Leatherhead 0 South Park (Reigate) 4
Leatherhead bowed out of the Surrey Senior Cup with a heavy defeat against South
Park (Reigate) at a rain-drenched Fetcham Grove on Tuesday.
Sparks outplayed Tanners at their own game as the visitors sat back patiently and
waited for opportunities to exposure the hosts’ defence on the counter-attack.
South Park’s cause was helped immeasurably by a referee who awarded them two
first half penalties. Sparks dominated play in the second half and two fine finishes
from Joe Haigh put the tie beyond doubt to see them through to the quarter finals.
Following a cautious opening, the match burst into life on 14 minutes as
Leatherhead’s Daniel Hector fired a long range shot towards the corner of the visitors’
net. Goalkeeper Danny Bracken made the first in a series of telling saves, diving low
to his left to turn the ball away to safety.
Leatherhead’s Trevan Robinson broke away from his marker on 27 minutes. But as
the Tanners’ striker bore down on goal, Sparks’ defender James McElligott made a
telling interception with a precisely timed tackle.
South Park took the lead after being awarded a penalty on 37 minutes. A Sparks
forward went to challenge for a loose ball in the heart of Leatherhead’s area and was
met by goalkeeper Mikey Allen and defender Fikayo Atewologun. All three players
hit the deck simultaneously after colliding on the wet playing surface and the referee
blew for a spot kick.
Sam King sent the penalty low to Allen’s right to put the visitors ahead.
Sparks doubled their lead three minutes later following the award of a second penalty.
Allen came off his line to clear the ball from the corner of his area but made contact
with an advancing South Park player.
The referee decided that the offence took place inside the box and pointed to the spot.
With a carbon copy penalty, King struck the ball low to Allen’s right.
Joe Haigh made it 3-0 to the visitors on 52 minutes. The attacking midfielder, released
last month by Aldershot Town and now playing for Sparks with his brother Marco,
strolled his way through a crowded box before firing home unchallenged.
Haigh almost added a fourth goal for the visitors on the hour mark, latching onto a
through ball from Deondre Date, before forcing a good save from Allen.
Robinson found a gap in South Park’s defence on 64 minutes, but Bracken produced
another flying save to deny the Leatherhead striker.
Tanners played out the final twenty minutes with ten men after Hector received two
yellow cards within the space of sixty seconds.
The Leatherhead maestro complained vociferously to the referee about being held
back by a Sparks’ defender and was rewarded for his efforts with a first caution.
Less than a minute later, and in a moment of frustration, Hector went into a flying
tackle on another South Park player by the touchline, prompting a second yellow card
from the referee, followed by a red.
Sparks completed a miserable night for Tanners with a fourth goal on 76 minutes.
Substitute Jack Tucker played a ball through to Joe Haigh, who found the net from
Leatherhead almost nabbed a late consolation, but Jamie Splatt’s well struck free kick
was turned behind for a corner after another flying interception from Bracken.
Tanners will have to put the disappointment of this defeat behind them as they prepare
for a first ever visit to Badshot Lea in the league on Saturday. Kick off at Westfield
Lane is at 3.00pm.
Leatherhead: Mikey Allen, Alpha Diallo, Tyler Cox, Fikayo Atewologun, Luther
Williams, Jamie Splatt, Daniel Hector, Omarr Lawson, Trevan Robinson (Francisco
Fernandes 66), Trey Masikini (Emarjay Campbell-Jones 66), Fabio Saraiva, (Mart
South Park (Reigate): Danny Bracken, James McElligott, Kelvin Massango (Jack
Tucker 66), Brendan McVey, Craig McGee, Sam King, Marco Haigh, Tom Smith,
Deondre Date (Aiden Brown 69), Joe Haigh, Jamarie Brissett