It has been a tough start to the second half of the season for Lewes. Injuries and two players leaving has stretched them to the limit.
This result will hopefully give them encouragement for the weeks ahead.
Only eleven fit players and a substitute carrying an injury was not the squad they would have wanted to take for a long trip to Oxford but Lewes are known for their fighting qualities and produced a solid performance to earn a point and maintain their unbeaten away record in the league.
The early pressure was from the hosts who took the lead 10 minutes in, after a melee in the circle. Lewes got back into the match and Dave Roberts released Gaston Golstein who rounded the keeper only to be taken out by the last defender.
The resultant penalty stroke was calmly converted by Alex Warner to make it 1-1 at half time. Lewes absorbed more pressure early in the second half but Matt Rickson and new skipper Matt Needle defended well and Josh Pewter in goal made some outstanding saves to keep the score level. Mid way through Hawks took the lead from a powerful penalty corner drag flick. Both sides lost players to yellow cards but with four minutes remaining Lewes got a penalty corner and Matt Clark slotted home to level the scores.
The drama was not over as Hawks got another penalty corner in overtime but as Lewes feared the worst Connor Zimmerman was bravely out fast to deflect the shot over the bar to earn Lewes a deserved point.
Captain, Matt Needle commented ‘It has been tough as we have lost players and have injuries but credit to the whole team who stepped up and gave a wholehearted display. We need to take this improved performance into our local derby tomorrow [Saturday] against bottom side Eastbourne.’ The match starts at the Southdown Club at 1.30pm.
Kent Sussex Div 2
Lewes 2s 1 (Best), Mid Sussex 1s 2
Men’s 2s slip to defeat
With seven first choice regulars missing last Saturday, including Lottie Pewter’s addition to the 1st team, Lewes Men’s 2s knew their game against local rivals Mid Sussex was going to be a challenge. However, thanks to a determined and, at times, dogged defensive display the men in green reached half time one goal to the good thanks to a close range effort from Mark “Besty” Best.
Unfortunately, with players tiring and a lack of team cohesion the visitors were able to scramble two second half goals to take the points.
Lewes will hope for a better return tomorrow away to Brighton.
Sussex men’s open div 1
Lewes 3’s 2, Mid Sussex 2’s 2
3s escape, scathed
After a very poor first half during which the team were subjected to a host of highly questionable umpiring decisions and being down to 10 (or nine) men Lewes went into the break 2-0 up.
The second half showed a massive improvement but as Nick Cornish had retired due to a cut eye, Lewes were unable to keep their lead. Despite this the fighting qualities of the team were admirable.
Mike Wood, Brandon Troake (on debut) and Rob Minter typified the effort needed to take a point away from home.
Sussex Mens Division 3
Lewes 5th XI 4 [Heinzl , Spruce ], Mid Sussex 3rd Xi 2
Lewes took their time to convert their superior possession into goals against a plucky Mid Sussex side. Paul Spruce opened the scoring deflecting in a Steve Fuller penalty corner shot and then Rob Heinzl thundered in a trademark strike from another penalty corner but Lewes conceded just on half time to make it 2-1 at the break.
Lewes could not get the vital third goal early in the second half and it was against the run of play when Mid Sussex equalised midway through from a breakaway.
Heinzl then scored again from a penalty corner strike with ten minutes left and in the closing minutes Spruce scored from close range after good work from Mike Fuller.
Other Lewes HC scores:
Ladies 1s 2, London Wayfarers 7
Ladies 2s 3, Brighton and Hove 2s 3
Ladies 3s 2, Brighton and Hove 3s 1
Ladies 4s 1, Brighton and Hove 4s
Ladies 5s 1, Brighton and Hove 5s 3