Champions Whyteleafe finish the season in fine, fine style

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Opener: Sam Clayton got Leafe up and running at Deal on Saturday with the first of seven goals on the Kent coast Opener: Sam Clayton got Leafe up and running at Deal on Saturday with the first of seven goals on the Kent coast

Champions Whyteleafe finished the Southern Counties East League season with a 7-3 win at Deal in Kent.

The victory extended Leafe's winning margin at the top of the table to 11 points.

They scored 111 on the way to the title with an amazing goal difference of 76, which was four more than the total goals scored by runners up Ashford United.

Leafe made a few changes for their final game but played an open attacking game to finish the season off in entertaining fashion.

Jason Thompson and Gareth Williams had shots off target, the visitors first on target effort coming in the 25th minute when Taylor Smith’s header from Tom Pratt’s corner was well saved by Shanon Harris.

Leafe’s first goal came after half an hour when Sam Clayton headed home Greg Andrews corner from close range. 

Thompson hit the second with a fizzing drive, before Deal pulled themselves back into the game a minute before half time when Andy Miller’s shot took a deflection off Adam Broomhead and beat the dive of Leafe’s keeper Dan Burnett.

However, Leafe soon restored their two-goal advantage after the break when Williams' header split the Deal defence and found Taylor Smith who fired home.

Leafe boss John Fowler pulled off Thompson and Dylan Merchant, and Deal’s Ryan Phillpott immediately pulled the score back to 2-3, again helped by a deflection from Broomhead.

But then Leafe then went on a goalscoring spree, Clayton setting up Williams for the fourth, and Williams set Smith up for the fifth.

Ryan Fowler then put Williams clear in the 72nd minute and he scored the sixth from close range.

Jordy Robins pulled one back in the 74th minute but Leafe were so much in control that they brought on regular keeper Sheikh Ceesay in the 75th minute to play up front.

Harris made a brilliant save from Andrews in the 78th minute, then on 81 minutes, Ceesay sent Andrews clear but his shot was tipped over the bar by Harris.

Andrews took the corner, finding Broomhead, who’s header was blocked on the line, but Clayton was on hand to fire home to complete the scoring for the day.

Whyteleafe: Burnett, Pratt, Tommy Smith, Broomhead, Merchant (Penfold 55), Thompson (Fowler 55), Graham, Andrews, Taylor Smith (Ceesay 75), Clayton, Williams.

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