Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ringmer 0 v 1 Lewes

Tuesday 6th August 2013
Chandlers Cup
The Caburn, Ringmer
Admission: £6.00
Programme: None
Attendance: 150 (estimate)
Match Rating: 3

For this evening's action I decided to take in some pre-season charity cup action, with an interesting looking game between two teams separated by just a few miles, but by two steps in the pyramid.

The Caburn Ground is situated in the centre of the village of Ringmer, accessible by bus from Lewes and Brighton. The ground is rather unspectacular compared to other grounds in Sussex, although more than adequate for the standard that Ringmer play at, the Sussex County League. As one enters the ground in one corner, a brick building stretches almost to the half way line houses the rather welcoming club house and tea bar. An overhanging roof from this building provides cover for spectators, and a row of seating is placed immediately behind the pitch railings. Immediately beyond the clubhouse is another brick building housing the changing rooms, and beyond that is yet another brick building which does not appear to be in use on matchdays. Straddling the half way line on the opposite side is a small modern metallic all-seater stand. Around the rest of the ground is just hard standing, and there is a pronounced slope from goal to goal. Pine trees behind half of the ground make a relatively attractive background. No programmes were issued for this game, and although £6 admission – what is normally charged for league fixtures - may appear steep for what was basically a pre-season friendly match, all proceeds from this evening’s game were to be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Tonight's fixture was the resurrection of what used to be an annual fixture between the two clubs up until 2005, when Ringmer lifted the Chandler’s Cup. Between 1994 and 2005, Ringmer won on five occasions, Lewes twice. With both teams starting their league campaigns on Saturday, Ringmer finished last season in ninth place in the Sussex League Division One, whilst Lewes were eventually successful in their battle to avoid relegation from the Isthmian League Premier Division, finishing one point clear of the relegation places. How much relevance that would be for this evening’s game was very questionable though, as Lewes put out a very young team for this game, although about half a dozen players had good experience of Ryman League football, those who would be suspended for the coming league game or coming back from injury.

On a partly cloudy evening and with a fairly sizeable crowd in, the first half was competitive, with Ringmer looking a match for Lewes, although Lewes always looked much more the likely to open the scoring. With 30 minutes on the clock, they were awarded a penalty when a surging run into the box culminated in a foul. However, the penalty struck low to the right by Steve Brinkhurst was saved and gathered at the second attempt by the keeper. However, five minutes later and Lewes did take the lead. Following a succession of corners, the ball was headed on from another one and volleyed home from 8 yards by 17 year old Callum Connor.

Into the second half and although Ringmer continued to battle gamely, they very rarely looked capable of scoring, apart from one golden opportunity on the hour mark when a peach of a curling cross was met by a Ringmer forward completely unmarked central to goal, however he put his header wide when he really should have at least hit the target. That indeed did prove their one chance to get back in the game as they rarely threatened the Lewes goal in the remaining half hour as Lewes increasingly dominated. Indeed, Lewes should have won far more convincingly in the end, spurning several glorious opportunities in the dying minutes as well as at least having at least two one-on-one opportunities saved by the keeper. But the one goal was enough to ensure that they lifted the Chandler’s Cup soon after the final whistle.

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