Author: Rod Ellis, Leatherhead FC Match Reporter
Leatherhead 2 Bedfont Sports 1
Leatherhead overcame opponents Bedfont Sports with goals from Keane Anderson and Dave Tarpey on a wet Wednesday night at Fetcham Grove.
Sports took the lead in the opening minute of the second half, only for Tanners to level within sixty seconds with a fine solo effort from Anderson, before Tarpey sealed the hosts’ win with a firmly driven penalty on 70 minutes.
Leatherhead dominated the early exchanges, missing out on an opportunity to take the lead after six minutes. Tarpey broke clear of his marker at the half way line and fired a blistering shot against the post. Sports failed to clear away the loose ball, allowing Tarpey another chance to shoot. Goalkeeper Joe Ringer did well to parry the Leatherhead marksman’s second attempt onto the crossbar before the ball was eventually turned away from danger.
Midway through the opening half, long range efforts from Bedfont’s Kofi Anoyke-Boadi and Leatherhead’s Jamie Splatt failed to trouble either keeper.
On 40 minutes, Tanners custodian Slav Huk did well to collect a dipping shot that bounced just in front of him, while Tarpey missed another chance to put Tanners ahead at the break, heading wide unchallenged from close range.
Heavy rain throughout the match made the ball extremely slippery for both keepers and Huk gifted the opening goal to the visitors after spilling a probing cross in Leatherhead’s six yard box. Bedfont’s Caleb Wright latched onto the loose ball for a tap in to give the visitors the lead, much against the
run of play. But Tanners fought back and were level within a minute, thanks to a break down the right by an unchallenged Anderson. The young Leatherhead midfielder was allowed room on the ball to fire a low shot across the goal and into the left-hand corner of the net.
Tanners were presented with a chance to take the lead on sixty minutes when Tarpey was brought down just outside the visitors’ penalty area. But Louis Collins’s free kick failed to clear a wall of Bedfont defenders on the eighteen yard line and the ball sailed harmlessly out for a throw in.
The match turned in Leatherhead’s favour ten minutes later when Anderson was felled in the box by a sluggish tackle from a Sports defender, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Tarpey struck the ensuing penalty hard and low down the middle, with the former Leatherhead keeper
Ringer diving to his left.
Tanners created further chances to add to their lead in the final stages. Omarr Lawson stuck the bar with a thunderous effort on 72 minutes before Splatt tested Ringer with a stinging shot from distance in the closing minutes.
The result leaves Leatherhead in fourteenth place as they prepare to face early pacesetters Northwood in another keenly anticipated test for Hayden Bird’s players at Fetcham Grove on Saturday.
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Alpha Dello, Louis Collins, Jerry Puemo, Fikayo Atewologun, Olly Allen, Dan Hector, Keane Anderson (Paul Chalobah 86), Dave Tarpey, Jamie Splatt, Omarr Lawson
Bedfont Sports: Joe Ringer, William Wickham, Dom Pires, Jonathan Stoop (Balai Dembele 79), Ethan
Kaiser, Joseph Morrison, Steve Ngunga (Kaine Kennedy 70), Caleb Wright, Sam Evans (Reyon Dillon 79), Aidan Brown, Kofi Anoyke-Boadi