Dripping Yarns with David Arnold

WHILE it has been a frustrating start to the new year for the Lewes FC First Team, things are looking much brighter for the Youth side and nothing short of sensational for the Ladies.

Last Sunday the Rookettes went to Crystal Palace where they won 2-0 to sustain their unbeaten record in the South East Combination League (see report and pics, below) and surge 10 points ahead of second-placed Norwich.

With just five games to go I cannot see the girls ending the season being anything other than champions.

Commenting on the Palace game, Ladies Manager Jacquie Agnew said: “Another three points and a really good second half where we played some lovely football and got the deserved win.

“We really do have a wonderful squad of players.

“On to the next game!”

That next game comes on Sunday away to MK Dons in another league fixture – and then on to Wednesday night with a rare appearance under floodlights as the Rookettes meet Enfield Town at the Dripping Pan in the semi-final of the Ladies Ryman Cup.

Kick-off is 7.45pm, entry is free and the bar and snack hatch will be open. It would be great to get a big crowd out for this evening so please come along if you can.

Just four days later the Lewes Ladies grace the Dripping Pan again in League action against Cambridge (Sunday, February 12).

Depending on how they fare away at Milton Keynes this Sunday, the Cambridge game might see Lewes all but clinch the League title – and what an occasion that would be. Kick-off for that match is 2pm and entry is again free.

Meanwhile, it’s all to play for at the top of the Ryman Youth League.

Following an emphatic 5-0 win over Eastbourne Town at the Pan on Monday night, the Junior Rooks sit in second place, just a point behind Burgess Hill Town and a point ahead of Whitehawk.

Roll out the barrel

Both the latter teams were due to play on Wednesday night so that situation may well have changed – until that game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The next three home games for the U18s all take place in March so we can expect an exciting month as their season comes to a climax. Keep an eye on the Sussex Express for the match dates and times.

Visits by Lewes FC to other Ryman Premier clubs have often been popular events this season – and not just because at times we’ve kindly let slip some precious points.

No – we’ve been warmly welcomed because of another sort of generosity.

In a marketing exercise that I believe to be unique in the history of non-league football, the Rooks have been donating a free 36-pint polypin (a polywhat?! – Sports Ed) of delicious Harveys Best Bitter to the away bar.

The gesture has been made possible through the participation of Harveys, who view spreading a sample of their finest creation to a score or more of football clubs in the South East as a marvellous means of getting their beer noticed.

Which, of course, it does.

Invariably, the away bar staff are delighted to receive this liquid gift.

No strings are attached in respect of what price they sell the beer for (although most places have offered it at a saving on the usual price of a pint) and all the proceeds go to the host bar and thus the coffers of the football club itself.

Accompanying the beer is a stack of special beer mats for distribution on tables in the bar. One side reads: “If you’ve enjoyed your taste of Lewes, why not get it delivered to your door?”

Imbibers are then urged to turn the mat over (being careful to avoid spilling their Harveys, of course).

The reverse side reads: “Harveys. Brought (literally) to you by Lewes FC.”

The message concludes with the web address of the Harveys online shop.

A superb publicity exercise. Plus for us Lewes FC fans on an away outing, it is a massive bonus. Most clubs do not feature any real ales and we have to put up with bland, boring fizzy beers and tasteless lagers. Having Harveys on tap is brilliant.

But therein lies the only flaw in this very clever exercise. What is it?

Well, the clue is that thirsty away fans tend to arrive in the bar earlier than home fans.

Maybe we need more than a polypin. Now that would be a “firkin” result!

DAVID ARNOLD