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A goal on the stroke of half-time saw Lewes fall to an unfortunate 1-0 defeat at home to Carshalton Athletic, despite an encouraging performance that arguably deserved at least a share of the spoils, reports Tom Harper.
Ross Standen and Tony Coade made two changes to the side that won 1-0 at Haringey Borough in their previous league game, with Alex Malins and Stefan Ilic replacing Tegan Freeman and Jordy Mongoy in the starting line-up.
There were no chances of note early on, with both sides keeping possession reasonably well and looking solid defensively. The first opportunity of the game fell to Lewes, who saw Dayshonne Golding control a pinpoint cross-field ball from Stacey Freeman and force a fine save from Kleton Perntreou at his near post with a powerful effort. Perntreou was called into action again minutes later, making a smart save to keep out a 35-yard free-kick from James Hammond.
Despite this, it was the visitors who should have taken the lead approaching half-time as Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke came out of his area to clear a long ball but seemed to completely miss his kick, giving Lewis White the opportunity to shoot at an almost open goal. Thankfully for the Rooks, Frankie Chappell was on hand to block White's goalbound effort.
Carshalton did take the lead right on the stroke of half-time though, as Christie Pattison capitalised on Freeman missing a long ball forward, ran through on goal and saw his strike just about cross the line despite the best efforts of Stroomberg-Clarke and Frankie Chappell, with the officials taking several seconds to award the goal.
Lewes started the second half brightly and should have equalised within minutes of the restart, as Billy Medlock drew another fine save from Perntreou at the end of an incisive passing move.
From the resulting corner taken by Stefan Ilic, Freeman hit the top of the bar with a thumping header.
Carshalton continued to look capable of punishing any lapses of concentration in the Lewes defence, however, and saw White shoot wide from the edge of the area after some hesitant defending.
The Rooks saw plenty of the ball throughout the second half as they looked to find a way back into the game, but were unable to turn this into clear-cut opportunities against their well-organised visitors.
The closest they came to equalising late on saw Perntreou react quickly to gather a low cross from substitute Jordy Mongoy just before the onrushing Charlie Coppola had the chance to finish from close range with ten minutes remaining. The remainder of the game passed with little incident and the Rooks were left to reflect on having no points to show for an encouraging performance.
After the game a bemused and frustrated Ross Standen spoke to Barry Collins.
You can read the Progcast from today here.
James Boyes's pictures from the game can be viewed here.
Next up for Lewes is a trip to Peacehaven & Telscombe in the Sussex Senior Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.30pm.
Lewes: Stroomberg-Clarke, Day, Redwood, Malins, Chappell, Freeman, Golding (Diedrick-Roberts 80), Hammond, Coppola, Medlock, Ilic (Mongoy 64).
Unused Subs: Conlon, Yeboah, Reed.
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou, Haxhiu, Read, Dudley, Cheadle, Pappoe, Samuels (Sogbanmu 75), Bradford, Pattisson (Hein 88), Ottaway, White (Splatt 87).
Unused Subs: Adeniyi, Korboa.
Booked: Pappoe, White, Sogbanmu, Splatt.
Referee: James Robinson
Attendance: 576 (approx. 36 away fans)