Football: Rusthall hang on as promotion looms

    Lewisham Borough 2 Rusthall 4

    MANAGING FINE Denise Richmond, chair of the Southern Counties East Football League, presents Rusthall’s Steve Ashmore (left) and Steve Sands with their managers of the month award as the Rustics bid for promotion
    RUSTHALL survived a frantic finish at Lewisham to ensure that their quest for promotion stayed on the right track.
    The Rustics took time to get going on a poor playing surface at the Ladywell Arena, which is used for athletics field events.
    Lewisham did not look like a side rooted to the foot of the table and they more than matched the visitors in the opening 20 minutes.
    The deadlock was broken on 24 minutes when central defender Jon Lord headed home from close range following an Ian Parsons cross.
    On 55 minutes a toiling Rusthall brought on the speedy Sam Jones. He had an immediate impact, creating the opening for Rusthall’s second goal.
    His pace took him past two defenders before his cross found Andy Constable, who took a touch before lifting the ball over Lewisham keeper Alex Kibbey for a superb finish from outside the area.
    Two minutes later it was 3-0 when a corner from the left was not cleared and striker Dan Mitchell was on hand to force the ball home from close range.
    Lewisham pulled a goal back when the lively Jerome Richards cut inside and unleashed a vicious strike from 22 yards.
    Rusthall looked shellshocked and Lewisham pulled another goal back on 71 minutes when a shot from the edge of the area was spilled by the Rustics keeper Sean Ingleson and Bryan Zapo forced the loose ball over the line to set up a frantic finish.
    But as Lewisham pushed for the equaliser they were caught on the break in stoppage time and Parsons made it 4-2 to secure the three points.
    At the end of the game Rusthall’s joint management team of Steve Sands and Steve Ashmore were presented with the Manager of the Month award for February .
    The Rustics received another boost when news came through that K Sports, one of their main challengers for promotion, had lost 2-0 at Holmesdale.
    But their showdown with title favourites Glebe at the Jockey Stadium on Tuesday, billed as the biggest day in the club’s history, had to be postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.