Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Folkestone 3 - 0 Tanners

As I looked at the 2 hour journey to Folkestone I wondered what the prospect of getting a Leatherhead winning perform would be.  Mentally and physically tired; key players inured; a new player coming in; and an opposition with no other distractions.  Fortunately work commitments meant I could not leave in time as, had I gone, I would have been disappointed.

To be fair the first half it sounds like we made a fight of it.  Good spells of pressure and going close.  In the second half, the novelty of having a new player in the centre of midfield wore off and we played pretty much as I had predicted and we were brushed aside.

Not even the emergence of Sammy Moore could lift the side as we conceded three goals without response.  "Unacceptable" tweeted the manager... we will have to lift ourselves for Staines on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Travelling Tanners

What a mixed night it was.  The highs of getting a home draw, the lows of picking the one team we would least like to face and while I was accused of jinxing it, we should not forget they are not there yet and face a strong team in Brackley.  

We then got into the Fans' Forum where Moore and Midson talked about their plans which involved bringing a couple of players in for the short term and building a bigger club in the long.  There was also sad news that Paul Semakula has decided he cannot commit to playing due to having a young family.  The timing seems strange, given that we are through to the First Round of the FA Cup, but that is the story we have been given so we will have to stick with it and wish this excellent servant of the club well.

Onto tonight and it is going to be a tough task.  Sammy Moore's ankle has swollen up (probably the ripped skinny jeans preventing good blood circulation) and Midson looked a little sore so we could be down two key players straight away.  We do however have a couple of players coming back, not least Beere who was cup tied.  Our hosts are just 2 points behind, so will fancy their chances to capitalise on a potentially mentally and physically drained side...

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Margate 1 - 2 Tanners

Leatherhead get themselves into the hat for Monday night's draw after executing the perfect game plan.  Before the game, there was much talk about how we were hoping for a draw and that is how the first half panned out.  Tight and with little ambition from either side.  The second half was a different kettle of dolphins though.

Margate, perhaps lulled into a false sense of security, did not seem prepared for Leatherhead's pace from the wingbacks and we piled on the pressure.  The ref, who had mollycoddled the home side in the first half, now started giving us a few decisions to help build our confidence further.

Some thought we had our chance when Midson stuck the bar from close range; others thought it was never going to happen when Clohessy was brought down in the box; and when a corner routine found a player who scuffed the shot so badly it went backwards we were in despair but Moore had different ideas. 

From the scuffed shot he purposefully directed the ball to the back post.  Pidgley (whose main contribution to the game was to make the movable goals narrower and be the pantomime villain) was a mere spectator as the ball found the top corner.  Wild celebrations followed.

It was not too long after Midson got his mandatory goal.  He had just pulled a shot wide but on his second attempt his powerful volley beat Pidgley easily and we were certain the job was done.

Margate had other ideas and for the first time really started showing some ambition and put us under pressure.  A wonderful side volley sent the ball into the net with Margate players following soon after to get the ball back into play.  The ref then did that annoying thing of applying the injury time for the whole game on at then end (with little in the first half and then three minutes for the second) to really make us sweat but we held on.

7pm Monday is the time for the draw.  The romantic in me wants a big club away but to be in the draw is still a dream come true.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Travelling Tanners

This game should need no introduction.  Tomorrow we travel to fellow league cohorts Margate in the best chance we have had to make it through to the First Round since 2006.

Margate are the bookies' favourite.  They are playing at home on their 3G pitch.  Our form, despite the spin of being unbeaten in three, has not been the best if you include the League Cup etc. and we haven't really found a solution to the loss of Chike.

That said, we will be up for this.  We cancelled our mid-week game to focus on the game and to add an extra layer of bubble wrap to Sammy Moore on top of what has been a hefty layer of cotton wool.  Let us not also forget, we are level on points with only goal difference separating us.

We should travel in good numbers.  Two coaches - my first coach trip since Abingdon - and many under their own steam.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  See you there!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Tanners 2 - 1 Harlow

Sighs of relief all round as Tanners secured their first win in 5 league outings and moved into a comfortable mid table position.   

We are a well organised and hard working side but, since Chike left, lack invention and creativity. I am sure Sammy will be looking to address this as Midson is our only real goal threat. 

The midfield need to start contributing goals if we are to press for a play-off place.  Harlow are 3rd bottom and showed us why. They offered little, although gladly accepted the goal that was gifted to them. 

Jack came to the rescue with a header from a cross and Rees Williams Bowers (sounds like a show jumper) found the winner in the 2nd half from close range.  

A word about the referee. Useless.  

The players now have a week off to prepare for the big one on Saturday. The chance to get into the hat for the FA Cup 1st Round Proper for the first time since I pranced around in a suit at Torquay in 2006.   

Time to think about your dream fixture. Home to Charlton Athletic or Blackburn Rovers? Maybe away to Blackpool? Or the nightmare scenario.. Away to Billericay.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Harlow are coming...

Harlow arrive to The Grove in what I predict will be a largely one sided game.  We will have our eyes on a bigger prize.

Kick off at 3pm.  Best of luck.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Worthing 1 - 1 Tanners

First of all, Leatherhead should be proud and excited about reaching the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.  It is our "cup final" and understandable that we would want to focus on this but against a side that only has one point we could afford to dream about getting all three.  The best way to prepare for winning a game is to win games in my opinion.

So we travelled to Bognor Regis and made heavy weather of things.  We did have the ball in the net in the first half but it was ruled out for offside, other attempts were described as tame on Twitter.

On 70 minutes, Worthing took the lead; ironically during our best spell of pressure.  A powerful header at the back post that would have been a worthy winning goal.  Luckily Midson, our only real goal threat it seems, was at hand after a string of corners to snatch it in the last minute of injury time.

A point and Harlow will no doubt arrive with their tails up on Saturday...