Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Travelling Tanners

A big one tonight as we reacquaint ourselves with the Beveree Stadium as we take on Hampton & Richmond Borough.  A few weeks ago they were not enjoying life in the Premier League but three wins in a row see them leapfrog us to mid-table while we look nervously at the relegation zone.  Early days in the season but such has been the turn of fortunes some are questioning when this blip will end.

Kick off at 7.45.  You can find them here.  See you there!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Travelling Tanners

No action for Leatherhead on account of us being out of the FA Cup so we are off to see a team close to our hearts tomorrow.  Dorking Wanderers v Biggleswade.  Dorking Wanderers are what Liverpool are to Southampton.  They take on our players while the bigger club climb the table.  All for a small fee of £50 million.

Kick off at 3pm.  They can be found here.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tanners 2 - 3 Hendon

Leatherhead lose out to a single goal in a game that will be remembered for a spirited second half performance and the shocking inconsistency of the ref.  His performance  saw a Leatherhead player sent off for daring to challenge a 50/50 ball with a ‘keeper while the visiting team went unpunished for kicking the ball away and dragging back players who were through on goal.

First half and we lacked composure, gifting possession to Hendon and none more so than a weak back pass that fell perfectly into their onrushing striker who finished with an assured shot past Wells.  

The second goal came from an excellent display of attacking football from the visitors.  Their number 11 eluded two or three of our defenders before looking up and deftly chipping Wells who had perhaps gone to ground too early.  The ball may have cross the line under its own perfectly weighted steam but a greedy striker was at hand to make sure.  2-0.

Leatherhead meanwhile had collectively decided the best way forward was to shoot from range.  Why not with some of the goals we have scored so far this season and it paid off when Smart fired home a fine goal from distance.  Alas we then proceeded to allow their striker a completely unchallenged header at the far post to restore their two goal cushion.

Second half and Leatherhead came out that we could beat Hendon playing ball to feet football and we came close in doing so.  The comeback seemed on when the superb Dolby drove in a cross which Dembele fired home.  The ref then came to the fore…

In both halves Long had beaten his man only to be pulled to the ground.  Unsporting behaviour is most people’s books but the ref decided a word was all that was needed.  When ahead Hendon on three occasions kicked the ball away after the whistle was blown.  Again such unsporting behaviour was tackled with an unheeded word as by now it was clear there was no consequence to their actions.  A flash point arrived when Smart was pulled to the ground in the middle of the pitch, the ref saw differently and awarded a free kick.  A small fracas erupted which the ref spent several minutes discussing and a yellow for each player was issued.

Back to the game but not without mention of the ref.  Leatherhead won a free kick on the edge of the box (this was shortly after the failure to show a yellow card for the worst of the two assaults on Long) which was whipped in only for the keeper to flap at it twice.  As the ball fell to the ground Hughes-Mason stretched to try and force the ball home.  The ‘keeper smothered the ball which looked dangerously close to being over the line for an equaliser.  Some people behind the goal even celebrated but no goal was awarded but a foul, then as the ‘keeper decided to walk 10 metres and go down again if shot the ref reacted and sent Hughes-Mason off.

This actually made little effect to the pressure we applied and kept Hendon defending deep until the ref blew his whistle.  Early in my opinion given the time he took to lecture players.

Another winless game and a point closer to the relegation zone but at least the fans walked away asking “what if?” instead of “why do I bother?”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hendon are coming

Looking at last year’s table Hendon were leading the chasing pack finishing 8th but still some 13 points from the play-offs.  This season they are no doubt looking to improve and arrive at The Grove in 5th place having only lost two games.

After a good start Leatherhead have not found winning easy but are still chipping away with the draws to keep us mid table.  Perhaps tonight we can beat the woodwork which we have struck so readily in recent games.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tanners 0 - 2 Enfield Town

I am no expert, I have never managed a football team before BUT I am an accountant and studied statistics and the recent results have not made good reading.  No wins in the last 7 games.  Out of the FA Cup to lower opposition.  A draw against a side with 10 for much of the second half and finished with 9.  Today we were bossed around by a side where we could have hoped for more a month ago.

The main problem, as far as the fans behind the goal see it, is tactic being deployed recently.  Our best players pushed out wide feeding on scraps and with slow lofted balls into Rook who is asked to do a job he seems uncomfortable with.  He opened the season scoring when running onto whipped in crosses.  Now with his back to goal, heavily marked and trying to deal with an obvious ball in the penalty box it is slim pickings. 

Leatherhead had two spells worth typing about.  In the first half they had five minutes of pressure.  Karagiannis hit the post and a ball fell at the feet of Jerry in front of goal but he couldn’t adjust in time to strike.  True to form we were caught on the break and a swift move brought their opener.

Second half and for 45 minutes were largely ineffectual.  Stacy, who had struggled out wide to effect the game, was at last allowed to move more central towards the end of the game with the introduction of Dolby and he started to look the most likely to score.  Thank god for him and Smart.

Into stoppage time and we struck the post again and forced a series of corners but as in the first half we failed to convert and down the other way they went and a cool finish beat Wells from distance.

Fifth placed Hendon come to The Grove on Wednesday night. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Enfield Town are coming

Enfield Town make their way from north of the river tomorrow to visit the Grove.  We must have played these fellas before but I cannot remember it.  They certainly were not part of the Premier set up in our last outing there in 2011/12. 

We are chipping away at the league.  Lacking the winning touch but drawing our way to our current mid-table standing.  Hopefully tomorrow we can go that one goal better and get all three points.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Canvey Island 1 - 1 Tanners

Leatherhead could have taken all three points against a side that was down to 9 men.

It was an incisive move that allowed Canvey to open their account.  A good through ball cut opens our defence for the striker runs onto the pass and score.  Leatherhead did respond with Hughes-Mason hitting the post at close range and Karagiannis trying his luck from range but the half ended 1-0 to the hosts.

Second half and the game started swinging in Leatherhead’s favour.  A straight red for a player for a challenge that the home fans seemed convinced it was rather harsh.  Leatherhead started to press the advantage.  The goal came long range.  Stacy, who can hit them, struck a powerful shot that was blocked by the ‘keeper but the ball squirmed through his hands and over the line for the equaliser. 

As the game drew to a close a Canvey Island player went down under a challenge but the ref viewed it as a dive and brandished his second yellow card of the evening.  They were down to 9 men and continued to pressure for the winner.  In the last minute a chance came but the shot went wide.

Another point and back we come to the Grove Saturday.  Enfield Town are coming…