Tanners bow out of the FA Cup to the tune of a heavy defeat
Leatherhead bowed out of this season’s FA Cup competition with a 5-1 defeat at Southern League Premier side Biggleswade Town on Saturday.
Two goals either side of half-time proved decisive for the Bedfordshire club.
Tanners briefly reduced the arrears midway through the second half but the hosts restored their two-goal advantage almost immediately and capped off an emphatic win with two further strikes towards the end of the match.
Defenders Jamie Coyle and Liam Pestle returned to Leatherhead’s starting 11 following two weeks’ absence through injuries, while former left back Neil Jenkins came out of retirement to make his first appearance of the season for Tanners.
The confident Waders had knocked out Chelmsford City of the Conference South in the previous round and quickly tested Leatherhead with goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim saving Craig Daniel’s long range effort after nine minutes.
They continued to pressurise the Tanners’ defence with Evan Key’s unchallenged header striking the post four minutes later.
Leatherhead appeared to have weathered the storm in the run up to half time, but conceded an opening goal just a minute before the break.
Biggleswade’s Lee Allinson sent a long, looping cross into the box and Alex Witham bundled it home from 10 yards.
The Waders doubled their lead after 53 minutes with Lee Reed’s shot from the edge of the box taking a slight deflection on its way to the net.
Biggleswade briefly sat back with their two-goal advantage, allowing the visitors to push forward.
Leatherhead’s Ian Draycott had a shot cleared off the line after 58 minutes, but the Tanners defence was left fully exposed again moments later when Witham’s fierce drive was driven away by Ibrahim with a double-fisted clearance.
Leatherhead pulled a goal back after 66 minutes. The Waders’ defence took too long to clear the ball away from their six yard box, allowing Draycott to muscle in and stab it over the line.
Any hopes of a Leatherhead revival were short lived as Biggleswade restored their two goal advantage within seconds of the restart. The ball was crossed high into the Tanners area and firmly struck home by Key.
Brett Donnelly nearly added a fourth goal for the Waders after 72 minutes but Ibrahim kept the ball out with another fine save.
Donnelly wasn’t to be denied however, as he rose up, unchallenged, to head home Bigglewade’s fourth after 85 minutes.
Waders rounded things off with a finely executed fifth goal in stoppage time - a calm display of short passing in Leatherhead’s half culminated with a simple close range tap in from Key.
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