Whyteleafe 1 Concord Rangers 2. Church Road.
Emirates FA Cup Third Round Qualifying. Attendance – 400.
On a rather wet and chilly evening at Church Road, Leafe’s FA Cup journey came to an end but all the players did themselves proud, can’t fault their effort and matched a team 2 leagues above them for majority of the game. Just 2 minutes into the game and Leafe took the lead, Ryan Gondoh whipping a free kick in and it went past everyone finding the back of the net. Concord had most of the possession for the first 20 minutes but without any end product, one of their shots ending up going over the roof of the stand and into the night sky. After that, Leafe managed to get hold of the ball and created a few chances, Emmanuel Mensah doing well to get himself into a position to get a shot away and the Concord goalkeeper got down quickly to push it out for a corner. In the 25th minute, Leafe had a big penalty appeal turned down, corner came in and the ball was hit back towards goal which looked to strike the arm of the Concord player but penalty wasn’t given (see video at bottom of page after pictures to make your own mind up). Certainty everyone who’s seen it on twitter thinks it was a stonewall penalty, Leafe could’ve gone 2-0 up and who knows what would’ve happened after that. Leafe were passing the ball around nicely and keeping hold of the ball a lot better. Concord equalised in the 41st minute with a touch of luck, Tyler McCarthy coming off his line to clear the ball which rebounded off one of the Concord players who took a shot, hitting the post but falling to the incoming Sam Blackman who put it into the empty net. Leafe fans did their bit to spur the team on, an attendance of 400 was a sell out at the maximum capacity allowed at the moment with restrictions. Second half saw a few half chances for Concord but Leafe weren’t giving up enjoying good spells of possession and looking dangerous on the attack. 67th minute saw another penalty shout for Leafe, another possible handball but nothing given again. A minute later and Ryan Gondoh almost scored directly from the corner. Concord Rangers took the lead in the 75th minute with what would turn out to be the winner, Sam Blackman tapping the ball into the net after the ball was squared to him. Leafe still weren’t giving up and continued to press, a freekick in a dangerous position unfortunately came to nothing as the wall blocked it. 3 minutes injury time was added on, Leafe had a final chance from a corner with Chris McCarthy coming up but it was headed wide and out for a goal kick. Concord Rangers progress to the next round, next up for Whyteleafe is another game against Cray Valley in the FA Trophy this Saturday at Church Road!