Leaders denied again
Mead 0-0 Lewes
The leaders arrived at Princes to face the Mead for the third time this season and left as they have from the other two - winless and perhaps fortunate not to have been beaten.
After the Mead's 3-0 FA Cup win in September and the 2-2 draw in Sussex in mid November, the leaders could have been a touch apprehensive making a second trip of the season to Princes, and by the time the final whistle blew, their ten men were relieved to be leaving with an extremely hard earned point in a game that became increasingly tetchy following the late sending off of Lawson for cynically taking out the returning Richard Avery in an off the ball challenge that left Avo in a heap.
After the previous home game had been played on a really heavy pitch, the playing surfaces recovery really was remarkable and the two sides couldn't fault the surface as they cancelled each other out almost completely in the opening half with few - if any - scoring chances of note.
The Mead's hopes weren't helped by losing Joe Denny at the break, but skipper Leon Smith and Avo together performed another terrific partnership which even saw one of the league's top scorers - Medlock - taken off with twenty minutes left. But that only brought on Jonte Smith who had also come off of the bench in the first League game and netted both goals as the home side grabbed a 95th minute. This time the closest Smith came was when he could quite turn home a right wing cross, whilst at the other end both Paul Vines and Danny Parish going close with Tom O'Connor growing more into the game as the minutes ticked by, but the real hero for the home side was the returning Avo. The central defender who was playing his first game since getting married at the turn of the year was near faultless as alongside first Joe and then Leon, the League leaders best efforts came to nothing.
That said, it would have been tough on the Mead if Lewis Carey hadn't brilliantly tipped over a late Lewes chance - had to get that the right way round - and the point keeps the home side in the top half of the table and (with games in hand) just about in touch with those above them going into the midweek derby with VCD.
THE MEAD - Carey, Brand, Danquah, Taiwo, Avery, Denny (Smith), Anidugbe, O'Connor, Vines, Parish (Whitely), Green
Subs - Mendy, Adelowo & Laker