AFC Whyteleafe rounded off the month of August with an away trip to the south coast to play Wick FC in the first round of the FA Vase. Fantastic weather, a warm welcome from the host club and hordes of the Leafe Army travelling by car, train and club coach all added to the great atmosphere. Both sides went into the game unbeaten and it showed: the first half saw an even game with few chances falling to either team. The second half saw the Leafe turn it on (as we so often do) with relentless attacks, resulting in three goals in a 15-minute spell, with Wick nicking a consolation goal at the death. The game finished 3-1 and we took a step towards Wembley.
Next up, we were back in league action with an away trip to one of the pre-season favourites for the title, Snodland Town FC. The first half was an evenly contested battle with the Leafe edging the chances, leading to a goal in the 33rd minute. The second half saw us lose our way a little, and Snodland increased their aerial bombardment to a level last seen on Brighton seafront by a pack of seagulls. Two weak goals followed for the hosts, with Leafe still creating some great chances in between spells of lacklustre play. The game finished 2-1: our unbeaten run was over.
Stealing a point
Our second game of the month saw us back on the road in midweek action against local rivals Croydon FC. We were really poor and they were really good, until it came to shooting. And then (thankfully), their attack resembled a blindfolded person trying to hit a piñata. The game ended 1-1 and we stole a point (Arriba!).
Finally! After five weeks we were back at Church Road, where we welcomed the arrival of Rochester Utd. Great weather and the highest attended game at this level in the country set the scene for a great afternoon. Leafe took the lead after 4 minutes with Sam ‘the Great Barrier’ Keefe arriving at the back post to volley home from a corner. Gus Ward slotted home in the 37th minute, and we went into the second half two up. A couple of early subs seemed to affect our tempo and Rochester started to take more control, before a handball in the box gifted us a pen. Joenaldo Condon stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. It ended 3-0, and we moved up to 8th, with games in hand.
Keep 15 October free in your diary as it's our only home game this month: we’re expecting a huge crowd at Church Road as we take on Forest Hill Park FC.
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(Above: AFC Whyteleafe in action against Faversham Strike Force FC. Photo credit: Andy Crayford at Crayford Media)