STEVE KING hailed his side’s performance at the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday night as the Rooks’ best display on the road this season.
An impressive victory away to the form team in the Ryman Premier Division saw Lewes through the last eight of the Alan Boon League Cup.
Paul Booth put Lewes ahead 15 minutes into the first half. The hosts drew level though Jerome Walker, but Alex Stavrinou’s first goal for the Rooks since arriving from Ebbsfleet on a loan deal saw Steve King’s men safely through.
And a delighted King said: “We were very good; that’s the best we’ve played away from home this season. It could have been more (than two); their keeper made two or three fantastic saves.
“And it was the manner in which we played too, we were passing the ball beautifully.
“Harry Harding and Alex Stavrinou have made a big difference to us – they want to get on the ball and pass it, while Matt Somner is shielding everything.
“Albert (Jarrett) rounded their right back about five times, and Robbo (captain Steve Robinson) was outstanding: if I could give him a 10 I’d give him a 10. But Nic (Ciardini) was also very close (to Robinson’s standard).”
Ian Draycott had already missed a chance to put Lewes ahead when he fired a shot over the bar on three minutes, when Booth opened the scoring on the quarter hour.
The goal was all down to Booth’s “determination and desire” purred King.
The veteran striker refused to give up on a ball that seemed to belong to the opposition’s centre half’s. He won the ball off the defender before showing great calm and skill to flick the ball over the goalkeeper when he was one-on-one with him.
The Met managed to level on 27 minutes when Harry Harding left his man at the far post from a corner, allowing Walker to tap home.
But Stavrinou’s goal five minutes after that proved to be the winner. And it was another good move.
Malvin Kamara, putting in an important 60-minute shift on return from two months out through injury, whipped in a cross to Stavrinou on the penalty spot, where the Ebbsfleet loan man hit a first time shot that flew into the back of the net.
“Their manager said to me afterwards that we deserved to win because we were that much better,” said King.
ROOKS: Banks 6, Kamara 6 (Hamilton 60, 7), Hustwick 7, Robinson 9, Ciardini 8, Somner 7, Stavrinou 8, Harding 8, Malcolm 7, Booth 8, Draycott 7, (Jarrett 65, 7). SUB NOT USED: Nanetti.