By Rod Ellis
Image – Chloe Woodington.
Leatherhead 0 Uxbridge 0
Leatherhead’s recent run of lacklustre league performances continued with a frustrating 0-0 draw
against a ten-man Uxbridge side at Fetcham Grove on Saturday.
The visitors put up a great rear-guard performance, playing almost the entire match a man down
following the fourth minute dismissal of Mark Bitmead. The referee held a lengthy consultation with his touchline assistant before showing a straight red card to the Uxbridge midfielder following a heavy challenge on Leatherhead captain Kenny Beaney.
And yet Tanners were unable to penetrate the visitors’ well-organised defence with their one-man
advantage. Uxbridge absorbed everything Leatherhead threw at them, defending a barrage of high
balls into the box and stifling the overwhelming majority of the hosts’ ineffective attacks.
Uxbridge keeper Tyler Tobin didn’t win over any home supporters by slowing down play at almost
every given opportunity, so much so that the referee booked him for time-wasting before half-time.
He was also guilty of feigning serious injury whenever he encountered a Tanners player at close
What was equally frustrating for the increasingly impatient Fetcham Grove crowd was the lack of
creativity in the Tanners’ hesitant midfield. Tobin didn’t have a shot to save until he was forced to
block a long range effort from Louis Collins after 39 minutes.
In an effort to improve Leatherhead’s attacking options, Max Mullins and Keane Anderson made way for Jamie Splatt and Dave Tarpey at the start of the second half, before Lewis Pearch replaced Archie Burnett after 62 minutes. Pearch was immediately involved in one of Tanners’ better breaks, receiving Olly Allen’s delivery on the right before placing a probing cross into the box for Omarr Lawson. But the Leatherhead forward’s well struck shot was kept out by the Uxbridge keeper.
Tanners missed another opportunity to break the deadlock ten minutes later. Dan Hector fed a ball through to Collins on his left, but the advancing full back fired wide from the edge of the box.
Uxbridge rarely ventured into Leatherhead’s half. Yet they almost capitalised on a poor mix up in the Tanners defence on 78 minutes, with Joe Jackson breaking clear at the half-way line before being fouled just outside the hosts’ penalty area. Alex Witham’s ensuing free-kick was anti-climactic for the visitors, thumping his powerful shot into a wall of defenders before Tanners were able to clear.
Leatherhead keeper Slavomir Huk had little to do throughout the match, although he was forced off his line late on, diving at full stretch to palm the ball away from Uxbridge midfielder Joshua Andrew.
Tanners will have to improve on their attacking options if they are to overcome Combined Counties League high-flyers Raynes Park Vale, who visit Fetcham Grove for a Surrey Senior Cup quarter final tie on Tuesday.
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Max Mullins (Jamie Splatt 45), Louis Collins, Jerry Puemo, Fikayo
Atewologun, Olly Allen, Keane Anderson (Dave Tarpey 45), Kenny Beaney, Dan Hector, Omarr
Lawson, Archie Burnett (Lewis Pearch 62)
Uxbridge: Tyler Tobin, Joshua Andrew, David Sota, Luke Paris, Andy O’Brien, Joe Jackson, Kensley Maloney, Jordan Ireland (Alan Hedley 76), Mark Bitmead, Anthony Mendy (Alex Witham 71), Eitel Gouth (Lewis Patrick 73)