Lewes boss King hails a ‘great advert for Non-League football’

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ALTHOUGH disappointed at not collecting all three points, Lewes boss Steve King declared his side’s match against Wingate & Finchley ‘the best 0-0 he had been involved with’.

And the manager’s comments were no exaggeration after witnessing a thrilling 90 minutes of end-to-end football at the Dripping Pan on Saturday, which saw both sides engaged in a ding-dong battle which somehow ended goalless.

Kings side carved a plethora of chances for themselves - Ian Draycott had a seemingly legitimate first-half goal ruled out for offside, and the striker could have had at least a hat-trick himself but for some wasteful finishing and one particularly brilliant save from Blues stopper Bobby Smith.

The visitors also came close on a number of occasions, the league’s top scorer Leon Smith struck the inside of the post and Rooks keeper Fabian Spiess saved a Lewis Jones effort with his legs.

But it was Lewes who so nearly stole all the points when, with four minutes of the match remaining Nic Ciardini clattered a volley against the crossbar with Smith well beaten as both sides had to settle for a point.

King said: “I thought it was a fantastic football match. If you’re doing stars in the Non-League paper that’s a five star game all day long, it’s probably the best 0-0 I’ve been involved in, but I’m disappointed because we could have been 5-2 up at half-time.

“Draycott missed five sitters for me they are bread and butter finishes and they’ve hit the post so they’ve had their chances first half but we’ve had four or five and the game should have been over and done with.”

And he added: “Any manager sees the blood and sweat given today, no one’s shied away and they’ve given everything, so I can accept that. Everyone should just stand up and applaud both teams because for me that’s a great advert for Non-League football at this level.”

King also heaped high praise on his defence, in particular the performance of centre back Max Hurstwick who made a number of crucial interceptions and last-ditch tackles and was rightly named man of the match.

For a full match report and reaction to this, and Tuesday night’s trip to East Thurrock, see this week’s Sussex Express, out on Friday.