Saturday, November 29, 2014

Burgess Hill 3 - 2 Tanners

A second half collapse cost Leatherhead their place in the 1st round for the first time since 1986.  It all started so well though.  Leatherhead were getting the ball out wide and causing their defence trouble and then the goal.  Leatherhead have been scoring spectacular goals recently and none more so than Vas’ dipping shot from 30 yards out that caught the ‘keeper off of his line and it found the back of the net.

Leatherhead kept applying the pressure until Avery rose for a header and he and the ‘keeper came together with the shot stopper coming off second best.  This seemed to galvanise the home side and from that point on they were a force to be reckoned with.  Had they been able to shoot on target they could have won at a canter.

Leatherhead rode their luck and went in to the half time break 1-0 up and received the hairdryer treatment from Brady.  For once the half time talk appeared to do the trick.  We came out firing and snatched a two goal lead.  Rook rising to a ball the ‘keeper should have dealt with to make it 2-0.  There was no way back for Burgess Hill now surely…

The comeback was on when our stand in ‘keeper rushed out, over committed and brought down their striker.  A clear penalty which was scored with a powerful shot straight down the middle.  Soon after Mahal (I think) attempted a tackle from behind on a striker, it looked like he got the ball but probably after he got the player.  The ref did think long and hard about it but as he was on first name terms with most of the players decided to give it.  The same player made no mistake about the second.  2-2.

Could Leatherhead hold on for ten minutes?  No.  We failed to clear and eventually a powerful toe-poke of a shot from the edge of the box flew past our diving ‘keeper to send smug levels through the roof from the home fans that couldn’t be bothered to change ends at half time.

Dreams of Bristol Rovers put on hold.  Back to league and Harrow in the week…


Travelling Tanners

Today represents a classic cup (or trophy) tie.  Leatherhead, while not languishing at the bottom, are hardly pulling up trees of the league above.  Burgess Hill Town however are on a formidable run of form and have a talented striker who is seeing out his time at the club before heading to Hull.

Leatherhead also find themselves a little short at the back.  Injury and suspension means that someone will have to step into the centre back position.  If we choose to play Mickey Mouse back there it could be a long afternoon for the travelling supporters…

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tanners 2 - 1 Farnham Town

No one really fancied this game. Well 83 hardy souls ventured out into the mist and gloom and muttered to themselves about whether they should have stayed in the warm and watched TV. Some of our first choice side were doing just that leading to some unusual names on the team sheet. Farnham had a youthful enthusiastic side who looked like they were determined to enjoy the evening even if everyone else was less sure.

Avery gave us an early lead with a far post header and talk was of the flood gates opening. That lead to an immediate equaliser from the visitors. Fortunately, there was an excellent choice of tables in the bar at half time avoiding any of those awkward moments asking a stranger if it was ok to share their table.

The 2nd half got wetter and discussion turned to whether it was worth staying for extra time. Mike had a rather awkward moment attempting to return the ball leading to much tutting from the players waiting for the corner to be taken. Finally, Rook headed us into the lead and we held out against a late Farnham onslaught. Thoughts turn to the FA Trophy on Saturday and (should we be victorious) the possibility of playing Bristol Rovers or Barnet.

(Report by DominicWJM)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Farnham Town are coming

Leatherhead attempt to end 45 years of hurt when we begin our Surrey Senior Cup campaign against Farnham on Wednesday night.  Despite 6 finals we have only won this Trophy once. Even Metrogas can claim a better record having won in 1921 and 1922.

This illustrious competition was first won by Reigate Priory in 1883 with a fine 2-1 win over East Sheen. Rod claims to have written the match report (citation needed).  The craziest final was undoubtedly in 1903 when Townley Park despatched Sanatorium 4-0 which drove them mad!

Farnham sit 14th, two leagues below us in the Combined Counties.  They are managed by Paul Tanner but it was the real Tanners who hit 5 last Saturday at Peacehaven with our best win of the season.

Nudkeji will be hoping to crow again tomorrow night with more goals that would surely seal a regular place in our starting line-up.  Let's hope there will be no mention of Micky Mouse after this game!

(Preview by DominicWJM)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

P&T 2 - 5 Tanners

We really needed this win.  It has been a while since we took all three points and so the relegation zone was drawing closer.  As it turned out we need not have feared as, but for a spell in the second half, we looked firmly in control.

