Manager Lee Julian said he couldn’t be more proud of his players following RHP Social’s third round 5-2 defeat in the FA Carlsberg Sunday Cup.
RHP Social player Wayne Ord controls the ball as a Club Lewsey player advances. (161212MW10-2)
It was the furthest RHP had gone in the competition and they matched Club Lewsey for large parts of the game, but didn’t quite have the margins in their favour as the visitors, winners of their league for the past six years, marched into the fourth round.
The Luton-based side went in front from a quickly-taken free-kick before Craig Roche mis-kicked into his own goal from a corner to give Lewsey a 2-0 lead.
RHP almost pulled a crucial goal back just before half-time when Jamie Pennall crossed superbly for Ian Hiller at the back-post, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Lewsey’s 45-year-old keeper.
Kyle Barker’s screamer just after the break was again superbly saved by the veteran keeper, but Attwood at the other end was unlucky when a speculative shot squirmed under his body to extend the visitors’ lead.
Lewsey added a fourth before RHP halved the deficit.
Substitute Louis Cree latched on to a through ball to slot confidently home, and Oliver Dyson, another second-half sub, fired neatly into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area with around 20 minutes left to spark hopes of a comeback.
With the hosts committing men forward, Lewsey struck on the break to grab their fifth.
Julian said: “We matched them for a lot of the game. On another day we wouldn’t have given away a few of those goals like we did, and if those chances for us had gone in, who knows what could have happened?
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team, who have done so well to get this far in a national competition and to play against a team with cup-final aspirations. It was a brilliant experience for them.”
Lewsey’s team consisted of seven Dunstable Town players, who usually play in step five of the non-league pyramid, three levels above Newark Town, for whom many of RHP’s players play on Saturdays.
Julian said: “We knew we didn’t have a chance of winning the competition, but we wanted to get past the first round, whereas Club Lewsey will be aiming to get to the final.
“Hopefully we can do well in the competion next year, now we have shown we don’t just get knocked out straight away.”
He thanked the groundsman at Collingham and everyone at the club for allowing RHP to use their ground.