Tanners miss out on the Bay
Leatherhead’s second trip to north Kent in three days ended in defeat, as Herne Bay scored two unanswered goals at Winch’s Field on Saturday.
Tanners were made to pay after squandering several first half chances, with Jordan Casey scoring twice for Bay in the opening minutes of the second half to secure 2-0 win, leaving the visitors second in Ryman Division One South.
Leatherhead manager Richard Brady rested Tom Bradbrook after the 30-goal striker tweaked a hamstring in Thursday’s match at Whitstable, opting to play Theo Fairweather-Johnson up front alongside Ian Draycott.
Fairweather-Johnson had Leatherhead’s first attempt at goal after four minutes, controlling the ball well on his chest before turning and shooting just wide of the target from the edge.
The hosts responded quickly, with Jamie O’Connell firing wide and Ben Brown testing Leatherhead keeper Deren Ibrahim with a dangerous low cross from the right.
Kev Terry then missed a chance to put Tanners ahead after 16 minutes, latching onto a cross from Draycott before blasting a shot high over from distance.
Leatherhead’s best chance came on the half hour mark, with Terry beating Delo to the ball 15 yards out.
The Tanners midfielder looped a shot over the experienced keeper but Bay defender Gary Sayer recovered well to head the ball behind for a corner.
Tanners continued to press forward with Terry, Draycott and Fairweather-Johnson all striking long range efforts wide of the target.
Bay pushed forward from the start of the second half and took the lead after a moment of hesitation in the visitors’ defence.
Tanners failed to clear the ball from their penalty area and Casey drilled an exquisite half volley past Ibrahim from 20 yards.
Brady promptly made his first change, withdrawing Ryan Cooper and opting for three across the back, with sub Matt Smart adding strength in midfield.
The decision back-fired on Leatherhead almost immediately, with no one picking up the unmarked Casey as he firmly headed home on 58 minutes.
Dan Johnson replaced Fairweather-Johnson after 63 minutes but Bay remained solid at the back, allowing few chances for Tanners to find a way back into the match.
In the final few minutes Smart chipped a ball to the far side of the six-yard box, but Johnson headed over.
Smart then picked out Jerry Nnamani with a quickly taken free kick but the big Tanners central defender blasted over from close range.
Bay comfortably saw out stoppage time to claim their first League win against Leatherhead in four encounters.
Tanners now have a full week to prepare for their next match, away at relegation-threatened Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Mahal, Ryan Cooper (Matt Smart 55), Tom Parkinson, Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Kevin Terry, Darren Smith, Theo Fairweather-Johnson (Daniel Johnson 49), Ian Draycott, Mohamed Eisa.
Unused subs: Tom Bradbrook, Paul Semakula
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