Rooks go out of Ryman League Cup

Lewes FC logo
Lewes FC logo

Lewes were knocked out of the Isthmian League Cup at a freezing cold Leylands Park on Wednesday night.

The Rooks were not helped by the sending off of forward Dan Smith but were already trailing to an early Greg Luer goal by the time he departed.

If Smith was Lewes’ villain then Luer was definitely Hillians’ hero, with the striker who scored a late winner in Hill’s pre-season friendly with the Rooks earlier this year being the one who scored all of their goals in this cup win.

Luer hit a superb hat-trick to send the team sitting 14th in Ryman South through to the quarter finals of the Cup.

Lewes came up against a couple of old boys in Max Howell and Joe Keehan, while the home team was packed with players who had played at a high level with Eastbourne Borough, such as Paul Armstong and Pat Harding.

The Rooks themselves had a fairly strong team out, with nine of the 11 who started the win at Billericay in the starting line up or on the bench.The two to not make the squad were Fraser Logan, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury on Saturday, and striker Joel Ledgister, who joined from Hamlet and Hampton & Richmond Borough last week.

Hill made changes from their 2-1 win at Ramsgate on Saturday. Out came Sam Fisk and skipper Darren Budd and in came Graham Martin, Armstrong, Spencer Slaughter and Luer. Danny Curd and Scott Kirkwood were on the bench. .

Hill got off to a great start when Luer put them ahead on five minutes, the striker slotting past Denzel Gerrar.

Then, on 29 minutes, Dan Smith was sent off for a two-footed tackle just in front of the dug outs.

Lewes nearly equalised on 41 minutes but Alan Mansfield made a great one-on-one save.

The second half saw Lewes come out stronger but after weathering the early pressure Hill doubled their lead when Neil Watts broke down the right and crossed for Luer to finish. Luer completed his hat-trick seven minutes later when Harding slotted a ball through to him, Luer finishing excellently passed Gerrar.

Jack Dixon pulled one back for Lewes from the penalty spot with five minutes to go.

HILL: Mansfield, Watts, Pointing (Kirkwood 46), Keehan, Denyer, Gayler, Armstrong, Slaughter, Martin (Curd 59), Harding, Luer (Howell 85).

Subs not used: Kay, Perry.

ROOKS: Gerrar, Cole, Lovett, Hall, Walder, Penny, Dixon, Smith, N Crabb, Austin, Hendon. Subs: M Crabb, Brinkhurst, Treleaven, Wheeler, Pearson.