Leatherhead 1 Ascot United 0

Tanners completed a home and away double against Ascot United on Saturday, in a
repeat of September’s 1-0 win against their Berkshire opponents at The Racecourse.

Jamie Splatt’s well struck goal on 48 minutes was all that separated the two sides in
this end of year encounter at Fetcham Grove.

The Tanners midfielder provided a sublime finish to a well worked build up from
Michael Elechi, who whipped a cross into the box from the by-line. Splatt skilfully
drilled the ball through a crowded penalty area to find the corner of the net.

Leatherhead manager Hayden Bird made four changes to the starting eleven that beat
Corinthian-Casuals by the same score line on Boxing Day, with Kenny Beaney,
Trevan Robinson, Omarr Lawson and Alpha Diallo all rested to make way for Fabio
Saraiva, Tommy Stagg, Elechi and Splatt.

It was a confident sign of there being sufficient strength and depth in the current
Tanners squad for such a high level of rotation, with this being the second of six
league matches scheduled across a busy nineteen day period for Leatherhead.

In a similar pattern to Tuesday’s match against Casuals, Tanners dominated
possession in the first half against Ascot without being able to produce a decisive
opening goal.

Saraiva fired wide with a teasing shot on seven minutes. Elechi tested visiting
goalkeeper Luke Edgecombe with a rasping drive three minutes later, as Leatherhead
pushed forward in the opening exchanges.

Tyler Cox tried a different approach on 18 minutes, curling a shot over the bar from
25 yards. Daniel Hector turned and fired another effort over the top from a similar
distance, as Tanners sought ways to break down the Ascot defence.

In the minutes leading up to half-time the visitors threw men forward, leaving
themselves exposed to a swift counter-attack from the hosts.

Stagg latched onto a loose Ascot pass at the half way line and set off towards goal.
Edgecombe came off his line to narrow the angle and succeeded in blocking the
Leatherhead striker’s effort, turning the ball behind for a corner.

Tanners eventually broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half, with Splatt
smashing the ball into the net from Elechi’s fine delivery.

Stagg forced another good save from Edgecombe on the hour mark before Ascot
made a double substitution, introducing the experienced pairing of Chris Ellis and
George Lock.

The visitors came close to grabbing an equaliser on 71 minutes following a long Ellis
throw in. An Ascot forward’s glancing header sent the ball over Leatherheads goalkeeper Mikey Allen and onto the crossbar, before it bounced harmlessly over and out for a goal kick.

Sensing this as a way of getting back into the match, and with the clock running
down, Ellis delivered a number of long range throws deep into the hosts’ penalty area.

But each Ascot attack was successfully repelled by the well organised Tanners
defence until the referee blew the final whistle after four minutes of added time.
Tanners return to league action on New Year’s Day with a local derby at sixth placed
Westfield. Kick-off at Woking Park is at 5.30pm.

Leatherhead: Mikey Allen, Luther Williams, Michael Elechi, Jamie Splatt (Omarr
Lawson 83), Ollie Cook, Fikayo Atewologun, Daniel Hector (Alpha Diallo 88), Ghas
Sow, Tommy Stagg (Trevan Robinson 83), Fabio Saraiva Tyler Cox

Ascot United: Luke Edgecombe, Oliver Lahtinen-Kalsi, Alfie Grant, Dan Bailey, Josh
Edwards, Sean McCormack, Morgan Taylor, Chad Goulter, Ollie Harris (George
Lock 63), Jay Welch (Sammy Balogun 78), Charlie Morgan (Chris Ellis 63)