Dripping Yarns with David Arnold

I HAD intended on heading to Kingstonian’s south west London ground on Monday night in the hope of seeing the Rooks go top of the Ryman Premier – even if only for a day or so pending other results.

However, in a rare clash of fixtures, I learnt that the Lewes Under 18s were playing at home that night in a league derby against Horsham.

Furthermore, Youth Team manager Simon Wormull needed some support at the Dripping Pan to ensure things off the pitch ran smoothly, so I was happy to volunteer my services in running the bar while long-time Lewes fan Janet Bradfield looked after the gate.

What a good choice I made. In contrast to last Saturday’s excellent result against Cray Wanderers, played out in the balmy late summer sunshine, the Rooks were apparently lacklustre at Kingstonian, going down by a single goal.

But at the Dripping Pan the young Rooks put in a scintillating performance. Indeed, of our volunteer helpers on the night, the busiest was probably groundsman Roger Feltham who had the remote control for the electronic scoreboard – and used it to notch up no fewer than six goals for the Lewes boys, with none in reply for Horsham.


A fantastic first 15 minutes of great flowing football saw the young Rooks into a 2-0 lead and from then on in there was only going to be one winner.

Two strikes from Bayan Fenwick and one from Layton Schaaf gave Lewes a comfortable lead at half time – and the second half proved much the same, and some superb interchanging and passes allowed Solly March to tap in a forth. The introduction of Jordan Stubbings and Charlie Dunkley proved productive as both players then completed the scoreline by both netting.

If you have never been to a Lewes U18 game then an ideal chance to do so arises next Thursday (October 6) when they take on Thamesmead in the FA Youth Cup.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and the Rook Inn will be open, with Harvey’s Best on sale plus teas and coffees along with burgers and chips at the chuck wagon. Admission is just £3. Judging by Monday night’s form I fancy the Lewes lads to win and maybe earn a plum tie in the next round.

Thursday is the night after the Lewes first team play Margate at home, making it a unique opportunity for fans to see the two sides in action on consecutive evenings.

You rarely meet a soccer fan who doesn’t delight in football trivia, and Lewes resident Nick Cannan is no exception.

He sent me the following information and I print it with a warning that you need to read it carefully to fully digest the gist. He goes on:


“Further to my ramblings in the bar over something that you might want to mention in Dripping Yarns, I can confirm that on Saturday Lewes FC gave debuts to two players on loan from the oldest football club in the world: Notts County.

“Further: the pair went on to play against the second oldest club, Cray Wanderers.

“It’s not quite as simple as that though. Saturday’s match programme mentions Cray as both the second and third oldest club in the world.

“This seems to be because an outfit called Sheffield FC are officially the oldest club but they were amateurs, so Notts County qualify as the oldest professional club in the world. It looks like Cray followed soon after and they were certainly the first team in the south of England (their website has them as London’s first and England’s second oldest club). Not sure how you could write that in a few column inches, even if you’d want to... I’d be tempted to leave it as world’s oldest and second oldest and hope no anoraks are reading!”

Too late Nick, as I’ve included all your words verbatim. If you are wrong no doubt we’ll hear about it.

One thing puzzles me about this oldest club thing. How did the founders know there would ever be another club formed so that they would have someone to play against?!

Anyway, for sure Cray Wanderers were born in 1860, that’s 25 years before Lewes FC came into being in 1885.

This time last year we celebrated our 125th anniversary with a party at the Pan that drew in excess of 1,250 fans to the game against Chelmsford.

We lost the match but won with the party. Indeed, it was so much fun that it’s been decided to do it again tomorrow (Saturday) when the Rooks host Wealdstone.

The gates will be open from 1pm and there will be live music, a gigantic 126th birthday cake plus a crossbar challenge, whatever that is (Don’t you ever watch Soccer AM on Sky Sports? It’s quite entertaining – Sports Ed.).

The weather forecast is fantastic so we hope for another bumper crowd. Do come along and enjoy this special day.

Remember, kids under 16 are admitted free thanks to generous sponsorship by Brighton Holiday Homes.