Lewes lose at home to Winchester
Lewes' premier league status hangs by a thread after a comprehensive defeat against second placed Winchester.
Missing two defenders Lewes were always likely to struggle but were in the game for long periods until falling away badly in the second half.
The opening ten minutes saw Lewes dominate but not for the first time this season their failure to take clear cut chances cost them. Winchester were not able to cope with the hosts’ quick movement and Toby Price, despite carrying an injury, was unlucky to see his strike hit the crossbar and bounce out and then Jonny Rea hit the outside of the post when unmarked at the far post following a good pass from Rory Jervis. A penalty corner strike was then well saved by the goalkeeper as Lewes looked to open the scoring. The momentum then shifted as Winchester showed why they are pushing for promotion. They controlled midfield and their forward movement stretched the home defence. Eventually the pressure told as a poor clearance was picked up and a quick pass into the circle was converted into the Lewes goal. Lewes survived the remaining period of the first half with goalkeeper Jack Edgerton saving well on two occasions.
The second half started the same as the first with Lewes in the ascendency as Price had a shot well saved and then successive penalty corners coming to nothing. As soon as Winchester scored their second from a breakaway Lewes' heads went down. They got frustrated with umpires decisions and had three players temporarily dismissed for dissent. This played into Winchester's hands as they used the extra space to stretch the home defence and score three quick goals to make it 5-0. Jervis had a chance late on but could only lob the ball onto the top of the goal and then Winchester broke and in overtime converted a penalty corner to complete the scoring to rub salt into the wound.
The scoreline was harsh on Lewes who played well in periods but clinical finishing by Winchester and poor defending and discipline by Lewes contributed to a heavy defeat. They have four games left to try and stay in the Premier League and will need to probably win at least three to have any chance of survival as they have played more games than teams around them. They are away to Blackheath on Saturday, who are three places and six points above them.
Report by Paul Spruce