Whyteleafe extended their lead at the top of the Southern Counties East League to nine points with a hard-fought victory at Greenwich Borough.

Leafe go to nearest rivals Ashford United on Saturday, knowing a win could open a mammoth 12-point gap at the top.

Leafe looked the more dangerous of the sides in the early exchanges and when Bentley Graham sent Greg Andrews clear in the 14th minute, the former Walton & Hersham man was denied by only the bar.

Tommy Smith, who had a great game in defence, played a one-two with Jensen Grant in the 22nd minute, but his curling shot of the outside of his boot went just wide of the far post.

Two minutes later, Ryan Fowlers through ball split the defence and Sam Clayton got in a shot that was well saved by Jack Kelly.

Greenwich took the lead against the run of play in the 28th minute, when Jamie Wood’s cross was headed home by Flavio Tavares.

Leafe’s equaliser came moments later when Graham’s cross found Fowler in front of goal but he somehow missed the target - however he immediately made amends when he regained possession and hit a fine chip shot into the top corner of the goal.

Right on half time, a corner from Fowler found Andrews at the far post but his close range shot missed the target.

Leafe got off to the best possible start to the second half, taking a 48th minute lead when a huge kick from Sheikh Ceesay found Clayton in the box, who shrugged off the defence and with his back to goal hit a fine overhead shot into the net.

Leafe dominated the next period of play and went close several times.

Clayton found Andrews in the 51st minute and his fine shot from 25 yards was tipped over by Kelly.

Tommy Smith fired just wide in the 55th minute with another 25-yard effort. Graham hit a 65th minute cross into the box, Andrews shot was blocked and Fowler following up shot just wide.

Jason Thompson hit a 67th minute free kick just over the bar, but a minute later he hit a great 25-yard shot into the net for Leafe’s third.

Greenwich pulled themselves back into the game with a scrambled goal from Duah Kessie in the 72nd minute.

Andrews went close with a 75th minute free kick, and a minute later Thompson hit the post from 40 yards with a snap shot following a poor clearance from Kelly.

Leafe finished the game strongly, a series of shots in the 84the minute saw Fowler hit the post again, and two more efforts cleared off the line.

Leafe were then content to play out time with possession football to clinch three more valuable points.

Whyteleafe: Ceesay, Smith (Tommy), Penfold, Holingsworth, Merchant, Thompson, Fowler, Grant, Andrews (Williams 81), Clayton, Graham (Taylor Smith 81).

Sub not used: Abraham.