Friday, February 05, 2016

Enfield Town Are Coming

Leatherhead are hoping that playing at home will result in a level playing field as we take on Enfield Town who are looking to press on with their promotion chase.

Enfield Town steamrollered their way through us when we met at their place last season but they have hit a bumpy patch after losing their last two games.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tonbridge Angels 4 - 0 Tanners

So, what went wrong last night?  We have heard much about the new signings adding balance but could it be the unassuming figure of Kinnear was the lynch pin to our recent success?  Certainly a lot was asked of Parker and Semakula to try and combat the hosts in midfield.  For 20-25 minutes it was a credible attempt but soon we started to become overrun.

Another factor that could not have helped was Steve Watt was out with an illness.  This placed Walsh into the back four which meant we had no real physical presence beyond the defensive unit.  

We had four attacking options upfront with Collin, Hughes Mason, Mahal and Okoh.  That latter two were deployed on the wings and looked lively but as the game wore on, with little support from the centre of midfield, they became isolated and easy pickings for the Tonbridge players.  By the end of the game we were playing a 6-0-4 formation that allowed the final onslaught to take the score to 4.

The other problem was the state of our corner taking.  In the second half those behind the goal were appealing to the ref to give a goal kick instead of a set piece to us that ultimately ended in failure and embarrassment.  They were largely either scuffed to the near post or became a complete shambles when taken short.  One corner was sent in with any real purpose.  One.

Tonbridge hunted in packs and grew in confidence and were well worth the 4-0 score line.  Their first goal was a stunner.  Pressure from the home side resulted in a ball being half cleared to the edge of the box.  This was volleyed back with interest and screamed into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

All too often we have accused Leatherhead of only turning up for the first half and then collapsing in the second.  Perhaps they had given us the first half we asked for and we can expect for a change in fortunes.  Alas, as already indicated it only got worse.  Their second goal again coming from pressure that could not be cleared and they shot from close range to beat Wells who had been magnificent at keeping it close until that point.

Two goals followed in the last ten minutes, long after we had got into the car to return home.  A look at the balance at the side is needed and perhaps Sandmann should make a call to Dover or Maidstone for a defensive midfielder.  Or perhaps look on eBay.  It’s amazing what you can pick up on there these days…

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Travelling Tanners

For some of us this is the second trip to Tonbridge Angels this season.  A late downpour caused the game to be called off but not so late that Leatherhead officials in the know could have shared the information via twitter… at least we know the way there.

That cancellation may have done us a favour as back in December they were top of the table.  With only one win in ten things have slipped.

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  See you there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel  to Hendon (who play at Harrow) today for this league fixture.  Hendon have enjoyed back to back wins but we’ve been on quite a run ourselves.

I started typing this believing there was no need for a pitch inspection... now there is one at 11:15 so check twitter for updates.

Kick off at 3pm (I hope).  Directions can be found here.  See you there!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tanners 3 - 2 Leiston

Three first half goals were enough of a buffer to protect the three points from the second half slump and a terrible referee.

Leatherhead needed some performances today if they were going to overturn the visitors you had made the 130 mile trip south.  In the first half at least we got it and with a shade of fortune built up an impressive lead.

The opening goal came from Frannie.  Since his debut penalty he has seemed a little goal shy so it was a relief to see him on the scoresheet again.  Playing in a deeper role he collected the ball on the edge of the box and drove a low purposeful shot into the bottom left corner.  The ‘keeper could have perhaps done better but it was well placed.  Six minutes gone and things were going well.

Hughes-Mason was a player who had perhaps caught the bug Tomi brought with him in recent weeks.  Glaring misses have plagued him over the last four games but he has always maintained his ability to burst into the box with the ball at feet.  On the half hour mark he did just that and released a fierce shot which, despite the strong hand of the ‘keeper getting to the ball, sneaked in on the far post.

Just three minutes later Frannie made it three with another shot from outside the box.  He was aided by a massive deflection and with the ‘keeper going the wrong way it found the back of the net.

From here on in the ref took over.  On a televised game he’d be in the “let things go” category but it was difficult to watch when some of these instances appeared to inflict genuine pain.  Phil Walsh took a high boot to the face for example with on the assistant prepared to give it.  Phil was subbed off shortly afterwards.

Leatherhead have developed a habit of only being able to play 45 minutes and so Leiston pressured with us sinking deeper.  On the hour mark there was a goal mouth scramble with the ball crossing the line.  Unsurprisingly the ref was unable to make a decision and the assistant stepped in and gave it. 

Leiston did not seem to have the urgency to really press us though and at no real point did the fans get too nervous.  In fact we thought the result was beyond doubt when Alex Wood tapped in from a Cash cross but it was ruled out for offside.

Deep into stoppage time Leiston pulled one back to cause the pulse to race a little.  Not aided by Leatherhead’s decision to believe the last kick of the ball from the re-start would come from punting it straight at their ‘keeper.  The ref found an extra few second to allow the ball to be sent back towards our goal but we managed to hold off their last attack long enough for the ref to finally see sense and call time on a great win.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Leiston are coming

I hope this game is on.  The frosts of midweek were replaced with persistent rain on Friday but the sun is out so hopefully we can get the game on.
Leiston would hope to be there or there abouts so promise to be a very different opposition to that we have faced in the league recently.  There was a time we used to consider teams from Kent our bogey sides.  Lets hope we don't come to the same conclusion about sides from Suffolk.
Kick off at 3pm (look at twitter for updates).  See you there!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Needham Market 1 - 0 Tanners

Tanners will come away from this game disappointed they did not get more, perhaps a point being a fair result.  Then again, VCD would not doubt feel the same so while we have three points over the two games if football was fair we’d only have two.

The first thing that struck the few that made the 100 mile trip was the state of the pitch, it looked as if it had been freshly ploughed.  Home advantage proved to be crucial as the hosts quickly adapted to the conditions.

Something Needham Market had was a powerful forward who dominated down the wings.  He seemed unstoppable and no sooner did we get to grips with things he simply changed sides.  It was from one of his runs they got the goal.  Down the right he fired in an early cross that found an unmarked player just inside the box on the left hand side.  He had time to pick his spot and curl his shot past Wells with apparent ease.  Disappointing but with 60 minutes to go we need not panic.

It was only really in the second half did we really get going.  We were now used to the cabbage patch and started to apply pressure.  Also we tried to match their tactics of a large striker and deployed Walsh upfront to bolster our attack.

Things just simply did not go our way.  When Hughes-Mason was clear on goal with a ball coming to him it would bobble under or over his foot.  Shots from midfield were sliced.  In the dying minutes we had a goal mouth scramble where three shots on target were blocked or save.  The third and best shot was hit with so little power the defender on the line could have built a campfire to keep warm waiting for the ball to arrive.

It wasn’t meant to be and Sandmann suffers his first defeat after an impressive six straight wins.  There is also no chance to bounce back with a quick game as conflicts elsewhere mean Bognor Regis will not be coming Wednesday.  Leiston it is on Saturday then!