Leatherhead suffered a dent to their play-off hopes as they threw away a lead to lose 2-1 against a AFC Hornchurch side who played a majority of the game with 10 men.

The Urchins who were reduced to 10 men in the 10th minute after George Purcell kicked out at a Tanner’s defender after losing control of the ball in the penalty area. Despite few protests from the Leatherhead players, the forward was shown a straight red card.

Leatherhead took the lead in the 20thminute thanks to a Travis Gregory finish following a superb run by Charlie Hester-Cook. The Urchin’s goalkeeper, Callum Chafer parried Hester-Cook’s initial shot into the path of Gregory who had the simple task of slotting into an empty net from 5 yards out.

The Tanners goal sparked Hornchurch into life and they were level three minutes later. A cross to the back post was headed back across goal then steered in by Charlie Stimson from close range.

A pulsating first half was brought to an end with Hornchurch looking the more dangerous side despite their numerical disadvantage.

The Urchins completed the turnaround in the 67thminute thanks to more lacklustre defending by the Tanners who left Lewis Spence unmarked to slam home a cross that was swung in from the right hand side.

Leatherhead failed to threaten in the second half, but did muster a chance in the 86thminute when Gregory flashed a header just over the bar.

Speaking following the match, Tanner’s boss, Nikki Bull was disappointed with his team’s performance. “I talk about winning our individual battles every week and we were miles off our standards today – we didn’t deserve anything from the game and got nothing from it.

“We have to give credit to Hornchurch as they worked hard. The biggest compliment I can pay them is once they were down to 10 men you would’ve have know it.”

Bull went on to say, “The only positive from today’s game is that it highlighted the standards that we expect from the players. If we fall below those levels then we won’t win anything.”

Next Saturday, Leatherhead welcome third placed Merstham to Fetcham Grove looking to close the gap on the play-off places.