BRENTWOOD TOWN 3 LEWES 3 (FA TROPHY 2nd QUALIFYING ROUND)
IN A thrilling cup tie at the Arena on Saturday, Brentwood’s Alex Read hit a hat-trick as his team took the lead three times only to be pegged back as Lewes forced a Tuesday replay in this FA Trophy tie.
Over the 90 minutes, Blues probably felt they had done enough to earn a victory over opponents from the Ryman Premier Division.
Injuries and suspension meant that Town were without Steve Butterworth, Robbie Rees and Darren Blewitt so this meant starts for Sam Bantick and 17-year-olds Sam Cross and Connor Witherspoon.
The home side went close to taking a lead in the 15th minute when after some good passing between Greg Cohen and Bantick, a sliding Neil Cousins was within a whisker of converting Bantick’s cross.
Steve Brinkhurst was a threat on the right wing for Lewes and put in a couple of dangerous crosses but it was the Blues who scored first in the 25th minute when Read converted an Abs Seymour cross.
Two minutes later, Lewes centre forward Anthony Thomas failed to control the ball and a chance for a quick equaliser was gone but his team were level through a 37th minute penalty kick from Karl Beckford, awarded after Chris Breach was pulled back in the area as a free kick was delivered from the left.
Read’s skill created a chance for himself six minutes into the second half but he shot just wide.
However, he put Blues ahead again in the 55th minute, a fine finish past Lewes keeper Kieron Thorp after an excellent through pass from Cohen.
Lewes made some substitutions in an effort to get back in the game and one of them, Nathan Crabb picked his spot from 20 yards to make it 2-2 in the 65th. Within a minute, the Lewes defence went to sleep and Read nipped in for another well-taken goal.
Lewes got on top for a while and Breach made it all square again, converting from close range in the 73rd minute after a goalmouth scramble that resulted from a Beckford corner.
More goals looked likely and Read nearly added to his tally, twice shooting wide from a decent position.
Daryl Robson also went close with a left foot shot just wide of the post in stoppage time but Blues could not find a winner.
Brentwood Town: Justham, Doyle, Seymour, Stokes, Cross, C. Witherspoon, Lokando (Thompson 67), Read, Cousins (Robson 78), Cohen. Unused subs: Dingli, West, Rolls.