Lewes travel to Oxford with optimism, but lose to single goal

Ladies 5s captain Iris Jackson
Ladies 5s captain Iris Jackson

Following an excellent training session Lewes went to Oxford Hawks with optimism despite heavy losses to the league’s two top dogs in successive weeks.

South Hockey League Premier Division

And although disappointment and emotion was noticeable, their attitude could not be faulted.

Oxford Hawks 1, Lewes 1s 0

Failure of a late fitness test for Jimmy Fuller and absence from Gaston Golstein was a blow yet a positive attitude abounded.

In the first half Lewes looked really good and an arrogant Oxford were rocked back. A resolute defence, Michael Newman excellent in central midfield and Matt Clark showing the touch everyone knows he has – All the signs were good. Big open play chances fell to the main finisher Alex Baxter who came close and Matt Clark was fouled as he was shooting yet sadly no penalty flick or yellow card ensued.

Lewes had arrived with 13 including Tom Newman with broken ribs and then a head injury to Will Wycherley left Lewes a little breathless in the second half. Oli Hill the new Lewes/Australian transfer had his best game in a Lewes shirt (he first learnt hockey as a four year old at Lewes as did many others on the pitch).

As the second half developed Oxford overloaded the midfield with their revolving 16 players and drove Lewes back with Josh Pewter utterly magnificent between the sticks. Unfortunately a midfield foul was missed and a failed clearance allowed an Oxford back stick flick which broke Lewes’ hearts. But heads did not drop and although a lack of cutting edge was clear and a goal did not materialise, this performance was a massive improvement. And although disappointment and emotion was noticeable, their attitude could not be faulted. For whatever reason Lewes have lost many senior players in the last few years but the magnificent clubhouse and ground accompanied with the envied club spirit and social continue to make this the club to join.

This week’s game is at home on Saturday at 1.30 against London Wayfarers so come and see the brilliant play and facilities and cheer Lewes to a much-needed win.

Lewes hockey round-up in this week’s Sussex Express