Lewes’ season end is happy at Haringey – now just Italy remains

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Lewes finished their Isthmian premier league season with a comfortable win and an eighth-place finish, triumphing 4-0 at Haringey Borough in Tony Russell’s final domestic game as manager.

Russell named an unchanged side from one that secured a 2-1 win over Hashtag United, but also handed a spot on the bench to assistant manager Joe Vines.

Lewes took control from the opening exchanges, moving the ball quickly and always looking to stretch the Haringey defence. Bradley Pritchard was the first player to go close for the Rooks, making space just inside the area before seeing his effort saved by Dillon Barnes, with Ola Ogunwamide firing his effort on the rebound wide.

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Lewes continued to dominate and took the lead on 17 minutes, as Chris Whelpdale headed a Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala cross past Barnes from close range. Whelpdale missed a gilt-edged chance to double his and Lewes’ tally minutes later, heading wide from a corner.

Lewes fans see the league season out at Haringey | Picture: James BoyesLewes fans see the league season out at Haringey | Picture: James Boyes
Lewes fans see the league season out at Haringey | Picture: James Boyes

The Rooks were able to double their lead on 26 minutes though, as Lumbombo-Kalala was on hand to finish after a cross from the right had picked him out in the area. Lewes dominated possession for the remainder of the half, ensuring that Haringey were given no encouragement or route back into the game, without coming close to adding to their lead.

The hosts started the second half with renewed energy and came close to pulling a goal back within minutes of the restart, substitute Matthew Young firing a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar. The pattern of the first half soon resumed, with Lewes continuing to move the ball quickly and seeing Lumbombo-Kalala fire a Sanchez Ming cross just wide of the far post.

Lewes made it 3-0 on the hour, Whelpdale converting a Pritchard cross from close range at the end of a spell of patient possession. It was 4-0 eight minutes later, Marcus Sablier showing tremendous composure to side-step a challenge before finishing into the corner after Ayo Olukoga had forced a smart save from Barnes with a low cross-shot from the left.

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The Rooks remained on the front foot during the final 20 minutes, with Barnes called into action to deny Whelpdale a hat-trick with a fine save. Vines was introduced up front with a few minutes remaining, to the delight of the travelling fans, but Lewes were unable to add to their lead.

For some of the travelling supporters, this will be their last chance to see this talented, exciting side and management team in action, and the coaches and players all went to shake the fans’ hands at the end of the game to thank them for their support today and throughout the season.

The season isn’t over quite yet though, with Lewes heading out to Italy next week for the Fenix Trophy finals weekend.

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