Lewes 2-0 Sevenoaks Town - We're on a bad little run and we need to go and put it right, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Wednesday 11th December 2019
Lewes 2 – 0 Sevenoaks Town
Location The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2XA
Kickoff 11/12/2019 19:45

Velocity Trophy Knockout Stage One
Wednesday 11 December 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from The Dripping Pan

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins says his side are on a bad little run and they need to go and put it right.

Sevenoaks Town reached this stage of the Velocity Trophy by topping Group Nine after remaining unbeaten in four group games against Sittingbourne (won 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw); Phoenix Sports (3-0); Cray Valley (1-0) and beating VCD Athletic 4-3 on penalties after another 2-2 draw.

Sevenoaks Town arrived at The Dripping Pan sitting in sixth-place in the Isthmian League South East Division table with 24 points from 15 games and extended their winless run to four games after losing here tonight.

Lewes began their League Cup campaign in front of a sparse crowd tonight as Isthmian League Premier Division sides enter at this stage of the competition.

Ross Standen and Terry Coade’s side went into the game sitting in sixteenth-place in the table with 19 points from 18 games and it took two 35-yard drives from Kayne Diedrick-Roberts and Tegan Freeman to seal their passage into the next round.

“I thought we played alright.  I thought we did ok.  We got undone by two good strikes. The first one was a great strike and the second one was even better,” said Collins.

“We created chances, we did alright, we held our own.  I thought we compacted the play well. We were a bit toothless in the second half but I’m not disappointed with the performance.”

Lewes made seven changes from the side that lost 1-0 at home to Leatherhead, while Sevenoaks Town made four from the team that lost 2-1 at home to Sittingbourne.

“We played the boys that haven’t been playing,” said Collins. 

“Kyle De Silva’s been out for seven weeks now so he’s come back in. Tom Ripley hasn’t played for two months so he came back in.  Caleb Edorh got his debut, aged 16, which was good so it was good that everyone got a run-out.  Louis Collins done something to his shoulder so that’s the only negative really.”

Lewes spent the first 15 minutes playing out from the back with Sevenoaks Town keen not to press them too much.  The home side attacked down the right, hitting the ball down the channel and central striker Billy Medlock often dropped deep to collect the ball at his feet in midfield.

“I thought we dealt with it.  I thought we sat off and dealt with it, let them have it and just compacted the play,” said Collins.

“They never caused us any problems. They got in behind us and we just let them have it.  I thought we was in control.  We were away from home, we changed the formation a little bit and I thought it worked. I was quite pleased.”

Lewes holding midfielder Emmanuel Yeboah pinged a diagonal pass over to right-winger Jay Popham, who whipped in a quality low cross which was missed by Medlock at the near post as the ball flashed across the face of goal inside the opening eight minutes.

Sevenoaks Town’s first opening came in the 24th minute when Kyle De Silva picked Freeman’s pocket down the right-hand side of the penalty area but Lewes keeper Taylor Seymour rushed off his line to narrow the angle and push the ball behind for the first of nine corners.

Sevenoaks Town were to be denied the lead in the 29th minute when the woodwork saved Lewes, following the away side’s fourth corner of the night.

De Silva cut the ball back to Dan Parkinson, who played the ball on the outside back to De Silva, who cut the ball onto his left-foot to whip in a great cross into the box.

Sevenoaks Town’s centre-half Tom Ripley rose and sent his header crashing against the crossbar.

Twelve seconds later, Adrian Stone floated the ball back into the box and right-winger Tyrell Richardson-Brown hooked his volley just over the crossbar.

“We’re creating stuff, which is good.  To come and play against a team higher and create stuff like that, you’ve got to be pleased with it,” added Collins.

The versatile Tommy Whitnell, who sat in front of the Sevenoaks back four, poked the ball past his marker to play the ball inside to Dan Parkinson, who unleashed a right-footed drive swerving towards goal from 35-yards, which was caught by Seymour in his midriff.

“It’s a good save. He’s behind it.  I don’t think it was too difficult. It was a good powerful shot but I think either side of him it might’ve caused him a problem,” added Collins.

Lewes hit the crossbar in the 35th minute, before grabbing the lead just 81 seconds later.

Lewes right-back Jason Dawson cut into the box before playing the ball inside to winger Dayshonne Golding, who kept the ball at his feet to dance into the penalty area before shifting the ball onto his left-foot and hitting the crossbar from 15-yards.

“You say (Golding) he’s a threat. He done bits but I thought Fraser Walker and Tyrell Richardson-Brown marshalled him well.  In the end they took him off so I actually thought we dealt with that quite well,” said Collins.

