VCD Athletic 0 Leatherhead 1 Mahal makes it five wins out of five
Ryan Mahal’s sixth minute goal was enough to secure Tanners fifth successive win for new manager Mike Sandman in a low tempo match.
Mike Sandmann stuck by the same starting eleven that had beaten Staines Town 3-0 in midweek. And in similar fashion, Leatherhead grabbed an early lead before taking control of midfield and recording another clean sheet.
Tanners took the lead after Steve Watt picked out Kiernan Hughes-Mason on the edge of the Vickers’ penalty-area with a well-directed header. The Leatherhead striker split the hosts’ defence, rolling the ball forward to an advancing Mahal, who rounded the keeper before firing home from close range.
Chances were severely limited at either end in the opening half with both sides defending well and restricting opportunities in front of goal.
The visitors’ best chance of adding to their lead in the first half came on 42 minutes with Alex Brown heading a Hughes-Mason corner just wide.
Following the break VCD’s Nigel Nieta tested Tanners keeper Louis Wells with a good turn and shot on 47 minutes.
As the half progressed Leatherhead created several openings in front of goal but without success.
On 53 minutes Adam Cash picked out Watt with a throw-in deep in VCD’s half. The Leatherhead centre-back squared to Chris Kinnear Jnr in the six yard box but the midfielder headed over from close range.
Hughes-Mason squandered another good chance on 68 minutes, failing to control Cash’s delivery and firing wide from six yards.
VCD were restricted to long range efforts. On 77 minutes Donavan Simmonds saw Wells off his line and tried to lob the Leatherhead keeper from 40 yards out. It almost came off with his dipping shot just clearing the bar.
Hughes-Mason had another chance to score on 83 minutes, but the Leatherhead striker was unable to control Frannie Collin’s fine delivery into the box and fired wide from close range.
The result lifts Leatherhead up three paces to twelfth in the table.
VCD Athletic: Tom Hadler, Frantz Tchonang, Ashley Probets (Mark Nwokeji 33), Richard Avery, Joseph Bruce, Ricardo Joseph, Ritchie Graham, Arron Wickham (Harry Brickwood 45), Nigel Neita, Donavan Simmonds, Mathias Bakare (Davidson Tejaiye (69)
Unused subs: Lheureux Menga and Rob Budd
Leatherhead: Louis Wells, Adam Cash, Adam Green, Paul Semakula, Steve Watt, Jerry Nnamani, Alex Brown (Josh Gallagher 74), Chris Kinnear, Frannie Collin, Kiernan Hughes-Mason (Stephen Okoh 84), Ryan Mahal (Phil Walsh 67)
Unused subs: Kyle Bailey and Gavin Long