Lewes 1 vs Worthing 2: It could be a lot worse

It’s hard to be funny at the moment. Even harder to write a witty piss-take after what we saw yesterday – an exhibition of the very best that Lewes FC can be.

2,347 people turned up at the Pan yesterday, the biggest crowd for a competitive game in 70 years, according to Chairman Stu.

Photo: Stuart Fuller

Whether it was the prospect of another 5-4 classic, or Terry Parris corralling a herd of ex-players from both sides for a reunion, or simply a desire to watch something other than the news for a few hours, a huge crowd just wanted to be there.

The club got it spot on. The crowd was well marshalled, the beer kept flowing, the food never ran out, there wasn’t even a hint of trouble.

If only the same could be said for Ukraine, of course, but here the club and the community showed its class too. The players carried sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower, and handed them to the supporters.

Photo: James Boyes

And when The Supporters Club rattled buckets outside the ground after the game, they were filled with generous donations from both sets of fans. Over £600 in bucket donations alone and there will be further collections today at the women’s game. Outstanding.

It takes a big effort to manage a crowd of that size and nobody was found wanting. The CEO was meeting-and-greeting at the turnstiles, directors were replacing divots on the pitch at half-time, volunteers were ticking off season-ticket holders, selling raffle tickets, helping the stewards.

And when it was all over, with the terraces strewn with more empty glasses than a field at Glastonbury, there was the Geordie Picasso picking them all up. And Clive climbing the main stand roof to retrieve balls booted up there. The seemingly little things that make a big difference.

The players did their bit too. The result went against us, but they gave it a good go. Worthing deserve to go up – they’ve been up there for three seasons, two cruelly aborted. They are a class above and it doesn’t even hurt to write that, oddly.

The fans recognised the effort, too. Even after a protracted ten-minute warm-down on the pitch, that gaggle of supporters that were still finishing their pints on the Philcox clapped the players off.

The message was clear today.

Whether it was our lifelong supporters rattling buckets…

Picture: @TheOnionBag1

Or the Youth Wing climbing mountains…

Photo: t0bbler

Or anyone who shoved a fiver in a bucket, the message was: we’ve got your backs.

I know this isn’t much of a match report (and I told you it was hard to be funny). If you want to know what happened on the pitch, you can watch the video highlights.

I’ve not watched them yet. I don’t need to. I was there – and I’m very glad I was.

Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Salmon, Pettit, Carlse, Pritchard, Klass, Maloney, Murrell-Williamson, Tanner, Taylor

Subs: Yao, Nelson, McLeod, Phipp, Dalling