O’Shea delighted with his side’s battling qualities as new-look attack comes from two goals down to draw

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LEWES FC manager Tim O’Shea expressed his delight at the battling qualities displayed by his team as they bounced back from a two-goal deficit to draw against fellow strugglers Boreham Wood at the Dripping Pan last Saturday.

The Rooks conceded two soft goals inside the opening 18 minutes, but O’Shea was pleased with the resolve his side showed as they went on to claim a 2-2 draw and a share of the spoils.

He said: “It was a very positive response and I felt there was a genuine belief we could get back into it when we went two-nil down.

“They were two soft goals to give away and we could have possibly folded, but we didn’t and we did well to get back in the game just before half time and the players couldn’t wait to get back out on to the pitch.”

The Rooks boss also spoke positively of Lyle Taylor and Gary Noel who both made their debuts on Saturday. Noel came from Ryman Premier side Carshalton this season and scored only goal in their victory over Kingstonian recently.

Taylor was signed on on a month’s loan from high-flying AFC Bournemouth in League One on transfer deadline day. O’Shea believes that there could be more to come from the pair, with the latter marking his first appearance in a Lewes shirt by grabbing the equaliser.

“They did very well. They came across one another in Millwall’s youth team and seem to have a decent understanding of each other so we hope they’ll be able to kick on from there. That was Lyle’s first 90 minutes in quite a while and he’ll benefit from that.”

Noel sustained a dead leg whilst scoring Saturday’s equaliser, but O’Shea hopes that he’ll be fit for this weekend’s trip to Maidenhead United and will be assessed on Thursday. It’s also hoped that Grant Hall will return to training by the end of the week and be available for selection.

However, Andy Pearson is unlikely to feature despite completing half a training session on Monday.

One player who won’t be featuring again for the Rooks is Tom Murphy who was released by the club on mutual grounds after failing to receive assurance of first team football. O’Shea made it clear that he didn’t want to stand in the way of the young forward if he felt he would be presented with opportunities elsewhere, and praised his approach to the game. On the club website, O’Shea said: “Tom called me over the weekend and said that he wanted a regular run in the side. I can understand why a player would want that but I told him that at the moment, it’s something I can’t guarantee.

“I’ve bought in Taylor and Noel up front and Tom felt that he couldn’t see much chance of a guaranteed run of games.”

“I raised the option of a loan deal with him which he declined, but instead asked to be released from his contract which I have accepted.”

“He’s a young lad with a chance but still learning his trade.”

O’Shea added this week: “You can’t knock his enthusiasm and attitude and I just want to wish him all the best because he’s a great lad.

Former Barnet midfielder Joe Tabiri has rejoined Lewes on loan.

Tabiri’s first stint at the Dripping Pan came in 2008 during the Rooks’ Conference Premier season. although he made an inauspicious start having been sent off during a promising debut at Wrexham.

He went on to appear nine times during his two-month loan, and scored the winning goal in the club’s sole away win of the season at Salisbury in the December.

The 21-year-old signed for Dover after his release last summer from the Bees and has made 15 appearances for the Kent side this season, scoring one goal.

Lewes, who are no longer bottom of Blue Square Bet South following St Albans’ 10 point penalty for financial irregularities, travel to Maidenhead tomorrow, then Hampton & Richmond the following Tuesday 15th, before hosting the visit of Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday 19th February.