Five alive at Fetcham Grove as Tanners put the Terrors to the sword (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Five alive at Fetcham Grove as Tanners put the Terrors to the sword
Leatherhead tore through the visitors’ defence in a one-sided second half, scoring four goals in the final half hour to emphatically seal the three points.
Only the weekend before, had Tanners edged the Terrors out of the FA Cup 1-0 and Saturday could have been different as Tanners conceded an opening goal midway through the first half, before losing central defender Jerry Nnamani with a hamstring injury.
Tooting started brightly with Jordan Wilson forcing a fine save from Tanners keeper Deren Ibrahim after 12 minutes.
Leatherhead’s first opening came after 16 minutes - Liam Pestle played a long ball out of defence, Allan Tait nodded it into the path of Tom Bradbrook who forced a full stretch save from visiting keeper Paul Smith.
Nnamani pulled up just before the Terrors were awarded a corner and the big centre back was not in his customary position as Aaron Dalhouse rose unchallenged to put the visitors ahead after 23 minutes.
New signing Ian Draycott was brought on to replace the injured Nnamani and the 25-year-old former Maidstone United player was slotted into midfield, with Kevin Terry dropping into Leatherhead’s back four and Tom Parkinson moving over to occupy Nnamani’s central defensive position.
Tanners were level before the break when Liam Pestle was brought down just outside the Tooting area, and Matt Smart's lofted free kick was headed hoome by Tom Parkinson.
Bradrook had a chance to put Tanners in front after 51 minutes, latching onto a cross from Draycott and forcing a double save on the line from Smith.
Darren Smith’s 55th minute header was turned behind by the Tooting keeper as Leatherhead stoked up the pressure on the visitors’ defence.
Tanners squandered another chance to take the lead as Bradbrook squared a tantalising ball across the penalty area but found no one in a green shirt to put it into the net.
Leatherhead grabbed the lead after 68 minutes when an unchallenged Draycott fed a ball through to Bradbrook who slammed it home from 12 yards.
Bradbrook nabbed his second and Leatherhead’s third with a cool finish after 77 minutes - seeing Draycott in an offside position in front of goal, Bradbrook brought the ball forward before calmly placing his shot beyond the reach of Smith.
Terry scored a stunning fourth goal for the hosts after 81 minutes, running unchallenged down the right before cutting in and firing a precisely angled shot from the edge of the box which crept in at the far post.
Substitute Mohamed Eisa scored Leatherhead’s fifth deep in stoppage time. The young midfielder launched an unstoppable missile from well outside the box that flew past Smith.
Leatherhead go to Eastbourne Town on Wednesday night, while Tooting & Mitcham host Crawley Down Gatwick on Tuesday.
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