Leatherhead’s dreams of a play-off and Surrey Cup double were shattered on Tuesday as they lost out to Corinthian-Casuals.
Second half goals from Dave Hodges and Joel Thompson saw the Surrey Senior Cup go to the Tolworth based club for the first time since 1954.
This was always going to be an uphill task for the Tanners after all the exertions and exhilaration of last week’s play off matches. Casuals had ten days to prepare for this final, whereas Leatherhead came to it on the back of two energy sapping matches in the last seven days which had gone to extra-time.
Captain Chris Boulter had to miss his first match in two seasons at the club following an awkward fall on Saturday and there were several very tired players in the Leatherhead line up. The uneven playing surface at Sutton United’s Borough Sports Ground did them no favours either.
Leatherhead began encouragingly enough playing towards the setting sun. Elliott Thompson had an early effort blocked in the Casuals area and Greg Andrews fired a shot wide. Chico Ramos didn’t have a save to make until Saheed Sankoh hit a fierce shot at the Leatherhead keeper in the 18th minute.
Casuals started to get more into the contest and on the half hour mark Dave Hodges was allowed room down the left to get a cross into the box, but Glenn Boosey fired wide.
Leatherhead had a couple of good chances to take the lead before the break. Another effort from Thompson was blocked in the penalty area and a shot from Kev Terry was well saved by goalkeeper Matt Mann. Casuals also had a chance to snatch the lead just before half time when Joel Thompson got in a good cross from the left, but Hodges hit the final ball wide of the post.
Casuals came out confidently at the start of the second half and they took the lead on 47 minutes after a major misjudgement from the Portuguese keeper. Ramos came out of his goal to gather a high ball but at the last moment opted for a punch. Ramos made a right fist of it however, as his poor attempt at a clearance saw the ball drop to feet of Hodges for the simplest of tap-ins. Leatherhead had bravely fought back from behind in their last two matches, but this was to be third time unlucky. Saturday’s hat-trick hero Terry limped off on the hour mark, replaced by Sol Patterson-Bohner, before Casuals doubled their lead after 63 minutes. This time Hodges provided the final pass for Thompson to head home.
Leatherhead were virtually running on empty but they dug deep to try to get back into the match. A couple of good efforts from Tommy Hutchings were gathered by Mann and Patterson-Bohner saw a shot hit the outside of the post three minutes from the end.
Corinthian-Casuals stoutly defended over the ninety minutes and they took both their goals well. They deserved their win on the night against a thoroughly exhausted Leatherhead side, although this season won’t be remembered by Tanners fans for losing in the final of the Surrey Senior Cup. Kev Terry made sure of that on Saturday.
Leatherhead: Chico Ramos, Joe Hill, Steve Rowe, Dan Dean, Jon Boswell (Harry Hoadley), Elliott Thompson, Jack Macleod, Mark Simmons, Greg Andrews, Tommy Hutchings, Kev Terry (Sol Patterson-Bohner) Corinthian-Casuals: Matt Mann, Tom Williams, Dave Hodges, Darren Chalk, Wayne Finnie, Scott Hassell, Jason Turley, Saheed Sankoh, Joel Thompson, Glenn Boosey (Rob Stevenson), Jamel Carr