Southall 1 Leatherhead 0

Leatherhead’s six match winning run ended with a narrow defeat against fellow play-
off contenders Southall at Burnham on Saturday.

The two sides were evenly matched for the first fifty minutes. But the hosts seized the
initiative after Tanners centre back Jerry Puemo was sent off early in the second half
following two cautions in quick succession and Southall’s Anthony O’Connor went
on to score the only goal of the match on 58 minutes.

This was third meeting between Tanners and the ‘All this season and in each of the
two previous encounters the match turned in the winners’ favour after a player from
the losing side was dismissed.

On both occasions, at Fetcham Grove in August and in the FA Trophy tie at Burnham
in September, Southall defender Joshua Green was shown two yellow cards, followed
by a red, and Leatherhead went on to win.

But this time it was Tanners who were reduced to ten men and the hosts took full
advantage with having the extra player for most of the second half.

Southall’s leading scorer Jaden Thompson-Brissett created two opportunities for the
hosts in the opening twenty minutes, volleying one effort over the bar before firing
another chance into the visitors’ side netting.

A route one approach nearly paid dividends for Tanners on 25 minutes. Goalkeeper
Amadou Tangara’s long clearance was brought down and well controlled by Ibrahim
Olutade. The Leatherhead striker took a few paces with the ball before hitting a fierce
drive towards goal. Southall keeper Koju Abayomi did well to get a touch to it,
deflecting the shot onto the post before the ball was eventually cleared away to safety.

O’Connor missed a great chance to put the ‘All in front on the stroke of half time.
With only Tangara to beat, the Southall striker headed a well angled cross wide of the
goal. He was still holding his head in his hands in disbelief as the players trooped off
at the break.

Leatherhead had to completely reorganise at the back following Puemo’s dismissal on
51 minutes. But they were unable to stop O’Connor latching onto a cross from the left
and stroking the ball through a crowded penalty area to give Southall the lead.

Olutade made way for Trey Masikini after the goal was conceded and the ten-man
visitors created a couple of half chances to get back on level terms.

Trevan Robinson turned and fired a shot wide on 64 minutes and Tyler Cox did well
to weave his way past his marker before picking out Alpha Diallo with a sweeping
cross from the left. But the young Tanners wing back was unable to control the ball
and headed wide from a difficult angle.

Thompson-Brissett was twice denied by Tangara with a couple of fine saves in the
final twenty minutes.

But Leatherhead were unable to penetrate the well organised Southall defence in the
closing stages and the hosts acknowledged a significant win, celebrating in unison at
the final whistle.

Tanners now have a twelve day break to recuperate before their next match, a
rearranged league fixture at Badshot Lea on 18 April.

Southall: Koju Abayomi, Alex Nolan (Carl Pearce 90), Azeez Alabi, Ryan Hope,
Romey Eccles-Meoded, Joshua Green, Jaden Thompson-Brissett, Bill Montague
(Darreon Mark 69), Anthony O’Connor, Brendan Matthew, Giovanni Palmer

Leatherhead: Amadou Tangara, Alpha Diallo, Fikayo Atewologun, Jerry Puemo,
Ollie Cook Tyler Cox, Daniel Hector (Omarr Lawson 45), Kenny Beaney, Trevan
Robinson, Ibrahim Olutade (Trey Masikini 60), Gus Sow (Francisco Fernandes
Gomes 81)