Author: Rod Ellis, Leatherhead FC Match Reporter
Leatherhead 2 Northwood 0
Leatherhead produced their best performance of the season to date on Saturday, as they outwitted and outplayed promotion hopefuls Northwood with a fine 2-0 winning display at Fetcham Grove.
Goals from Omarr Lawson and Keane Anderson went unanswered as Tanners took full control the match with a level of composure and creativity that has been largely absent for so long this season.
Much of that was down to the return of Leatherhead’s man of the match Kenny Beaney in midfield, whose distribution and sense of where and when to pass the ball was practically faultless.
Evidence of Leatherhead’s desire to press forward and create opportunities in front of goal came early on, with Anderson testing Northwood keeper Andrew McCorkell from a tight angle in the sixth minute.
Tanners were duly rewarded with an opening goal after 28 minutes. Dan Hector broke clear down the right and delivered a probing cross into the six yard box for Lawson to steal in and fire home from close range.
Leatherhead could easily have added a second goal just before half-time. Hector again broke clear of his marker and drilled another awkward cross into the visitors’ penalty area. Dave Tarpey latched onto the loose ball, steering it across the six yard box from a wide angle, but he could find no one in
a green shirt to bury it as the ball ran harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
Anderson doubled Leatherhead’s lead with a fine finish after 54 minutes. With Tanners continuing to press forward, McCorkell parried a close range shot from a stumbling Anderson, only for Louis Collins to loft the ball back across the six yard box, with the young Leatherhead midfielder rising to
his feet to nod it home with a glancing header.
Northwood were restricted to one half chance after 58 minutes, but Juwon Akintunde failed to get any power behind his long range effort and Tanners keeper Slovomir Huk saved with ease.
The visitors were reduced to ten men four minutes later. Left back Brandon Kalu was shown a straight red card by the referee after fruitlessly chasing after and pulling down Anderson from behind, as the Leatherhead playmaker broke clear heading towards goal.
Tanners maintained their composure in the closing stages and could easily have added a third before the final whistle. A long range effort from Hector just cleared the top of the bar, before Tarpey set off on another mazy run, with the Leatherhead skipper jinking his way past a Northwood defender before his final touch drifted agonisingly wide of the post.
With two home League wins under their belts over the course of the last four days, Tanners must now be eagerly anticipating their return to Fetcham Grove next Tuesday for their long awaited Surrey Senior Cup Second Round tie against local rivals Chertsey Town.
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Jamie Splatt, Louis Collins, Benedict Frempah, Fikayo Atewologun, Alpha
Dello (Luke Phair 87), Dan Hector, Kenny Beaney, Dave Tarpey (Lewis Pearch 87), Omarr Lawson, Keane Anderson (Paul Chalobah 87)
Northwood: Andrew McCorkell, Brandon Kalu, Andy Lomas, Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway, Luke Tingey, Romario Jonas, Junior Paiva, George Nicholas, Gareth Chendlik (Josh Helmore 78), Juwon
Akintunde (Micah Jackson 64), Carl Stewart (Ronan Hutchins 64)