What was so enjoyable was the attaching football we had on display.  To feet with Vas being the main outlet down the right.  Avery (who may find himself in the back four soon) and Smart ruled midfield and Kev Terry too put in a good shift.

The first goal was the comical slapstick kind.  A ball to Vas on was cut out by a sliding keeper but, unfortunately for him, his slide took him outside the box so he could only drop it at the grateful winger’s feet.  His cross was met by Hughes-Mason and we took the lead.

Our smiles were wiped off of our faces moments later when Dean Pooley cut out a diagonal ball and headed it routinely towards goal.  Wells slipped and could only watch as it rolled into the back on the net.

Leatherhead were soon back on top though.  Dembele, who had been denied an audacious lob minutes earlier, found himself clear on the ‘keeper and his powerful low shot left the shot stopper lagging on the floor as it nestled into the far corner.

A good first half but the best was yet to come…

The opening 15 minutes of the second half and Leatherhead fans were wondering what ever Brady says at half time he should stop saying it.  As with Whyteleafe it looked a little flat and it was not long before the pressure told.  I missed the goal trying to find a bin behind the goal.

It did not miss the rest of the goals though.  The travelling fans felt sorry for Dembele when he was subbed for Nwokeji as he had scored and had looked lively.  It was Nwokeji that set the game alight though.  His first touch was to control the ball at the top of the box while his shirt was being pulled.  He then rolled his man to fire a low shot into the far corner.  3-2.  He then received a ball to his feet a little further out.  It sat up invitingly so he struck a dipping shot that clipped the top corner and dropped into the net.  Le Tissier would have been proud of that one.  4-2.

The scoring continued as Vas danced through the box and his left foot too found the back of the net.

It got worse for Peacehaven, a defender got his second yellow and they finished the game with 10 men.

A good win and then we face Farnham on Wednesday…

Friday, November 21, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead fans have complained they have been kept in the dark on a number of things this year and tomorrow we have an early kick off to avoid the same being said of this away trip.  Problems with their flood lights have caused the game to kick off at 2pm.  Could be a good thing too with an artic Buffalo blast due in from America any day soon!

Our last meeting was also hit by severe conditions.  Heavy rain minutes before kick-off lead to flooded goal mouths.  There was only enough sand to make one (their) goal mouth playable… but then managed to find some to fill the other end in the second half.  Not that I am bitter.

Anyway, kick off at 2pm.  Location can be found here.  See you there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So, what happened last night

Leatherhead fail to do the double over Whyteleafe losing 2-1.  If your name is Jason and you played for Whyteleafe you probably scored last night… the match report can be found here.

Meanwhile Burgess Hill won their replay over Folkestone 1-0 so get to host us in 10 days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Travelling Tanners... Whyteleafe again!

League cup action and this tie caught me out.  Our generous hosts have a second chance to knock us out of a cup competition as we travel again to The Leafe.

Kick off… well soon so get a move on.  Directions as before.


Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Burgess Hill or Folkestone away

Our reward for overcoming Whyteleafe and their 3G pitch is a trip to Burgess Hill or Folkestone.  Game to be played on Saturday, 29 November.

Burgess Hill travel to Folkestone tomorrow to battle it out for the honour of hosting us…


Whyteleafe 1 - 4 Tanners

Leatherhead supporters were delighted find an excellent playing surface despite all the heavy rain. In fact, it was so good that Greg Andrews could have eaten off it! Rod was so impressed that he considered (very briefly) digging into his Cash ISA to fund the £320,000 required to lay a similar surface at Fetcham Grove.

Whyteleafe are in good form and you could tell they really fancied this one. Having already seen off Dunstable and Redbridge, they glanced at the league table and thought we were there for the taking. For the first 35 minutes they were right as Leatherhead repeatedly gave the ball away and struggled to adapt to the surface.

Vas came to the rescue on 38 minutes with a sweet volley that had Greg purring in approval. Unfortunately his purr soon turned into a sulky strop and the inevitable yellow card soon followed.

We went into half time with an undeserved lead but it wasn't enough to appease Richard Brady who could be heard expressing his views on our first half performance from the tea bar queue. it was the sort of passion sadly missing from Ed Miliband's Party Conference speech and it was a different Tanners side that came out for the 2nd half.

