Tag: Lewes

Lewes & Fisher’s Day In Court

It has been a busy day for non-league football at the Royal Court of Justice in London. Both Lewes and Fisher Athletic were before the judge to explain themselves in the face of a winding up order and, whilst both managed a stay of execution for a few weeks, a huge question mark hangs over the viability of both clubs. Indeed, this question mark is so great that non-league football in general has to start asking itself some very serious questions about its financing, because this is all starting to get a little bit beyond a joke. These two particular clubs are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been ongoing problems at numerous non-league clubs over the last couple of years or so, and the unfortunate truth is that no-one seems to ever learn anything from the mistakes of others. Something is going to have to change. For Fisher, the end is already nigh. For their home league match against Weston-Super-Mare last Saturday, they attracted a crowd of just 89 people. Their problems, however, run deeper than a mere lack of support. They moved from their own Surrey Docks Stadium to groundshare at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill stadium a couple of years ago with grand plans to redevelop the site into a Football League standard ground. It seemed like a perverse decision (and there may well have...

Read More

Match Of The Week I: Lewes 0-1 Mansfield Town

According to White Hart Lane legend, upon leaving White Hart Lane after an irrepairable breakdown in his relationship with the new owners, Keith Burkinshaw looked over his shoulder at the ground that he had rejuvenated so much during his time there and said, “There used to be a football club over there”. This is the overriding impression that one comes away with from a visit to Lewes this season. The removal of Steve King at the end of last season and the subsequent break-up of the Blue Square South winning side tore a hole through the heart of the club, and this season has been a constant struggle to keep their head above water. Gutted, filleted and laid out to dry, they sit one place off the bottom of the Blue Square Premier, kept from the bottom place by the crisis torn Northwich Victoria, but still ten points from the safety of fifth from bottom in the table. At every point in the season at which things could go wrong. They were humiliated at home by Eastern Counties League side Leiston in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round – a match which, because of the competition’s prize money, they couldn’t afford to lose, literally or metaphorically. Last week, they were knocked out of the FA Trophy at Havant & Waterlooville, a team a division below them. The small diversion...

Read More

Non-Match Of The Week: Lewes P-P Kettering Town

The peculiarities of the Christmas programme mean that many people end up with their body clocks thrown out of kilter. The Christmas break was followed by the weekend – was yesterday Saturday or was it Sunday? The full football programme made it feel like a Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t – a feeling that has been exacerbated by having a full week off work. Yesterday’s chosen match was between Lewes and Kettering Town in the Blue Square Premier. A quick check of the BBC website confirmed that the match appeared to be on, and the close proximity of The Dripping Pan to my own home in Brighton meant that this would be, for me, effectively a home match. No need to leave the house until two o’clock in the afternoon. An hour before I was due to leave, I made a quick trip to the shops to pick up some provisions, and nothing in my centrally heated flat had prepared me for how damn cold it was. I got home and my inner sceptic persuaded me to check the Lewes website to see if the game was still on. It wasn’t. I’m not, of course, deserving of your sympathy in this respect. As it turned out, I spent a very agreeable afternoon watching Blackburn Rovers play Manchester City in the pub. Your sympathies are probably best placed with the...

Read More

Lewes 3-0 Weston-Super-Mare

It has probably been the strangest seven days in the history of Lewes FC. The club won the Conference South last Saturday in front of a crowd of 1,700 and it must have felt, to their regular supporters, as if the sky was the limit. The events of the last week, however, have plunged the club into something approaching a crisis at what should be the happiest time in their history. Last Tuesday night they went to Hampton & Richmond Borough for their penultimate league match and inexplicably lost 6-0, but the bombshell came on Friday morning, when rumours from the club started to circulate that manager Steve King had been sacked. The club didn’t move to quell the rumours and, by Saturday morning, and with the supporters’ message board practically on fire, there was open talk of invading the pitch in protest at the decision. Eventually, the club released a statement that would have set no-one’s worries at ease. The Dripping Pan itself has had to have a significant amount of work done to it over the last two or three years or so, and has had a terrace put in behind each goal as a new main stand. The club has estimated that the cost of this work at approximately £1m, and has recently been looking for new investment. The rumour mill currently has it that new...

Read More

Lewes 2-0 Dorchester Town

There’s something not quite right about going to the football on your own, but it was a late decision to visit The Dripping Pan on Saturday afternoon. As things stand, though, it’s too good an offer to turn up. A nervy midweek 1-0 win against Fisher Athletic has pushed Lewes to within touching distance of a place in the Conference, and the good news was doubled by the confirmation received last week that their home ground had reached the required grading for Conference football. They need just one more win from their three remaining Conference South matches to win the title and even if they don’t manage that, Eastbourne Borough need to win their two remaining matches. The match also has a double significance – a defeat would relegate Dorchester Town into the Southern League. This season has been an unmitigated disaster for Dorchester, who started the season as one of the favourites for the championship, but face relegation to the Southern League if they lose today. There have been some concerns that the might not even take place. In Brighton, at least, it has been raining solidly all morning, and the forecast is for it to continue all day. Thank God, then, for the internet. A quick look at the Lewes supporters messageboard confirms that one of their supporters has received a telephone call from the club, confirming...

Read More