Win over Hastings United lifts Lewes ahead of Beavers cup clash

Lewes got the better of Hastings United at the Dripping Pan in midweek | Picture: James Boyes
Lewes got the better of Hastings United at the Dripping Pan in midweek | Picture: James Boyes

Tony Russell’s men saw off Hastings United under the Pan lights on Tuesday night, winning 3-1 to move up to sixth in the Isthmian premier table.

It was a much-needed lift for the Rooks after back-to-back league defeats against Folkestone and Chatham. And it was the type of performance they will need to find again this weekend when the Beavers, who are near the bottom of National League South, visit for a third qualifying round tie which will leave the winners just one more game from the first round proper of the FA Cup.

Lewes produced arguably their best performance of the season to beat fifth-placed Hastings.

Ayo Olukoga, Bradley Pritchard and new signing Marcus Sablier, who has joined the Rooks on loan from Bromley until January, came into Russell’s starting XI.

Olukoga started at right-back, which allowed Jake Elliott to move into the centre alongside Ronnie Vint, and Arthur Penney slotted into a holding midfield role.

The Rooks’ saw an early chance for Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala saved by Charlie Grainger.

The Rooks took the lead on 15 minutes, as a short corner was only cleared as far as Elliott, who sent an unstoppable effort past Grainger and into the corner to score his first Lewes goal against his former club.

The Rooks doubled their lead on 22 minutes, Tommy Wood reacting quickest to head home from almost on the line after Deon Moore had headed a Pritchard corner against the bar.

Hastings pulled a goal back two minutes before the break through Adam Lovatt.

United looked threatening early in the second half and Femi Akinwande forced a superb save from Nathan Harvey with a close-range effort.

This seemed to galvanise Lewes, who regained their two-goal advantage on 61 minutes. A corner was taken quickly down the right and patiently worked into the centre, where Sablier teed up Vint to send an exquisite curling strike from the edge of the area past Grainger.

Next week (October 7) the Rooks will host Lowestoft in the FA Trophy.