Leatherhead soundly beaten by Ramsgate
IN THEIR second trip to Kent this week, Leatherhead were soundly beaten by a Ramsgate side still harbouring hopes of a play-off spot.
It was a stark contrast to Saturday's 5-0 thrashing of Whitstable Town, with the Tanners second best for much of the game and with Tommy Hutchings' goal all they had to show from a fruitless trip east.
Ramsgate were in the ascendancy from the off, with Leatherhead goalkeeper Andy Young forced into an early save to stop Tom Chapman's volley from a fifth minute corner.
But the hosts did not have to wait long for a breakthrough, with James Sherman meeting Macauley Murray's deep corner at the far post to put the Rams in front on nine minutes.
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Leatherhead threatened at the other end as they sought a quick response, with Daren Hawkes saving from Simon Glover and then Saturday's hat-trick hero Allan Tait.
The Rams keeper could do nothing about the equaliser on 29 minutes though, with Hutchings picking up the ball outside the box and curling a shot past Hawkes from 20 yards out.
The hosts came back though, with Chapman and Ian Pulman both going close, before the Rams restored their lead with a 25-yard screamer from Ben Laslett.
Leatherhead had a chance to equalise again before the break, but Hawkes was equal to a Simmons' free-kick as the Rams went in 2-1 ahead.
And Ramsgate started brightly in the second half, with captain Dean Hill heading just over, while Liam Wright saw his header strike the base of the post at the other end.
A third goal arrived for the hosts on 65 minutes though, with Steve O'Brien's free-kick bundled in by Hill at the back post.
The Tanners looked to push forward to try and cut the deficit, but Elliot Thompson just failed to get onto a through ball, while Tait blasted over when well placed eight yards out.
And things got worse for the travelling Tanners as Pulman increased the Rams' lead on 76 minutes, sealing the points for the Kent side and consigning Leatherhead to a fifth league defeat away from home this season.
Leatherhead, who remain fourth in the league, will now be hoping for some home comforts on Saturday as they entertain a Hythe Town side that currently sit just outside the play-offs in seventh.
Following that, the Tanners face another team looking to make a late push for the play-offs, with Folkestone Invicta the visitors to Fetcham Grove next Wednesday.
And the Tanners will be keen to avenge a 2-0 defeat to the Kent side just three weeks ago.