Depleted Leatherhead downed after a trip down the M20
A depleted Tanners squad returned to Ryman Division One South league action on Tuesday evening with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Hythe Town.
Leatherhead travelled down the M20 without a number of their key players.
Defender Liam Pestle remained side-lined with a persistent niggling injury while forwards Tom Bradbrook and Leroy Griffiths were both unavailable for selection through work commitments.
Manager Richard Brady introduced new signing Frank Griffin at left back, while Ian Draycott and Mohamed Eisa were put together in the Tanners forward line.
Leatherhead started the match in determined fashion, pushing forward with a tidy display of short passing football.
Efforts from Paul Semakula and Matt Smart were blocked by the Hythe defence before Kev Terry’s tempting cross from the right just evaded an advancing Draycott at the far post.
Hythe keeper Dan Eason did well to turn Terry’s fierce drive behind for a corner after 25 minutes before headed efforts from Terry and Jamie Coyle went narrowly wide.
Semakula’s edge of the box effort also went wide before a powerful Eisa strike was deflected behind for another corner.
Coyle’s close range header was gathered by Eason before the hosts hit back to take the lead completely against the run of play.
Leatherhead’s defence was exposed when the hosts launched an attack down the right after 36 minutes. The ball was played across the goal from near the corner flag and hammered home from 12 yards by an advancing Ronnie Dolan.
Tanners worked hard to get back on level terms in the second half but never really tested the keeper.
Hythe missed a good opportunity to extend their lead after 65 minutes when Shaun Welford headed wide after being put through on goal.
Jerry Nnamani pushed forward in injury time but the Leatherhead centre back could only manage to hit a weak shot straight to Eason after rounding the last defender.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Jamie Coyle, Frank Griffin, Matt Smart, Tom Parkinson (Lee Pleau 71), Jerry Nnamani, Kev Terry (Adam Burchell 79), Darren Smith, Ian Draycott, Paul Semakula (Elie Kayembe 63), Mohamed Eisa.
Unused subs: Mark Worsfold.