Roker Report: How’s Lewes’ season going so far? What’s been your toughest game?
Ash Head: It’s been a hit-and-miss first half for the Lewes team. We finished off last season with a terrific 1-0 home win v Champions Leicester and a best-ever top 5 finish in the division. We had to wait to start this season, an inauspicious 2-1 loss away to Bristol. We followed that up with a cracking 1-0 win v London City. In truth we’ve not really kicked on from that.
Back to back away trips to the North East saw a hard earned 1-1 with your lasses and our statutory away loss to Durham. I’d say the toughest game so far was Liverpool away. They were awesome and it’s no shock to see them pulling away in the division.
Our best result to date was the away 3-1 win at Sheffield United. That’s the sort of form the team need to rediscover.
RR: Who have been the standout performers from your squad in the first half of the campaign?
AH: We’ve seen a couple of players come through this term. Lucy Ashworth-Clifford has come on massively since last term. When Craig came in she didn’t feature in his early plans. She banged on his door and asked for her chance, then wins FAWC player of the month in November.
Paula Howells started life at Lewes with a bad knock away to Leicester City in a narrow loss. She’s not been able to feature consistently until the past couple of months and boy, have we seen what we’ve been missing. She’s popped in four worldies this term already, has great movement and sets others up well.
Tatiana Saunders has been in and out of the team due to injury. You want your ‘keeper settled as part of your back line, but Shanell Salgado has been superb when she’s come in. I’ve no clue who will start on Sunday!
RR: Any transfer business happening this January, or is the squad pretty settled?
AH: It’s been quiet. We lost Bos - Charlie Boswell hung up her boots last year. She’s a big loss to the squad, not easy to replace. With Craig in an interim role it’s hard to see on what basis he can dip into the market. I think, loans aside, we have the squad set now for the season.
RR: What can Sunderland fans travelling down to Sussex expect to find at the Dripping Pan? A little birdy told me the catering is pretty much the best in the business…
AH: That little bird must have been a Rook! Pie and mash with mushy peas from the Snack hatch, designer chips at the Fries Hut, a wide range of cask and craft beers at the Rook Inn, our in-ground pub, and if that’s all too much for a Sunday, Prosecco on tap. There’s a cheeky wee bar at the back of the Philcox terrace if you don’t fancy the trek to the pub.
You’ll not go hungry or thirsty at our house.
RR: Any decent pubs in town?
AH: See above!! Seriously, Lewes is teaming with good pubs. The Royal Oak (up Station Street) is where the club was founded in 1885. The Lansdown is closest to the station but honestly, get in the ground early. We’ve all you need in there.
RR: Finally, the customary score prediction. How do you see this one panning out (pun entirely intended)?
AH: Hard to see past another unhelpful draw. The Black Cats have played well in their first season back at this level. What a start to the season! Surprised me, for sure. If anything I see both teams struggling for goals. They’re both off the back of disappointing outings last weekend and will both be keen not to give much away. So, stand by for a 6 goal thriller!
We’re really looking forward to seeing Sunderland at the Pan. Our fans know what the club have done for women’s football. It’s an honour to welcome the management and players. Your fans will get the warmest welcome from the Lewes Supporter’s Club and our regular fans. Best of luck!