A momentous day for the Rooks. Not only the first win of the Scott Booth Era, but the dawning of a new financial era for the Lewes FC Supporters Club.
For today, at precisely 1:14pm, Danny Last became the first person EVER to purchase a Lewes FC Golden Goal ticket via contactless payment. I know. MASSIVE.
Sales started flowing in within a matter of minutes. All those folk who approach the Golden Goal and raffle sellers, patting their pockets, pleading no change, were forced into a rictus grimace when we explained we could now take payment by card.
I know what you’re thinking: show me the graphs. Lap it up.
Sales are almost off the charts! Against all odds, it turns out Liz Truss was right! This is a period of unprecedented financial growth. She has delivered, delivered, delivered. In Truss we Trust.
Match report, you say? Alright, keep your hair on.
It has to be noted that the first win of the Scott Booth Era was achieved without the man himself, who was stuck at home recovering from Covid. (Get well soon, Scott.)
Having already saved the economy, we’re sure it will only take Truss a few more days to knock Covid on the head too, but she couldn’t quite wipe out the pandemic in time for the gaffer.
We’re sure the first win of the campaign and the gaffer’s absence are entirely coincidental, but if Scott could stay at home for the next three matches so we can verify the statistical relevance of the No-Manager Bounce, it would be much appreciated.
All the indications were that we would see a much-changed Rooks side for this Continental Cup tie, with Chairman Stu saying the match was “an opportunity to get some minutes for our squad”, in the pre-match progcast. As it turned out, the changes were fairly minor, with only three changes from last week’s draw with Sheffield United.
The first half was relatively incident free, with the Rooks’ debutant keeper Emily Moore barely getting her gloves dirty, and likewise for the Charlton stopper. Ellie Mason saw a fierce shot whistle just wide on the half hour, but it looked like we were heading for a goalless first 45 until an error late in the half gifted the Rooks the first goal.
A sliced clearance put Emma Thompson racing clear through on goal, but her shot was saved by Charlton’s Soper. Paula Howells was following in for the rebound, though, and calmly slotted the Rooks into the lead.
After four draws from our first four games of the season, including two games where we were pegged back after taking two-goal leads, a little second-half nervousness was to be expected. But although Charlton saw more of the ball in the second half, particularly down the left flank occupied by ex-Rook Sophie O’Rourke, Lewes never looked in real trouble.
Captain Cleverly made her first start of the season and marshalled the defence superbly, even with the switch from back four to back three with wingbacks at the start of the second half.
Indeed, Charlton grew so frustrated they resorted to trying to beat us with our own players, bringing on ex-Rooks Ayisi and Logan to try and turn the tide.
But it was always Lewes who looked most likely to score in the closing stages. Twice Paula Howells sent colleagues racing through on goal with cute balls around the corner, but first Hazard and then Stobbs failed to apply the finishing touches.
No matter. Charlton almost scored a comical own goal, as a defender mishit a backpass and left Soper racing back towards her own net to try and clear it. It went a whisker wide. From the resulting corner, Ellie Hack leapt above her marker and headed home the 93rd-minute winner.
So, the points are in the cup, not the league, but the Addicks visit again in a few weeks’ time. A repeat performance would be very welcome.
Lewes: Moore, Mason, Hack, Cleverly, McKenna, Palmer, Dalton, Johnson, Stobbs, Thompson, Howells
Subs: Whitehouse, Hazard, Pizzarello, Rita, Smith, Heria, Copus-Brown, Longhurst, Angel
Supporters Club MVP: Ellie Mason, who put up a much better defence than the PM and looked a threat going forward too.
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: