‘Unreal’ – Lewes FC boss hails fans as European adventure starts with win
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On an historic night at the Dripping Pan, a first half goal from Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala was enough to help them to a 1-0 win over FC Oslo in their inaugural Fenix Trophy game.
Tuesday’s victory came in front of a superb crowd of 1,109 and Russell said on X (formerly Twitter): “1,100 plus on a Tuesday night is unreal.
"Thank you to everyone who came out; me and the team really appreciate all your support. I look forward to seeing you all soon.”
Russell’s men looked perfectly at home on the European stage and now they can look forward to their first away game in the competition – away to KSK Beveren in Belgium in mid-December.
Lewes made a bright start, with Salmon calling Oslo keeper Robin Vikskjold into action with a close-range header inside the opening minutes.
On eight minutes, Lumbombo-Kalala saw a powerful 25-yard strike hit the top of the bar with Vikskjold beaten.
Lewes made their early dominance count on 15 minutes, Deon Moore going on a superb run down the right before standing a cross to the far post for Lumbombo-Kalala to head home.
Oslo were defending bravely, but were struggling to gain a foothold in the game and stretch the Lewes defence. It was only impressive goalkeeping from Vikskjold keeping the scoreline at 1-0, as he got down well to keep out a long-range Jake Elliott strike before making another fine save to tip a piledriver from Moore over the bar. The second half was more even, with the visitors enjoying spells of possession.
Nathan Harvey was called into action twice in quick succession to deal with long-range efforts from Daniel Tavakoli and Allaedin Maach.
Lewes host Wingate & Finchley at the Pan in the Isthmian premier on Saturday.
Meanwhile Rooks’ owners have voted in favour of Mercury 13’s plans for a £5m stake in the women’s side of the club – more at sussexworld.co.uk/sport