Having just watched the Ladies 1’s record a vital win in their relegation battle, the Mens 2’s looked to build on the clubs successful start to a lovely sunny Saturday.
With a strong squad of 15, Crawley started really strongly, playing an intense pressing game and when they had the ball, keeping it simple and breaking through the Lewes defence to create a flood of chances. Thomas Jarvis neatly controlled the ball in the “d” after the ball went loose, laid it off to Alex Coote who swept it home from the top of the “D”, 1-0 Crawley and one way traffic.
Sadly Fortress Hazelwick has often had the drawbridge left down to let the enemy in and this game was no different. The goal seemed to shock Lewes into action, and as Crawley tried to maintain the intensity by regular rolling subs, they seemed to lose their way and let Lewes into the match. Lewes took their first chance of the game, which sadly this roving reporter missed as he was having a chat on the side lines with Thomas Mackintosh. The goal was a disputed one, did the Lewes forward touch it or not, the umpires were not certain, but Crawley showed the true spirit of hockey and confirmed it was a fair goal.
Lewes almost immediately grabbed a second goal, via a sweet short corner strike into the bottom left corner. Sadly the assigned “post man” was out on his deliveries. Crawley continued to create chances but just couldn’t show the clinical edge that Lewes displayed. That came back to haunt them again as Lewes scored another short corner. It could have been 4, if not for Ian Berry working back to cover Chris Rockingham who was beaten by the ball. Showing great calmness, Ian controlled the ball just in front of the goal line and launched an aerial off the pitch. Crawley went into half time 3-1 down.
The 2nd half saw Crawley return to dominance. James Fuller leading the line with some great runs, unleashed his explosive power, to fire the ball into the “D” for Theo Hillman to deflect the ball past the keeper. A 3rd soon followed for Crawley with Kane Paterson slipping the ball into the “D” to James Fuller on the penalty spot who showed composure to control the ball, spin and sweep home. 3-3 and Crawley were hunting for the win. Crawley had more chances but just couldn’t take them. Theo Hillman received the ball with his back to goal, spun, and rounded the keeper at pace, then with a diving shot put the ball an inch wide. Let’s not even start on the short corner routines.
Crawley even had a 1 man advantage in the game as one player displayed a nasty potty mouth to the umpire and combined with great support from the side lines (Katie Breeds/ Victoria Coote etc) they just could not breakthrough
Lewes grew back into the game and with 5 mins to go, a shot from a Lewes Forward dribbled into the right hand corner of the goal past the despairing foot of Chris Rockingham. Crawley tried to rally but to no avail. The game finished 4-3 to Lewes, despite everyone’s best efforts. Crawleys spirits were picked up though by the gourmet cooking of Priyesh Patel's sausage rolls and baked beans.
C Rockingham, Oliver Robinson, I Berry, T Macintosh, S Teale, Alex Foxcroft, A Coote, K Paterson, L Mulcalhy , J Fuller, W Doherty, T Jarvis, K Bass, T Hillman, P Patel