Bishop’s Stortford 2 vs Lewes 0: COP out

Before we get to the match report, some breaking news from the club:

Lewes FC announces new planet-saving initiative

Ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Lewes FC is pleased to announce its bid to save the planet by getting knocked out of every cup competition at the earliest opportunity to eliminate needless travel.

This ground-breaking initiative is being supported by both our men’s and women’s first teams, as Lewes FC once again becomes a world leader in virtue signalling.

“We took a decision in August to throw ourselves under the electric bus,” said club chairman, Stuart Fuller, who is changing his name by deed poll to Stuart Emptier as part of the initiative. “We got a map out and worked out that progress in the FA Trophy could see us have to travel as far as Tiverton. Sending our 23-year-old minibus that far would likely result in Dudley becoming a beach resort, so we decided to adopt a polar bear instead.”

The club’s bold environmental stance is being backed by semi-professional politician botherer, Greta Thunberg. “Football is bad for the planet,” she said. “It’s great to see Lewes finally cutting out some of the hot air.”

The #COPOUT initiative is just the latest in a string of environmental schemes by the club, including fitting solar panels on the roof of the main stand, Brad’s Pitt and the constant recycling of board members.

Match report, you say? Oh, go on then.

Tony’s reshuffled Rooks got off to a nightmare start. This squad’s Kryptonite is corners. They struggle to defend them and they don’t take them particularly well, either. Only three minutes had passed – barely enough time to wolf down my cheeseburger – before we’d conceded from the set-piece. Jake Cass was barely challenged as the ball was lofted in from the right, prompting a Mexican Grumble in the away end.

The mood wasn’t lifted moments later when stand-in striker Freddie Parker put Ayo Olukoga clean through, but the bustling midfielder fired wide with a high percentage of the goal to aim at.

Bishop’s were well on top for the majority of the half and Michael Klass decided to further extend the clergy’s advantage by kicking Jack Thomas in the cassocks. Klass barely gave the red card a second glance as he shot down the tunnel, presumably heading straight to the confessional.

Klass’s off-the-ball tantrum was further compounded when, shortly afterwards, Cass belted a free-kick past Carey, leaving the Rooks in search of biblical miracle.

It didn’t come, but it might have had we converted a penalty seconds into the second half. Olukoga was tripped as he burst into the box and Taylor Maloney picked up the ball in the absence of regular penalty-swatter, Joe Taylor. Maloney has been exceptional since he arrived, not least for his precise finishing, but his penalty was so high and wide that they had to cancel flights at nearby Stansted for the next half an hour.

Maloney came a lot closer midway through the second half, when Kenny Yao pulled a ball back from the byline and his crisp shot smacked the bar.

A decent second-half effort, then, but the damage was done in the first. Let’s hope we’re switched on a bit sooner for the next week’s league game at the same venue.

Lewes: Carey, Carlse, Nelson, Klass, Tanner, Parker, Maloney, Yao, Olukoga, Salmon, Moore

Subs: Colombie, Weaire, Pritchard, D’Arienzo, Allen, Coleman De-Graft, Hall