Billericay hit back late to deny Lewes

Sam Cole on target
Sam Cole on target

Lewes fans have lost count this season the number of times the Rooks have grabbed a vital goal in the dying seconds but today the boot was on the other foot as Billericay grabbed an injury time point.

The hosts opened the scoring as Sappleton as he ran through the middle of the Lewes defence and easily beat Rikki Banks.

Lewes forced corner after corner in the opening half hour and eventually the possession paid dividends as Sam Cole calmly slotted into the net. Six minutes later and the Rooks took the lead when the ball fell perfectly to Davis on the edge of the box and he showed some nibble feet as he wrong-footed the defender and placed the ball into the corner of the net.

Lewes tried to use width but struggled with the slope of the pitch at times. Blewden and Wheeler both had good chances which flashed wide whilst at the other end Banks was forced to make a couple of point-blank saves.

With 20 minutes to go, Ricky Sappleton was given a straight red for a late and dangerous tackle on Fraser, resulting in the usual Non-League handbags.

The subsequent delay in restarting the game ultimately cost Lewes dear. With four minutes of injury time played, Billericay launched a final ball into the box. Chris Breach slipped allowing The Blues a clear sight of goal but the goal scoring opportunity was denied by Lovegrove, unfairly in the eyes of the official.

Penalty, a red card for Lovegrove and ultimately a heart-breaking equaliser for the home side from Richard Halle.

A draw in these circumstances feels like a defeat in the immediate aftermath of the game, but there were certainly more positives to take out of this game than negatives, especially the first half performance which was up there with the best we’ve seen this season.

Lewes: Banks, S Crabb, Cole, Rowe, Breach, Badger, Wheeler (N Crabb), Davis, Blewden (Romain), Walder (Lovegrove), Fraser