It’s almost matchday. This Remembrance Day we head down south to take on Lewes, looking to bounce back after a string of three defeats. It was at Lewes last season that Ahmet Rifat and the team credited the ‘turn around’, standing tall in the face of adversity and using the performance as a springboard for a run up the league towards the end of the year.
Having last been promoted in 2018, Lewes are a key fixture of the Isthmian Premier League, having finished sixth last season, and seventh the year before. They will no doubt be looking to go one-step further this season and make a run at the National League South through the playoffs.
There are two notable factors about Saturday’s opponents. Firstly, they have a fantastic setup for Women’s Football, having invested heavily into the team that competes in the second tier of the Women’s Pyramid. Recent reports have linked the Women’s team with a takeover bid from Mercury13, an investment group looking to grow the Women’s game, who will reportedly invest around £5 million into the club.
The other factor of note is that the Lewes Men’s side are part of the Fenxi Trophy, a pan-European competition that affords Lewes the opportunity to compete on a global scale. They are playing games against Norway’s FC Oslo, and Belgium’s KSK Beveren, the first of which was on Tuesday, where they ran out 1-0 winners at home against their Norwegian opponents.
Head To Head
Last season’s games against Lewes yielded one point from a possible six, as an opening day 1-1 draw was followed by a 5-0 thumping at their place on a cold Tuesday night in January. Having gone down to 10 men early on, thanks to a red card from Michael Olarewaju, the score was 4-0 at half-time. But Rifat’s men stood up in the second half, limiting their opponents to just one fantastic goal. They used the second half performance to propel them up the table, and really double down on their strength of character.
Our last win at the Dripping Pan was in April 22, thanks to goals from Antonis Vasiliou and Dylan Kearney
Last Time Out
Besides their victory over FC Oslo on Tuesday night, Lewes’ last league game was a defeat away at Margate, losing 2-0. It follows a draw with Carshalton to leave them in 10th place in the league, one place behind the Blues. They have been strong at home, losing just once in five games, and will come into the game looking to get their league performances back to their normal standards.
It is not a dissimilar situation for Wingate, as we come into the game on the back of three defeats to Dulwich, Enfield, and Cray. It has been back down to earth for the Blues after three fantastic wins on the bounce and, like our hosts, Saturday’s game will be an opportunity to get things back on track.
Players To Watch
Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala is Lewes’ topscorer this season with six goals so far. After a really quick start to the season, with six goals in seven games, he has not found the back of the net in the league since the start of September. He scored on Tuesday night and so will be looking to reinvigorate his goal scoring form in the league on Saturday.
For the Blues, there have been ten goals conceded in the last three games, so all eyes will be on how the side is able to deal with the threat coming from the Lewes front line
For those not able to make it down to the south coast on what is set to be a lovely day, there will be updates via Twitter and social media.
Our next home game is on the 18th November, when we host Margate in the league.