By Rod Ellis
Tanners continued their pre-season build up with a soliddisplay at Three Bridges on Tuesday. Second half goals from Dan Hector, Kenny Beaney and Trevan Robinson secured a 3-1 win for the visitors.
Leatherhead’s first pre-season outing on grass saw Dave Tarpey’s return to the starting line-up. Last season’s leading goal scorer had a chance to give the visitors an early lead after seven minutes. Seeing the Three Bridges keeper well off his line the Tanners skipper attempted to lob him from 40 yards out, but his speculative long-range effort flew just wide of the goal.
Three Bridges won a free kick on the corner of the visitors’ penalty area on 16 minutes and goalkeeper Serine Sanneh did well to block the striker’s shot. The resulting corner flew across the Tanners’ six-yard box without anyone getting a touch and straight out for a goal kick.
Leatherhead had the ball in the hosts’ net on 19 minutes. An initial shot was well blocked by the Three Bridges keeper, but Tarpey was flagged for offside as he dispatched the follow up.
Three Bridges began to settle into the match and continued to threaten going forward, with Sanneh having to make another fine save on 34 minutes.
Leatherhead missed a chance to take the lead three minutes later after winning a free kick just outside the hosts’ penalty area. Louie Collins stepped up and struck a curling effort over a wall of defenders but just wide of the goal.
A momentary lapse in the Tanners’ defence on the stroke of half time allowed an unmarked Three Bridges defender to steal into the penalty area and score from close range.
Leatherhead were better organised in the second half following the introduction of Alpha Diallo and Junior Savanne in midfield, while their substitute keeper Kacper Danielewitz was largely untested. The changes saw a more coordinated shape from the visitors and bettermovement and control of the ball.
The visitors’ efforts were rewarded with an equaliser on 66 minutes as Tyler Cox bore down on goal. A challenge on Cox resulted in the loose ball falling to an advancing Hector, who blasted it home from the edge of the box.
Tanners continued to press forward, and they took the lead on 72 minutes after Omarr Lawson was sandwiched between two defenders in the Three Bridges penalty area. The referee blew for a spot kick and Beaney dispatched the ball beyond the keeper’s reach into the bottom left corner of the net.
Leatherhead stepped up another gear with a series of fine passes culminating in a shot from Robinson on 78 minutes which the keeper did well to block.
But Tanners new signing was not to be denied and Robinson sealed the visitors’ win with a well-executedfinish on 84 minutes, burying his shot into the top right corner.
Leatherhead continue their pre-season build up when they host Isthmian Premier side Lewes at Fetcham Groveon Saturday.