By Rod Ellis
Leatherhead 2 Binfield 2
Leatherhead ended the season with a hard fought 2-2 draw against Binfield at Fetcham Grove.
A late stoppage time equaliser from Moles’ skipper Liam Gavin gave the visitors a share of the points.
Tanners made a fine start to the match, taking the lead after five minutes. Dave Tarpey squared a
pass through to Omarr Lawson on the edge of the box, who squeezed a low shot through a crowded
penalty area into the corner of the net.
The game ebbed and flowed in the first half, with neither side producing much in the way of
opportunities in front of goal. The visitors had one of the better chances on 44 minutes when Kai
Hobbs was fouled just outside the hosts’ penalty area. Leatherhead goalkeeper Serine Sanneh got
down well to turn Brad Pagliaroli’s goal bound free kick away for a corner.
Moles levelled on 48 minutes with a hotly disputed equaliser. The Tanners defence failed to clear
the ball from the six-yard box and Gavin’s close range shot came down off the crossbar before being
scrambled away. The referee signalled for a goal before issuing a yellow card to Sanneh, who was
adamant that the ball had failed to cross the line.
Tanners almost restored their lead six minutes later when a looping Louis Collins free kick grazed the
top of the cross bar. The hosts maintained the pressure on the Moles, with Tarpey firing into the side
netting and Dan Hector hitting a long range shot over the bar.
Leatherhead continued to press forward and added a second goal on 76 minutes, thanks to a fine
break from Bradley Manning. The Tanners wingback sent a firm cross into the six yard box from the
right and Tarpey was well positioned to score from close range. Ben Frempah almost added a third
goal for the hosts on 86 minutes with a glancing header from a corner going narrowly wide.
Pagliaroli nearly levelled for the Moles on 88 minutes with a dipping cross from the left which
clipped the top of the crossbar. But the visitors’ persistence paid off with a leveller deep into
stoppage time. Tanners failed to pick up Gavin in the box for a last ditch corner and the tall centre
back headed home unchallenged to make it all square.
The draw left both sides level on 57 points for the season, with the hosts one place behind Binfield
on goal difference. But Leatherhead’s seventh-place finish was far better than many had expected
when Hayden Bird was brought in as manager last October, with Tanners languishing near the foot
of the league table.
The steady turnaround in the club’s fortunes was largely down to the hard work and dedication of
the players, management team, club officials, volunteers and supporters, all working together to
enable the club to end the season in a much more positive position, both on and off the pitch.
The management team will now look to strengthen the playing squad over the summer to give the
side a fighting chance to hit the ground running when the new season kicks off in August.
Leatherhead: Serine Sanneh, Bradley Manning, Louis Collins, Ben Frempah, Fikayo Atewologun, Olly Allen, Kwesi Ntim (Paul Chalobah 72), Alpha Diallo, Dave Tarpey, Dan Hector, Omarr Lawson (Luke Phair 90)
Binfield: Harvey Rackley-Hayes, Kai Hobbs, Massimo Giamattei, Jonathan Denton, Liam Gavin,
Harrison Bayley, Harvey Harry (Tino Mabukwa 73), Harry Hoath (Jake Fisher 73), Conor Lynch,
Connor Holland, Brad Pagliaroli