Unique FA (Leatherhead FC) (9) vs Metropolitan Police (1)
20th of September 2017
After an impressive 4-0 home win against Staines Town FC on the opening day of the season, Leatherhead prepared for another home game against Met Police. Both teams started the game with high intensity but it was Leatherhead who created the first chance of the game from a corner kick. After good combination play between Silano, Ferrari & Santacroce the ball was worked up to centre forward Wynter who pinned and rolled his defender with ease before showing great pace to run down the line and win Leatherhead their first corner of the game. The ball was swung into the box and the on-rushing Wayne Ridgely found himself 6 yards out with a free header that he managed to head just past the post. The corner was a clear a warning sign for Met Police as Leatherhead took the lead from their following corner. Met felled to clear their lines with a low cross into the box. The ball fell to Wynter who held off his marker and set the ball to Hassell-Ward to smash home the opening goal of the game. After the goal, Leatherhead started to retain possession higher up the pitch with Ferrari & Santacroce finding pockets of space in midfield. On the 15-minute mark, Ferrari slipped a great ball into the path of Hassell- Ward who used the weight of the ball to chop inside his defender before being brought down for a penalty. Hassell- Ward stepped up and converted the penalty.
It took 20 minutes for Met Police to finally test the Leatherhead keeper Ben Coltsell. A free-kick at the edge of box was deflected to allow Coltsell to easily save. As the half went on, the midfield diamond combination of Ridgely, Miller, Ferrari & Santacroce started to run the show for Leatherhead, especially Ridgley dictating the tempo of the game. It was in fact Ridgley who was instrumental in the third goal for Leatherhead. He played a wonderful through ball for Hassell-Ward to race onto and finish for his hat-trick. With 15 minutes left of the half, Leatherhead were forced to make a change as Wynter clashed heads in the box with a Met Police defender. Tyreke Prempah-White came on to replace Wynter and the substitute was quickly involved in the action. Santacroce played a lovely ball down the left hand side of Met Police’s defence for the sub to collect the ball and square it across goal for Hassell-Ward to tap home his 4th goal of the game in 40 minutes. Minutes later the substitute Prempah-White was involved again. Ridgley lofted the ball over to Prempah-White who took a delightful touch to then half volley the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box. A truly wonderful finish! Just before the stroke of half time, Met Police pulled a goal back. George Taylor fired a shot through the legs of Coltsell to make it 5-1 at the break.
The 2nd half kicked off and Met Police started the half with more determination. Met saw a wayward cross end up hitting cross bar after good play down their left-hand side. Leatherhead made a couple of early changes. Left full-back Joel Fagan was replaced by Joshua Berkeley-Agyepong which meant that right back Dominic Philips moved across to the left-hand side to allow Berkeley-Agyepong to step in at right back. The other change was a like for like swap in midfield, BJ Faboyede came on to replace Tyrese Miller. It wasn’t too soon before Leatherhead picked up the pace again. Captain Luci Silano blazed a free kick over the bar while Ferrari & Santacroce both saw efforts flash past the post.
It appeared to seem that Leatherhead had taken their foot off the gas in the second half but Philippe Ferrari started to become a creative spark in Leatherhead’s attack. He saw his free-kick go just over the bar and a low effort from just outside the box saved by Met Police’s keeper. On the 75-minute mark, Ferrari and Faboyede linked up well to feed in Will Seager to strike a low shot pass the keeper at his near post to make it 6-1. Leatherhead’s pressure continued, a short corner from Leatherhead saw a hand ball given in the penalty box. Ferrari stepped up to convert the penalty, a goal in which he deserved for his brilliant second half performance. Moments later, another short corner resulted in a free-kick being award to Leatherhead out on the left-hand side. Ridgley whipped a brilliant ball into the box to allow Faboyede to rise high and send a bullet header into the top corner, 8-1. In the last moments of the game, Prempah-White showed great skill to twist his defender inside out to create a shooting opportunity for himself. The forward got his shot away, only to see his effort handled by a Met Police defender. The third penalty of the game was awarded and Ferrari slotted home his second penalty of the game. The game finished 9-1 to Leatherhead and demonstrated their impressive start to the season with 2 wins out of 2 at home. Next week Leatherhead travel to Luton for their first away game of the season against Luton Town Cedars.