Garry Wilson was delighted with the way his side bounced back from Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat to beat Enfield Town in midweek.
The Rooks beat Enfield 3-1 at the Dripping Pan on Tuesday night to shake off a run of three straight defeats that had put a slight dampener on the side’s superb 14-match unbeaten start to the season.
Two stunning headers from centre half Ben Austin were followed by a disappointing goal conceded to Mark Kirby six minutes before the break. But the Rooks bounced back almost immediately, with a goal for Nathan Crabb following some lovely build up by the home side.
Lewes created the first genuine moment of excitement with 11 minutes gone, Jack Walder’s fine crossfield ball finding Sam Crabb down the left. He cut inside and beat a couple of Enfield defenders before drilling a ball across goal that evaded everyone.
And the hosts were ahead three minutes later, Austin drilling in an unstoppable header from six yards out from Matt Crabb’s corner, the flag kick having been won by another Sam Crabb cross.
It was 2-0 on 39 minutes and the goal was a near carbon copy of the first, Austin rising to power in another corner from the right from practically the same position on the edge of Enfield’s six-yard box.
There was barely time for the hosts to enjoy their cushion, however, as Enfield pulled one back almost immediately, a cross from the visitors’ left allowed to drift criminally across to the far post where their captain, Kirby, was on hand to bundle the ball over the line on 41 minutes.
But any thoughts of a Met-like quick capitulation from a two-goal advantage were soon allayed when the hosts made it 3-1 a minute before the 45.
A ball in from the Rooks’ left by Sam Gore had keeper James Chalk struggling, and Nathan Crabb was on hand to poke home from the middle of the six yard box.
Wilson said: “We were really disappointed to go out of the trophy on Saturday, so it was vital that we backed it up with a league win and get back to where we left off before the Dulwich game.
“We played well in the last (league) game (against Dulwich), especially in the first half, and it was good to get back into the league and pick up a vital three points and get ourselves up the league again.”
When asked what he put the victory down to, he said “I think determination and pride. We let the boys know we were unhappy with Saturday, and I think a lot of pride came back into the side tonight and we played well.”
Of Austin’s two goals, he said: “They were great headers but more than that our deliveries haven’t been great for set pieces. Tonight I thought the ball was played in flat and struck in well, and when it comes in like that it’s easier to head the ball into the net.
“I thought it was a great response to get back and I thought the third goal was a smashing goal. I thought the football we played for the build up, to work the ball from one end to the other and get the ball across the box, was a fantastic goal. So we’re really pleased with that and the response to the (Enfield) goal going in, because it was a disappointing goal to let in. I think Rikki could have done better. He knows he could have done better than that.”
Of Walder going off with 20 minutes left, he revealed: “He had a bit of a chest infection before the game, so he was struggling with his breathing and had a bit of pain in the chest, so just really as a precaution, we felt he was better coming off because he was feeling in a bit of pain.”
With centre half Jay Lovett unavailable in midweek, boss Wilson and assistant Danny Bloor brought Andy Pearson in from Whitehawk.
Pearson was briefly with the Rooks on loan from the Hawks earler in the season when Austin was injured and Wilson enthused, “Yeah, we’ve got Andy (Pearson) and we’re delighted. I thought he had a really controlled performance tonight.
“He’s a really welcome addition to the squad and hopefully we’ll have him for the next month at least.”
“Brinky’s (Steve Brinkhurst) obviously got the (facial) injury (from the Sutton game) and he’s still suffering from that.
“He’s had his nose reset at the hospital yesterday (Monday). I still think he’s a week or two weeks away yet.”
Of Reece Hall, who impressed up front for the Rooks on Tuesday, Wilson said: “I thought he was a handful, especially in the first half.
“He was very creative for us and we were really pleased with his performance so maybe we’ll look at extending his stay.
“He’s not been tied to a club this year, we’ve had him down on trial a couple of times and played in some of the league cup matches, so he’s performed well tonight.”
LEWES: Banks, S Crabb, Gore, Pearson, Austin, Walder (Vickers 69), Dixon, Hall, N Crabb (Olorunda 75), M Crabb (Logan 81).
Subs not used: Treleaven, Smith.
ENFIELD: Chalk, Lockie, Stevens, White, Kirby, Wild, Allen (O’Brien 60), Olondo, Hope (Kalu 69), Osei (Hahn 74), Campbell.
Subs not used: Kendall, McCluskey.
REF: Harry Lennard. ATT: 287.