The Lewis boys took on Summerhill today in their first home game for over a month at a cold a windy Portlethen Academy looking to claim second place in the league and looking to transfer the effort they have shown at training at Lewis Park, and put it into a game.
The boys couldn't have got off to a better start when they took the lead once again with their first attack. After losing the ball from kick off, the ball was quickly recovered by the Lewis midfield and when it came to Mitch Smith, he sent a delightful ball over the top of the Summerhill defence to the flying Shaun Elder who sprinted beyond the full back and into the box and with only the keeper to beat, he unselfishly squared the ball to the unmarked Lewis Collie who made no mistake in putting the boys 1-0 up.
Lewis Collie had another chance to put the boys two up, but he came up against a Summerhill keeper in inspired form and he pulled off a stunning save. Summerhill slowly came back into the match, and with no less than five former Lewis United players in their side, four of them in the starting eleven, there was always going to be an extra edge to today's game.
Former Lewis player, Liam McKenzie nearly grabbed the equaliser for Summerhill when he fired in a great shot from full on 30 yards but saw his effort come back off the crossbar. Lewis Collie was sent clear down the right wing by Mitch Smith and took the defence by surprise when he took his shot early and fired in an incredible shot from almost on the by line and forced the Summerhill keeper again into another stunning save.
The boys started pushing forward a bit more, but Summerhill always looked dangerous on the break, with former player Scott Banks pulling the strings for them and showing what a quality player he is. Lewis should have gone 2-0 up on 30 minutes when the Summerhill keeper played a slack ball out straight to the feet of Lewis Collie, but again, he recovered to save and turn the ball out for a corner. Summerhill started to press more but were constantly turned away by a solid defensive partnership of Lewis Stephen and in particular Dean Barnes. Dean put in the same type of performance he put in last season away to Huntly, and frustrated the hell out of the Summerhill forwards as he won every aerial challenge, every tackle and when they tried to push him off the ball, his strength was too much for them as they simply bounced off him. Half time 1-0 Lewis United
With Summerhill having more of the ball than we would have liked in the first half, it was important that the boys got the message and closed them down quicker in the second, and from a coaching side, it was good to see that they took on board what Keith said as they listened to what they were told, and closed Summerhill down a lot quicker than before, and started to create more chances and control the game more. Lewis Collie once again had a chance to score his second and possibly finish the game, but once again, he came up against a keeper in inspired form. A slack ball allowed the Summerhill striker the chance to run clear on goal but fortunately Lewis McKenzie was also having a good game and he was quick off his line to pull off a great save to keep the boys 1-0 up.
Summerhill were slowly running out of ideas and started to resort to the long ball over the top, hoping for a lucky break to get back into the game, however, every time they threw the ball in, Dean Barnes and Lewis Stephen would head it clear. There was even a bit of show boating when Lewis Stephen beat 3 Summerhill players surrounding him by back healing the ball to Shaun Elder which earned a huge round of applause from the sidelines, and then Shaun himself earned one when he attracted 2 Summerhill player towards him, and just as the tackles were about to come in, he flicked the ball over their heads to Jack Stewart, who then cleared the danger.
With 20 minutes to go, the game was virtually won. The ball was won in centre midfield and played over the Summerhill defence towards Lewis Collie. With Summerhill giving everyone in Portlethen the urge to go out and buy Paracetamol buy screaming for offsides, and not noticing the full back playing everyone onside, Lewis sprinted free and fired beyond the advancing keeper, 2-0 Lewis. Mitch had to come off injured when he was stamped on in the penalty area, and Shaun had to come off when after putting in a fantastic challenge to prevent a goal scoring opportunity, he ended up having something looking like an Easter egg on his leg, and had to be carried off. However, the game was finished shortly after when Lewis Collie completed a great day with a fine hat-trick. The boys hit Summerhill on the break and once again the pace of the forwards was too much for their defence.
The Summerhill keeper once again pulled off another fine save, stopping Lewis Collie from scoring with his first effort, but couldn't prevent him finishing with his second to complete his hat-trick. 3-0 Lewis United and 3-0 Lewis Collie. Summerhill were deservedly reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes left when their centre midfield player attempted a weak 30 yard shot at goal, which Cammy slid in and got a slight block on, and while the referee looked away, he took a swipe at Cammy, only the referee had turned back and saw it happen. Cammy received a harsh booking for confronting the player, and the Summerhill player received a second yellow. Summerhill had the chance of a consolation goal in the final minute when a trip by big James McLeod saw the Summerhill player go down very easily in the box, and the referee pointed to the spot. The Summerhill player stepped forward and fired the ball goalward but saw his effort well saved by Lewis McKenzie. Big Elvis almost had the chance to redeem himself in the final minute but once again, the Summerhill keeper pulled off another save. Final score Lewis United 3 - 0 Summerhill
A good 3 points from a stuffy Summerhill side who never gave up and played some good football. In fact the football played by our opponents today makes a mockery of their lowly league position and I feel it's only a matter of time before they pick up the wins and start climbing the league away from the relegation zone.
A struggle in the first half after a fantastic start, but a great second half where we kept Summerhill at bay and restricted them to long range shots. Man of the match today would normally go to a player scoring a hat-trick, and to be fair, Lewis Collie played exceptionally well, in fact he had one piece of skill which I didn't mention in the report where he lobbed the ball twice over two defenders rushing at him, before firing a shot goalward, only to see the Summerhill keeper pull off another save to keep his tally to 3.
Cammy Booth, who came in for a lot a stick and tackles from some Summerhill players, had a great game today, starting on the right wing, before moving into centre midfield, where he controlled the game, and was superb throughout. Lewis Stephen, Shaun Elder, both had great games today. But for me, man of the match has to go to the player who has probably been our most consistent player this season, and that is Dean Barnes. His form today showed why he has played in every game, is never substituted and is now the first name down on the sheet every week. Well played lads, we now have one game left before the October break, so let's keep the run going.