Monday, 26 September 2011

Uneventful Afternoon See's Lewes Scrape Past Cray

Booth puts Lewes ahead from the spot
A fairly uneventful game passed on saturday with a Paul Booth penalty being the difference between the sides which saw Lewes leap frog Cray Wanderers into 4th place.

The team was a changed one after the embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Chertsey the week before, however the changes seemed to be mostly injury based. The first change saw new loanee Liam Mitchell placed between the sticks ahead of Stuart Robinson who has reportedly walked out after being dissapointed at a loan keeper being brought in. The next change saw Kamara replaced at right back with Lewis Hamilton, in line for a suspension, playing at right back rather than left.

This change meant that Dwayne Sterling could come back in to the side at left back. The formation was also changed as Lewes went for a 4-3-1-2 formation with Adelakun and another new loanee George Nicholson filling in for the injured Matt Somner and Nic Ciardini meaning that Lewes went with one attacking midfielder in Christian Nanetti and leaving the front two the same.

Cray started the game with intent and it took a while for Lewes to find their feet, within minutes Cray could have taken the lead when a drilled ball across the box from the left bounced through everyone before being smashed over the bar from close range. A similar chance from the other side looked like it was begging for a finish before new keeper Liam Mitchell snathed the ball away from the strikers feet.

With scouts from Brighton again coming to see Nanetti he looked keen to impress as he dinked his way past a couple of players before cutting inside and sending a smashing shot straight at the topcorner which was marvolousy saved. The resulting corner very nearly fell to Steve Robinson but was well blocked before he could get his head on it.

Again Cray started to attack and a mix up between Hamilton and Robinson saw Christian Saunders creep through on goal before wasting the chance and smashing the ball way over the goal unneccisarily from range.

About 15 minutes in and Lewes suddenly found their feet and some clever play by Nanetti saw Michael Malcolm have a brilliant chance from six yards out whoch he somehow managed to get over the bar, not quite as bad as last week at Tooting but still had Lewes fans wondering when it will go in for him.

Lewes continued to attack but their play was broken when Christian Nanetti came under a strong challenge where the player seemed to go over the ball, with Nanetti protesting the player should at least be shown a yellow, the referee only awarded a free kick.

However nanetti got his revenge on the 35th minute when again he was causing trouble on the right hand side before driving in to the box and a quick flick saw him take the ball away from his man who dived in a caught Nanetti which saw the lino flag for a penalty. The Cray players protested furiously as they were unhappy that the referee only gave it because the lino flagged.

Paul Booth stepped up in the absence of Nic Ciardini and proffesionaly put the ball into the top corner of the net with clam and prosision.

Lewes had a magnificant chance of making it 2-0 when a clever free kick from Dwayne Lee found Malcolm comepletly unmarked in the area, however the ball also caught Malcolm asleep and he blazed the ball over the bar with a side footed effort.

Just before half time Cray had put the ball into the back of Lewes's net when Tydone Sterling flicked the ball on with his head only for the lino to dissallow the goal for a marginal offside.

Just inside the second half and Malcolm had his third glorious chance of the afternoon and surely this one would have to go in for him, but once again after being played through on goal he tried lobbing the keeper but got it horribly wrong and the keeper only had to reach out an arm to catch the ball in the air.

The second half was even more uneventful than the first as both teams lost their attacking edge and Cray didn't come up with as much as expected bringing on defenders at one stage. However this all changed when they decided to go to three defenders at the back. Nanetti was at work again, this time in a defensive role as  a volley was sent hard at goal and looked to be going in until Nanaetti made a great block to keeep the ball away from goal. The ball was scrambled around in the Lewes area a few times but never really looked like going in until a mix up in defence saw the ball trickle through the Lewes penalty area, fortunatly the strikers missing it as well until Sterling cleared the ball away.

Draycott also had a shot blocked late on. In the last minute of injury time a debatable free kick was given to Cray just outside the Lewes penalty area, the keeper went forward with the defence as Cray went out and out to try and get an equaliser but the ball hit the wall and Sterling sent Malcolm running at the open goal, however he hesitated and a brilliant tackle denied him the opprtunity allowing Draycott to go for goal from range but by this time the keeper was back in his goal to keep the score at 1-0 to Lewes.

