Business 101

Relegation is confirmed

Lewes’s relegation was confirmed after the 2-1 home defeat to Bishop Stortford on Monday.  Nobody at the club ranted and raved about poor decisions, bad luck or conspiracies.  Dignity was the order of the day at the Dripping Pan with preparations for the final game away to Boreham Wood.  The club wanted to end the season with a win, not just for the fans but also to try and finish third from bottom. Continue reading

Hell fire

A week is a long time in football, but 5 days is even less.  That is the time lapsed between the 600 or so Lewes fans leaving the Dripping Pan on Monday after the defeat to Welling United, and the same group arriving back for the visit of Eastleigh.

There are must win games, and there are real must win games.  This was one of the latter. It will have almost certainly escaped your notice (unless you are a die hard Lewes fan) that things on the pitch for the Rooks have not gone well since the end of November.  The euphoria of the new management team of Tim O’Shea and Neil Smith has slowly ebbed away and a spate of injuries, suspensions, departures and in one case, retirements have caused headaches on the pitch.  That is when the team has been able to actually get onto a pitch to play, with the Winter weather wiping out 4 weeks worth of fixtures. Continue reading

Co-incidence or what?

It’s old hat now talking about the fact I used to be a West Ham season ticket holder, and how I fell out of love with the club due to the change in owners, and the direction they were taking the club.  No?  Well refresh your mind here.  And it is no secret that I have decided to share my overflowing cup of football affection with Lewes  Well just read back over the past few weeks and you will see why. Continue reading

Has anyone seen Grays?

Last weekend was a busy one for the FA. Not only did we have the whole Lord Treason affair but in one of the backrooms at Wembley Stadium sat a man who decided the fate of literally hundreds of non-league clubs as he worked out the league allocations for the coming season.

Last season saw three high profile clubs go to the wall mid-season in Chester City, Farsley Celtic and Kings Lynn. Add to this a number of clubs who had breached league rules and some relegation/promotion enforced geographical anomalies and you can see what a difficult job was on the cards. So what was decided?
Last weekend was a busy one for the FA. Not only did we have the whole Lord Treason affair but in one of the backrooms at Wembley Stadium sat a man who decided the fate of literally hundreds of non-league clubs as he worked out the league allocations for the coming season. Continue reading

It’s in our hands….

A modern footballers essential kit

A week ago they were down and out but what a difference seven days can make in football.  Before last Saturday’s game at Worcester, Lewes hadn’t won away for near fifteen months, and trialled Worcester City in 19th (and safety) in the Blue Square South by five points.  Another defeat last Saturday would have left them 8 points behind their nearest rivals with just four games to go.  But instead a win at St Georges Lane, followed up with a home draw to St Albans City had the talk of safety the topic of the day in the “Jungle” at The Dripping Pan today.

Fast forward 90 minutes and Lewes had overhauled the points difference with a magnificent 5-0 win, their biggest home win for many a month.  And with Chelmsford City beating Worcester, Lewes’s fate is now totally in their hands.  And I had been there to witness it….just.

Ibbo in charge

Two hours prior to kick off I was sitting in Bluewater cinema watching Nanny McPhee with seven girls under the age of ten.  An hour before I was stuck in a traffic jam on the M23 and when Joe Keehan slotted in his thirteenth of the season from the penalty spot in the ninth minute I was still in West Sussex.  But I carried on, which is just what Lewes under the inspirational leadership of Steve “Ibbo” Ibbitson have done since Christmas.  This is a man who reluctantly took the job towards the end of last season when the club were down and out in the Blue Square Premier league, and has carried on with his duties FREE OF CHARGE for the whole of this season.  Yes, here is a man who genuinely loves his club so much that he works for nothing.  And in the past few weeks some of his decisions have been inspirational.

Lewes 5 Dorchester Town 0 – The Dripping Pan – Saturday 17th April
Fortunately Keehan’s penalty was the only bit of action we missed, and we were safely on the Jungle with a beer in hand when Keehan headed home his and Lewes’s second just before the break.  There are few better places to watch football in England on a sunny day than Lewes’s Dripping Pan, and with some wonderful football and a couple of pints of local Harvey’s the afternoon was complete.

Number 5 for Lewes

Two became three in 53rd minute when Gradwell scored from close range and five minutes later Breach’s towering header from a corner made it four.  The Lewes Lunatic Fringe went understandably wild at this point as news also filtered through that Chelmsford had taken the lead against Worcester. A final solo effort from Sigere recorded Lewes’s biggest score since a 5-0 win at Bognor Regis in August 2008.  All of this meant that a win against Bath City on Tuesday would keep Lewes in the Blue Square South for another season.  A draw and it may come down to goal difference, but a defeat would mean a few squeaky bottoms next week as Lewes headed off to the sleepy suburbs of Hampton for the final game and an end of season Beach Party.  Let’s just hope that it’s not just the tide that ends up going out.

More photos from the game can be found here.