Leatherhead lift themselves back into promotion contention
A spectacular winner from Leroy Griffiths secured three points for Leatherhead on Saturday to put them firmly back into contention for the play-offs.
The 2-1 win over Crawley Gatwick Down at Fetcham Grove lifted Richard Brady's men into the Ryman Division One South play-offs.
For the second time in a week, the Tanners looked threatening going forward while appearing vulnerable to set pieces at the back.
Tanners had conceded a goal after half an hour at Hythe Town on Tuesday, and they fell behind at the same stage against Crawley.
But Leatherhead showed more character against the Anvils, responding first with Jamie Coyle’s headed equaliser after 34 minutes, before Griffiths powered home what turned out to be the winning goal just before half-time.
Tanners boss Brady was forced to start without suspended midfielder Matt Smart while Tom Bradbrook’s lunchtime dash from Heathrow secured a place on the subs bench for the striker.
Leatherhead started strongly with Kev Terry’s third minute shot deflected behind for a corner.
The Anvils threatened on the break after nine minutes, with George Cousins’ dipping shot just clearing the bar.
Shield: Kev Terry keeps possession for the Tanners despite the attentions of a Crawley man
Efforts from Ian Draycott and Dan Parkinson were turned away for corners before Crawley Down took the lead against the run of play after 28 minutes.
Lee Carey floated in a short corner, picking out an unchallenged Gary Holloway to head home at the near post.
It could have got worse for Leatherhead five minutes later when another well-directed Carey corner was met by Chris Breach, with the Crawley Down captain’s firm header coming back off the post and into the arms of Leatherhead keeper Deren Ibrahim.
Tanners won a corner after 35 minutes and Darren Smith’s delivery was headed home by Coyle.
Then a minute before half time, a cross came in from the right and Griffiths struck the ball perfectly with his left foot to give Leatherhead the lead.
Bradbrook replaced Dan Parkinson at the start of the second half and Leatherhead began to play with more assurance going forward.
Crawley Down had the best of the few chances that came in the second half. Holloway hit a shot straight to Ibrahim after 55 minutes, and Trevor McCreadie finished a promising build up, firing wide with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Leatherhead controlled the midfield in the closing stages to take their first league win in six matches.
This weekend, Leatherhead go to Dulwich Hamlet of the Ryman Premier looking to reach the thrid qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Frank Griffin (Tom Parkinson 89), Neil Jenkins, Darren Smith, Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Kevin Terry, Paul Semakula, Ian Draycott, Dan Parkinson (Tom Bradbrook 46), Leroy Griffiths (Lee Pleau 83)
Unused subs: Elie Kayembe, Mark Worsfold
See-ya: Paul Semakula leaves a Crawley wannabe in his wake
Hero: Leroy Griffiths hit the winning goal for Leatherhead just before the break
Penny for them: Tanners boss Richard Brady ponders his next move
Up: Dan Parkinson goes aerial
Concentration: Ian Draycott
Whoop whoop: Leroy Griffths et al celebrate what turned out to be the winner
Does he or doesn't he get past? Kev Terry is about to be tackled
Moving forward: Dan Parkinson
Comments are closed on this article.