Sheerwater won 3-1 at home to Tooting & Mitcham United in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday.

Sheerwater went into this game in good form after pushing Jersey Bulls all the way on Tuesday evening, and that good form continued with this victory against play-off contenders.

This was Sheerwater’s first ever home game against Tooting and a 100-plus crowd created a great atmosphere.

TJ Barbato made one change to the starting 11 from the Jersey match, with Michael Leech replacing the injured Ben Portbury, who could be out for approximately three weeks. Leech replaced him against Jersey after only 12 minutes and had a fine game, as he did again against Tooting.

The early exchanges were pretty even, with not a lot for either keeper to do, and Leech and McGrane worked well in tandem to keep danger man Shay Brennan relatively quiet.

Both sides were strong in the tackle and looked to build from the back. More confidence on the ball has been a feature since the appointment of TJ and Luke Stone.

George Sellick began causing problems with some exciting wing play on the left and a couple of crosses were hastily cleared from danger. At the other end, Sheerwater keeper Alfie Mickley, who was solid throughout, claimed a couple of through balls.

It was Sheerwater who drew first blood, with George Mackie scoring for the second game running. Sellick was the architect, beating his marker and cutting inside to shoot. The shot was blocked and looped up into the air, and Michael Milne headed against the bar, but Mackie was on hand to head home the rebound. A minute prior to this Sellick came close but former Sheerwater keeper Jack Minchin saved well.

Tooting & Mitcham responded with a spell of pressure and Louis McGrane did well to block a goal-bound effort. Mickley made a fine save on 26 minutes to preserve the lead. A break down the right saw Loyza go through but Mickley saved his low shot with his feet. Mickley did well again on 32 minutes, getting down to gather a cross from Brennan. McGrane volleyed over on 33 minutes from a Zac Jervis corner.

It was all level on 40 minutes. Sheerwater had a good attack down the right, Elliot York shot on target and there were big appeals for a penalty for handball, but the referee was not interested. The ball moved quickly to the other end and Leech misjudged the bounce, allowing a cross from the right which picked out Brennan who finished with ease from eight yards.

At half-time it was 1-1 and Tooting came out firing just after the break, with Quiassaca heading over. Liam Avery, outstanding in midfield, powered forward on 49 minutes and was upended on the edge of the box, earning a caution for O’Brien. The free kick was taken by Jervis, and as the wall jumped he calmly passed the ball low into the corner past Minchin to make it 2-1.

The frustrated Quiassaca picked up a silly caution on 56 minutes after kicking out at Callum Mackie, and a minute later he caught Milne and was dismissed. Sheerwater were boosted by this and continued to play good football and create chances. Substitute Braydon Tanner put a great ball into the danger area, with York and Sellick looking to score, but Tooting did well to head out for a corner. Mickley was in command, dealing with balls into the box from crosses, and Brennan was well marshalled. He was coming deeper to get involved.

The decisive third goal came on 80 minutes and it was worthy of winning any game. Tanner received a pinpoint long pass from the stylish Jervis, and he took a touch before delivering a superb ball across goal for fellow substitute Harvey Dosanjh to arrive and plant his left-footed effort beyond Minchin.

The final few minutes were played out with Sheerwater soaking up any pressure from Tooting, whose build-up play was not dynamic enough, and a massive three points in the battle to stay up were secured.

Boss TJ Barbato was proud of his team’s display, saying recent performances had been good without getting results, but against Tooting it all came together.