Poor old Leatherhead. They’re bottom of the league, lost their manager at the weekend and then get a midweek trip to side who are flying higher than William Shatner. They proceed to get a man sent-off in the first half, ship five goals and skulk back to Surrey. It’s been the worst week for a Leatherhead since David Dickinson got fired from Bargain Hunt.
To be fair to Leatherhead, they gave it a good go for 40 minutes. True, Ollie Tanner should have put us in front when he shot wide of a gaping net, and we missed other presentable first-half chances, but Leatherhead had their moments too in a rather tetchy first half.
The game swung as hard as Joe Taylor’s left peg in the 39th minute. Razz Coleman De-Graft fed the ball into Taylor, who was getting such close attention from his marker that it almost qualified as a civil partnership. Taylor shrugged off the marker, spun and crashed a shot so hard into the top of the goal that, had the crossbar not blocked its path, the International Space Station would be missing a solar panel or two this morning.
It was Joe Taylor who was involved in the decisive moment of the match just minutes later. A long punt out from Klass saw Taylor wriggle ahead of the last man, for a clear run on goal. Ryan Huckle decided chasing Joe was too much like hard work and yanked him back instead, earning a mandatory red card.
If that wasn’t enough of a slap in the testicles for Leatherhead, Taylor Maloney’s resulting free-kick took a horrendous deflection off the wall and gave the Rooks a 2-0 half-time lead.
The only uncertainty left in the game was how many the Rooks would rack up. We got five, but it should have been seven or eight, and only wasn’t because of the one-man heroics of Myles Bowman in the Leatherhead goal.
Brad Pritchard made it 3-0, five minutes into the second half. A throw-in was flicked on by Taylor and Pritchard had time to plant a few more marrows in his vegetable patch, before picking his spot low into the bottom corner.
Goal four was Taylor’s again, although if he gets a goal bonus he should be splitting it with Matt Weaire. The big defender headed a corner goalwards and Taylor scooped it over the line.
The fifth and final flourish came from sub Iffy Allen, who followed in with a tidy finish after Tanner’s fine effort had fired back off the post.
The boys now get a ten-day breather before the trip to Worthing. I’d buy your ticket online now. That game’s going to be so crowded, one sneeze could prompt a fourth lockdown…
Lewes: Carey, Yao, Carlse, Weaire, Nelson, Pritchard, Maloney, Klass, Coleman De Graft, Tanner, Taylor
Subs: Colombie, D’Arienzo, Olokuga, Parker, Allen