“They’re going to get chances because that’s the level that we’re at and they’re going to get in at times but it wasn’t like we were cut open and they were causing us serious problems and continually crossing it.  I thought we actually stopped it at source.”

Lewes took the lead with 35 minutes and 56 seconds on the clock.

Golding played the ball into Diedrick-Roberts, who found space before drilling a low right-footed drive nestling sweetly into the bottom left-hand corner from 35-yards.

“The only time we got undone was when we switched off and we’ve allowed a guy to turn from 35-yards and ping one in,” said Collins.

“We’ve not dealt with it, the balls got played into him and we’ve allowed him to turn and that’s been how we’ve been in the last two or three weeks and that’s how we’ve let goals in.

“You can’t give people that much time to be able to turn and get a shot off and you’re expecting the goalie to make a worldy.

“It’s a great strike from the kid, right in the corner and it’s skidded off the wet turf – but you can’t have that! That has to stop and we’ve got to deal with that.

“We had a moan about it at half-time because it would’ve been fair to come in at 0-0 at half-time and the games wide open.”

When asked his thoughts at the break, Collins said: “I thought we was doing alright. We moaned about the goal because we’ve given a goal away where it could’ve bene stopped.  That far out if you press the play and you stop him turning he doesn’t get a shot off and then we come in at 0-0.

“But that’s just how we are at the moment and we’re just a bit fragile with it. It’s something that we need to address but I didn’t think we did too many bad things and I thought we were in the game and actually created good chances.”

The Isthmian League Cup allows each side to make five substitutions and one of them, Lewes left-winger Stefan Ilic created the first opening after only 56 seconds.

Left-back Nic D’Arienzo played the ball down the line to Ilic, who took on both Fraser Walker and Tyrell Richardson-Brown to whip in a cross, which sailed around the far post.

Lewes called visiting keeper Patrick Lee into making a comfortable low save just before the hour, following the home side’s sixth of seven corners.

Ilic played a corner short to Medlock, who delivered a deep cross which was hit towards goal by centre-half Tom Day, which flashed through a crowd of players and was comfortably gathered by the visiting keeper.

Sevenoaks Town were to be denied an equaliser on the hour-mark by a smart save from Seymour.

Richardson-Brown played the ball in behind Lewes left-back D’Arienzo to put Louis Collins through on goal and his shot was blocked by Seymour’s outstretched left-leg.

“Good save, good save. On another day it goes a foot to the left of him and it’s in and then all off a sudden we’re back in the game,” said the manager.

“It just doesn’t run for us. We had the same on Saturday, we had some great chances early, never took them and then we get done with a sucker-punch.”

When asked how his 18-year-old son is coping with playing at this level of football having left Scunthorpe United in the summer, he replied: “You can see tonight, I think physicality wise he’s fine and he gets chances.  He copes with it.  You don’t look at him and think he’s new to it and only played 10-12 games in it. He likes it, he gets frustrated because he’s been playing in the pro game and it’s a bit different.  He works his socks off and you can see that tonight and they’ve been unlucky.

“I’d be more worried if we come in here and we haven’t created nothing but we have and it’s been alright.”

Clinical Lewes sealed their progress by scoring a wonderful goal with 16 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock.

Medlock dropped deep again and teed up Freeman, who drilled his right-footed shot into the top right-hand corner from 35-yards, screaming past Lee, who was rooted to the spot.

“What can you do? If you put two goalies in there they ain’t going to save that,” admitted Collins.

“Could we affected it better? Maybe we could’ve shut it down but do you know what? He’s pulled it out of his feet and banged it. You’ve got to say credit to the kid for hitting it. It was a great strike!”

Sevenoaks Town changed their formation to 4-1-2-3 for the final 20 minutes and  kept plugging away.

Diedrick-Roberts swept in a teasing low free-kick in from the left-channel towards the near post which was poked towards goal by Day, which was picked up by the visiting keeper.

Sevenoaks substitute Alec Fiddes drove towards the edge of the Lewes box and his progress was stopped by a well-timed sliding tackle from Yeboah, who swept the ball upfield and substitute striker Louis Veneti beat the offside flag before curling his shot around the keeper and past the far post when he only had Lee to beat.

Seymour pulled off another fine save inside the final 10 minutes as Sevenoaks Town kept going.

Fiddes split open D’Arienzo and Day to put Richardson-Brown through on goal and his low drilled shot brought the very best out of Seymour, who used a strong right-hand to push the ball towards safety, as the keeper got down low to his right.

