Simon Wormull praised his troops for rising to the occasion again today - despite a tough festive programme that saw his stretched squad play four games in 11 days.
Wormull said: “I think if we’d looked at it before the game we’d have been happy with the draw, especially with what happened this morning, with (Chris) Breachy pulling out ill.
“We managed to get Lewie (Louis Hamilton) in today, he’s been out ill for a couple of weeks. Breachy got the ‘flu and obviously Lewie’s been off with a chest infection for the last couple of weeks. He wasn’t fit enough to play a full 90 minutes today. I had to go back to left back, so it was a slighly patched up back four today.
“But we did well and it was a good result for us today.”
I meant Wormull was forced to play himself at left back and Callum Dunne at centre half. And Wormull said: “It’s difficult. I think when you’re playing other teams you get away with it, but this is a good team, some of their players are good players and obviously players that we know as well who were here last year.
“So it was always going to be a tough game but I thought we aquitted ourselves well.
“It was my fault for the penalty but we kind of put ourselves in trouble there, with Becks (Karl Beckford) with the little pass that gave it back to them.
“But if you look at it, I think overall we did well. I mean, our first goal was fantastic. The passing and movement was suberb.
“And obviously in the second half, getting ourselves back in the game with another good move.
“We possibly could have gone on and won it but I think a fair result was the draw.”
Asked if he was particularly pleased that both Lewes goals went to young local players in Steve Brinkhurst and Layton Schaaf, he said: “Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Brinky, he did well because it was just behind him and he managed to hook it in, and obviously Layton’s finished off another good move.
“And they were deserved goals. I think they (Hampton) had a lot of good play in the first half and we gave them too much space. But second half we got in their faces and really took it to them again.”
Hampton mananger Mark Harper is under pressure to produce better results quickly after the club’s Board released a statement last week saying they expected a shart improvement in their next three games (this 2-2 draw with Lewes is game number two, after a goalless draw at Kingstonian on New Year’s Day).
And Wormull said: “Maybe a point last week for them and a point today isn’t enough for them. But saying that, a point isn’t good enough for us. I just said to (our players): be satisfied with a point but we’ve got to start turning these draws into wins.
“It’s a very fine line. But we’re getting there. We are getting there.
“I just said to the guys out there today after the game: we’ve played four games in 11 days. That’s a big ask for any team, but for a small squad I can’t fault their effort and commitment.
“Especially over a Christmas period. The guys haven’t drunk, they’ve eaten well, and they’ve put themselves on the line for the club. I’ve got to commend them for that - and it was always going to be a difficult game today, coming off those three or four games in the seven days. So I’m really pleased with them. I can’t give them enough praise.”