Phew. For a while there, things were looking decidedly sticky. 1-0 down to a soft goal and staring down the barrel of what would have been a very damaging defeat.
But two things swung in the Rooks’ favour at half-time: the wind and belief. With the wind behind them, attacking the Terry Parris Terrace, the Rooks laid siege to the Lionesses’s goal. They were denied the chance of an equaliser when the ref failed to award a clear penalty; they looked like being denied a winner when the crossbar rudely refused to budge a few inches higher and let Brasero-Carreira’s fierce shot in. But they got there in the end. Emphatically and deservedly.
The first-half started as an end-to-end affair, with both sides failing to convert decent chances to get their noses in front. Anna Grey was in full-on menace mode down the right, breaking behind the Lionesses’ back line on several occasions, but either failing to find a teammate with the cross, or scuffing her own chance when put (somewhat awkwardly) through. Nevermind, she’d make up for that later.
Instead, it was the visitors who nudged in front. Grace Garrad tried to play a bouncing ball back to Sophie Whitehouse but only feathered it, giving Paige Satchell the opportunity to nick in between defender and keeper and pocket her first goal of the season.
That blow dented the Rooks’ early confidence, and as the half wore on it looked more likely that the visitors would extend their lead. Only a decent save from Sophie Whitehouse prevented London City from taking what might have proved an unassailable lead.
Scott’s half-time chinwag and the wind in their sails definitely led to plainer sailing for the Rooks in the second half, and it wasn’t too long before they back were on even terms. Blades was cleaned out by a sliding challenge in the box, that should have given the Rooks the chance to level from the spot, but the referee awarded nothing stronger than a corner. No matter, as a subsequent corner eventually found its way to Holly Olding, who lashed one home from around the penalty spot.
It was all Rooks now, but would we find the desperately needed breakthrough? When Brasero-Carreira lashed one against the bar with 15 to go, we were beginning to wonder if it would be another of those days this season. Enter Anna Grey.
The Rooks won a free-kick on the right edge of the box. Myself and Club Shop Baz earned our Armchair Experts badge, as we opined the wall didn’t look right, leaving far too big a gap to the right of the goal. We can only assume we’re Pound Shop Paul McKennas, as Anna Grey seemed to get the subliminal message, belting a free-kick into the vast expanse of space to the keeper’s left and giving the Rooks a deserved lead.
The three points were enough to lift the Rooks off the bottom of the table, although don’t be fooled by the dodgy dotted lines on the BBC website and others: two go down this season, meaning the Rooks still have plenty of work to do to lift themselves out of trouble, but this was a very encouraging start.
Such a shame, then, that we now enter a horribly patchy phase of the season, where we don’t play another league game for almost a month, before another month’s break. Momentum? Good luck with that.
Lewes: Whitehouse, Hazard, Riglar, Garrad, Hamilton, Grey, Olding, Farrugia, Blades, Brasero-Carreira, Palmer
Subs: Clarkson, Cleverly, Hack, Pursey, Oakley, Mooney, More
Supporters Club player of the match: Hard to argue with the official choice of Anna Grey, although Hollie Olding put in a very decent shift and Ameila Hazard did well in the unfamilar environs of right-back
Highlights from Your Instant Replay:
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: