Lewes 0-1 Bishop’s Stortford
Pitching In Isthmian Premier, Saturday 19th March 2022
By Mike Plume
Ben Marlow scored a dramatic long-range winner in added time as 10-man Bishop’s Stortford claimed a huge 1-0 win at Lewes.
The midfielder, who came off the bench in the 59th minute, beat out-of-position Rooks goalkeeper Lewis Carey with a shot from around 40 yards to earn the second-placed Blues all three points against their fellow promotion chasers.
The victory, which firmly cements the Blues in the top five with six games remaining, was secured despite Jack Thomas being sent off in the second half for two bookings.
Steve Smith again made three changes to the starting line up with Anthony Church, Frankie Merrifield and Ollie Peters coming in for Marlow, Chris Harris and Ryan Charles.
The Blues thought they had taken a fourth-minute lead in front of a 977-strong crowd – the largest of the day in the division – when Darren Foxley turned in Merrifield’s strike, but it was ruled out for offside.
They had another good chance to go ahead in the 20th minute, but unmarked defender Billy Cracknell headed wide of the upright from 12 yards having been found by Jonny Giles at a set piece.
The hosts’ best chance of the first half fell to Razz Coleman De-Graft, who was denied by a brilliant diving save from Jack Giddens.
Stortford had another goal disallowed for offside 10 minutes after the break when Merrifield put the ball in the net from Foxley’s flick.
With 78 minutes on the clock, Jack Thomas beat his man down the left and sent in a low cross for substitute Harris, but the striker could not get the required connection and shot-stopper Carey saved easily.
A minute later, the Blues were reduced to 10 men when Thomas picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Michael Klass in the middle of the park.
But it was the Bues who went on to win the contest as, two minutes into the four minutes of added time, Marlow collected a pass from Ryan Charles 40 yards out and, having spotted the goalkeeper out of position, fired an effort past Carey from range to send the large travelling support home happy.
Lewes: Carey, Spencer, Carlse, Salmon, Nelson, Pettit, Maloney (Klass 46), Pritchard, De-Graft (Yao 75), Dalling, Taylor. Subs Not Used: Hall.
Blues: Giddens, Church, Robbins, Henshaw, Giles, Merrifield (Harris, 66), Renee, Jack Thomas, Foxley (Marlow 59), Peters (Charles 59), Cracknell. Subs Not Used: Edwards, Haines.