King hails ‘brilliant’ defence after Rooks earn another away win at Harrow

STEVE KING hailed a ‘brilliant’ second half defensive display from his team after Lewes safely guarded all three points after Harry Harding’s superb first half strike proved the difference between Lewes and Harrow Borough on Saturday.

Nineteen-year-old Harding showed maturity beyond his years to side-step a Harrow defender on 17 minutes before wrong-footing the home keeper and coolly sliding the ball into the other corner of the net.

Lewes were by far the better team in the first half and on overall balance of play deserved to take all the points – but were put under long periods of pressure after the break, and needed all the experience and nous present in their back four to hold on to the win. That they did so without allowing their hosts so much as one shot on goal throughout the match spoke volumes of their display. Rikki Banks, back at the club after being brought in on loan from Eastbourne Borough, didn’t have a save to make – the only Harrow effort of note being one shot that skidded a yard past Banks’s right hand post.

And although there weren’t too many Lewes chances of their own the visitors had more than enough opportunity to make the game safe – in particular when Michael Malcolm was denied a cracking second half goal by Harrow keeper Will Viner following a lovely move down the left featuring Harding and Albert Jarrett.

And there was also strong appeals for a Lewes penalty, when Christian Nanetti was felled in the box after the break, but these were waved away by referee Chris Wicks.

King said: “It was hard fought at the end. They put us under a lot of pressure but I thought defensively we did well as a unit. We didn’t give them any chances to score goals.

“It was a big team effort and, like I say, we defended brilliantly second half, not allowing them anything other than the one shot really.

“Sometimes it’s about winning 1-0. We’ve come away from home and we’ve got another three points.

“That’s three wins on the spin now, including the cup, and we go again now to Wednesday.”

That game on Wednesday is Lewes’ away fixture against Met Police. Lewes beat them 1-0 in the corresponding fixture at the Dripping Pan thanks to a Paul Booth goal right at the start of the season, but since then the Police team now based at East Molesey in Surrey has gone on a great run and are currently fourth in the Ryman Premier table, one place above Lewes.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” said King. “But the pitch is lovely over there, and that will help us. It’s like the pitch at Leatherhead, where you could get the ball down and pass it.”

See this Friday’s Sussex Express for a full match report on the Harrow Borough game and more post-match reaction.