Swifts force Trophy draw after Rowe’s opener

Ollie Rowe, Lewes. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst SUS-140822-130032001
Ollie Rowe, Lewes. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst SUS-140822-130032001

Lewes boss Garry Wilson was disappointed not to have seen more from his Lewes side after Ryman North side Heybridge Swifts forced a replay in their FA Trophy tie.

Ollie Rowe gave the Rooks the lead in first half stoppage time, but only for Neil Richmond to draw the Swifts level midway through the second period.

Both sides had chances to go and win the game, but both teams will have to do it all over again on Tuesday night, with the winners facing a trip to Oxford City in the third qualifying round.

Wilson said after the match: “We are still in the competition, which is a positive. We didn’t lose the game, which is another positive, but performance-wise we could have been a lot better.

“I thought we started poorly and were a bit flat, but we grew into the game and started to create a few chances. I thought getting the goal just before half-time would give us the boost we needed, but we didn’t kick on from that and allowed them back into the game.

“We huffed and puffed but never really got to the level which we needed to get to.”

Signs that the visitors arrived to cause an upset were there early on, with Jonathan Glowacki failing to hit the target from twelve yards before Richmond miss-kicked an effort inside the area.

Swifts nearly got their reward for a good start after ten minutes, as Nikki Beale rose highest at a corner but only to see his firm header come back off the bar with Banks beaten.

Lewes then hit the woodwork as Luke Blewden flicked on Rowe’s free-kick into the area to find strike partner Leroy Griffiths, whose powerful volley cannoned back off the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Blewden then could have done better on the half hour mark as Rowe’s low ball forward was well dummied by Griffiths into the path of the forward, but through on goal, he failed to hit the target as he watched his low effort go wide of the far post.

The Rooks went into half time ahead though, as Tom Davis’ low free-kick was only parried by keeper Daniel Sambridge, and Rowe was first to the rebound and made no mistake from six yards.

Heybridge began brightly again in the second half, with Banks at full stretch to keep out a spectacular effort from Frank Griffin destined for the top corner, before they drew level after the hour.

Daniel Lopes, who was about to be subbed off by manager Keith Wilson, burst forward down the right and played a great ball across the face of goal which found Joe Pearman at the back post. The half-time substitute then teed the ball up for Richmond, who finished emphatically from ten yards.

Josh Marshall then should have done better with a first time effort 12 yards out, firing well over the bar after losing his marker, as Lewes looked to regain the lead.

However, it was Heybridge who were denied late on as Banks got down well to his left to turn Lopes’ low effort around the post and keep the Rooks in the competition.

Lewes entertain Witham Town on Saturday, and Wilson said: “We hope that one or two players will be back available for selection for Saturday. We have just signed Chris Breach, who is a good signing for us and hope to make one more before the weekend. We know we need to play better on Saturday to win the three points.”

Rooks: Banks, S. Crabb (Brinkhurst 58), Cole, Rowe, Marshall, Badger, Wheeler (Romain 83), Davis, Griffiths, Blewden (N. Crabb 72), Logan. Subs not used: Stinson, Fergany. Bookings: Rowe, Romain.