By Rod Ellis
Leatherhead’s five match winning run came to a disappointing end with a 1-1 draw against Sutton
Common Rovers at Church Road, Whyteleafe on Monday.
Tanners were unable to build upon Dan Hector’s well taken goal midway through the opening half,
with SCR battling back to earn a point in a game that the visitors really had to win to maintain any
slim hopes of an end of season play-off spot.
Leatherhead’s woes were compounded by an unfortunate head injury to Jamie Splatt in the closing
minutes of the match, with the young midfielder receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch before
being helped off by members of the Tanners support staff.
The visitors started the match strongly. A close range header from Louis Collins was well saved by
SCR keeper James Dillon with less than three minutes on the clock.
Rovers surprised Tanners in the tenth minute with a quickly taken free kick that flew past goalkeeper
Serine Sanneh and struck the top of the crossbar.
Leatherhead gradually took control in midfield and broke the deadlock on 26 minutes, with Hector
taking the ball past two defenders before beating Dillon from the edge of the box.
SCR struck back to level against the run of play on 35 minutes. Sanneh failed to cleanly gather a
routine cross and in the process collided with one of his own defenders, with both players watching
on helplessly as the loose ball rolled into an unguarded net.
Tanners missed a number of good chances to restore their lead before the interval. Hector fired over
the bar and Alpha Diallo shot wide before another superb Hector effort came back off the crossbar,
only for Jerry Puemo to head the rebound over the top from close range.
SCR missed an opportunity to go in front in first half stoppage time. A quick break down the right
culminated with a deep cross into the box which just evaded an advancing Conan Torpey in front of
Rovers had the better chances in an evenly matched second half, with Tobe Uzor heading wide and
Gabriel Odunaike firing over the top before Max Oldham’s cross was turned into the Leatherhead
goal by Liam Holden on 67 minutes, only for the hosts’ raucous celebrations to be quelled by an
Leatherhead failed to take advantage of an indirect free kick awarded just inside SCR’s penalty area
on 82 minutes, after Dillon picked up a wayward back pass from a defender instead of clearing the
ball with his feet. Omarr Lawson touched the free kick on to Collins but the Tanners wing back’s shot
was well blocked.
Neither side managed to break the deadlock in the remaining minutes, with a lengthy extension of
play following Splatt’s head injury, leaving Leatherhead to rue a number of missed opportunities in
the opening half. With the points evenly shared, Tanners remain in eighth place while SCR still
having a fighting chance of avoiding automatic relegation at the other end of the table.
Next up for Leatherhead is a trip to relegated Tooting & Mitcham United on Saturday, knowing that nothing less than a win at Imperial Fields will do to keep alive their dwindling hopes of a play-off
SCR: James Dillon, Danny Devine, Matt Tanton, Siao Blackwood, Bertie Lloyd, Antonio Simeone, Tyler Cox (Hermann Tehe 89), Tobe Uzor (Liam Holden 63), Conan Torpey (Gabriel Odunaike 53), Courtney Swaby, Max Olham
Leatherhead: Serine Sanneh, Jerry Puemo, Louis Collins, Ben Frempah, Fikayo Atewologun, Jamie
Splatt (Luke Phair 90), Kwesi Ntim (Will Hellestoe 69), Olly Allen (Alex Addai 57), Dan Hector, Alpha
Diallo, Omarr Lawson