Darren Freeman thanks Lewes fans after final game ends in defeat

Horsham v Lewes. Lewes manager Darren Freeman. Photo by Derek Martin
Horsham v Lewes. Lewes manager Darren Freeman. Photo by Derek Martin

Darren Freeman thanked Lewes fans for a ‘magnificent journey’ after his managerial career at the Rooks ended with a 3-2 home defeat to Cray Wanderers in the Isthmian Premier Division last Saturday.

There was to be no final swansong as the visitors cancelled out Dayshonne Golding’s early strike with three superb finishes.

Stefan Ilic found the net with five minutes remaining howver it would not be enough for Freeman to earn a fairytale finish as Lewes suffered their sixth league defeat of the season.

Despite the defeat, Freeman was upbeat as he looked back fondly on his last four years as Rooks boss.

Speaking to Lewes FC’s official YouTube channel, he said: “It’s been a magnificent journey and I’ve loved every minute of it. I remember the first game that I went to and I feel we have moved in the right direction as a club.

“We need to stop leaking goals and with two or three additions, the results will be turned around. I don’t think that people should need to panic.

“It’s been a pleasure and I appreciate everyone’s help and everyone who has given me the opportunity to manage this fantastic football club.”

Freeman also admitted he was disappointed with the final game defeat. He said: “You always want to win your last game in charge and, for the first 20 minutes, we started brightly. Our formation was causing them some issues and I thought we were working hard but they scored a goal and it’s poor defending yet again.

“Once (Cray’s first) goal went in, we felt sorry for ourselves a little bit and their goal just before half-time killed us. It looked like it was men against boys.”

He added: “Whoever comes in is going to watch the game today and they are going to have to make some decisions because you can’t keep doing that. The players are good enough and maybe one or two of them need a bit more believing in themselves but, since I’ve been here, they’ve been magnificent.

Ross Standen and Tony Coade will take over caretaker charge while Lewes search for their new manager and Freeman wished both men well in their new roles.

He said: “I am disappointed but the club has to move on now and hopefully Ross and Codge can take the helm and crack on with things.

“The players are a lot better than (what they were on Saturday) and hopefully they can bounce back. I just think they need a little believing in themselves and need to stop feeling sorry.”

Following Wednesday night’s game at home to Corinthian Casuals, Lewes are back in action this Saturday (October 26) where they travel to Isthmian Premier leaders Folkestone Invicta in the FA Trophy first qualifying round.