Rooks drop back to 20th after cruel defeat in terrible conditions

Lewes dropped back one place to 20th in the Ryman Premier Division after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Leiston at a rain-drenched Dripping Pan.

The Rooks had moved up to 19th with their heartening 2-0 win over high-flying Margate on Thursday night.

But a 77th minute Gareth Heath goal scored direct from a corner condemned Simon Wormull’s men to a 1-0 defeat.

It was very cruel on a committed Rooks side playing in extremely challenging conditions.

The hosts dominated on a pitch that, thanks to the day’s rain, was a pudding from the start but became near unplayable by the end.

Team news saw Lewis Hamilton return to the team in place of the injured Dom Ozga, while – in a rare piece of good news on the day for the Rooks – skipper Steve Robinson returned for the first time since his December injury at Concord to take his place on the bench.

Results elsewhere in the division were a mixed bag for a Rooks side desperate to avoid the bottom two relegation places. Rock-bottom side Carshalton Athletic continued their remarkable recent rise in form with a stunning 3-2 victory away to second place Lowestoft Town, while Wingate & Finchley leapfrogged Lewes in jumping out of the drop zone with a 3-0 home win over Kingstonian.

However, Lewes could have dropped into the drop zone themselves had Hastings United beaten Hendon. Thankfully for the Rooks they lost 2-1 at home to Hendon, while teams just above Wormull’s men, Cray Wanderers and Thurrock, also lost (2-0 away to Wealdstone and 2-1 at home to Bognor Regis Town respectively).

Full list of today’s Ryman Premier Division results:

Concord Rangers 1-2 Harrow Borough

Enfield Town 0-2 Canvey Island

Hampton & Richmond 0-3 East Thurrock Utd

Hastings Utd 1-2 Hendon

Lewes 0-1 Leiston

Lowestoft Town 2-3 Carshalton Ath

Margate 1-2 Met Police

Thurrock 1-2 Bognor Regis Town

Wealdstone 2-0 Cray Wanderers

Whitehawk 2-2 Bury Town

Wingate & Finchley 3-0 Kingstonian.

Updated league table after today’s results, 16th to 22nd (key: position, team, games played, goal difference, points):

16. Harrow 37, -15, 40

17. Thurrock 37, -16, 38

18. Wingate 39, -25, 38

19. Cray 38, -27, 37

20. Lewes 38, -15, 36

21. Hastings 36, -17, 35

22. Carshalton 39, -23, 34

ROOKS: Betts, Hamilton, Kay (Wormull), Dunne, Breach, Malins, Godfrey, Harding, Crabb, Beckford, Brinkhurst (Madhani). Subs: Robinson Lewis, Schaaf. ATT: 479.