And so we return to the Pilot Field where Hastings United now play in all-white and the Ryman League has turned into the Bostik League. Clearly, following the Evo-stik North and South leagues it is essential that this level of football is sponsored by adhesives. Smarter people than me would make a joke about stickiness. I’ll leave that to the brains. All I can say is that this was a tense, rather than good, game that Lewes thoroughly deserved to win and so, even though we might comment on some aspects, it’s hard to begrudge them their 2-1 win.
The first goal came in the first minute. Bouwe Bosma putting Lewes ahead from an attack on the right that left Hastings all over the shop. Moments later they could have scored again via the same route. In fact, every time they tried it the hosts looked vulnerable. Hastings equalised through an eleventh minute penalty. But nobody had really settled down even by the time Ollie Rowes saw red for a lunging challenge ten minutes before the break. Hastings down to ten men ran hard without really threatening any more (I don’t think there was a genuine save from the Lewes goalie in the second half) but Lewes’ greater assurance didn’t translate into dominance. Their winning goal came within twelve minutes of the restart and they really should have added to it but the second half, like the first, didn’t actually feature that much football.
What the 699 watching (highest in the division by over 400) saw instead had plenty of guts and passion, and plenty of controversy too. To be honest, that’s a lot more fun that technical majesty even if the end product was jagged rather than coherent. So this was all quite fun even if you’d not necessarily recommend anyone to watch it again if the opportunity presented itself.
I went along with the older, autistic, boy. He only once had to comment on my swearing so clearly I was better behaved than usual. I brought along the camera and the photos are here.