Lewes were left stunned when a goal scored in the fouth minute of injury time cost them a deserved win against Lowestoft Town today (Saturday).
The Rooks were leading 2-1 against the Ryman Premier high-flyers when a Steve Robinson mistake let sustitute Nathan Stone in to prod the ball past Lewes keeper Matt Ingram for a late, dramatic equaliser.
It was Robinson who lost balance to allow Stone in for the goal – but the rest of the Lewes team must take shared responsibility for the late howler. The Rooks reacted slowly to a quickly taken Lowestoft free kick – having failed miserably to keep hold of the ball from a free kick of their own just moments before – and by the time Robinson and Stone were tussling to win that desperate ball over the top, most of the Lewes team had gone AWOL.
It had all started so well for Simon Wormull’s men, with recent signing Nathan Crabb adding to his goal tally with two cracking goals within 13 minutes of kick-off. The former Eastbourne Town man first capitalised on a Lowestoft defensive mix up to prod the ball past keeper Andrew Reynolds, on seven minutes – then, six minutes later, struck again when blasting past Reynolds into the far bottom corner.
Lewes were looking good to extend that two-goal lead – and really should have on 31 minutes when Paul Booth somehow failed to put away a clear-cut chance in front of goal. But one sensed it would become a tight and tense affair once Lowestoft halved the deficit on 43 minutes, when Dean Sinclair slid home a penalty after Malvin Kamara was judged to have fouled Chris Henderson in the box.
That decision looked soft but understandable, but home fans were bemused when the referee and his assistant conspired to disallow a Lewes goal in first half injury time when Town keeper Reynolds seemed to allow the ball, from a Harry Harding free kick, go through him and over the line.
The second half was an engrossing affair but had few, if any, clear-cut chances on goal until the late drama unfolded. Lowestoft captain Scott Mitchell sliced just over his own crossbar when attempting to clear an Ian Draycott cross on 68 minutes.
But then came the goal, scored with two seconds of the declared four minutes of added time left. The referee, Lee Venamore, did allow a good 30 seconds extra after that, when Lewes could have reclaimed the win with a launched free kick into the Lowestoft box but it wasn’t to be and the Rooks’ hopes of drawing nearer to the play-off positions were dashed, at least until their next game, at home again, against Leatherhead this coming Wednesday.
LEWES: Ingram, Kamara, Hamilton, Somner, Robinson, Hustwick, Walder (Draycott 62), Harding, Crabb (Medlock 88), Booth, Gregory (Howell 75).
Draycott, Howell, Medlock, Leach, Schaaf.
LOWESTOFT: Reynolds, Okay, Smith, Fisk, Halliday (Frew 32), Mitchell ©, Guentchev (Forbes 76), Sinclair, Nolan (Stone 57), Henderson, Eagle.