Leatherhead match report
match report by Rupert Cane
For the third time this season Kingstonian fell at the first hurdle in a cup competition, with Spencer Knight’s maiden match in charge of the K’s ending in defeat to Hayden Bird’s Leatherhead.
The Velocity Trophy does not carry the same significance as the FA Cup and the FA Trophy, but it was still disappointing to bow out to a side in the league below and prolong Kingstonian’s poor away record in the process. It is now 13 games on the road without a win, dating back to late March when Bird oversaw a 2-1 success at Cray Wanderers.
On a freezing night at Fetcham Grove, Kingstonian started the better and fashioned a couple of half-chances for Kieron Cadogan, blocked and saved respectively.
Dave Tarpey had a clear sight of goal down the other end with a vital block deflecting his strike over the bar, before Jack Strange headed over from a dangerous inswinging corner.
Strange might have felt he could have done better with that chance, but there was no question his next major contribution, six minutes before the break, should have been avoided. In trying to place a pass back to Rob Tolfrey – playing for the first time since August – Strange misjudged the weight and direction of it, and could only watch in horror as it skipped into the net.
The Tanners’ lead lasted until the 54th minute. Corey Parchment, deployed in an attacking role behind Cadogan, curled a fine striker into the bottom corner from well outside the box.
Sadly any possibility of K’s building on that goal was soon extinguished when Lewis Pearch, one of a number of Bird’s side featuring against their former club, finished with confidence at the end of a slick move.
Only a well-anticipated Tolfrey save stopped Leatherhead going 3-1 up, meaning the green-shirted K’s could mount something of a late rally to try and take this third round tie to penalties. The best chance fell the way of Declan Skura, who found himself in space in the box to turn a downward volley on target. New Leatherhead loanee keeper Slavomir Huk sprung to his right to acrobatically tip the ball around the post.
From the resulting corner, Maxwell Mullins headed against his own post, avoiding the fate of Strange, and with it went Kingstonian’s ambitions in the Velocity Trophy in 2022/23.
Leatherhead: Slavomir Huk, Maxwell Mullins, Chikanele Elechi, Fikayo Atewologun, Harry Osborne, Keane Anderson, Lewis Pearch, Olly Allen, Dave Tarpey, Luke Phair, Jermaine McGlashan.
Subs: Louis Collins (for Jermaine McGlashan, 70m), Jake Eales (for Lewis Pearch, 88m), Samir Bajja (for Luke Phair, 57m), Rob McGowan, Thomas Unsworth.
Goal scorers: Jack Strange (39m og, 1-0), Corey Parchment (56m, 1-1), Lewis Pearch (63m, 2-1)
Photo: Simon Roe