By Rod Ellis
Tooting and Mitcham United 0 Leatherhead 1
Bradley Manning’s well taken second half goal was all that separated the two sides in an evenly
contested end of season encounter at Imperial Fields on Saturday.
Tooting’s fate had already been decided earlier in the week, with Easter Monday’s draw against
Chipstead confirming their long-anticipated relegation from the Isthmian League, while Leatherhead
went into this match still with a mathematical chance of an end-of-season play-off spot.
But results elsewhere on Saturday confirmed that Tanners will finish the current campaign outside of
the top five when they play Binfield at Fetcham Grove next weekend.
Leatherhead created the better of the few chances for either side in a tight opening half. Omarr
Lawson forced a smart save from Sam Nabbad after three minutes before Dan Hector also tested the
Terrors’ keeper with a long range shot midway through the half.
Despite their rock bottom position, Tooting battled hard and kept Leatherhead keeper Serine
Sanneh occupied with well struck efforts from Raees Bangura-Williams and Anuar Ceesay.
Dave Tarpey missed a chance to put the visitors ahead on 35 minutes. Tarpey met Manning’s
probing cross into the box but his glancing header went wide of the goal.
The Tanners skipper failed to take full advantage of a loose pass from Tooting’s Will Osgathorpe on
60 minutes, with his breakaway long range effort well blocked by a Terrors defender.
Leatherhead had the ball in Tooting’s net on 63 minutes, but the goal was ruled out following a clear
foul on the keeper.
But there was no disputing Manning’s goal that gave the visitors the lead on 76 minutes. Louis
Collins sent a looping cross towards the far post and the young Leatherhead full back, on loan from
Aldershot Town, reached out to volley home with a fine finish from six yards.
Tanners go into Saturday’s final match of the season on the back of a run of six wins and a draw from
their last seven league outings, giving the Leatherhead management team plenty of encouragement
to develop the squad over the course of the summer in preparation for next season.
Tooting and Mitcham: Sam Nabbad, Isaac Charles (Abraham Henao Enamorado 89), Matthias Tepe, Dillon Gordon, Nikolai Krokhin, Jayden Hutchings, Ryan Lopes (Akachi Bestman 66), Will Osgathorpe (David Tshiunza 90), Elijas Bagdonavicius, Raees Bangura-Williams, Anuar Ceesay
Leatherhead: Serine Sanneh, Bradley Manning, Louis Collins, Ben Frempah, Fikayo Atewologun, Olly Allen, Kwesi Ntim (Luke Phair 65), Alpha Diallo (Will Hellestoe 75), Dave Tarpey (Paul Chalobah 90),Dan Hector, Omarr Lawson