Steve Robinson has targeted next Saturday’s game at Harrow for his much-anticipated comeback from injury.
The infuential Lewes skipper suffered a nasty knee injury in December and has since been working to make a return before the end of the season.
That return feels all the more important for the Rooks following their slide towards the relegation places, with just two games won in the 16 games played in 2013 before last night’s match at home to Margate (which Lewes won 2-0).
Before last night’s game, Lewes were just one point and one place above the drop zone, but more concerning still is the discovery of winning form for many of the teams around the Rooks at the bottomof the Ryman Premier Division.
The team directly below them in the table, Hastings, won 1-0 at Kingstonian on Monday to heap more pressure on Simon Wormull’s men, while the team at the bottom of the table –the hitherto seemingly doomed Carshalton Athletic – have won three of their last four matches to move to within just two points of the Rooks.
Before last night, the Robins had played one game more than Lewes – 38 to the Rooks’ 37.
But Hastings – who also played last night –have a worrying three games in hand on the Dripping Pan outfit.
Meanwhile, other clubs at the bottom of the Ryman Premier, such as Wingate & Finchley (a win and a draw in the last three games), Cray Wanderers (one win in the last three), Harrow Borough (a win and a draw in the last three) and Thurrock (three wins in the last three) have all been picking up points to leave Lewes feeling even more vulnerable to the drop.
Three of the four matches played last night could be potentially vital to Lewes’ fate this season, with only one being played between sides not involved in the relegation battle.
That game was Hendon v East Thurrock United (which ended 0-0), but the other matches: Hastings versus Harrow (2-0 to Hastings), Leiston v Thurrock (2-1 to Leiston) and, of course, Lewes v Margate, could all have a massive bearing on the end-of-season positions.
All of which is why captain Robbo’s quality and experience is all the more vital for the Rooks in their run-in.
He said: “When the injury happened, I thought, ‘this isn’t good’. Fortunately I had good insurance and it was scanned inside two days – and I had it operated on inside four days.
“It’s the ‘meniscus’ (a part of the cartilage in the knee) that had torn off the bone. It was originally aiming to come back at the start of April but the specialist said he wanted to see it (the knee) stronger before I came back – so we then were looking at mid to late April.”
Speaking yesterday, he said: “I’m aiming to be back afterthe next four (training) sessions: tonight (last night), Saturday, Tuesday and next Thursday.
“If everything is ok after that then I’ll make myself available for next Saturday’s game.
“I’m looking to be involved for the last three games.”
See elsewhere on our website for a full interview with Steve Robinson.
Alex Malins, in on work experience at Lewes, has been offered a professional contract with his parent club Crawley Town. Malins, 18, was on the bench for the Reds on Tuesday at Sheffield United, but he, as expected, played for the Rooks last night and is expected to be available for Lewes in all their remaining games this season.
Lewis Hamilton is a doubt for tomorrow’s game at home to Leiston due to a hip injury he picked up at Bognor while Jack Walder has been on painkillers for a back problem. Steven Brinkhurst hurt his knee on Saturday but it was hopeful that he would play last night.
Pictured of Steve Robinson by James Boyes.