“A great save, another good save. That’s two really good saves he’s made, the keeper and you’re looking at a completely different game but the good thing about the game tonight is we’ve managed to get something out of it,” said Collins, who praised the contribution from Richardson-Brown, who linked up well with Walker.

“Fantastic! The only thing that we said was first half we didn’t feel there was enough quality from both of them.

“Tyrell’s making all the runs further on and him and Fraser are linking up well. The final ball just wasn’t good enough and then in the second half we’ve asked them to improve on it and they had – it was much better!”

Another Sevenoaks substitute, Bradley Schafer swept his shot past the foot of the near post from the edge of the penalty area.

Schafer clipped the ball over a crowded Lewes penalty area and Collins drove the ball across the face of goal from a tight angle and the ball came back to Schafer, who swept his shot towards the bottom left-hand corner, only for it to be held by Seymour.

Yeboah played the ball into the Ilic, who tried to bend his shot into the bottom far corner, but his shot lacked curl and flashed past the far post from 22-yards instead.

Collins said: “If you come in and we’re having this conversation and we’ve created nothing and we’ve been beaten by two nothing goals, you go ‘it’s just not good enough’ but I can’t actually put my finger on it and have a real moan at the boys because I think we’ve acquitted ourselves quite well.

“You’ve watched the game, did you think there was a massive gulf in difference?  No, there you go. At the end of the day there’s not but there’s quality and the quality is shown by the two goals scored and that’s the difference and the fact that their goalkeeper has made two or three good saves. On another day they could’ve gone in and it’s a different ball game.

“But the difference in the quality, each individual player is just that little bit better. There’s not a massive gulf and we’ve got to maintain what we’re doing, at the moment that’s not the case.

"We got done with two really good shots so an Isthmian Premier side away from home on a Wednesday nght, we're not at full-strength.  You look at it and go it's not a bad night's work. It's just a loss, that's the only thing."

Hastings United lead the Isthmian South East Division table with 35 points from 15 games.

The four play-off places are currently occupied by Cray Valley (31 points from 15 games); Whitehawk (29 points from 14 games); Whyteleafe (25 points from 14 games) and Ashford United (25 points from 15 games).

Collins takes his side to Whyteleafe on Saturday.

“Another tough game and at the moment we’re shipping goals so we need to stop it.  It’ a good chance to bounce back at their place and we need to be on it so it’s down to us to rectify it. We’re on a bad little run and we need to go and put it right and we haven’t played badly in those games. We’re just conceding goals when we shouldn’t.

“We’ve got to make sure we stop those things from happening. Once we do that we create enough chances and if we put those chances away, we’ll start back on a winning run again.”

Collins is keen to strengthen his squad as he pushes for a play-off place by the end of the season.

“We’ll galvanise the boys over Christmas, we could do with a rest! We could do with strengthening, maybe we’ll bring a couple in that may be apparent in the next seven to 10 days and the squad needs it to freshen up a little bit so we’ll do that if the right people are available.

“We’ll have a good Christmas and as I said to the boys before the season started, if we’re in the top eight or nine before Christmas and we’re in punching distance of the play-offs then we’ll have a good damn go after Christmas to see how close we can get to it.”

Collins, meanwhile, has been joined in the dug-out by former Tunbridge Wells manager Jason Bourne.

“Bourney’s come in with us, he’s part of it, so he was doing our scouting for us so he’s come in and that’s it,” added Collins.

Lewes: Taylor Seymour, Jason Dawson, Nic D’Arienzo, Emmanuel Yeboah, Frankie Chappell, Tom Day, Dayshonne Golding (Stefan Ilic 46), Tegan Freeman, Billy Medlock (Louis Veneti 64), Kayne Diedrick-Roberts (Harry Reed 77), Jay Popham.
Sub: Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke

Goals: Kayne Diedrick-Roberts 36, Tegan Freeman 62

Booked: Jason Dawson 90, Emmanuel Yeboah 90

Sevenoaks Town: Patrick Lee, Fraser Walker, Liam Smith, Tommy Whitnell (Jake Beecroft 70), Jack Miles, Tom Ripley, Louis Collins, Dan Parkinson (Alec Fiddes 63), Adrian Stone (Caleb Edorh 54), Kyle De Silva (Bradley Schafer 70), Tyrell Richardson-Brown.
Sub: Renford Tenyue

Attendance: 102
Referee: Mr Greig Walker (Newhaven, East Sussex)
Assistants: Mr Anthony Andrews (Burgess Hill, West Sussex) & Mr Daniel Cooper (Sussex)