Siggy's late strike makes sure for rampant Rooks

Conference SouthLewes 2 Sutton United 0GOALS from Karl Beckford and Jean-Michel Sigere fired the Rooks back into the play-off positions at the Dripping Pan on Wednesday evening.

Whether Lewes will be allowed to participate in the end-of-season finale depends very much on the authorities extending the allowable time for ground improvements.

However, the players showed their intent with a battling performance against a dogged but uninspired Surrey outfit.

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Manager Steve King recalled Jamie Cade to attack ahead of Luke Fontana and Mark Wright came in at full back for Robbie Kember.

Lewes beat United 5-1 at Gander Green Lane in November when an inspired Siggy scored four times, and they should have won this match by a similar margin as well.

Beckford put them ahead as early as the fourth minute, but it was not until three minutes from time that Sigere made the points safe.

The pitch passed an afternoon inspection but only 305 spectators turned out '“ the lowest home league gate of the season. No doubt the televised Liverpool and Arsenal Champions League games had some effect.

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The surface was very wet but played better than Saturday's game against Thurrock, and the Rooks should have been ahead in the first minute when Jamie Cade's cross zipped across goal but Siggy failed to get on the end of it.

The first goal wasn't long off. Goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson's long ball forward fell to Sigere, who backheeled through to Beckford to blast hard and low to Sutton goalkeeper Carl Emberson's left.

Ex-Crawley man Simon Wormull again pulled the midfield strings and produced some raking passes, while Wright gave an inspired performance at left back and Djoumin Sangare was a towering strength in central defence.

Sigere was named the sponsors's man of the match and hopefully his 20th league goal of the season will be the turning point after his barren spell since the turn of the year.

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The goal came after a superb long pass forward from Paul Kennett sent Siggy away down the left. He raced in on goal, cut to his left and fired coolly into the bottom left-hand corner.

Steve Robinson fired over from a good position in the fifth minute and on the quarter-hour Cade's powerful shot was deflected for a corner.

Sutton's had to wait until the 27th minute for their first effort on goal when Lewis Gonsalves headed over from a corner while Wormull's 40-yarder was well saved by Emberson.

The second half was all Lewes as Sutton struggled to get any possession. Two minutes after the break Jay Lovett sent in a great cross but Beckford failed to control the ball when in a great position. A minute later Wormull put Cade through with a great ball but the striker's shot was blocked. Sigere put the rebound wide.

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Lovett and Sigere then set up Wormull but his low 20-yarder was well held, while at the other end Steve Douglas fired in a speculative effort from the touchline and the underworked Wilko had to be on his toes to touch it over the crossbar.

It was still all Lewes and on 68 minutes Wormull fed Cade with a 30-yard pass. The striker beat a defender but the ball bobbled just as he was about to shoot.

Two minutes later Sigere was inches wide after good work by Mo Harkin.

On 71 minutes Kirk Watts replaced Harkin on the left and he was soon in the action as lovely footwork from Wormull sent him away. His cross found Wright in front of goal but the effort went agonisingly wide.

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Ex-Rook Luke Cornwall came on for Sutton while ex-United man Fontana replaced Cade. In between a good Watts run fed Wright but his shot went off Emberson's legs and out for a corner.

On 81 minutes Lovett crossed low and hard but a Sutton player just got his foot to the ball while Wilkerson made a fine diving save as ex-Rook Mark Watson fired in Sutton's only real chance of the match.

It was still tense with the Rooks still only a goal ahead, then up popped Siggy to seal the points.

Lewes: Wilkerson, Lovett, Wright, Wormull, Robinson, Sangare, Beckford, Kennett, Cade (Fontana), Sigere, Harkin (Watts).

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