Hodgie the last-gasp hero at ChipsteadWhyteleafe claimed the bragging rights in the local derby with Chipstead, scoring a late winner in a game that took a long time to get going and with just local pride at stake.
Chipstead's High Road ground was rock hard after a very dry Spring and football was very difficult. The hosts were keen to do well particularly as seven of their players were formerly with their visitors.
The first half saw very little goalmouth action with both sides struggling to put passes together on the very bumpy pitch. The only real chance falling to former Leafe favourite Chris O'Flaherty but his effort was off target as the sides played out a rather dull goalless first half.
The second half almost started with a goal. After just 75 seconds from the restart, Leafe were awarded a free kick some 25 yards out. Sam Clayton struck it well but ex Leafe keeper Luke Colquhoun tipped his goal bound shot around the post.
Chipstead's Jason Henry looked to be through in the 50th minute but Tyler Brown made a timely clearance as the last defender.
Matthew Warren went close for Chipstead in the 57th minute but Ben Bridle-Card managed to get his finger tips to his shot, just enough to push it onto the bottom of the post and it bounced away to safety.
Two minutes later Leafe broke away and took the lead. A fine run by Daniel Ajakaiye took him to the edge of the box, and Clayton was supporting him to his left. His inch perfect pass to Clayton was struck first time beyond the reach of Colquhoun into the net.
Chipstead only took six minutes to get back on terms when Liam Harwood's firm header from O'Flaherty's corner was saved by Bridle-Card, but he couldn't hold on, and Henry, despite falling to the ground, managed to get his foot to the ball and kick it into the net from close range.
Leon Lalor-Dell broke away in the 77th minute and put the ball into the path off the well-placed Henry, but Bridle-Card was equal to the situation, rushing out to claim the ball at the feet of Henry before he could reach the ball. Lalor-Dell then had a chance of his own in the 77th minute but shot wide.
Callum McLean was first to an O'Flaherty corner in the 84th minute but his shot at the near post was wide of the target.
Ajakaiye continued to look dangerous on the break and only a good saving tackle from Tommy Smith denied him in the 88th minute.
A minute later Shawn Clement-Peter won the ball in midfield. He found Clayton on the left. His curling cross found substitute Stephen Hodge inside the six yard box and his header found the back of the net. A great way for the youngster to score his first goal for the club shortly after coming on, having made his way into the squad from the under 21s and had some impressive games when given the opportunity.
Whyteleafe: Bridle-Card, Collins, Brown, Graham (Hodge 82), Howlett-Mundle, Scarborough, Ogboe (Day 74), Oluwatimilehin, Ajakaiye, Clement-Peter, Clayton. sub not used Treagus, Forbes.