Lewes: Liam Mitchell, Lewis Hamilton, Steve Robinson, Max Hustwick, Dominic Sterling, Dwayne Lee, Hakeem Adelakun, George Nicholas, Christian Nanetti, Michael Malcolm, Paul Booth(Ian Draycott)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Two Switch Magpies for Rooks

After last weeks fiasco at Chertsey which saw Lewes crash out of the FA cup at the first hurdle, Steve King has acted quickly to boost the squad for the game against 2nd place Cray Wanderers with two new signings on loan from league 1 club Notts County.

The players come in the form of goalkeeper Liam Mitchell and midfielder George Nicholas, the players are both 19 years old and have signed 1 year proffesional contracts at the Magpies.

George Nicholas is a tall midfielder who has recently helped make history as he played in Notts Countys 1-1 draw with Juventus to mark the opening oof the new Juventus arena. He is a creative player who will also offer an airial threat with his towering height.

Last season goalkeeper starred for Conference Premier side Tamworth at just 18 years old, he also made it on to the subs bench as Notts County played Sunderland in the FA cup.

Steve King commented “Both players are highly rated by Martin Allen and I am delighted to welcome them to the club. They have come through the youth ranks, and Liam had a successful loan spell with Tamworth last season.”

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Early End To Lewes Cup Adeventure

Lewes will have to wait another year before they can have another go at the FA Cup as they fell at the first hurdle to Evo Stick Premier side Chertsey Town on a poor game where Chertsey ran out 4-1 winners against the heavy favourites.

The day started off miserably as the players came out on to the pitch in the drizzling rain, Chertsey in all white with Lewes in a slighlty conflicting colours of blue and white stripes. Chertsey fans were no too confident before kick off "It will be difficult today" was the overall respnonse especially as Chertsey have 3 players from their defence missing either through injury or suspension.

Chertsey had won their last five games and had been scoring for fun with around 4 goals in each game, however they had also been leaking goals like a broken water pipe, somehow managing to be the top scorers and conceded the most so far in the league. Goals were expected in this clash which scouts from at least Reading and one other club were there to see to watch Nanetti who one club noted down "too good for Lewes".

Lewes have scored most of their goals this season by playing a beautiful passing game, however for some reason this was substituted today by an ugly hoof ball system in an attempt to bombard Chertsey with balls over the top, but left Booth and Malcolm playing of scraps and losing interest with the game.

It didn't take long for Chertsey to make Lewes look like fools as from a corner inside ten minutes Phil Page managed to easily get away from returning captain Steve Robinson and power a header in to the net putting Chertsey one ahead. A poor start for the Rooks and one Robinson will be particularly dissapointed with.

It has to be said going a goal down did inspire Lewes to play some football for a bit, especially via Christian Nanetti, under the watchful eyes of football league scouts he managed to dink his way past two players before being hauled down just outside the right hand side of the area in a cynical challenge which was met deservedly with a yellow card. The resulting free kick saw Nanetti send the ball in on to Hustwicks head where he looked like he might get the equaliser so soon after going behind but his header was straight at the keeper who still had to make a good save as he tipped it over the bar for a corner.

The pressure from Lewes took its toll when the corner was played in before taking a little deflection and finding Matt Somner who scored his first goal for the club with a diving header from the penalty spot to draw Lewes level and renew optimism for the Rooks fans.

However Chertsey were far from disheartened by the equaliser and threatened the Lewes goal again with a couple of chances from the right hand side with the impressive Bennet twice carving open Ciardini and Hamilton before one shot was saved by Robinson and the other cross was cleared away by Kamara.

Fans of Chertsey were dmanding Kamara was sent off just a moment later when a crunching tackle was made to look worse than it was due to the slippery conditions but kamara was rightly shown a yellow as he completly missed the ball. The free kick was swung in to the box where it came out and found Bennet on the right hand side free to put in another cross which found its way perfectly for a completly unmarked Page to head in his second of the game, another sloppy goal that the Lewes defence will have to question how he was unmarked. 

