The story of the season so far has been Lewes have played alright, not managed to score and conceded a daft goal and lost 1-0, writes Mike Wallis. So it shouldn’t be surprising that on Friday night against Charlton: Lewes played quite well, probably the best I’ve seen them play all season, didn’t quite manage to score and conceded a soft goal to lose 1-0.
The start of the match was a bit chaotic, the combination of actual fireworks, lots of latecomers caught out by the relatively early 7pm kick off and a minute’s silence in memory of Sir Bobby Charlton made for a less than ideal combination.
The first half wasn’t a classic, both teams largely cancelling each other out. Lewes could’ve scored from one of several set pieces. After Hollie Olding had several attempts at turning the ball in, Charlton defender Roe wasn’t especially happy about something (unclear exactly what), made her feelings clear to Olding and from there the referee never really got control back. Before the half was over Lewes spurned another chance when Grey and Brasero-Carreira left the ball for each other instead of shooting. Hamilton hit an ambitious shot from distance straight at the keeper.
Lewes started the second half as they ended the first, Charlton not clearing a corner properly and the ball fell at the feet of Grace Garrad. It looked easier to score, but she put in a proper centre half’s shot, which ended up near Cliffe’s bonfire site.
I don’t wish to go full Arsene Wenger, but the incident that turned the match I didn’t see. Not much seemed to be going on when suddenly all 22 players were involved in a minor scuffle near the dugouts. My vantage point at the back of the Philcox stand wasn’t ideal to see what happened, indeed we only worked out that a Charlton player had been sent off when we could only count ten of their players on the pitch. Lewes were certainly cross about Shauna Vassell being sent off. She seems like an extremely unlikely character to be sent off for violent conduct, but after a long discussion between referee and lino Vassell was off.
Charlton had barely troubled Sophie Whitehouse all game, but that anxiety that Lewes would find a way to lose the game was always there. Just before the 90 was up Green had a rare foray forward into the Lewes box and makeshift full back Grace Palmer (filling in for Vassell) put in a tired challenge. Green went down easily, but the soft penalty was given. Green took it, scored, ripped off Joe Taylor’s celebration and Charlton nicked the three points.
As the smoke from badge night drifted over the Pan and after 12 minutes of added time, the match was finally put out of its misery. 0-0 would’ve been fair, losing this way tends to happen to teams that are in big relegation trouble. Sorry.
Lewes: Whitehouse, Vassell (s/o – violent conduct), Riglar, Garrad, Hamilton, Hazard (Farrugia), Palmer, Olding, Grey (Mooney), Brasero-Carreira, Blades
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