PICTURES: Whyteleafe unveil 3G pitch against Kingstonian

Moment of history: Ryan Fowler scores the first ever goal on Whyteleafe's new 3G pitch                 All pictures: SP81804

Moment of history: Ryan Fowler scores the first ever goal on Whyteleafe's new 3G pitch All pictures: SP81804

First published in Sport by

Whyteleafe opened their new 3G pitch with an excellent game against Kingstonian, last season's Ryman Premier League runners up.

Both sides had won all their previous friendlies so a good competitive game was expected and no one was disappointed.

Leafe's squad included 15 players from last season, something that rarely happens at this level, so the side was familiar to Leafe fans with only Adam Highstead in goal the new recruit in the starting line up.

Kingstonian also had a couple of ex-Leafe players on show, Rob Tolfrey in goal and Karl Douglin.

The vistiors looked the stronger side in the opening exchanges having several early attempts at goal, including one that did find the net but from an offside position.

Leafe gradually came more into the game and had a great spell in the second part of the first half.

Jensen Grant was unlucky in the 20th minute when his well struck shot from a Jason Thompson free kick was well blocked.

Leafe took the lead on the half hour, Grant breaking clear of the offside trap to chase a long ball down the right.

Ryan Fowler was quick to get into the box in support and when Grant found him on the edge of the box his first time shot hit the back of the net.

Highstead made a couple of good saves in the home goal as the game opened up in an entertaining end to end display.

Tolfrey was also called upon to make a good save, coming out to meet Fowler who had broken clear in the 35th minute.

Sam Clayton hit a 30-yard effort just over before Leafe extended their lead in the 39th minute.

Bentley Graham went on a run down the right, cut inside into the box and his shot was well saved by Tolfrey, but the rebound fell to Greg Andrews whose crisp strike flew into the net.

Kingstonian came out strongly at the start of the second half and pulled back a goal in the 49th minute when Nathanial Pinney converted a cross from impressive substitute Alex Addei.

The same player equalised in the 53rd minute, converting another cross with a first-time strike.

Both sides made numerous changes during the early part of the second half which often sees games fizzle out, but not on this occasion.

Although there was no more scoring both sides continued to create chances but in the end a draw was a fair result.

Sam Clayton looked particularly sharp and Roscoe DSane, one of the substitutes came nearest to scoring a winner on two occasions, once a shot from a narrow angle squeezed between the legs of Tolfrey but he had got enough onto the ball to stop it going into the net and another effort forcing a good save.

Leafe's pre-season programme continues on Tuesday night when Bromley are the visitors to Church Road, while Kingstonian go to Tooting & Mitcham United on Saturday.

Croydon Guardian:

Opening game: Whyteleafe, left, and Kingstonian

Croydon Guardian:

Cutting the ribbon: Whyteleafe chairman Mark Coote, Rose Thorn, the vice chairman of Tandridge Council, and Mark Endesby

Croydon Guardian:

Slick: Ks Dan Bennett in action

Croydon Guardian:

Scorer: Jenson Grant, right, in the Leafe midfield

Croydon Guardian:

Battle Royale: Ks Nathanial Pinney, left, and Leafe's Sam Clayton tussle for possession

Croydon Guardian:

Scorer: Greg Andrews scored Leafe's second ever goal on the 3G pitch

Croydon Guardian:

Picture perfect: Whyteleafe's Church Road home, complete with 3G pitch

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon Guardian:

New man: Leafe shot-stopper Adam Highstead

Croydon Guardian:

No quarter given: Ryan Fowler, right, and Ks Dan Bennett

 

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