Match Report: Abbey Rangers 0-2 Whyteleafe
Whyteleafe progressed to the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup, their best since 1999 when they reached the first round proper. They had to overcome a spirited Abbey Rangers side who themselves had their best ever run in the competition. Leafe will now be joined by the Conference National sides in the draw, just one game away from League 1 and 2 sides joining in. Leafe legend and goal keeping coach Danny Rose told everyone on the coach home that this was a historic day for Whyteleafe Football Club.
The first half was on the whole controlled by Leafe. Junior Aikhionbare had the first shot on target in the 4th minute but was straight at keeper Liam Stone. The hosts first chance came in the 12th minute, Bradley Sweeney's shot took a deflection off Riccardo Thompson but was well saved by Tyler McCarthy. A minute later Aikhionbare had a shot blocked, the rebound falling to Matt O'Donoghue but his shot went over the bar. Aikhionbare was again in the thick of the action when Bentley Graham sent him clear, but ex Leafe defender Liam Collins cleared his effort off the line. Graham then sent a 25th minute free kick into the box, finding Nathan Campbell but his header was straight into the arms of Stone.
Leading scorer Ronald Sobowale then had the final 2 chances of the half, shooting over after a great run, then hit a 30 yard free kick just wide. Leafe came out on the attack in the second half. Graham's short corner found Sobowale and his shot from a narrow angle was saved by Stone. Leafe's first goal came in the 57th minute. Aikhionbare won the ball in the air then took it down the left, crossing to Martin Sontan. his shot was blocked but fell to Sobowale who shot into the back of the net.
Leafe's travelling support were still celebrating when they increased the lead in the 63rd minute, Graham's corner was headed home by Aikhionbare. Manager Harry Hudson then introduced Tre Daley and he made an immediate impact with a great run down the right, cut into the box and shot just beyond the far post. He then forced a good save from Stone in the 73rd minute and Aikhionbare following up put his shot just wide.
Abbey Rangers tried to lift themselves and the introduction of ex Leafe striker Charlie Postance gave them a bit more punch up front but Leafe's defence coped well and McCarthy had little to do. The final whistle brought scenes of jubilation with the team celebrating with the large contingent of Leafe fans.
Whyteleafe: McCarthy, Mensah, O'Donoghue, Campbell, Thompson, Holder, Andrews (Daley66), Graham, Aikhionbare, Sontan (Sanders-Henry 71), Sobowale (Clarke 76). Subs not used McGeoghegan, Olurunnisomo, Malcolm, Fuell.
Match Report: Brian Davis