A stonking second-half turnaround saw Lewes emerge from Potters Bar with their first win of the season.
The first half performance should be encased in lead and buried at sea. It was so dismal that when a ball crashed into the video camera at the start of the second half, one wondered whether it was an attempt to destroy incriminating evidence. If it was, it was the first time a Rooks player had managed to get anything on target.
The hosts took the lead in the 16th minute, when Ayo Olukoga clattered into the last man bearing down on goal and the referee awarded a penalty, which was converted by Ben Ward Cochrane.
The rest of the half was dominated by the home team, while the Rooks played like a team who were strangely eager for a half-time rollocking. Freddy Parker’s failure to square a ball to the unmarked Ollie Tanner was the closest we came to a threat.
Nothing was working in the first half, not even the catering.
We don’t know what Tony Russell said to the chaps at half-time – our application for an access-all-areas media pass got lost in the chairman’s inbox, apparently. However, if Tony can produce such a rapid turnaround through the power of speech alone, they should put him on the next flight to Afghanistan for a word with Johnny Taliban.
For the Rooks were a side transformed in the second half. We were camped in the Potters Bar half, with chance after chance being lined up, not least a one-on-one for Joe Taylor, who could only scuttle his effort straight at the onrushing keeper.
He was just toying us, for it was Taylor’s clinical finishing that settled this game. First he was awarded a penalty, after Aryan Tajbakhsh clumsily bundled into Taylor with the striker running down a dead end. Taylor picked himself up, waited for the keeper to dive and then planted his penalty straight down the middle.
Taylor’s second came a mere three minutes later. There was a tremendous amount of [checks Oxford Dictionary of Sporting Terminology] titting around in the penalty box, as Klass tried to walk the ball into the back of the net, before Taylor took over, danced around a defender or two himself and then slotted low into the net.
Taylor’s third, only two minutes from the end, was a similar type of goal. This time it was stand-in left-back Razzaq Coleman De-Graft who danced his way into the penalty area, before Taylor decided to nip the ball off his toes and shove it low into the bottom corner.
3-1 and that horrible first half was soon wiped away. The players got a lengthy standing ovation, The Stodgebusters called off their hunger strike, and Taylor went home with the match ball.
The only lasting black spot? Killian Colombie’s dismissal for two yellow cards, the second of which seemed a particularly harsh booking for timewasting from a fussy referee.
Lewes: Carey, Colombie, Nelson, Coleman De-Graft, Wearie, Klass, Tanner, Olukoga, Taylor, Parker, Allen
Subs: Yao, Dent, Santos, D’Arienzo, Ojo