Bugger. I’ve just seen the video highlights. It wasn’t some cheese-fuelled fever dream. For the second Easter weekend on the spin, we’ve nuked our slim play-off prospects by throwing away a lead to draw 3-3. We are nothing if not consistently inconsistent.
This was everything that’s gloriously right and tragically flawed with the men’s team in one 90-minute salvo. We were both brilliant and abysmal. Jekyll and Tyrique Hyde.
At first, it looked like being a splendid romp in the sun. Most of the home fans barely had time to reach the Terry Parris End before Razz had cracked a Thunderbastard against the bar.
We went even closer to taking an early lead when a terrific Hyde cross found The Bastard lurking in the middle for a tap-in, but the linesman chalked it off for offside.
But then Lewes’s dark side took over…
Herne Bay’s left-back was given all the time in the world to pick a pass to the industrial-sized centre-forward Marcel Barrington. The big forward barreled into our box, before easily cutting inside Salmon and slamming the ball past Carey to give the visitors a 15th minute lead.
We played almost the remainder of the half like we were in shock. Players were ponderous on the ball, taking too many touches. Nothing was working. And then Tony must have pulled a flask of sweet tea out of his cool box, because we suddenly came to…
Our equaliser was pure filth. Gondoh rolled a ball to The Bastard, with his back to goal. The Bastard swivelled and hit a shot harder than my mum’s Yorkshire Puddings. It made such a loud whoosh that Joe went instantly deaf.
A minute later, we were in front. The superb Jayden Davis flew down the left side, cut inside and produced a good save from the keeper. The defence hooked it clear, but only as far as locum right-back Ayo Olukoga, who performed a lovely exchange of passes with Hyde before planting the ball low past the keeper to put us 2-1 ahead.
You score two goals in two minutes, you go get your cuddle from Chris The Cab and Bristol Jim. Them’s the rules.
Our third goal was some sort of glitch in The Matrix. We were stood right behind the goal, and I and everyone around me saw Will Salmon head the looping ball from a corner into the side netting. Oli the video commentator saw exactly the same thing. Boyesy’s camera shows the ball the other side of the bar that holds down the side netting:
And yet somehow a goal was awarded. I’ve no idea how it happened. I was half-expecting to look up and see David Blaine floating in a box above the crossbar, but it was given, Herne Bay didn’t seem too upset by the decision. 3-1, happy days.
Well, happy 20 minutes. Then bad things started to happen.
First, Troy Williams scores an outrageous fluke. He’s trying to put a cross in from the right-hand touchline and his massively overhit ball floats over Carey’s head and into the net.
I’ll tell you little a story about Troy Williams from my time as Club Sec. It’s a bit indiscreet, so keep it to yourself, OK?
Martin Hinshelwood is in charge of the team for a home game immediately after Steve Brown resigned. Troy and his cousin Jordan Wilson turn up late for the game and slip into the dressing room, mid team-talk, without as much as an apology.
Martin finishes his team-talk, sends the boys out to warm-up and tells Williams and Wilson to stay behind for a minute. He gives them such a bollocking, we’re fielding calls from residents in Ringmer complaining about the language. Hinsh tells them to pack their bags and do one, and so the pair pick up their stuff and attempt to storm out. Except they can’t find their way out of the ground.
Fans are still coming in, so the main gates are locked. They can’t get through the turnstile, because it’s one-way only. And they don’t want to walk back past Hinsh and out through the player’s entrance, so they just stand there awkwardly for about 20 minutes, until a steward takes pity on them and lets them out.
I mention this only because that sheepish non-celebration of his fluke goal is identical to the way he skulked around the ground, waiting to be let out, all those years ago.
Anyhow, now it’s 3-2 and we lose the plot.
The big number 8, Saunders-Henry, is allowed to run straight at the heart of our defence. Nobody lays a glove on him. He feeds the ball to Ozobia, who’s completely unmarked in the box, but Carey saves it. There are now no fewer than four players unmarked in the box, ready to swallow up the rebound, and it’s Saunders-Henry himself who does.
It’s pandemonium for the UKIP away dayers:
And pandemonium in our defence. That’s seven goals we’ve conceded this season to a side that’s probably going to get relegated.
We have a couple more chances to nick the game in injury time, but the fourth goal doesn’t come. Unless both Enfield and Cray have an end-of-season collapse, the play-offs have passed us by for another season.
We’re frustratingly close to being a very, very good side, but we’ve given away more leads than Battersea Dogs Home. It’s entertaining, but a little less of the dark side would be most welcome…
Lewes: Carey, Olukoga, Salmon, Champion, Mundle-Smith, Davis, Young, Hyde, Gondoh, Coleman De-Graft, Taylor
Subs: Hall, Murrell-Williamson, Moore, Pritchard, Huckle
Supporters Club man of the match: Jayden Davis. Let’s hope Crawley don’t want him back, because the lad’s a talent.
Video highlights from Your Instant Replay:
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: