Tooting & Mitcham United 1 Leatherhead 2 Coyle header foils Terrors
Tanners hard-fought 2-1 victory at Tooting & Mitcham’s KNK Stadium saw them consolidate second place in Ryman Division One South behind leaders Peacehaven & Telscombe on Saturday.
With nine of the 11 scheduled Ryman One South fixtures rained off – including Peacehaven’s home clash against Folkestone - Tanners took full advantage to close the gap to within five points of the runaway leaders.
Following a quiet opening period, hosts Tooting & Mitcham created a couple of good opportunities midway through the first half.
Troy Williams broke clear down the right to force a very good save from Tanners keeper Deren Ibrahim, and Bashuri Alimi then missed an even better chance in front of goal, stabbing Sol Pinnock’s probing cross inches wide of the post.
Leatherhead set the game alight on 29 minutes, grabbing the lead with a goal out of nothing.
Tom Parkinson’s speculative long range effort struck the post but the ball fell invitingly for an advancing Ian Draycott, who had the simple task of netting from six yards.
Tom Bradbrook missed a good chance to double Leatherhead’s lead moments later, bursting through for a one on one against Terrors’ keeper Paul Smith before firing wide from the edge of the box.
Tooting hit back with an equaliser after 41 minutes, thanks to a fine solo effort from Pinnock - the Terrors striker collected the ball on the corner of Leatherhead’s penalty area and beat Ibrahim with a stunning clinical finish.
Mohamed Eisa replaced Leatherhead’s Parkinson at the start of the second half and the young forward had a chance to restore the visitors’ lead within a couple of minutes of his introduction.
His fresh pace took him past his marker but his tame finish lacked power and was easily gathered up by Smith.
Tanners pressed forward in search of a winner and it duly arrived after 74 minutes.
Matt Smart’s probing free kick picked out Leatherhead centre back Jamie Coyle, who rose up unchallenged to head home at the far post.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Mahal (Ryan Cooper 24), Daniel Johnson, Tom Parkinson (Mohamed Eisa 46), Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Paul Semakula, Darren Smith, Tom Bradbrook, Ian Draycott, Kevin Terry (Matt Smart 62).
Unused subs: Jake Hobbs and Frank Griffin.