Tanners enjoy FA Trophy romp

First published in Sport

Tanners eased their way through to the next round of the FA Trophy with a thoroughly convincing win at Northwood.

Goals from Chris Boulter, Greg Andrews, Mark Simmons and Elliott Thompson saw off the Evo-Stik South Central side to earn Leatherhead an away tie against Faversham Town on September 29.

Tanners pressed forward from the start, winning three corners in quick succession in the opening five minutes and they took the lead from the third of these corners.

Adam Gross drilled the ball into the heart of the six yard box and an unmarked Boulter found room to nod past Woods goalkeeper James Reading.

Northwood squandered a great chance to equalise after 18 minutes when Spencer Bellotti got himself into a good position in front of goal but shot straight at Leatherhead keeper Matt Reed from close range.

Tanners were undeterred and pushed forward in search of a second goal. Gross whipped in another fine corner after 24 minutes and an unchallenged Tommy Hutchings flicked the ball just over the bar.

Northwood always looked threatening on the break but poor finishing let them down each time.

A series of short passes took the ball from the half way line to the edge of the Leatherhead penalty area but the carefully crafted move came to nothing as Adamson Ajayi got beyond the last defender before hastily shooting into the side netting.

The hosts caught Tanners on the break after 44 minutes, but missed another great chance to equalise.

Four Northwood players outpaced three recovering Leatherhead defenders from the half way line as they raced towards the visitors’ goal.

Once again Tanners had Reed to thank as the cool headed keeper held his nerve to produce another fine save.

Tanners punished their hosts with a second goal after 48 minutes. Kev Terry outpaced his marker down the right to find Andrews in space in the six yard box for a simple tap in.

 

Simmons added a third goal for Leatherhead with a superb solo effort after 55 minutes.

The Tanners captain won the ball in the middle of the Northwood half before side stepping his marker and unleashing a powerful shot from twenty five yards which whizzed past Reading and into the back of the net.

Northwood’s hopes were raised briefly after 63 minutes when they got the ball in the Leatherhead net but the goal was quickly ruled out for offside.

 

With the game as good as won, Leatherhead manager Richard Brady took the opportunity to rest three of his senior players with a series of substitutions.

Tanners switched to a four-five-one formation with Tashan Francis-Adeyinke given the role of the lone front man.

There was still time for a fourth goal after 80 minutes as Bentley Graham threaded the ball through to Sam Blackman in a crowded Woods penalty area.

Blackman fed the ball out to Thompson on his right and the young midfielder slammed the ball home from ten yards. 

This was a thoroughly accomplished Tanners performance and it should gave the players some much needed confidence as they prepare for their FA Cup tie next weekend at Chelmsford.

Leatherhead: Matt Reed, Jamie Coyle, Adam Gross, Chris Boulter, Jerry Nnamani, Elliott Thompson, Billy Manners, Mark Simmons, Kev Terry (Sam Blackman), Tommy Hutchings (Tashan Francis-Adeyinke), Greg Andrews (Bentley Graham)
 

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