An inspired move by Leatherhead manager Mick Sullivan in handing a surprise start to burly striker Kwabena Agyei, who had been out on loan at Chertsey since November, helped see play-off chasing Tanners wrap up a vital victory against a stubborn Corinthian Casuals side on Tuesday night.

For the first 25 minutes though, it was Casuals who looked the more assured side, as they put the Leatherhead defence under concerted pressure, with the lively Jamal Carr a constant menace.

However as the half wore on, Tanners gradually fought their way back into the game, and it was Agyei who had the first real chance when bulldozing his way through the home defence only to find Luke Naughton in the Casuals goal equal to his final effort.

Then Tommy Hutchings, back after a two match ban, burst into life, firing narrowly wide from twenty yards, and then seeing a low drive hacked off the line with Naughhton beaten.

And when Jack Macleod fed Hutchings in the area five minutes before half time he looked sure to mark his return with a goal, but Naughton pulled off a breathtaking save somehow turning his thunderous close range shot just around the post.

So, goalless at half time then, but the Tanners came out for the second half in determined fashion and gradually began to wear down a resolute home defence.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 55th minute when midfield maestro Mark Simmons found space on the left and his far post cross was converted from close range by Captain Chris Boulter to send the large army of Tanners fans into delirium.

Man of the Match Jon Coke was combining his defensive duties with constant sorties down the right wing, and when he released Kev Terry, Naughton somehow thwarted Macleod 6 yards out from the ensuing cross.

It was only a matter of time before the second goal game, and it was the excellent Agyei who made it, winning the ball back in the area before being hauled down as he shaped to shoot.

Referee Mr. S Leaf, who had a fine game, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and who else than the indomitable Coke to step up and fire home the penalty via the right hand post to seal the victory.

Casuals to their credit never gave up, but despite late pressure couldn’t find a way through the Tanner’s defence, with Colin Harris making a fine late save to prevent a tense finale.

So Leatherhead go into their final game on Saturday, when relegation threatened Walton Casuals visit Fetcham Grove, knowing that three points would guarantee the last play off berth, although that may all become academic if Fleet fail to win their penultimate game against 3rd placed Godalming on Thursday night.

Leatherhead team: Harris, Coke, Hill, Boulter, Dean, Thompson, Terry, Simmons, Agyei (Corbett), Hutchings (Andrews), Macleod