Whyteleafe's FA Cup journey ended by Chatham
10:19am Monday 30th September 2013 in Football
Despair: Whyteleafe sink to the ground after conceding the late goal that knocked them out of the FA Cup
Whyteleafe suffered FA Cup heartbreak on Saturday as Chatham scored a last minute winner to knock them out of the second qualifying round 2-1, writes Brian Davis.
Ryan Fowler equalised for Southern Counties Eastern League Leafe after their former star Kieron McCann had given Ryman League Chatham the lead.
A replay looked likely until Alfie May popped up at the back in the final minute to ensure Chatham's progression.
Leafe looked the better side in the opening exchanges, Taylor Smith breaking clear twice in the opening minutes and forcing visiting keeper Jack Bradshaw to come of his line to smother his efforts.
Bradshaw was one of a number of the top players from last year's Kent League that Chatham signed in the summer, so there were several familiar names to the Leafe fans.
After seven minutes, another chance fell to the hosts as Roscoe DSane made a fine run down the right and his cross found Jensen Grant at the far post but was just to high for him to control the header.
DSane had a penalty claim in the 18th minute when he burst into the area and his cross struck the hand of Matt Solly but the referee waved away the appeals.
Chatham gradually got on top and in the 34th minute took the lead. McCann got the ball on the edge of the Leafe area and his shot took a deflection into the far corner of the net.
Leafe looked for a quick equaliser and DSane came close in the 36th minute, flicking a free kick from Jason Thompson over the bar.
But two minutes later they were level. A long ball found Ryan Fowler in space and he played a neat one two with DSane. In similar style to the Chatham goal, his shot took a deflection leaving Bradshaw no chance.
Another good move in the 42nd minute involving DSane saw him find Bentley Graham, who in turn found Grant 20 yards out. He laid the ball off to Thompson but his 25 yard effort went wide.
The second half started with the visitors creating the best of the chances. May, leading scorer in the Kent League last season, shot wide in the 52nd minute when he had plenty of space in the Leafe box.
On the hour, a defensive mistake presented May with the ball on the edge of the box and his shot produced a great save from Sheikh Ceesay tipping his effort over the bar.
McCann then sent Gacheru clear in the 71st minute but he slipped when he looked likely to score.
Chatham finished the game strongly and Whyteleafe would have settled for a replay. May forced another good save from Ceesay in the 81st minute then in the 87th minute Liam Hickey’s powerful shot was deflected for a corner.
From the resultant corner, Ceesay fell attempting to punch clear and the ball fell to Billy Bennett who shot wide of the open goal.
Leafe’s hopes were finally dashed in the final minute when a long clearance from Bradshaw found Andy Constable on the left. He beat Tom Pratt and crossed to the far post where May was on hand to slot the ball home and put the visitors into the next round.
Whyteleafe: Ceesay, Johnson (Pratt 79), Smith (Tommy), Leacock, Abrahams, Thompson, Fowler, Grant (Williams 57), DSane, Smith (Taylor) , Graham. Sub not used Hynes, Read, Burnett.
Next match, Sat 12th Oct away v Canterbury City 3.00pm.
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