FA CUP Match Report
Report from Brian Davis
Whyteleafe (1) 1 Concord Rangers (1) 2
Gondoh 2 Popo 41, Blackman 73
Whyteleafe's glorious cup run came to an end against National League South opposition in front of a capacity crowd at Church Road in a thoroughly entertaining match which could have gone either way with Leafe giving a good account of themselves against a side two levels higher in the pyramid.
Leafe got off to the best possible start. In the second minute they were awarded a free kick wide on the right. Ryan Gondoh took the kick and it evaded everyone, going through a crowded box and into the far corner of the net.
Play shifted from end to end, with the best chances falling to Leafe. The visitors only early chance coming in the 7th minute when Tom Hanfrey fired a free kick over the bar.
A minute later Gondoh forced a diving save from Chris Haigh. Further attempts came from Aaron Watson, who's shot was saved low down at the near post, then a shot from Emmanuel Mensah forced a good save from Haigh, tipping the ball round the post for a corner.
Gondoh had another shot over the bar and a 37th minute Bentley Graham free kick was blocked by the wall. Somewhat against the run of play, Concord equalised in the 41st minute. Lamar Reynolds caught Tyler Mccarthy off his line and his chip struck the upright. The ball bounce across the face of goal and Tosan Popo was the first to the ball, poking it into the net from close range.
Rangers could have taken the lead on the stroke of half time when a Tyrone Sterling header from a corner was cleared off the line by Antone Douglas.
The second half continued in the same vain as the first with both sides creating chances. Omari Hibbert won the ball on the edge of the box and his cross just evaded Gondoh in a dangerous position.
At the other end Jason Raad went on a great run, shooting from some 30 yards and narrowly missing the target. This was followed by a 30 yard free kick from Gondoh that went into the side netting and as the game continued to flow from end to end, Reynolds hit the outside of the post with another free kick.
Leafe went close once more in the 68th minute when a corner from Graham found Oluwadamilola Olurunnisomo and his shot was blocked on the line.
The winning goal came in the 73rd minute, Popo winning the ball on the byline and finding Sam Blackman in the box who scored from close range.
The game was by no means over with manager Harry Hudson making some attacking changes to try and force an equaliser, Andrew Sesay and Courtney Clarke coming on for Helge Orome and Antone Douglas. Leafe pushed forward in search of an equalise but Concord were also dangerous on the break. The closing minutes were frantic, even McCarthy going up for a very late Graham corner but Leafe's gallant efforts could not bring an equaliser so the visitors progress to the 4th qualifying round.
Leafe; McCarthy, Thompson, Olorunnisomo, Graham, McGeoghegan, Douglas (Sesay 74), Mensah, Orome (Clarke 78), Watson, Gondoh, Hibbert. subs not used Walker-Barth Scott Palmer, Barford.