Lewes came away from South London with well-deserved point in an exciting match.
Spencer were in second position in the league with hopes of promotion but these dropped points mean they are now playing catch up with leaders Chichester, who have a three point advantage. Lewes dropped a place to sixth but will take a lot from this result maintaining their unbeaten away record and continuing their improved form.
In the reverse fixture before Christmas Spencer had beaten Lewes comfortably 3-0 and would have expected to complete the double with home advantage. The early exchanges did little to change this view as Spencer dominated possession and Lewes were forced to defend. With only five minutes gone Spencer opened the scoring when a penalty corner shot was well saved by goalkeeper Josh Pewter only for the follow up shot to find the back of the goal.
Lewes were struggling to get a foothold in the match and after fifteen minutes the hosts made it 2-0 when a cross from the right was converted - the signs were ominous. Creditably Lewes got back into the match with midfielders Matt Clark and Connor Zimmerman pushing forward to support the Lewes forwards and putting Spencer on the back foot. With twenty five minutes gone Patrick Alvgren skilfully released Dave Roberts just outside the circle and he was clinically taken out as he bore down on goal. Alex Warner coolly converted the resulting penalty stroke to make it 2-1 and it got better for Lewes just before halftime when Warner’s cross was deflected into the goal by Chris Spruce to level it at 2-2.
The early period of the second half saw Spencer take control but skipper Matt Needle marshalled the defence well to restrict any chances. Midway through Spencer did take the lead again from a well-worked penalty corner and they might have put the game out of reach were it not for further saves from Pewter. Lewes gained in confidence in the closing stages and with less than ten minutes remaining Gaston Golstein beat two players before crashing a superb shot into the top corner of the goal to equalise giving Lewes a share of the points.
Skipper Needle was pleased with the fight back ‘We did not start well but forced our way back into the match against one of the top sides in this league. Hopefully we can take this performance into our home match on Saturday against Milton Keynes.’
More hockey reports and results in this Friday’s Sussex Express