of their three matches so far and haven’t been far away. This will be the first time the two sides have met since October 2018, a day which will stick in the memories of anyone who was there are the Blues triumphed NINE-one in the FA Cup.

Horsham, in sixth place, will undoubtedly welcome one of our biggest crowds of the day, Dulwich Hamlet making the journey to Sussex. The Hornets have won their last two matches and look in good form, whilst Hamlet are still searching for consistency- not that anyone can be sure to claim consistency after only three matches. This will be the first meeting between the sides for more than ten years, the last coming when both sides were members of Isthmian South.

After two last-gasp draws on the road, Carshalton Athletic are back at Colston Avenue for the visit of Haringey Borough. The unbeaten Robins will hope to get back to winning ways and perhaps climb into the top five, whilst the visitors haven’t yet picked up a point, and two of their three defeats have seen them lose from winning positions. Borough did defeat the Robins in both meetings last season.

Hashtag United will defend an unbeaten record as Folkestone Invicta head to the Len Salmon. The Tags seem to have adapted well to their first season at Step Three, whilst Invicta started the season brilliantly but have followed that with narrow defeat against two of the top three. This will be the first meeting between the sides.

Hastings United, under new ownership, welcome another set of Seasiders to Pilot Field, Concord Rangers. United remain unbeaten and were good value for their win at Dulwich Hamlet last time out, whilst the Beachboys have been bounced three times and will hope that this is the time to pick up their first points. This will be their first meeting since April 2012.

Wingate & Finchley welcome Kingstonian to North London. The Blues will be fairly happy with how they’ve bounced back from that opening day defeat to Folkestone Invicta, four points from their last two leaving them in mid table; whilst the K’s picked up their first win last time out, defeating Canvey Island. The last three meetings between the two sides have been two-two after ninety minutes, but the Blues won the middle one of those on penalties.

Finally, Canvey Island haven’t yet hit the heights of last season, but will hope to get back to wining ways as Bognor Regis Town come to call. The Gulls have lost their last two of their three matches and had to come from behind to win the first one, whilst the Rocks travel on the back of two consecutive draws. Canvey won both meetings between the sides last season.

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Faversham Town Football Club – “The Lilywhites”

The Aquatherm Stadium
Salters Lane
ME13 8ND

Tel: 01795 591900
Web: www.favershamtownfc.co.uk 
Twitter: @FavershamTownFC

About Faversham Town Football Club
Founded – 1884
Manager – Sammy Moore
Best league position – 3rd in Isthmian League South in 2012/13 and 2014/15
Best FA Cup run – Second Qualifying Round on six occasions – the last being in 2014/15 (lost 4-0 away to Maidenhead United)
Ground Capacity – 2,000 (last season’s average 302)

How was last season?
In one word – terrible.  A few eyebrows were raised when Sammy Moore left Potters Bar Town in December, with the side top of the Isthmian Premier League to join Faversham Town who were bottom of the Isthmian South East division.  Despite a big budget and a multitude of signings, Moore couldn’t work his magic touch and the Lilywhites were relegated come April.

The investment in the squad has continued in the summer, and consequently the club are firm favourites to bounce back to step 4 at the first attempt.  Signings include former Cray Wanderers striker, Gary Lockyear, Connor Essam from Dartford, joining players like Bailey Voise, Matt Newman, Mo Kamara, Kieron Campbell and Warren Mfula, all of whom have significant experience playing at a higher level.

Isthmian League South Division – 19thP 38 W 8 D 7 L 23 GS 43 GA 74 GD -31 PTS 31

  • FA Cup – Extra-Preliminary Round – Colliers Wood United (H) 0-1
  • FA Trophy –  Third Qualifying Round – Grays Athletic (A) 0-0 – Lost 4-2 on penalties.
  • Kent Senior Cup – First Round – Margate (H) 0-5
  • Isthmian League Cup – Third Round – Folkestone Invicta (A) 0-5

When did we last meet Faversham Town?
Our most recent experiences against Faversham Town haven’t been the best.  A 5-0 defeat at the start of the 2016/17 was painful enough but the 2-0 defeat on the penultimate weekend of the 2017/18 season arguably cost us the Isthmian South East title under the management of Darren Freeman.   

About The Aquatherm Stadium
Salter Lane is a work in progress and despite relegation last season, the club is driving forward with significant redevelopment.  A new 3G pitch was laid in the summer, the new changing rooms are in place and the new SOS Sports Bar is now open.  The old main stand is still there but may not be for much longer as the investment into the facilities continues at a pace.  Aside from the stand, the majority of the viewing areas are hard standing around the perimeter of the pitch.

How to get to The Aquatherm Stadium

There are few grounds we will visit this season that are easier to find than the Aquatherm Stadium in Faversham if you are coming by car.  Point your vehicle east on the M2 and follow it until you reach Junction 6.  Take a left at the top of the slip road and follow this road for half-a-mile until you reach the T-junction with London Road.  Turn right and then right again after two hundred yards for the ample car park.  If that is full then there is plenty of street parking off London Road. The 87-mile trip from Lewes should take around 90 minutes.

If you are coming by train then you will almost certainly come via London Victoria, assuming there are no train strikes.  On arriving in Faversham exit the station and follow the road around to the left on Forbes Road.  This will become “The Mall” and when this road reaches London Road, turn left and the ground is 300 yards on your right-hand side.  It will take around 2 ½ hours from Lewes by train.

Admission at The Aquatherm Stadium
Admission this season is £10 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens and students) and under 16s are admitted free of charge.  

Fancy a beer?
Unsurprisingly, as Faversham is the home of Shepherds Neame, there are quite a few decent pubs to choose from. There is also the option to visit the brewery for a guided tour (get a group together and they will offer an exclusive one) that of course includes a tasting session, which may be a good option pre-match. The Visitor’s Centre is located in the Town Centre in Court Street.    Other alternatives include the highly recommended Elephant which is in The Mall and has a range of guest ales and the 14th century Sun Inn on West Street (which also offers accommodation if you fancy making a night of it).

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Credit: Doyle
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“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
Operations Manager Damian Watts

Life Members
Peter Brook, Dorothy Brook RIP, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox RIP, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris RIP, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter RIP

Manager Tony Russell
Assistant manager Joe Vines
First team coach Nathan White
First team physio Toni Miller
Goalkeeping coach Charlie Himbury
Match logistics Vikram Dogra
First Team Performance Analyst Henderson Russell
Under-18s Manager Jon Miller

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editor Stan Lahood
Club Photographer James Boyes