Tanners back up to second after unconvincing win over Redhill
Leatherhead moved above promotion rivals Guernsey into second place in Ryman Division One South with a less than convincing 3-1 win against visitors Redhill on Wednesday night.
Following an 18-day break from competitive football, Tanners made the best possible start with a two-goal lead inside five minutes.
Thereafter there was very little for the crowd to savour and the visitors slowly clawed their way back into the match - pulling a goal back midway through the second half - before Tom Bradbrook sealed the points for the hosts with an injury time winner.
With less than a minute played, Bradbrook stormed through the heart of the Redhill defence to give Tanners the lead with the first shot of the match.
Tom Parkinson then got in on the act, scoring Leatherhead’s second after four and a half minutes of almost non-stop frenetic one-way traffic.
The shell-shocked visitors failed to clear another Leatherhead attack and Parkinson smacked a piercing low drive into the bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards.
But with their early two-goal advantage Leatherhead took their collective feet off the gas pedal, as they sat back and allowed the visitors to settle.
Tanners created few chances to build on their early lead. A long clearance from Deren Ibrahim put Bradbrook through on goal after half an hour, but Redhill keeper Andy Greaves held his nerve to make a solid save.
Leatherhead were unable to step up a gear in the second half as they allowed the visitors to push further forward.
Redhill deservedly pulled a goal back after 59 minutes. The Tanners defence failed to close down Marcus Elliott who was able to beat Ibrahim with a fine shot from the edge of the box.
Further efforts from Elliott and former Tanners left back Rob Hill were well blocked by the Leatherhead keeper before the hosts sealed the victory with an injury time clincher.
With the clock ticking down, the visitors pushed further forward in search of a late equaliser, leaving themselves even more exposed at the back.
Ian Draycott won possession at half way and took the ball forward before unselfishly picking out an advancing Bradbrook, who fired home Leatherhead’s third from close range.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Mahal (Frank Griffin 87), Daniel Johnson, Tom Parkinson (Ryan Cooper 75), Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Paul Semakula, Darren Smith, Tom Bradbrook, Ian Draycott, Kevin Terry (Theo Fairweather-Johnson 55).
Unused subs: Mohamed Eisa