NEW permanent boss of Lewes Simon Wormull has called on fans to come and cheer from the sidelines tomorrow as the Rooks’ slim but still alive hopes of making a play-off place go into the final weekend of the season.
On a wet and windy Wednesday evening some 30 fans gathered at the Rook Inn for the Fans Forum.
All the club’s Board members were in attendance. The main point to come out of the evening was that the Board had offered Simon Wormull the manager’s job for next season and he has accepted.
Also revealed was news that next year’s first team playing budget will be a reduced figure from that of this year. However, Wormull said he was happy to work within that, particularly as he said the youth set-up looks so promising.
Wormull said he felt players would look at the situation realistically as Lewes as a club was working on a sound financial footing, including paying bills, taxes and wages on time. Also, a pre-season friendly at the Dripping Pan against a strong Brighton & Hove Albion side was confirmed.
Wormull made the call to fans to come and cheer on Lewes at the Pan tomorrow following last Saturday’s nervy win away at Concord Rangers, which kept the Rooks’ hopes of a play-off place alive – just.
Harry Harding’s late and fearless penalty kept Lewes ahead of promotion rivals Hendon and Canvey Island in the last available play-off berth – although Wealdstone’s subsequent 2-0 win away to Margate in their game in hand on Tuesday meant they overtook the Rooks, who now must beat Harrow Borough at the Dripping Pan tomorrow and hope either Wealdstone or Bury Town lose their final game of the season. Both teams are two points ahead of Lewes with far superior goal differences.
Those who have been following recent events in the Ryman Premier will feel the main hope lies with Concord Rangers, who, despite being ensconced safely in mid-table gave Lewes such a tough game last Saturday and will hopefully give Wealdstone an even harder test at the Stones’ own ground tomorrow.
Hopes are less buoyant of a positive result coming from Bury Town’s match, though, as they visit Tooting & Mitcham who, rather pathetically, seem to have given up on playing out their remaining games properly since their relegation and have taken to putting a striker in goal in recent games – conceding 11 goals in their last two games alone.
Speaking on Saturday, Wormull said: “Hopefully we’ll look to have Peter Gregory back next week, and (if so) we’ll go with a full quota for next week, which is good, it gives us a good headache to have.
“The boys are excited; we’ve just come into the dressing room and they’re buzzing. And what it does it just means it will make a fantastic atmosphere next week.
“It’ll be like Sky Sports, won’t it, everyone will be ringing up finding out who’s beating who!”
Issued his rallying call to fans, he said: “If everyone can get there it would be fantastic, because we have got a real genuine chance of getting into the play-offs – and I think if we get in the play-offs we’ve got a very good chance of winning it.
“And (the support) does make a difference. The crowd in the last, probably two months have been amazing to be honest. I mean, the guys that travelled all the way today – we wouldn’t have had that two months ago, they wouldn’t have come here today. But they did and it meant something to the boys.
“So if we can get as many, many people there, all the better. If you can bring a friend with you who hasn’t watched, bring them – because the boys are going to give everything again and they’ll see that.
“If you look at the bigger picture it’s Sussex football as well. Obviously Brighton haven’t done it, and it was a big season for them.
“I mean, if Brighton fans can come along and just help us on, we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”
Of tomorrow’s opponents Harrow, he said: “They won today and they’re safe now, which is good in a way. I’ve watched them a couple of times now, and they’re one of the teams I’ve watched quite a lot. So I do know how exactly how I want to play against them, which is good.”
“And we’re going there to make the stats 10 wins, two draws one loss: if we finish like that and we miss out by goal difference or a point, we hold our hands up and say ‘OK, it is frustrating with the Lowestoft results and stuff like that but we can’t do any more.
We’ve done everything we could in the last month’.”