Lewes picked up their first win since Boxing Day with a deserved 1-0 victory over Carshalton Athletic at a sun-drenched Dripping Pan today (Saturday).
The only goal of the game came inside two minutes when striker Nathan Crabb made sure he was first to a cross from the left, and powered his header past Nick Hammann from eight yards out.
Lewes held off a good Carshalton team thereafter, keeping the visitors’ real chances to a minimum, although there was some Robins pressure to withstand as Rooks’ keeper Matt Ingram was rightly named man of the match by the day’s match sponsors.
Ingram, with Lewes on a work experience deal from Wycombe Wanderers, pulled off a superb save to deny Carshalton’s dangerous Dean McDonald in the second half, but also commanded his area well throughout.
Meanwhile, Rooks’ new signing – wide man Peter Gregory – also impressed on debut, while the Lewes management will be pleased with the clean sheet their men achieved – the team’s first shut-out since the 0-0 draw at the Met Police on New Year’s Eve.
If either team looked like scoring again after Crabb’s early strike it was Lewes, with Gregory smacking the far upright directly from a corner in the first half, and Chris Breach putting the loose ball just wide.
Second half substitutes Ian Draycott and Max Howell also had opportunities to put the game beyond the visitors, but both headed or shot straight at Hamann when presented with the chances. Draycott also saw an attempt from a Crabb cross go narrowly wide just seconds after coming on the pitch.
But Howell in particular looked a real threat when he came on, worrying the Robins’ right back with his blistering pace and later seeing a wonderful goal-bound volley blocked by Kennedy Adjei.
At the death Crabb had a chance to end the game as he had started when he was played in on goal from a sweet pass by Draycott, but, like his team-mates before, he shot straight at the Robins keeper when he should have done better.
But it mattered not and – having negotiated an nervous six minutes of added time – Lewes were able to celebrate their first victory (save a January shoot-out win over AFC Sudbury in the Ryman League Cup) since the 1-0 win at Hastings United on December 26. It was also the Rooks’ first home win since beating an eight-man Tooting & Mitcham on December 17.
It also moved the Rooks up two places in the Ryman Premier League to eighth.
LEWES: Ingram, Leach (Hustwick 69), Hamilton, Somner, Robinson, Breach, Gregory, Harding, Crabb, Booth (Draycott 59), Nanetti (Howell 59). Subs not used:, Medlock, Szelemej.
ROBINS: Hamann, Tanner (Adjei 73), Joseph, Pigden, Ray ©, Kamara, Crook, McDonald, Vines, Sogbanmu (Ayres 64), Hamici. Subs: Murphy, Dudzinski.
REF: Ian Gosling. ATT: 574.