Leatherhead bowed out of the Surrey Senior Cup 3-1 desipte an encouraging display against Skrill Premier opponents Woking on Monday night.
Cards boss Garry Hill showed due respect to both the competition and Leatherhead by handing starts to seven players that featured in Woking’s 2-2 draw at Lincoln City on Saturday, while the visitors were without leading goal scorer Tom Bradbrook in an otherwise full strength line up.
In the opening minutes it was not hard to see that three divisions separated the two sides as Woking moved the ball around with ease on the heavy Kingfield playing surface.
Cards grabbed the lead after 20 minutes as Reece Beckles took full advantage of a loose pass from Leatherhead’s midfield, taking the ball to the edge of the visitors’ penalty area before driving it into the net.
Tanners rallied briefly with Mohamed Eisa and Ian Draycott forcing good saves from Woking’s Aaron Howe.
Cards stepped up a gear to double their lead after 31 minutes. Giuseppe Sole brought the ball into Leatherhead’s box from the right before picking out an advancing Kevin Betsy, who struck home from close range.
John Nutter almost added a third goal on the stroke of half-time with a long range effort that struck the Tanners crossbar.
Leatherhead began the second half looking much sharper. The visitors were awarded a penalty on the hour mark after one of their forwards was bundled off the ball on the edge of the area.
Darren Smith calmly stepped forward and struck the spot-kick cleanly past Howe.
Sensing a chance to draw level, Leatherhead pushed men deeper into Woking’s half but the hosts hit back on 71 minutes with a delightful bit of finishing from Betsy.
The Woking player won the ball wide on the right and turned inside his marker before drilling a wide-angled shot into the far corner of the net.
With 10 minutes left on the clock Draycott forced a fine finger-tip save from Howe.
But Leatherhead’s Deren Ibrahim was the busier of the two keepers in the closing minutes, producing some superb saves from Beckles, Ollie Taylor and Anthony McNamee to keep the final score at a very respectable two goal margin for the hosts.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Cooper, Daniel Johnson, Matt Smart (Tom Parkinson 46), Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Paul Semakula, Darren Smith, Ian Draycott, Kev Terry (Frank Griffin 46), Mohamed Eisa (Ryan Mahal 60).
Unused subs: Jordan Gough, Mikey Dalton.