Leatherhead score their leveller. Image: Ben Leeder
Leatherhead succumbed to a late goal to lose 2-1 in the Advertiser Trophy against rivals Dorking Wanderers.
A sun soaked Meadbowbank played host to a feisty game that was played at a higher intensity than an ordinary pre-season ‘friendly’.
The National League South side took the lead when James McShane slipped a shot by Zaki Oualah in the fourth minute. The goal compounded a slow start from the Tanners who stumbled out of the starting blocks.
As the first half drew on, Leatherhead began to take control of the game creating chances but without ever testing the Dorking keeper. Firstly, Travis Gregory had a sharp shot saved by Slavomir Huk while both Eddie Dsane and Charlie Hester-Cook were presented with opportunities, which failed to trouble Huk.
The second half started in a similar vein for Leatherhead as an uncharacteristic mistake from Salmon allowed Jason Prior a sniff of a chance that was expertly shut down by Oualah.
With Leatherhead chasing an equaliser, the game began to open up with Oualah having to make two decent saves before Gregory squared up his defender only to shoot wide from the edge of the box.
The Tanners were finally on level terms when Dsane got the goal that his performance deserved. The striker was first to react on a poor Dorking header as he pounced to round the keeper and slot home.
Almost immediately after taking the lead, Gregory saw himself clean through on goal following a flick from Calvin Ekpiteta but his shot flashed wide of the goal.
Despite their efforts, it was the Tanners who returned home to Fetcham Grove empty handed as James Dickson scored a winner following some sloppy passing by the Leatherhead defence.
Speaking after the game, Tanners boss, Nikki Bull said: “I was really happy with the performance today. I said to the players when we first came back pre-season, I wasn’t bothered about the result for the first couple of games – it was more about getting miles into the legs and not picking up injuries.”
"During training on Thursday night, we said that this is the game that we start to nail down our standards and I thought we were excellent – one to eleven and even the subs who came on.”
Eddie Dsane managed to get himself on the score sheet again and Bull commented: “I think if we create chances then Eddie will score goals. He is a finisher who works extremely hard so I’m sure he will score goals for us. I’m delighted he is onboard and I’m expecting good things from him.”