Lewes steel too much for Iron

LEWES defender Anthony Barness praised the character of the team for bouncing back from their ‘lowest moment of the season’ on Saturday with a stunning late win over league leaders Braintree on Wednesday night, writes Steve Pickthall.

David Wheeler’s goal ten minutes from time dealt title-chasing Iron only their sixth defeat all season while moving Rooks off the foot of the league to boost their fight to avoid the drop.

The superb win came just four days after Tim O’Shea’s men were dealt a 5-1 defeat by former boss Steve King’s Farnborough in what was his and a number of ex Rooks players’ first return to the Dripping Pan.

That followed a 4-0 defeat to Chelmsford so for former Lewes skipper Barness it was just what the doctor ordered.

He said: “It was brilliant to get the win, and just what we needed after the last few weeks.

“We needed something to lift our morale and the fact that it was against Braintree will particularly add to our confidence that we have the fight to get out of trouble.”

Against a physical Braintree side at the Pan on Wednesday night it was the hosts who went ahead when Jermaine Wright’s free kick bounced in front of keeper Nathan McDonald and found the net.

The goal was given to new signing, defender Joe Dolan who seemed to get a touch, although Barness isn’t convinced.

He said: “I don’t think Joe scored it, my first instinct was that Jamma (Wright) scored it straight from the free kick and they were talking about it in the bar afterwards.

“But if it goes to Joe as a debut goal then fair play, I thought he had a great game, was very vocal and has a presence about him similar to Danny Cullip which is something we’ve missed a bit.”

Braintree had the better of the first half and they levelled the scores on 65 minutes when Cliff Akurang netted from a free kick.

Lewes though were creating chances with Wheeler and Ben Hunt both having shots blocked and the hosts thought they should have had a penalty when Chris Breach’s header seemed to hit a defender’s arm.

Glen Poole struck the post for Braintree and Rooks’ stopper Chris Winterton made a couple of good saves before Wheeler popped up at the far post to fire in a corner and steal the points.

Barness said: “Saturday was probably our lowest point this season because there was no fight about us and we made lots of mistakes so it was important to get that our of our heads and hopefully we can take that forward for the rest of the season.”

Lewes travel to mid-table Dartford this Saturday (kick off 1pm) looking for another win to move out of the bottom two in what has swiftly turned into an extremely tight relegation battle.