Lewes and Tanner must learn from Dripping Pan day to forget

Lewes boss Tony Russell is hopeful his team’s 5-1 home defeat to Potters Bar was a blip – but says they must learn lessons from it.

Lewes v Potters Bar action / Picture: Angela Brinkhurst
Lewes v Potters Bar action / Picture: Angela Brinkhurst

And he says striker Ollie Tanner must also treat his red card – and subsequent three-match ban – as part of the football learning curve.

Russell’s Rooks have had a fine season and are in sixth place ahead of tomorrow’s trip to face Bowers and Pitsea.

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But they came a cropper in their latest Dripping Pan outing, going 3-0 down before half-time then seeing hopes of a comeback disappear with Tanner’s red card for kicking out at a visiting defender who’d virtually rugby-tackled him to the ground.

The second top scorer, with ten goals to his name, will miss the next three games – which is a blow to Russell’s plans for the festive period.

That came after a Taylor Maloney goal at the start of the second half had given Lewes hope of saving the game.

Russell said: “Credit to Potters Bar – they came with a game plan and it worked.

“They counter-attacked well and we were not good enough in either box. We got into their area 25 times and only managed two shots on target.

“Defensively, they were poor goals from our perspective. We still attacked them, even with ten men, but they produced some good finishes.”

Russell said Tanner must learn from his red card and added: “He’s an exceptional young talent and will come back from it. But we’re disappointed to lose him for three games.”

The Rooks boss said the past three games – from which they had taken only one point – had tested them. “Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, but you have spells like that in football. “We just have to keep doing the things that have got us this far.”

Next up for Russell, assistant Joe Vines and their troops is tomorrow’s trip to 17th-placed Bowers. “It’s always a tough place to go, they’re a very well-organised side,” Russell said.

Lewes are hoping to add one or two players to the squad – maybe even in time for this weekend – to cope with injuries that are leaving Russell with a very small pool.

Tomorrow week they get a break from the league when they visit Worthing in the Sussex Senior Cup.