Report: Whyteleafe 4-3 Burgess Hill Town
Whyteleafe secured all 3 points in an entertaining match that saw plenty of goalmouth action and seven goals. This was perhaps expected as the visitors are both the leagues top scorers but also have conceded most goals.
This was a good all round performance from Leafe although they will be concerned to have conceded 3 goals. 4 players in particular stood out, Emmanuel Mensah with a good all round performance and spectacular goal, Bentley Graham who bossed the midfield, debutant Peter Wedgeworth who's distribution from crosses and free kicks was superb, and of course the prolific Ronald Sobowale who scored another hat trick.
Leafe started strongly and almost took an 11th minute lead, Ronald Sobowale shooting just wide. The hosts took the lead in the 17th minute when out of the blue, Mensah struck a wonderful shot from nearly 30 yards that flew into the top corner of the net. Burgess Hill went close in the 27th minte, Patrick Harding's header from a Max Miller cross striking the crossbar.
Matt O'Donoghue's 30th minute shot was superbly blocked by Tolulope Jonah. Sobowale did find the back of the net in the 36th minute but was ruled offside.
Burgess Hill came out strongly at the start of the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser from U'Swaye Hutchinson-Geraund. After a scramble in the Leafe box the ball was partially cleared to him and he fired home from the edge of the box.
Leafe only needed 4 minutes to regain their lead through a 51st minute penalty. Sobowale was brought down by Steven Sargent and stepped up to take the spot kick himself, giving Joshua James no chance. The game got a bit niggly with some strong challenges leading to a flurry of yellow cards, Junior Blake-Joseph being lucky not to see red for a particularly nasty challenge.
Leafe continued to dominate, Wedgeworth creating chances from crosses and corners and going close himself with a shot across the face of goal going just beyond the far post. Leafe's 3rd came after 69 minutes, A poor clearance from Wedgeworth's free kick was returned to Sobowale who beat 2 defenders before slotting the ball underneath James into the net.
Hutchinson-Geraud gave the visitors hope in the 72nd minute with his second of the match from close range. Leafe continued to attack, some desperate defending denying Leafe for a time, but Sobowale completed his hat trick in the 82nd minte, shooting home from a Corie Andrews cross. Deep into stoppage time Andrew Briggs scored a consolation for the Hillians but Leafe were good value for the points which sees them climb to twelfth, and with games still in hand will be looking towards the top end of the table
Whyteleafe Team: McCarthy, O'Donoghue, Wedgeworth, Campbell, Thompson, Holder, Mensah, Graham (McGeoghegan 85), Sobowale, Saunders-Henry (Daley 88), Andrews (Sutherland 90+3). Subs not used Aziz, Malcolm.