by Rod Ellis
Leatherhead 0 Basingstoke Town 0
Leatherhead stretched their unbeaten run to three matches with an entertaining goal less draw against Basingstoke Town on Saturday.
Tanners boss Luke Tuffs gave debuts to new signings Aaron Goode and Rhys Paul who both quickly settled into the home side.
The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges. Brody Peart almost gave Stoke an early lead after five minutes with a glancing header that just drifted wide of the goal.
Paul’s first appearance in a green shirt was short lived however, with the Leatherhead defender falling awkwardly and injuring his right shoulder going into a challenge with a Basingstoke forward. Paul bravely played on for another ten minutes before eventually being replaced by Benedict Frempah.
Tanners slowly worked their way into the game and had a chance to open the scoring on 38 minutes when Dave Tarpey’s dipping shot was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Mark Scott.
As the first half moved into stoppage time Leatherhead won a corner on the left. Jermaine McGlashan’s in swinger was headed on to Mitchell Parker at the far post, but the new Tanners forward stabbed the ball wide from close range.
Basingstoke’s Bradley Wilson missed a chance to put the visitors ahead on 51 minutes, firing into the side netting from a tight angle.
The main talking point of the match came on 76 minutes, as the visitors pressed forward once more. Frempah got on the wrong end of a probing cross into Leatherhead’s penalty area. The Tanners sub’s wayward header saw the ball deflected against a post before it rebounded along the goal line where it was finally rescued by keeper Luke Williams. Vociferous appeals from Basingstoke’s players and supporters that the ball had crossed the line were nonchalantly waved away by the referee.
The visitors created further chances to break the deadlock in the closing minutes, but Leatherhead defended strongly in numbers and held out for a well-deserved share of the points.
Leatherhead: Luke Williams, Steven Duff, Aaron Goode, Joshua Webb, Rhys Paul (Benedict Frempah 36), Jake Eales, Jermaine McGlashan, Adam Allen, Dave Tarpey (Jerry O’Sullivan 79), Mitchell Parker, Scott Day (Keane Anderson 65)
Basingstoke Town: Mark Scott, Ben Mason, James Howarth, Brody Peart (Michael Atkinson 63), Scott Armsworth, Billy Upton, Bradley Wilson, Simon Dunn, Ezio Touray, James Clark (Callum Winchcombe 88), George Reid (Aiden Lewis 74)