Dixon on spot as Rooks hold Kingstonian
RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION – Saturday March 22 2014
Lewes 1 Dixon pen 15
Kingstonian 1 Moss 35
Lewes maintained their strong home record against the Ryman League’s finest with a 1-1 draw against play-off hopefuls Kingstonian.
Both goals came in the first half, with Jack Dixon’s early penalty for the Rooks being cancelled out by Ryan Moss’s equaliser.
Ben Austin hit the woodwork while Rikki Banks, on his 150th Lewes appearance, made two fine saves, although Kingstonian almost snatched the game in injury time.
Lewes are proving no respecters of reputation at the Dripping Pan. Of the current top six, only AFC Hornchurch have left with all three points this season and, after last Tuesday’s hiccup at relegation-certainties Carshalton, the Rooks needed a result a to restore a little faith.
Lewes certainly started with purpose, and it definitely wasn’t against the run of the play when they took the lead after 15 minutes.
A long ball from the back from Andy Pearson was flicked on by Porstmouth loanee George Branford, prompting Kingstonian’s Matt Drage to flick out an elbow to prevent it reaching Luke Blewden.
The handball was well spotted by referee Mr Spain and Dixon placed the perfect penalty low into the side-netting to give the Rooks an early lead.
That lead was cancelled out 20 minutes later, and in some style. A delightful long ball from the back found Moss enjoying the freedom of Sussex, yet he still had to fend off the recovering Sam Crabb before bulleting an unstoppable drive past Banks.
Lewes almost reclaimed the lead on the cusp of half-time when Austin met a corner at the far post and thudded the ball against the upright, before it was awkwardly hacked clear off the line.
Rooks boss Garry Wilson gambled early in the second half, using all three substitutes before the 65th minute to see if fresh legs could conjure up a winner.
It was one of those subs, Rhys Murrell-Willamson, who looked most likely to do the damage.
His frequent bursts down the wing caused Kingstonian’s back four considerable bother, no more so than when he darted past two Ks defenders and squared the ball invitingly for Dixon, who couldn’t seem to get his legs to pay attention to what his brain was telling them, before slicing the ball out for a throw-in.
Kingstonian had their chances too, and twice Banks had to block powerful efforts to keep the Ks at bay.
The visitors could have won it in the final minute of the game, but a combination of a defender’s head and the far post prevented Ks an undeserved winner.
The draw leaves Lewes in the very definition of mid-table – 12th position, 17 points from the play-offs and 17 points above the relegation spots.
LEWES: 1 Rikki Banks; 2 Sam Crabb, 3 Sam Gore (sub 16 Steve Brinkhurst, 56), 4 Andy Pearson, 5 Ben Austin , 6 Jack Walder, 7 Nicky Wheeler, 8 Jack Dixon, 9 Luke Blewden, 10 George Branford (sub 14 Matt Crabb, 64), 11 Ross Treleaven (sub 15 Rhys Murrell-Williamson, 60).
Subs not used: 12 Jay Lovett, 17 Max Agnoly.
KINGSTONIAN: 1 Rob Tolfrey; 2 Aaron Goode, 3 Bruce Hogg, 4 Matt Drage, 5 Sam Page, 6 Daniel Pappoe, 7 Andre Da Costa (sub 14 Charlie Knight, 46 ), 8 Steve Laidler, 9 Ryan Moss, 10 Daniel Sweeney (sub 15 Dee Okojie, 75), 11 Josh Casey.
Subs not used: 12 Charles Ofosu-Hene, 16 Adam Brice, 17 Adam Faith.
Attendance: 478 // Referee: Mr. D. Spain (Westfield, Sussex)