What do you say about a game like that?
Yes, Lewes are absolutely massive, and while it’s straight onto Amazon to order a new thesaurus for the Rooks Twitter contingent, there’s certainly no need for Tony to go shopping right now, because his boys are on fire.
This game could have turned out very differently after only 27 minutes, when central defender cum Michael Bolton impersonator, Will Salmon, was sent off for a lunge at Oliver Peters, who was bearing down on goal. How Are We Supposed To Live Without You, Will? Pretty damned well, as it turns out.
It was an absolute ThunderbastardTM from Ronan Silva that gave the Rooks a late first-half lead, but if you watch the match highlights video embedded below, you’ll see this was no fluke.
The move that led up to the goal was almost a carbon copy of an attack the Rooks had launched earlier in the half. A long ball out to Carlse bombing down the left, slipped inside to Skinner who turns 180 degrees and lays it off for a teammate to shoot. The first time it was a Razz shot that was comfortably saved, but no keeper in the world was saving Silva’s effort. It was in the top corner before Stortford’s combustible keeper had time to call our fans t***s.
Still, there was another half of this to see out with ten men, and with industrial-sized Stortford kicking with the wind. “Would you take a point now?” asked Big Deaksy, as we changed ends at half-time. “Take one? I’d rip your nan’s arm off for one.”
Such pessimism seemed justified 15 minutes into the second half, when Bishop’s got their equaliser. The pressure had been building for a while, as the away team fed the ball into the channels and gave our remodelled back four a hard time. The goal was well taken. Skinner dangled a leg at a ball falling behind him, which merely flicked it in the direction of a Bishop’s midfielder who nodded it over our back line and into the path of the advancing Merrifield. He took a touch to drag the ball away from the covering Champion and fired it low past Carey. 1-1.
Still, we barely had time to suck our teeth and order a double Scotch before the Rooks had re-established their lead. The Philcox was busy seething at the Rooks not getting a free-kick for handball on the edge of the box when Razz took down the resulting deflection and fired it past Tourette’s Boy in the Bishop’s goal.
There were a couple of iffy moments after that. With no Michael Bolton to swipe his legs away, Peters had a free shot on the edge of the box, but it ended up in Newhaven. Newhaven, Connecticut, that is.
Substitute Giles came a lot bloody closer moments later, when he launched a long-range effort that clattered the foot of Carey’s near post.
Truth be told, though, the Rooks saw out the final 20 minutes relatively comfortably. At times it was hard to tell which team had ten men and which had eleven (or ten and a walking swear box in goal).
There was even time for what could have been one of the greatest goals in Rooks’ history when right-back Marcel Elva-Fountaine picked up the ball midway in his own half, ran past about five Stortford players and then found himself on the edge of the box, wondering why there was blood pouring out his nose. Instead of shooting with his left, he cut back in and tried to beat another couple of defenders, snuffing out the chance.
“You’d have taken the shot with your left, Baz,” said Big Deaks. I would, but I’d have needed world-class paramedics and a defibrillator after making that run in the first place.
And so we sit second in the table, with only Bloody Bognor keeping us off top spot. Happy days.
Lewes: Carey, Elva-Fountaine, Carlse, Champion, Salmon, Young, Silva, Skinner, Coleman De-Graft, Murrell-Williamson, Moore
Benchwarmers: Yao, Olukoga, Nelson, Muggeridge, Dalling
Supporters Club Man of the Match: Tom Champion, for marshalling that defence brilliantly after the red card
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: