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Leatherhead 1
0 Kingstonian

Late Nnamani Goals Sees Tanners Through

I grabbed myself some beers, ordered a stuffed crust meat feast and put my feet up in the warmth of my living room, enjoying an enthralling 3-3 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal with my home seeming all the more comforting for the protection it offered from the vicious weather outside.

That might have been a normal football fan’s match report on the evening. Instead, hollow habit masquerading as commitment – that oh-so-close-to-the-bone phrase coined by Taimour to explain travelling from Hull to watch Ks in Leiston – again won the day and led me to a fourth consecutive Ks defeat.

The cold, wet weather might have suggested the trip to Fetcham Grove wouldn’t be wise, as might Ks’ lackadaisical approach to the Surrey Cup over the last decade. Even South West Trains seemed to be hinting for me not to go, the train skipping Leatherhead to make up for earlier delays and depositing me instead in Dorking.

But as kickoff arrived, seven minutes late, a small but hardy group of us were there behind the goal watching a surprisingly strong Ks line-up.

Ks made a bright start but unfortunately it would go downhill from there. In just the fifth minute Ty Smith played Pico Gomez in with a fine through ball but goalkeeper Louis Wells did superbly to get down and tip it past the past. From the resulting corner Lee O’Leary had a header cleared off the line.

The chances soon dried up though, with little action at either end. Rob Tolfrey made a good save from a long-range shot, Ryan Mahal scored for Leatherhead but was offside and Wells saved well from O’Leary on the stroke of half time.

Tolfrey made a good save early in the second half and Wells kept out efforts from Malachi Hudson and George Wells. As the rain intensified though the game became increasingly scrappy, with talk on the terraces abandoning hopes of a goal and turning instead to Ks’ record in penalty shootouts – three wins from three Surrey Cup ties at Leatherhead, a 9-8 win in the last round, Tolfrey’s good at saving them, Butterworth’s only Ks goal, etc.

That bit of excitement was denied five minutes from time though when a Leatherhead corner broke to Jerry Nnamani, who took the ball down well and fired home from close range. We were out, and our misery further compounded by Pico Gomez having gone off at half time with a back injury.

“It was freezing, wet and we lost 1-0” was all I could muster for a report on how my evening was. Still, Ks is a life choice isn’t it?

Match report by Simon Grier.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018