Again the goal got Lewes going, however it was a bit much for the Lewes side to have to come back again having already come back from 2-0 down on wednesday night, surely they would not be able to do it again.

Again though Lewes searched for Nanetti who again got round his man and this time drove in to the box where he then came under a challenege from Chertsey defender which looked like a clear penalty as did all supporters behind the goal react like it was one, however yet again the referee decided to deny Lewes a penalty claiming that Nanetti had dived or in the words of one very pleasent Chertsey defender he "dived like a C***!" Charming.

The day really wasn't going Lewes's way and not long after the penalty decision, or non decision, another contraversial moment had gone against Lewes when Hamilton had got infront of Bennet on the ball and was sheilding him away from the ball Bennet then stuck in his leg to try and win the ball back from Hamilton but in doing so caught the leg of Hamilton which was in the air as he was running which caused both players to trip over each others legs, surely a non decision, but one that is usually always given in the defenders favour. However it was not to be for Lewes as the referee decided not to take action uintil he saw the linesman waving frantiacally falgging for a free kick to Chertsey to the amazment of Lewes fans and players and even the odd Cherstey fan who didn't really see where the foul was. 

Despite this it didn't stop the Chertsey fans demanding again that Hamilton get a red card as he was the last man. The referee had no option but the send Hamilton off leaving Lewes hort at the back and meaning Ciardini had to fill in at left back meaning Lewes lost some of their threat up front. The decision will particularly hurt Lewes as the decision of "last man" didn't go their way against hendon in the 2-2 draw a couple of weeks earlier.

The resulting free kcik was eventually taken and was well blocked by Kamara keeping the score at bay and giving Lewes a fighting chance as they went in to half time. After all King himself said that a team becomes "harder to play against at ten men."

Howver this old saying wasn't to come true in this case and all hope was lost not long after the break when another contraversial decision went Chertseys way in a day that Chertsey will probably remember for some time. The influencial Bennet came forward again and easily beat Ciardini filling in at left back before stumbling but managing to smash a shot in from a tight angle which crashed in to the cross bar then off the post, no one thought it had gone in until, this time the other linesman being the guilty prosecuter as he flagged for a Chertsey goal effectivly killing off Lewes's FA Cup dream.

Chertsey again continued to attack but the second half felt more like a formality than an interesting spectacle with each Chertsey attack just being one meaningless trip out to the Lewes penalty area. The age old joke came out again as a delighted young Chertsey supporter pointed out that Lewes should just call themselves "loose". It felt like old times again, and by old times I mean Keehan, Ibbo , O'Shea era putting a doubt over Lewes and whether they are really title contenders or just pretenders.

Chertsey heaped the misery on to Lewes fans just gone the hour mark after Max Hustwick had been replaced by Ian Draycott to leave Lewes with just three at the back and leave Lewes suspect. A ball in to the box from the left hand side fund the outstanding Bennet who beat Ciardini too easily in the air to put the ball past Robinson for the fourth time in the game in an embarrising display by Kings men.

Lewes then through forward too little far too late with a couple of half chances being spurred. One wayward shot by Aaron Watson when he should have done better before Dwayne Lee smashed the ball aqwardly over the bar from a good position just outside the box.

To make matters worse for Lewes Matt Somner had to be replaced by Adelakun due to injury after half time and with Hamilton already out with a suspension after his straight red it could be a difficult few games for the Rooks especially as they now have to play at home to Cray in the league, Cray who are in second place and beat Hastings 3-0 in the cup to ensure they are through to the next round.

There is now a worry going around the Lewes camp that players will have to be released as they board were relying on money coming in from the FA cup for the budget this season, especially when they were planning for 1000 crouds every week and the average has been merly half of that. Better will be expected of the rooks next week.

