Leatherhead 1 Corinthian-Casuals 0

Leatherhead consolidated their fourth placed position in the table with a comfortable
1-0 win against Corinthian-Casuals at Fetcham Grove on Boxing Day.

Tanners dominated possession and should have won this local derby by a much wider
margin. But instead they had to be content with Tyler Cox’s early second half goal,
with the talented wing-back latching onto Trevan Robinson’s cross from the right for
a close range finish.

Leatherhead missed a chance to take the lead after 10 minutes. Daniel Hector squared
a pass through to Omarr Lawson on the edge of the visitors’ box, but the Tanners
midfielder fired wide through a crowded penalty area.

A quiet opening half eventually burst into life after 38 minutes, with Casuals’ Matt
Kellett-Smith testing Mikey Allen with a wide-angled shot. The Leatherhead keeper
was called on to make an excellent save, tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.
Tanners were better organised in the second half and eventually took the lead on 49
minutes. Robinson squared the ball into the box from the right, finding an advancing
Cox at the far post to drill home from close range.

The goal forced Casuals to press forward in the vain hope of somehow breaking down
one of the best defensive records at any level of football this season, with Leatherhead
having only conceded 11 goals in 17 league outings to date.

Shea Cascoe-Rogers broke clear in Tanners half on 57 minutes. But rather than
heading towards goal and testing Allen with a shot, the young Casuals’ forward
drifted aimlessly with the ball at his feet before eventually losing possession.

Tanners should have doubled their lead on 69 minutes. A Kenny Beaney free kick
was played through to Cox on the right. Cox squared the ball invitingly into the box
for central defender Fikayo Atewologun, who somehow managed to stab it over the
bar from less than five yards out.

Leatherhead sub Tommy Stagg made a positive impact after replacing Robinson. On
79 minutes Stagg was bundled off the ball on the edge of the Casuals’ area and the
referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Ghas Sow gathered up the ball with the intention of taking the penalty. But Sow
struck the spot kick with insufficient power and much too close to goalkeeper Dan
Purdue, who made a comfortable save to his right.

Casuals saw out the match with ten men after skipper Francis Quarm received a
second yellow card for an untidy challenge on 89 minutes.
Tanners should have made more of their one-man advantage in stoppage time.

Michael Elechi did well to dribble his way around two Casuals defenders. But the
Leatherhead sub was unable to produce a decisive finish, firing tamely wide of the
post as he bore down on goal.

Tanners did manage to get the ball in the net in the final minute of added time. Hector
broke clear through the middle of the Casuals’ defence and bore down on goal. But
after rounding the keeper, he opted to make a final pass to Cox.

The wing-back fired in and the pair set off towards the corner flag for a triumphant
celebration with their team mates. But at that same moment, the assistant referee burst
Leatherhead’s bubble of jubilation, belatedly raising his flag for offside.

Tanners return to league action at Fetcham Grove on Saturday when they face last
season’s FA Vase winners, Ascot United. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Leatherhead: Mikey Allen, Alpha Diallo (Michael Elechi 63), Tyler Cox , Luther
Williams, Ollie Cook, Fikayo Atewologun, Daniel Hector, Kenny Beaney, Trevan
Robinson (Tommy Stagg 74), Omarr Lawson (Fabio Saraiva 63), Ghas Sow

Corinthian-Casuals: Dan Perdue, Aaron Clarke, Oscar Walton, Francis Quarm, Toby
Bridges, Matt Kellett-Smith, Jack Lillie (Dylan Cascoe 74), Ayo Majekodunmi,
Tristan Abledein-Goodridge (Jason Kaate 60), Jack Smith (Roy Stevens 60), Shea