Lewes 'a different beast' compared to the start of the season

Tony Russell says Lewes are a different beast now compared to the start of the campaign - and has asserted his commitment to playing slick, passing football.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:35 am

The Rooks recorded a comprehensive 4-1 win at the home of Isthmian Premier play-off rivals Enfield Town on Saturday.

Michael Klass gave Lewes the lead on 32 minutes but Adam Cunnington levelled. Razz Coleman De-Graft thundered home for the Rooks on the hour before Klass added his second.

The pick of the goals came on 73 minutes. Marksman Joe Taylor deftly dinked the ball over the home keeper following a 34-pass move that involved all 11 Rooks on the pitch.

The win moves Lewes up to third in the table.

Russell said: “Those 34 passes were only flagged up because we scored. We’re doing that generally in a game.

“If the club posted us on social media stringing together 46 passes and then the goalie kicked out of play, people are going to go, ‘what are you showing that for?’

“I spoke to a few friends and they said Enfield didn’t look like they were shutting us down very hard. But, what you’ve got to understand is that this is 70, 75 minutes into the game and they were knackered and that’s when we had our way.

Tony Russell says Lewes are a different beast now compared to the start of the campaign - and has asserted his commitment to playing slick, passing football. Picture by James Boyes.

“All the hard work had been done in the first 60 minutes when they were pressing us with high intensity and the ball quality was good on a tricky pitch.

“In the past three or four games I’ve been really impressed with our flow. Earlier in the season we’d look unbelievable for 20 minutes but then we’d shoot ourselves in the foot and we’d look like we’d never played with each other.

“But I think those days are behind us. We are moving as one without the ball and now we look like a different beast.

“Everyone always asks, have you got a plan B and are you always going to play like that? My answer is that until I find it doesn’t work, I will continue to do it.”

Worryingly for the rest of the division, Russell said the Isthmian Premier’s top scorers were only going to get stronger as the season enters the run-in.

He added: “I told the owners that it will take time. I said if we’re not too detached from the top by Christmas we’ll come strong, and by hook or by crook we’ve held on to people’s coattails.

“Don’t get me wrong, we’re not where we want to be. If everyone wins their games in hand we’re outside the play-offs but I know we’re getting stronger and I don’t see anyone else getting stronger. How much stronger will determine how much further we can go with this.”