Lewes: Stuart Robinson, Melvin Kamara, Steve Robinson(C), Max Hustwick(Ian Draycott), Lewis Hamilton (sent off), Christian Nanetti(Aaron Watson), Matt Somner(Hakeem adelakun), Dwayne Lee, Nic Ciardini, Paul Booth, Michael Malcolm

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Lewes Fightback Saves Unbeaten Run

Ciardini Hits a Brace
Lewes bravely fought back from 2 goals down on wednesday night at Tooting and Mitcham to raise their unbeaten run to 6 games, they now have not lost since the opening day 3-1 defeat to Lowestoft.

Lewes will come away delighted to have come back from the two goal deficit but also very dissapointing that Malcolm nor Draycott could finish glorious chances towards the end of the game.

The first half was uneventful with neither side really being able to break down the opposition team resulting in the scores being level at half time with neither side being able to break the deadlock. There were a couple of chances for each team, most notably Lewes had to make a scrappy clearance of the line to keep Tooting out. However Lewes had the best chance of the first half and only a world class save from the Tooting keeper kept Nic Ciardini out from scoring after Dwayne Lee pulled the ball across the face of goal.

The second hald proved much more of a specticle and Tooting had the lead on the hour mark after the ball was saved well by Robinson however he had come out well off his line leaving Reece Hall to smash the ball home right into the bottom corner.

Just a couple of minutes later and Hall got his second of the game when a punted ball forward from midfield was mis headed away by captain Kamara meaning Dominic Sterling had to try and deal with the situation but his header only went as far as Hall who swung his body round and hit a peach of a ball on the volley which seemed to fly into the net leaving Robinson standing.

Lewes didn't look as good as they have done in previous games and looked set to lose their unbeaten run.

This all changed when King made the simple decision to put Ciardini over on the right and put Nanetti on the left. The decision proved decisive and Ciardini seemed to burst in to life. First he played a beautiful one two with Booth setting him up with a one on one with the keeper which he calmly slotted home to give Lewes hope.

And just moments later Lewes were level when Dwayne Lee sent Ciardini running before he pulled the trigger from thirty yards where the ball managed to nestle itself into the bottom corner in what was a stunning goal and Ciardini's 3rd in 2 games.

The come back completly destroyed Tootings playing style and after the goals it was all one way traffic and Lewes should have scored at least one more. The first of the glorious chances fell to Ian Draycott freshly brought on for the tired Paul Booth. A nice bit of link up play with Michael malcolm saw a chipped ball sent in to Draycott where all he had to do was get a touch past the keeper. However somehow his horribly struck volley was sent flying out for a throw in on the far side.

With moments to go Lewes were still pushing. Nanetti seemed keen to continue his fine form on from saturday and a flying run saw him creep past the defence and cut inside the box where he drgged a ball back for Malcolm to finish from two yards out but... over the bar, in an exact replica of Robert Earnshaws miss for Wales one week earlier, leaving Lewes to travel home with their second successive 2-2 draw on the road.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Lewes Outplay Aveley

Malcolm rounds of the scoring
Lewes made a few changes to the side that could only draw 2-2 with Hendon on non league day with Hamilton coming in to the side replacing captain Steve Robinson with Sterling filling in the role at centre back and Melvin Kamara taking the arm band for the day. Dwayne Lee was also brought in over Hakeem Adelakun for his experience in the middle and Nanetti was given his home debut ahead over Aaron Watson in a game he won't forget quickly.

The tiny figure of Nanetti lead the way as Lewes were clyinical in the finish to put 4 goals past Aveley sending them in to the play off places on goal difference ahead of Wingate.

A few minutes gone and Lewes had a free kick in a dangerous position from 20 yards out. Nanetti and Michael Malcolm both loomed over the ball and the latter sent a curling free kick looping over the wall and forced a great diving save from the impressive Aveley keeper.

The early pressure paid off and Lewes had the lead just gone the ten minute mark when a dodgy back pass to Stuart Robinson was sent flying down field just missing an Aveley player. However it turned out in Lewes's favour as Booth teared through the middle of the park beating his marker for pace and running in to the box and somehow getting the ball around the goalkeeper who had got down and spread himself well at Booth's feet.

