Wilson demands Rooks response after ‘embarrassing’ cup exit

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Garry Wilson has demanded an immediate response from his Lewes players after labelling the second half of Tuesday night’s cup defeat ‘an embarrassment’.

The Rooks saw their last hopes of silverware this season evaporate with an abject display in losing 4-1 away at County League Horsham YMCA in the week.

After a goalless first half, Division One promotion-chasers YM stunned Wilson’s men with four goals in 26 minutes, and though Ross Travelean pulled one back it hardly glossed over what was a chastising result.

“Obviously it was an embarrassing second half performance from us,” Wilson said, pulling few punches after the game. “It simply wasn’t good enough and it was really unexpected because for the last few weeks, even though we’ve been getting draws instead of wins, some of our football has been fantastic.

“We did change the side around a bit to give others a chance but the team was certainly strong enough to win the game. We didn’t play well but we must give some credit to Horsham because they were very good.”

Wilson handed starts to youngsters Josh Jibbrandy and Omarie Keita, along with winger Rhys Murrell-Williamson, making his full debut having joined from Redhill.

They weren’t helped by captain Jack Walder breaking down in the warm-up - he’s now a doubt for the weekend - but they did have the likes of in-form Luke Blewden in their starting XI.

After creating the better chances of a goalless first half, the Rooks were hit by a quick-fire brace from Nick Sullivan. Defender Steven Brinkhurst was then unfortunate to score an own goal trying to clear as Sullivan threatened again, and after Dave Smith tapped in a fourth for YM, Travelean at least gave the travelling support something to cheer.

Lewes have drawn their last four Ryman Premier matches and this Saturday go to a Met Police side showing signs of recovery after a poor start to the season. “We seem to be playing a few sides who’ve come into form,” Wilson said. “They went and won at (leaders) Kingstonian on Monday and got a draw at Maidstone so it will be extremely tough.

“But maybe playing a good side is what we need and on a good pitch that will suit us. But we need a response that’s for sure.” Nathan and Sam Crabb and Ben Austin should all return while Jack Walder is battling to be fit.