By Rod Ellis
Ashford Town (Middx) 0 Leatherhead 3
Leatherhead produced a strong performance to win 3-0 at Ashford Town (Middx) on
Tuesday. First half goals from Alpha Diallo and Javaun Splatt were followed by a
third from Dave Tarpey in the second half to seal a well-deserved win for Tanners.
Leatherhead manager Hayden Bird handed a debut to new signing Alex Addai and the
former Merstham and Kingstonian midfielder made a good start for Tanners with his
extra pace and movement.
Ashford had the better of the opening exchanges and almost took the lead after four
minutes when Tomasz Siemienczuk’s attempt to lob Leatherhead keeper Slavomir
Huk crashed against the crossbar before the ball was eventually cleared.
The game quickly opened up as an end-to-end contest with both sides pressing
forward at every given opportunity. On eight minutes Diallo created an opening for
himself but instead of opting to shoot from the edge of the box, the Tanners wing
back decided to play a final pass across the six-yard box and the opportunity was lost.
At the other end the Tangerines missed another good chance to break the deadlock on
13 minutes when Lindell Stewart latched onto a miscued shot, hooking the ball over
the bar from six yards out.
But it was the visitors who got the first goal on 21 minutes, with a fine break started
and finished by Diallo. The Leatherhead wing back collected the ball out wide at the
halfway line and played an intelligent one-two with Tarpey to round an Ashford
defender before sprinting towards goal and drilling his shot into the corner of the net.
Tanners doubled their lead six minutes later with another fine break in the visitors’
half. Addai broke clear of a Tangerines defender before laying the ball off to Tarpey
in the penalty area. The Leatherhead skipper’s goal bound effort was bundled over the
line by an advancing Splatt from three yards out.
Ashford responded well with Ricky Johnson breaking clear to set up a shot, but a
well-timed intervention from Fikayo Atewologun saw the ball cleared for a corner.
Huk was again called into action just before half-time, rushing out of his area to clear
the ball ahead of an advancing Nash Doukoure.
The Tangerines continued to press forward in the second half and Huk made another
good save to deny Siemiencuk’s stinging shot on 50 minutes.
But Tanners made sure of the three points with another clinical finish on 72 minutes.
Dan Hector picked out Tarpey in the box, who swivelled around on the penalty spot
before hitting a low shot into the corner of the net.
The result lifts Leatherhead up to twelfth place and will give them added confidence
as they prepare for the visit of Guernsey to Fetcham Grove for their next league match
Ashford Town (Middx): Fred Chapman, Matthew Kellett-Smith, Isy Nzelo, Chad
Goulter, Dale Burnham (Clyde Ondo 79), Ben Peden, Nash Doukoure (Javin Dougan
72), Wayne Ridgley (Mohammed Hassan 59), Ricky Johnson, Tomasz Siemienczuk,
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Alpha Diallo, Jude Molloy, Olly Allen, Ben Frempah,
Fikayo Atewologun, Alex Addai (Louis Collins 71), Kenny Beaney, Javaun Splatt
(Will Hellestoe 89), Dan Hector, Dave Tarpey (Francisco Fernandes 86)