Leafe unbeaten in 10 games, but bad start to the season could put paid to promotion hopes

First published in Sport

By Brian Davis

Whyteleafe continued their winning run in the Kent League Premier Division to keep the pressure on the top two and keep alive their promotion hopes.

Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Lordswood at Church Road extended Leafe’s unbeaten run to 10 games – their last defeat in the League coming at the end of September.

However, despite the recent excellent form, Leafe’s rotten start to the season is the millstone round the neck of manager Steve Griffin as his charges lie fourth in the table, seven points off top spot and having played two games more than the leaders Erith & Belvedere.

Despite Saturday’s scoreline, Lordswood had their moments and Leafe keeper Dave Wilkinson made a number of excellent saves, including one from the spot, to deny them.

The first of these saves came in the fifth minute when he brilliantly tipped over a 20-yard effort from Richard Styles.

At the other end Paul Scott headed Tommy Smith's cross straight at keeper Matt Byatt.

Leafe’s Ollie Thornton latched on to a long through ball in the 17th minute, beat the defender but his shot was well saved.

Another Thornton shot in the 21st minute was blocked, before Wilkinson then made another good save to deny Greg Benbow.

Leafe took the lead when debutant Roscoe Dsane beat a defender in the box, took the ball round Byatt and shot into the visitor’s net.

Omar Folkes then went close twice as Leafe dominated, and the second goal came a minute before half time when Bentley Graham's free kick was cleared out as far as Thornton.

His superb cross to the far post left Cedric Abraham the simple job of heading in from a couple of yards.

The second half started well for Leafe as they continued to press forward, Thornton going close with a shot from a Daniel Day cross.

The visitors had a great chance to pull one back in the 54th minute when Day brought down Rob Norman in the box.

Lee Maskell took the spot kick but Wilkinson made a great save and the defence scrambled it away.

At the other end, Leafe were awarded their own spot kick when Dsane's shot was handled by Dan Wells – Scott fired home to put the hosts 3-0 ahead.

Leafe made it 4-0 with 20 minutes left when Graham's corner was headed in by Dsane.

Next up for the Leafe is a trip to Cray Valley this weekend.

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