However the game became a lot more open and Aveley were nearly level when they managed to turn Lewis Hamilton, making his first start since injury, and cut inside the Lewes box. The ball was squared neatly to Johnson but he smashed his shot well over the cross bar in a miss that would prove to be costly.

Lewes created a near identical chance to doube their lead when Michael Malcolm was sent running down the left. He managed to turn his defender and make a straight line in to the box from the left hand side where he feinted a shot tricking the defender before floating a perfect ball straight to Nic Ciardini unmarked at the back bost in line with the penalty spot. Ciardini opened his bank with a delightfulk header which was cushened off his head and curled into the top corner avoiding the keeper desperate dive.

Ciardini was clearly hungry for more and was silky to get down the left hand side dinking his was one way and then the other past a defender before driving a shot at goal which was again well kept out down low by Mccartney in the Aveley goal. The resulting corner then saw Max Hustwick have a header saved off the line.

Nanetti was responable for the next chance as he played his way past not one but two defenders before teasing with another just outside the area before cutting inside on to his left foot and sending a fantastic ball into Booth who was waiting free at the back post but mis kicked his volley and the ball scattered away leading to nothing.

To really end the first half on a high Lewes broke away once more leaving the Aveley defence in tatters making it easy for Malcolm to slip Nanetti through on goal where he neatly netsled the ball into the bottom of the net making it 3-0 to Lewes at half time.

Lewes started a bit shaky in the second half and gave Aveley a bit of hope when some lapse defending allowed Stanley to have a close range shot but he somehow managed to drag the shot wide.

However Lewes were soon back in to their stride and Nanetti had decided to return the favour from Malcolm by sending through Malcolm on goal however Malcolm second touch perhaps went a little further because of the increasingly wet pitch and the ball was smothered up by the keeper, it didn't look like it was going to be Malcolms day.

It was Nanetti who was again impressing when a free kick was given in a similar position to the one Malcolm took in the first, this time it was Nanetti who stepped up to take the shot and curled it around the wall where the goalkeeper still managed to get a very important hand on it despite being unsighted by the wall.

Another clear chance was let slip by Lewes when Ciardini sent in a corner which somehow found Dwayne Lee without a marker but he sent his completly free header onto the cross bar but he had the goalkeeper well beaten.

Lewes continued to search for a 4th and it was a wonder as to how they didn't get one when captain kamara came forward down the right hand side and sent a great cross in which found Nanetti who decided to send a volley in first time which was met by a incredible save from the Aveley keeper at his right hand side bottom corner to deny Nanetti a second.

However once again the Lewes defence went to sleep with just a couple of minutes to go allowing Hyde to clip and beautifully weighted ball to Morgan who calmly slotted the ball home on the half volley for nothing more than a consalation goal.

However it wouldn't prove to be much of a consalation as the goal pushed Lewes on to retain their three goal winning margin when Malcol found himself completly hrough on goal and calmly stepped around the keeper and walked the ball in to the net.


Robinson, Kamara, Hustwick, Sterling, Hamilton, Nanetti (March 86), Somner, Lee (Adelakun 76), Ciardini (Watson 72), Malcolm, Booth.
Unused Subs: Draycott, Pringle.
Booked: None.


McCartney, Andrews, Harrison, Ngakam (Russell 27), Wilson, Morgan, Bonnet-Johnson, Hyde, Hewitt (May 53), Stanley (Wharton 67), Remy.
Unused Subs: Warren, Francis.
Booked: Ngakam, Wilson, Russell.

Referee: Mr P Lavelle

Attendance: 601

Monday, 5 September 2011

Hendon Battle to Remain Unbeaten

Malcolm puts Lewes ahead.. twice

Lewes dented Hendons 100% start as Hendon had to come back from a goal down twice in a game which finished 2-2. The draw means that no team has now one all 5 games and so Lewes became the first team to take points off Hendon this season.

