Faversham Town 0 vs Lewes 4: Wood you believe it?

We arrive in Faversham at 1pm to find the roads closed and hundreds of locals walking around with crops hanging off their heads.

Photo courtesy of Chairman Stu

Back off, fellas. We’re Lewes. We own the intellectual property on weird rituals.

Even putting the discombobulating batshittery of the Hop Festival aside, Faversham is not a welcome hunting ground for the Rooks. Our previous two visits there saw us trounced 5-0 in 2016 and topped 2-0 in a game that cost us the championship in 2018. Omens, omens, none of them good.

To make matters worse, even though Faversham have since dipped down to the Kent County League, money was clearly being pumped into the club. A freshly laid 3G and Tarmac as far as the eye could see had tarted up their ramshackle ground. And on the eve of the game, Faversham announced they had signed striker Stefan Payne from Tonbridge Angels. We’re guessing he didn’t sign purely because he loves the smell of asphalt.

If any further evidence were needed that money was no object at Faversham, I give you Exhibit P, the most frivolous piece of signage in human history:

The first ten minutes had a few Rooks fans heading towards these over-descriptive facilities, because the home side started well, not least when it looked like Payne had headed the hosts into an early lead, only for the lino to rule it offside.

It was the last real moment of panic for the Rooks, however, who took complete control of the game thereafter.

Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala (KLK) has made an impressive start to his Rooks career, and it was he who planted the ball into the net after 22 minutes, latching on to a lovely little through ball from Tommy Wood.

The Rooks spent the remainder of the half neatly knocking the ball around, wearing down Faversham’s resistance in the late summer heat. Whelpdale, Pritchard and Murtagh – possibly the oldest midfield three since Stanley Matthews knocked it on the head – were imperious, prodding the ball around effortlessly.

It was KLK who doubled the lead at the start of the second half. Wood broke down the right-hand side, put in a wicked cross which eventually bobbled its way to KLK for another tidy finish.

With Faversham’s balloon well and truly popped, all the gaggle of travelling Rooks fans wanted now was a goal for Wood, who has worked tirelessly in the opening few games of the season without getting the goal that his efforts deserved.

So, it prompted the biggest cheer of the afternoon when Wood added the third on 80 minutes, volleying home a cross with a satisfying thump.

Archie Tamplin is edging agonisingly close to cult hero status among the Rooks fans too, so it was an almost perfect end to proceedings when the peroxide-infused midfielder added the fourth, completing a smashing move with a back-post tap-in.

So, it’s eyes down for the draw at 1pm tomorrow (Monday), when the Big Time Charlies from the Conference South enter the fray. Anyone fancy a trip to Taunton in a fortnight’s time? I’ll bring the Factor 30.

Lewes: Harvey, Elliott, Hughes, Penney, Salmon, Murtagh, Whelpdale, Lumbombo-Kalala, Pritchard, Moore, Wood

Subs: Tamplin, Kachosa, Danyi, Dalling, Olukoga

Supporters Club man of the match: Tommy Wood. Set up two goals and scored the glorious third. Well done, Tommy lad.