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Tanners slip up at home to the Oystermen
Leatherhead's unbeaten start to the Ryman Division One South season came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at home to lowly Whitstable Town.
A Tom Bradbrook header gave Leatherhead a first half lead before the Oystermen, struggling in 18th in the table, hit back with two unanswered second half goals.
An under-strength Tanners were without Ian Draycott and central defender Jerry Nnamani but welcomed back club captain Liam Pestle.
Leatherhead started brightly enough, with Allan Tait firing into the Whitstable side netting after four minutes.
The visitors responded quickly as Scott Heard outpaced Pestle down the right before firing wide.
The referee sent Jamie Coyle to the sidelines on three separate occasions in the first half to receive treatment for a head wound, before the big centre half featured prominently in the opening goal after 41 minutes.
Matt Smart delivered a crisp free kick deep into the Whitstable goalmouth, where Coyle rose unchallenged at the far post, heading the ball into the path of Bradbrook who nodded home with ease.
Leatherhead missed a chance to double their lead just before the break - Bradbrook fed a ball through to Kev Terry for a teasing one on one against Luke Watkins.
However, the Whitstable keeper defied the Tanners midfielder with an acrobatic save, palming the ball behind for a corner.
All for nothing: Tom Bradbrook's seventh goal of the season counted for nothing after Whitstable Town game back to win 2-1 SP79013
The miss was to prove costly for Leatherhead, as the Oystermen struck an equaliser on 52 minutes.
Stephen Haftner drilled a free kick into the Tanners penalty area and John Guest rose unchallenged to head home.
Whitstable had an opportunity to take the lead after 76 minutes but Haftner’s shot was headed off the line by an alert Pestle.
The match appeared to be heading for a draw until the visitors snatched a bizarre winner after 88 minutes.
Jack Simon struck a hopeful 30-yard effort that bounced in front of Leatherhead keeper Deren Ibrahim, who was unable to stop the ball going over his outstretched arm and into the net.
Tanners missed one last chance to grab a share of the points with almost the last kick of the match.
A Smart cross fell kindly for Adam Burchell, but the Leatherhead sub failed to hit the target from close range.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Dan Parkinson, Liam Pestle, Matt Smart, Jamie Coyle, Tom Parkinson, Darren Smith, Paul Semakula (Mohamed Eisa 81), Tom Bradbrook, Allan Tait (Adam Burchell), Kev Terry.
Unused subs: Jake Downs, Elie Kayembe, Jerry Nnamani
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