Leafe sent packing out of the League Cup by a rampant Phoenix
11:47am Monday 4th November 2013 in Other Football
By Mark Cooper
Whyteleafe slumped to a disappointing exit from the Macron League Cup going down 7-2 on aggregate to Phoenix Sports.
After a narrow 3-2 defeat at Sports the previous weekend, Leafe had hoped for a strong showing at Church Road, but instead they crumbled to a 4-0 reverse.
Despite the continued absence of midfield pair Jason Thompson and Jensen Grant through injury, Leafe nonetheless fielded a strong team with an attacking formation from the start.
The visitors also stated their attacking intentions from the off with Chris Edwards striking a fierce drive from distance narrowly over Leafe keeper Sheikh Ceesay’s crossbar in the opening minute.
It was all Phoenix Sports in terms of possession and a curling shot by forward Ricky Freeman from 25 yards was only thwarted by a fine save and catch from the alert Ceesay on the quarter hour.
The inevitable goal came on 23 minutes when an Edwards corner was headed home at the far post by captain James Brown, who managed to get on up above a static Leafe defence.
The home side began to rally with shots from Cedric Abraham and Sam Clayton (twice) blocked by a stoic Phoenix defence that was to remain rock solid all afternoon.
On 35 minutes, Abraham was robbed of the ball on the Leafe right by Miles Cornwell who threaded the ball to an unmarked Freeman.
However, he squandered the opportunity, blazing high and wide when well placed to score.
Freeman made amends just before the break though when he delivered a perfect cross from the right for Andrew Dalhouse to fire home from close range.
The hosts looked livelier after the break, no doubt motivated by a rather vocal half-time “pep talk” from manager John Fowler and his coaching staff.
Bentley Graham tricked his way into the Phoenix area on 46 minutes but his shot was blocked and the follow up scrambled away.
Pacey young winger Taylor Smith, playing in a more central attacking role for this game, also had a fine strike blocked shortly after.
On 56 minutes the tie was all but wrapped up when Freeman blasted a powerful free-kick from 25 yards that took an unwelcome deflection off the defensive wall and fizzed above the wrong-footed Ceesay who could only palm it into the roof of the net.
On the hour, prolific Leafe striker and captain for the day Roscoe DSane saw a shot bounce off the top of the crossbar and the lively Smith shot narrowly over moments later.
It was Smith again on 71 minutes with a trademark run down the left wing before turning inside, only to see his shot deflected and saved by keeper Dean Nash who was not to be called into action again.
On 77 minutes, the home side’s misery was complete when Dalhouse played provider this time, crossing from the right for Freeman to tap home.
It was an emphatic 0-4 victory for Phoenix Sports and progress to the next round of the competition.
Whyteleafe by contrast must now regroup and turn their attentions once more to the all-important league programme with a chance to get back to winning ways away to Corinthian on Saturday.
Leafe: Ceesay, Penfold (Tommy Smith 46), Abraham, Broomhead, Leacock, Graham, Fowler, Williams, DSane (Thornton 75), Clayton, Taylor Smith. Subs not used: Pratt, Johnson
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