Our Isthmian Blue Finn U23’s Development squad kicked off their campaign away to Lewes FC on Thursday evening and they didn’t disappoint as the lads produced an excellent performance to win 2-0 and return with all three points.
The game started at a high tempo and it was clear both sides were trying to play football and enjoy the excellent Dripping Pan pitch. Our back four of Tariq Richards, TJ McKibben, Tom Butler and Billy Barker were looking accomplished and worked hard to limit the Lawes threats and only a couple of half chances worried us in the first half. Issa arrived late due to train delays and U18’s Luis Morton started up front, with a midfield of JJ, Charlie Bennett, Emanuel Ageyman, Matheus & Ben Wilson we had good possession, however, the Lewes defence were well organised and kept our chances to a minimum. So 0-0 at the break and all to play for.
The second half saw the hard working Luis replaced up top by Issa and we looked threatening first 20min with Charlie Bennett starting to get on the ball more frequent, the deadlock was broken when Charlie pounced first in the box to poke home on 65min 1-0. The lads grew in confidence after the goal and it was that man Charlie again who unleashed a speculative 25-yard strike that found the bottom corner to make it 2-0 on 75min.
We kept a settled shape and James Shaw continued to impress in goal as Lewes pushed for a breakthrough, Billy Wright replaced JJ and young Danny Lelwani came on for Ben Wilson as we added fresh legs to close out the game. Our other two subs included Ben Whitely and the impressive u18 Max Burkinshaw who’s inclusion was a reward for his performance earlier in the week for U18’s against Havant & Waterlooville.
Overall a good week for our young players and hopefully we can build on these performances and ensure the club has a platform for development and progress towards first team football.
Players and staff would like to offer our best wishes to club captain Will Miles and a successful recovery from his serious knee injury.