Non-League Day 2013: Lewes FC Are Caught By The Fuzz

As the pleasingly basic scoreboard tucked away near one corner of the pitch ticked over ninety minutes at The Dripping Pan on Saturday afternoon, there was a hint of quiet satisfaction in the air. Leading by two goals to nil and with the home defence having seldom been threatened all afternoon, it looked just about certain that the biggest Ryman League crowd of the afternoon, some 788 people, was going to retire to the bar happy with a comfortable win against the limited if obdurate opposition that the Metropolitan Police, lower table opposition of no discernable ambition, were offering. This, however, is Lewes Football Club, and scripts around here are seldom kept to for very long. The rest of the afternoon had been pleasingly routine. The cost of it may have risen somewhat in recent years and there is little question that the current generation of players that come through in the middle ranks of English football – of which the Ryman League Premier Division is probably just about the bottom level – are more generic those that preceded them, but there is a comfortingly timeless quality to non-league football. The pint before the match. The moment which hits about twenty minutes after kick-off when you realise that absolutely nothing has happened so far. The agonising choice over whether to head for the bar before the referee blows his...

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