Lewes started as they meant to go on as they took the lead after just a minute, they won a free kick on the right hand side which was floated into the area by Hakeem Adelakun and found Paul Booth who sent a bullet header at goal which was kept out by a superb reaction save from the Hendon keeper, however the ball fell down to Michael Malcolm who fired the ball into the net from close range to give Lewes the perfect start.

Some lapse defending by Lewes allowed Elliot Godfrey too much time outside the area for Hendon and he sent a sharp shot at goal which was met by a terrific save by Robinson keeping Lewes in front. The early goal had galvanized Hendon however and the hosts enjoyed some good possession for the next 10 minutes.

However Hendon didn't trouble the Lewes goal too often with Stuart Robinson only having to make a couple of easy saves and catches. However  he seemed to have lost his concentration when he took the ball about a yard out off his area before punting it down field. After the play continued for a few seconds the referee noticed the linesmans flag up and went over to check what was up. With the linesmans word thereferee awarded a free kick on the 18 yard line.

Elliot Godfrey lined up the free kick and smashed it past the poorly organised wall and into the top corner, a brilliant free kick but an unnessicary goal for Lewes to concede and one that Robinson will be particualrly dissapointed with.

Two minutes later and the referee made a huge decision in Hendons favour, Michael malcolm had used skill and power to get through the Hendon defence and break through into the area, clean through on goal, only for one of the defenders to turn around, stick out a leg and bring him down well inside the area, a clear penalty. However the referee awarded a free kick and only decided to give the player a yellow card. With the free kick at the other end being so good there was pressure on Paul Booth to step up and do the same, however the free kick was poor and sent straight into the wall and easily cleared.

Lewes were back on top and Malcolm should have added a second goal not long before half time when Kamara made a terrific run through the centre of the park before slipping Malcolm through on goal again, however he took the ball to far and had to stretch meaning he didn't get as much power as he would have liked on the shot making it eay for the hendon keeper to save down to his left.

Lewes started the second half as they did the first and from kick off Somner spread the ball out to Ciardini who won a free kick which he won and sent flying not far over the bar. And just five minutes in they had the lead again when Ciardini sent in a corner which was flapped at and fell to Malcolm who again blasted the ball home from close range for his second of the day and 4th of the season.

Lewes should have buried the game when Aaron Watson, making his fulll debut used his trickery to get into the box, beating three players before his eventual shot was blocked and again fell to Malcolm to surely get his hatrick, however this time his low shot was well saved by the keeper.

On the hour mark Hendon battled away and were level again when a corner was punched away by Stuart Robinson but not far enough and he had to make a stunning reaction save to stop it going in from the next shot, however unforunatly this left him out of position and he struggled to get back to stop Ngoyi scoring from a tight angle, just beating the scrambling Robinson.

Hendon were reduced to ten men with around 10 minutes remaining when a 50:50 ball was being chased by stuart Robinson rushing out of his box, a dangerous challenge from substitute Aaron Morgan on the keeper though earnt him a red card and ripped Robinsons sock which he was booked for timewasting as he had to take his gear off to put a replacment sock on. However Robinson was probably lucky to remain on the pitch as after the tackle he went over to Morgan and put his hand into his face which could so easily have warranted a straight red but the referee decided not to take action.

After the red card neither side really created many chances although it was Lewes debutant Christian Nanetti who nearly won the game as he came on as a sub. He dinked one way then the other before sending a rasping shot at goal which was acrobatically saved by the keeper.

The 2-2 draw leaves Hendon top of the league by a point although Wingate could go level on points as they have a game in hand againt Met. Police. Lewes remain in 6th place, one place away from the play offs however they are only out of them on goal difference, two points above the teams below them.

Laurencin, Wharton, Cousins, Peacock, Archer (Maclaren 57), Diedhiou, Busby, McCluskey, Ngoyi (Dyer 90), Godfrey (Morgan 63)
Unused: Fraser, Ambrose
Robinson, Kamara, Sterling, Somner, Robinson, Hustwick, Watson (Nanetti 74), Adelakun (Lee 90), Booth (Draycott 70), Malcolm, Ciardini  
Unused: Hamilton, Pringle