Lewes lose two-goal lead

The Non-League Football Paper - - BOSTIK LEAGUE PREMIER - By James Boyes

BILLY Brick­nell played the role of su­per-sub to per­fec­tion, in­spir­ing En­field Town’s dra­matic late come­back that main­tained their un­beaten start to the league sea­son.

Town were two goals down with nine min­utes left when Brick­nell, on the pitch for just ten min­utes, struck twice in­side two min­utes to sal­vage a point from Lewes.

And a proud En­field man­ager Andy Leese told The

NLP: “He does what he does. I think he’s the best fin­isher at this level.”

“We stut­tered and huffed and puffed a bit to­day but two changes of shape in the sec­ond half got us back in it, and, well, that’s why we signed him.”

The vis­i­tors were on the front foot for most of the first half as Sam Chaney, Liam Hope and Youngs all looked to cre­ate the de­ci­sive open­ing.

But in the 42nd minute, Jonte Smith headed past keeper Joe Wright to put Lewes ahead with their first

clear chance of the af­ter­noon.

Wright then tipped away Nico Cot­ton’s rasper. And, af­ter the break, he de­nied James Ham­mond with an­other div­ing save.

But the Rooks spec­tac­u­larly dou­bled their ad­van­tage on 59 min­utes when Leon Redwood’s sharp cross was con­verted by Char­lie Coppola’s ac­ro­batic over­head kick.

The Es looked beaten but he in­tro­duc­tion of Brick­nell and Bi­lal Say­oud on 71 and 72 min­utes turned the ta­bles.

It took Brick­nell ten min­utes to find the net, tak­ing the ball down neatly and slot­ting low past Rooks keeper Lewis Carey.

Lewes had hardly drawn a breath when he added his sec­ond in the very next at­tack with a dip­ping shot just be­yond Carey.

Sa­muel Hat­ton saw red in added-time for a stamp on Coppola but the out­come was un­af­fected.

Lewes supremo Dar­ren Free­man said: “If you’d have asked me this morn­ing, I would have def­i­nitely taken a point.

“If you’d said we were two-up, I’d have said no.

“En­field have had an ex­tremely good run and to be two goals up against them was fan­tas­tic.

“I’m proud of the boys but I feel sorry for them as I know how much hard work and ef­fort they put into these games.”

STAR MAN: Billy Brick­nell (En­field Town) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: ★★★★★

NO BOTHER, BILL: Billy Brick­nell cel­e­brates his equaliser

PIC­TURE: James Boyes

DI­RECT THAT: Char­lie Coppola's over­head kick for Lewes beats be­wil­dered En­field keeper Joe Wright and in­set, Jonte Smith, no. 9, heads Lewes ahead

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