Successful weekend for Rooks after Palace clash and Dover win

LEWES enjoyed a successful weekend in their continued preparations for the new season.

First the Rooks took on a strong Crystal Palace side on the Friday evening in a hastily arranged friendly after the Championship outfit had to rearrange a warm-up game following a cancelled tour of the south west.

Then on the Saturday Simon Wormull’s men took on a Dover Athletic side that finished seventh in the Blue Square Bet South last season – and beat them 2-1.

On the Friday night in front of a healthy crowd of 971 Lewes went down 5-1 to the Eagles in the Championship side’s first pre-season friendly.

First half goals from debutant Aaron Wilbraham, Jose Baxter, and Wilfried Zaha gave Palace a 3-0 lead at the break.

And just as Brighton and Hove Albion had done at the Pan three nights earlier, Palace fielded a completely new XI after the interval, with former Rook Bayan Fenwick lining up for the restart. Fititngly, he added a fourth before Jermain Easter rounded off the scoring for the visitors from Croydon.

But the highlight of the evening for the home fans was the goal scored by Lewes youngster Layton Schaaf.

Schaaf had played alongside Fenwick in the Lewes U18 side and the Rooks player’s smart finish showed he wasn’t out of his depth in such exulted company.

Schaaf would be on the scoresheet again less than 24 hours later when finding himself one of the Rooks to find the net against Dover.

Both he and Steve Brinkhurst helped Lewes pick up their second victory of pre-season against a strong opposition that in truth provided a more accurate test of what’s to come next season.

The Rooks started brightly and went ahead after just eight minutes, when Schaaf sent a looping header over former Eastbourne Borough stalwart Lee Hook in the visitors goal after an excellent in-swinging cross from Arron Hopkinson.

And despite having less than 24 hours to rest after their previous game, Lewes doubled their lead just two minutes later, Brinkhurst executing a perfectly-weighted lob from a tight angle over Hook, Hopkinson again the provider.

Lewes then had to withstand some Dover pressure and Kieron Thorp made a number of good saves to keep the Whites at bay, before the visitors finally pulled one back with 10 minutes to go, Polish player and trialist Jacek Magdzinski heading a corner powefully into the corner of the Lewes net, this time giving Thorp no chance.

But that was it and Lewes had secured another good pre-season win, their second of the summer after the early July win over Fisher.

Next up for the Rooks is a trip to Burgess Hill on Tuesday night.