Hello and welcome to the Sky Sports Bullshit Factory, with me Jim Shite. Breaking news this Sunday morning: Lewes winger Ollie Tanner is wanted by, well, everyone:
Yes, you could barely open your Twitter feed this week without our Ollie being linked to another Premier League club. And Norwich.
Consequently, you could barely move at The Pan yesterday without bumping into a shady looking fella with a flat cap, Barbour jacket and a notebook. There were so many scouts there, it’s astonishing there wasn’t a half-time sing-song of Gin Gan Goolie.
Luckily, the scouts didn’t have to wait long for Ollie to give them something to scribble down: 1 min 58 seconds, according to Chairman Stu, who became embroiled in a Golden Goal controversy in the Terry Parris Stand, after declaring the first goal was scored in the second minute, despite FootballWebPages – operated by fellow director John Peel – saying it was the third. Still, as boardroom splits go, it’s not a patch on Eastbourne Borough’s. (Stop that giggling at the back!)
Talking of chairman Stu, it was lovely to see him and Joe Taylor tie the knot on the pitch yesterday. What a progressive little club we are:
The goal itself was sublime. A free-kick about five yards outside the box, which Tanner curled over the wall and into the top corner, despite Merstham’s 13-year-old keeper getting a glove to it.
You could barely hear the cheers over the noise of scouts scribbling in their notebooks, although rumour has it that the Spurs scout was still having trouble finding a parking spot when the first goal went in. Mind you, judging by the Twitter reaction to Spurs being interested in Ollie, that might not be a bad thing…
Back on the pitch, it wasn’t exactly a procession after that early Tanner strike. Merstham almost equalised immediately, and then a few minutes later a fierce strike from the edge of the box cracked Carey’s post, before he pulled off a terrific close-range save to stop the rebound being converted.
It was something of a relief, therefore, when Joe Taylor gave us an extra cushion in the 38rd minute. Taylor Maloney – on for the crocked Brad Pritchard – attempted to feed a ball out to Razz on the right wing, but the ball deflected straight into Taylor’s path, leaving him one-on-one with Merstham’s work experience keeper. The Bastard shows no mercy, even to children, even on his wedding day, and he slotted the ball calmly into the bottom corner to give Lewes breathing space.
We beat Merstham 3-1 at their place early in the season and I was impressed by how they never stopped plugging away that night. The same could be said here, as Merstham continued to create dangerous chances right throughout the match, with only good saves from Carey, a goal-line clearance and poor finishing preventing the visitors from making it more interesting.
That’s not to say we didn’t create plenty of chances of our own. A fierce blast from Tanner, a close-range header from Phipp and a hefty strike from Razz could easily have extended our lead before we actually got the third.
That was created by some clever work from The Bastard, who brought down a ball over the top and slipped a lovely ball into Klass’s path. Klass refused an easy chance to shoot and instead cut inside, where a clumsy challenge and a sudden loss of gravity saw Klass tumble to the ground to claim a penalty. The Bastard, as has been long established, doesn’t miss those.
The 3-0 scoreline might have flattered us a touch, but if you can win this convincingly when not at your best, that’s a bloody good sign.
Let’s just hope the Premier League’s finest can resist a bloody good signing for a bit longer.
Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Nelson, Salmon, Carlse, Phipp, Pritchard, Klass, Tanner, Coleman De-Graft, Taylor
Subs: Weaire, Maloney, Hall, Dalling, Allen
Boyesy’s brilliant photos: