For one reason or another, I haven’t seen the men play in over a month. In that time, three things have happened:
- Spooky has been elected leader of The Youth Wing, according to the terrace chants, presumably storming to election victory on the back of a manifesto that promised to lead chants about Rooks defecating on cars
- The team has found its best patch of form of the season, winning four of their previous five matches before this game
- The Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Board has set up a satellite office in Lewes
I can only assume the last item on that list is true, because every time I bumped into someone in the hour before kick-off, the first thing they said was “you missed a cracker at Bishop’s Stortford last week, Baz”. Sadly, I was chewing my own knees in the cramped confines of the BA economy cabin while everyone else was enjoying the performance of the season, but thanks for the 25 reminders, chaps.
Anyway, on to this game, and much like last week, Joe Taylor gave us an early lead after a defensive balls-up. The Casuals proved nominative determinism is alive and kicking as keeper Callum Coulter played a short pass out to centre-back Sergio Uyi. He took a touch heavier than a Black Sabbath album, which Deon Moore alertly nipped off his toe and squared to Taylor to slam home. The Bastard’s gonna Bastard, although he slightly marred his reputation by high-fiving a bunch of kids behind the goal.
Coulter and Uyi almost repeated their calamitous double-act midway through a rather pedestrian first half, the big centre-back once again taking his own sweet time to get shot of a short pass. This time it was Tyrique Hyde who nipped the ball off him, but the Rooks couldn’t profit for a second time.
In fact, the only other incident of note in the first half was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen at The Pan. Lew Carey was shaping up to clear a ball when a model plane came sweeping down and appeared to hit him on the back. Where the plane came from, nobody knows. The mound? The away end? Ze Germans?
Whoever’s it was, it’s now permanently grounded, as the referee snapped its tail off as he escorted it off the pitch. A bemused Joe Vines was left to conduct the air accident investigation, and if he’s leading the probe into potential pilots, I’d start with Brad Pritchard, who doesn’t look best happy that the referee’s just snapped the Typhoon in two…
If the referee’s decision to snap the plane in two was sound, the decision to award Lewes a penalty just short of the hour was very iffy. Right-back Kudyiwa went to ground to tackle Hyde and seemed to take the ball cleanly. I’ve watched the video (embedded below) another five times and still can’t see what the penalty’s given for. A slightly high trailing foot is the best excuse I can offer.
Still, as we’ve already established, The Bastard doesn’t spurn gifts. His penalty sent the keeper the wrong way and Lewes were two to the good.
After that, it was pretty comfortable. The Casuals did eventually force one good save out of Carey and also smashed a shot against the base of the post. But the Rooks had many more chances to extend their lead too, with Gondoh slamming two very presentable chances wide of the target. Coulter also pulled off a tremendous save from Tom Champion’s bullet header from a corner.
A decent afternoon’s work, then, if not one they’ll be talking about in the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Board office for the next fortnight.
Lewes: Carey, Salmon, Champion, Young, Mascoll, Olukoga, Scott, Hyde, Moore, Gondoh, Taylor
Subs: Tamplin, Pritchard, Addy
Supporters Club man of the match: Deon Moore. Was alert enough to nick the ball for the first goal, created two other great chances for others in the second half. Looked more of a threat than the remote-control plane.
Video highlights from Your Instant Replay:
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: