LEWES boss Tim O’Shea has called on his players to show how sorry they are in the wake of last week’s 4-0 humbling at home to Woking.
Lewes suffered a heavy defeat at the Pan on Saturday, with a brace of goals in either half from the highly in-form Cards seeing off the Rooks.
O’Shea’s men started well enough, with a Lyle Taylor effort hitting the post in the first minute before the same player fired over five minutes later. But from then on all the significant chances went to the visitors.
A poor back pass from young propsect Callum Davies on 12 minutes saw keeper Chris Winterton’s desperate clearance cannon off the on loan defender from Gillingham into the path of Craig Dobson who made no mistake from six yards out.
It was 2-0 nine minutes later when another failed attempt by Lewes at clearing their lines led to Dobson homing in on goal for his second strike of the game.
The weather mirrored the home fans’ mood as the heavens then opened to soak the 834 present at the Pan.
Lewes rallied a little in the second half and the visitors didn’t find the net again until 12 minutes from time, when a fine Kieran Murtagh strike from distance found the bottom corner of the Lewes net. But the Cards then breached the home defence once more just two minutes later when former Rook Aswad Thomas ran onto a through ball from Moses Ademola to round off a miserable and wet afternoon for the home side.
The result meant the Cards enjoyed a clean sweep throughout the whole of February, winning all six of their matches in the Blue Square Bet South, scoring 14 times while not conceding a single goal. And their 3-0 home victory against Ebbsfleet means they promise to being that superb form into March.
But the defeat means the Rooks are still three points from safety, having played two games more than Thurrock, and O’Shea reckons it will take at least five more wins to preserve their Blue Square South status.
Saturday’s loss at the Pan was down to a lack of mental toughness according to O’Shea, who saw his troops compete for the opening 15 minutes, but crumble after the opening goal.
Speaking to Allan Norbury, he said: “It’s a mental toughness and that is something you work on behind closed doors
“We certainly will be taking every opportunity to get into some players.
“It is a very youthful side, and it’s something of a learning curve and that’s part of their education.”
New striker Ben Hunt’s display was among the few highlights against Woking, and O’Shea plans to throw him into the starting XI on Saturday against Basingstoke at The Camrose, where the boss is looking for a ‘huge reaction’.
He said: “The way we didn’t put up enough fight was the disappointing part, we will go down fighting is what we want to instil.
“Everyone has been very remorseful and we want a huge reaction from last weekend and for them to prove they are sorry.”
Rooks had been on a run of just one defeat in seven games before conceding seven goals with no reply in a 3-0 loss to Ebbsfleet and then 4-0 to Woking. Basingstoke are comfortably mid table, and O’Shea wants to bring three points back from Hampshire.
He said: “If we are like we were last week then we will not get anything from the game, but if we are like we were before Ebbsfleet we might get something but not if we fall short of that. There are 11 games to go and we need to win at least half of those I would have thought.”
Meanwhile, defender Sonny Cobbs is being courted by Ryman Division 1 South club Burgess Hill Town with a view to a possible loan move. O’Shea commented: “I want people who will be fighting for the club’s cause.”
Lyle Taylor has returned to AFC Bournemouth after his loan spell at the Dripping Pan. Reported the Cherries website on Tuesday: “Lyle impressed during his time at the Dripping Pan, with boss LeeBradbury knowing that getting games under his belt was important.”
ROOKS: Winterton, Evans, Dvies, Breach, Hamilton (Barness 81), Wheeler, Wright, Tabiri (Welsh 71), Hill, Noel, Taylor (Hunt 46). Unused Subs: Cobbs, Crellin. Booked: Hill.
CARDS: Little, Anane, McNerney, Doyle, Thomas, Dobson (Faulconbridge 72), Ricketts, Murtagh, Davies (Turnbull 81), Ademola, Hammond (Palmer 63). Unused Subs: Gilroy, Pegler. Booked: Hammond, Ademola.
REF: Mr P Lavelle.