Tanners cannot match table toppers

First published in Ryman Premier League by

Leatherhead missed out on another chance to ease their relegation fears with a 2-0 home defeat against League leaders Billericay Town on Saturday.

The result leaves Tanners fourth from bottom, six points behind drop zone rivals Hastings and Harrow Borough with only eight games remaining.

Jay May put the visitors ahead after 40 minutes before Harrison Chatting capitalised on a second half defensive error for a simple tap in.

Leatherhead manager Richard Brady knew the importance of preparing well for the visit of the league leaders but was disappointed with the way his side conceded the two goals.

“We didn’t defend set pieces and if you don’t do that against Billericay then you are going to come unstuck," he said.

"We knew exactly the scale of what we faced. We went through everything in training, but we still managed to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

Billericay had their first chance after three minutes, Tanners failed to clear a cross and May’s tight angled shot was blocked by keeper Chico Ramos at the near post.

Leatherhead’s only real hope of getting their noses in front was on the counter attack. After 13 minutes Tommy Hutchings broke clear and launched a thunderous 25 yard shot which Blues keeper Dale Brightly did well to turn over for a corner.

Billericay’s well organised back four swept up everything Leatherhead threw at them, while their sensible short passing display ensured they never gave away possession too easily.

Tanners came under pressure when Chris Wild headed wide from a corner after 36 minutes, before Ramos made a reflex save to turn away a powerful header from Courtenay White.

The opening goal came after Leatherhead gave away a needless free kick just inside their own half. Dave Collis hit a perfectly weighted cross for May to out jump his marker and nod the ball home.

Blues continued to control the game in the second half and added to their lead in the 70th minute. A cross was misjudged by Leatherhead’s Jamie Coyle, allowing Harrison Chatting to steal into the box unopposed to turn the ball past Ramos. Leatherhead: Ramos, Andrew, Gross, Coyle, Dean, Simmons, Francis (Thompson 62), Holness, Ottaway, Hutchings (Richmond 86), Manners (Terry 73)

Unused subs: R Hill and Nnamani

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