Leatherhead send the islanders home with nothing
Leatherhead turned on the style with an impressive 2-0 victory against Channel Islanders Guernsey on Wednesday night.
An early own-goal and a cool finish from second half substitute Leroy Griffiths were enough to move within two points of the Ryman Division One South leaders.
Leatherhead’s winning margin could have been wider, but for some wayward finishing in front of the Green Lions’ goal.
Tanners opened the scoring after nine minutes when Mohamed Eisa split the visitors’ defence with a through ball to Tom Bradbrook.
The Leatherhead striker took the ball down to the bye-line before powering it across the six yard box, where a harried defender deflected it past Guernsey goalkeeper Tom Creed and into the net.
Tanners had a chance to build on their lead after 23 minutes, as Ian Draycott tested Creed with a low long range effort.
Guernsey matched their hosts for pace and neat passing skills, but the visitors rarely created any openings in front of goal.
Their best chance in the opening half came when Ross Allen fed a pass through to Dominic Heaume, but the Green Lions captain failed to control the ball in front of goal and the opportunity was lost.
Tanners maintained the pressure on Guernsey in the second half. Eisa forced an excellent save from Creed after 57 minutes, with the keeper tipping a scorching shot behind for a corner.
Bradbrook missed a chance to extend Leatherhead’s lead after 63 minutes, beating the offside trap while powering his way through on goal.
Bradbrook momentarily slipped as he drew Creed off his line, before firing a tame shot straight at the keeper.
Leatherhead’s pace was rewarded with a second goal after 72 minutes. Draycott broke clear down the right before picking out an advancing Griffiths, who skilfully fired home from close range with a classic poacher’s finish.
The Green Lions were not beaten yet, however, and Tanners keeper Deren Ibrahim had to remain alert to make an excellent save, turning over Allen’s fiercely driven long range free kick after 78 minutes.
Leatherhead should have wrapped up the points a minute later when Eisa broke clear on the half way line, feeding the ball out wide to Griffiths who, in turn, picked out Bradbrook, bearing down on the visitors’ goal.
However, Bradbrook disappointingly fired wide with only the keeper to beat.
It was not to be Bradbrook’s night - in the closing minutes, the tall Tanners front man received a through ball from Paul Semakula before firing another tame effort straight to Creed.
Guernsey missed out on a chance to get a goal back in added time, as Tom de la Mare forced another good save from Ibrahim.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Mahal, Dan Parkinson, Tom Parkinson (Leroy Griffiths 66), Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Paul Semakula, Darren Smith, Tom Bradbrook, Ian Draycott (Frank Griffin 77), Mohamed Eisa (Adam Burchell 83).
Unused subs: Elie Kayembe, Mark Worsfold.
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