Lewes' men exceed expectations while women aim to better last season

Lewes' men’s team are performing above their pre-season expectations, according to director and chair Stuart Fuller.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:31 pm
Lewes' men's team celebrate netting against Enfield Town. Pictures by James Boyes

The new-look Rooks sit sixth in the Isthmian Premier, a place and point adrift of the play-off places although they have a game in hand over place-above Cheshunt.

Lewes missed the chance to reach the play-off places when they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat at struggling East Thurrock on Tuesday. This result followed a 1-1 draw at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.

With a new management team and a whole new squad at The Dripping Pan, Fuller was pleased with the progress the Rooks had made with a third of the season gone.

Lewes women's Freda Ayisi is congratulated for finding the net against Watford

He said: “If you look at where we’ve come from and where we’ve been over the last couple of seasons, I would say being sixth is very much above expectation.

“Our goal for the men’s team was to be challenging and in the mix for the play-offs, and we’re there and we’ve gone as high as second.

“There’s been a few blips. Tuesday night was certainly not anticipated, but, at the end of the day, we’ve got a good squad of players.

“We’re always going to have games where we don’t necessarily perform at our best, but if we win on Saturday [at home to Haringey Borough] we go third.

“It’s a tight league. A couple of weeks ago we dropped down to ninth but then one win and all of a sudden you’re back up to fifth.

“A third of a way through the season and you’re in the play-offs is above where we expected to be.

The women’s team have also experienced a change in personnel, with first team manager Simon Parker departing The Dripping Pan after two-years at the helm.

Craig Gill was appointed interim manager while the Rooks continue their search for Parker’s replacement.

Since Parker’s departure on October 12, Lewes have won one and lost three in the FA Women’s Super League 2, and sit 10th in the division.

But, if results go their way, victory over bottom-of-the-table Coventry United this Sunday could take the Rooks into the top half.

Fuller said: “Again, it is such a tight league. If they’d have won on Sunday [against Watford] they would have gone fourth.

“We’re always aiming to better what we did last season. Last season we were fifth, and we want to be pushing for that top four.

“Last Sunday was a disappointment but that was only Craig’s second game in charge.

“He doesn’t have the luxury of changing the squad around, he’s got to wait for the transfer window in January to make any changes.

“He’s working with a squad that’s already there. It’s going to take a little bit of time to adapt, but we are certainly laser-focused on getting a win against Coventry.”