Author: Rod Ellis, Leatherhead FC Match Reporter
Leatherhead 1 Chertsey 1 (Tanners win 8-7 on pens)
Tanners performed The Great Escape to overcome a strong, well organised Chertsey Town side 8-7 on penalties at the end of a pulsating Surrey Senior Cup Second Round tie at Fetcham Grove.
Trevan Robinson gave the Curfews the lead on 65 minutes, only for Leatherhead’s Dan Hector to hit an eighty-ninth minute equaliser to send the tie to penalties.
Dave Anderson’s Chertsey dominated the opening half hour in terms of possession, but aside from long range efforts from Quincy Rowe and Billy Monague the visitors rarely troubled the Tanners’ defence.
Leatherhead squandered two good opportunities to take a first half lead. Lewis Pearch forced a fine save from Nick Jupp in a one-on-one with the Chertsey keeper before Dave Tarpey had chance to lob Jupp from the edge of the box, but fired well wide of the target.
Tanners missed out on another chance to go in front on 55 minutes, when a tentative Archie Burnett struck Tarpey’s well-angled pass straight at the Chertsey keeper.
The Curfews looked to have settled the tie when Robinson turned inside Leatherhead defender Louis Collins and hit a brilliant shot past goalkeeper Slavomir Huk from the edge of the box.
Chertsey almost added a second goal on 77 minutes. Reece Price Placid tested Huk with another powerful drive which the Leatherhead keeper did well to turn behind for a corner.
Tanners pressed forward and they were duly rewarded with an equaliser in the dying minutes when the Curfews failed to clear a late Leatherhead corner. The ball ran out to Hector on the edge of the box who hit a rasping shot into the corner of the net.
Deep in stoppage time Chertsey almost won the tie when a long range shot thundered against Leatherhead crossbar. Tanners failed to clear up and moments later another fierce drive flew just over the top of the goal.
And so it all came down to the lottery of penalties, with Tanners electing to take the first spot kick. At 3-3, Tarpey stepped forward to take Leatherhead’s fourth spot kick, but his powerful effort came back off the crossbar.
Jordan Hamilton-Olise made it 4-3 to the visitors before Keane Anderson calmly dispatched Leatherhead fifth penalty to level at 4-4. Jake Baxter had the opportunity to win the tie for the Curfews, but his effort mirrored Tarpey’s and struck the top of the crossbar.
And so to sudden death. The next four penalties were duly dispatched without troubling either goalkeeper. At 6-6, Huk stepped up to aim at his opposite number but fired high over the bar. Jupp then returned the favour with the Chertsey keeper also missing the target.
Leatherhead’s Ben Frempah and Chertsey’s Mano Gogonas held their nerves to make it 7-7 before Fikayo Atewologun restored Tanners advantage at 8-7.
It was then left to Alex Paine to key the tie alive for Chertsey, but the Curfews midfielder fired wide to send the jubilant Tanners through to the next round, where they will face the winners of next week’s Second Round tie between Raynes Park Vale and Kingstonian.
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Max Mullins, Louis Collins, Ben Frempah, Fikayo Atewologun, Olly Allen (Jamie Splatt 69), Lewis Pearch (Dan Hector 59), Kenny Beaney, Dave Tarpey, Luke Phair (Omarr Lawson 59), Archie Burnett (Keane Anderson 59)
Chertsey Town: Nick Jupp, Rowan Smith (Mano Gogonas 56), Bryan Taylor (Kai Hamilton-Olise), Alex Paine, Quincy Rowe, Darryl Harrison, Scott Day (Jake Baxter 45), Glenn Yala (Reece Price Placid), Trevan Robinson, Jordan Hamilton-Olise, Billy Montague