There was more urgency and passes were finding other men in green when, against the run of play, the enigmatic Andrews soared like an eagle to level the scores. Leatherhead decided enough was enough and two fantastic strikes from Vas and Kiernan and a debut goal for Nwokeji saw us bag £3,250 and into today's draw.

Can we play you twice a week?

(Report by DominicWJM)


Friday, November 14, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Tomorrow Leatherhead travel to our old friends Whyteleafe in the FA Trophy… and what a collection of old friends we will see there too.  Greg Andrews, in fine form, and do I see Elliott Thompson plying his trade there?

All things are set for the travelling faithful too.  A hardy group are getting a train at 12.53 from Leatherhead, arriving at around 2pm for a swift half before the short walk to the ground.  Join them to benefit from ticket offers etc.  What is more they are showing the England game afterwards, with a pint costing £2 until someone bundles the ball over the line in the 80th minute.

If the train isn’t for you the directions are here.  Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

East Thurrock 1 - 1 Tanners

Leatherhead suffered a late equaliser to deny them all three points on the road.

It was Dean Pooley who grabbed the opener for us.  A commanding header in the early minutes thundered past the East Thurrock ‘keeper.  With the home team on the rocks Leatherhead searched for another but could not break down them down.

East Thurrock were in many ways making the game easy for us.  Their passing was off key and we were happy to collect the stray attempts and move forward.   As the game wore on East Thurrock found their rhythm and so the pressure grew.

Just when it looked like we may see the game through until the 90th minute where Wells was deceived by a high ball and it was headed home to ruin our night.  That said a valuable point in a return to the Ryman Premier.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Travelling Tanners

East Thurrock come back down to earth with an almighty bump tonight after their day in the sun at Hartlepool.

There were many Leatherhead supporters who were voluntarily bumping their heads against a brick wall after a dire home defeat to Lewes saw us much too close to the bottom 4 for comfort.

East Thurrock are just one place above us but have games in hand and we will be hoping that for them it will not be a case of after The Lord Mayor's show.  We have no such worries having swept up all our horse manure left on the pitch last Saturday!

They can be found here.  Good luck fellas.

(Preview by DominicWJM)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Tanners 0 - 1 Lewes

The Leatherhead fans that took advantage of the pre-match entertainment could have hoped for more on the pitch as Leatherhead lose to second bottom Lewes.  Actually it was a bright start with Lewes failing to handle Rook and were forced into some rash tackles in midfield.  Certainly at one point the game was getting a little heated as the rain swept in.

The game for Leatherhead hinged on two chances.  In the first half Rook burst (yes, I said burst) through to be clear on goal on the left.  His powerful near post shot struck all three pieces of woodwork before bouncing clear of danger.  Then in the second half a loose ball fell on the penalty shot for Kev Terry to put his foot through.  By then the rains had made the pitch boggy and he lost his footing and his chance.

In between that Lewes swung in a powerful cross and it was side footed past, player of the month, Wells to the joy of the travelling supporters who were braving the downpour.

A game to forget for Leatherhead and on to East Thurrock on Tuesday…


Friday, November 07, 2014

Lewes are coming

Always a pleasure to welcome Lewes to The Grove.  After the midweek excitement of penalties Leatherhead must get back to the routine of the league and there is no better way than from a visit from Lewes with their travelling contingent.

Meanwhile in the bar there is quite an offering of football and promotions.  See the @thelipfc twitter feed for the poster and details.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Tanners 2 - 2 Canvey (Tanners win 6-5 on penalties)

It was Hughes Mason who let off the fireworks last night as Tanners squeezed past Canvey Island to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round. We are now just 7 wins away from a 2nd appearance at Wembley.

Canvey Island took an early lead after a cross was met by a free header. They say that if you see one Rook it's a Crow, and if you see lots of Crows they're Rooks, but either way we were Raven about his deft cross led to our equaliser shortly before half time.

Half time created more interest than usual as it was many people's first view of the infamous boardroom erection (not Rod in an amateur theatre production). The general view was that it was not as obtrusive as some feared. In fact, some didn't even notice it.

In the 2nd half the temperature was dropping and toes numbing, when Mahal raced down the right flank to set up an accurate cross for Hughes-Mason to take the lead. Canvey Island decided that they didn't want to waste 180 minutes of football and applied enough pressure to force an equaliser with only a few minutes left.

Extra-time was met with little enthusiasm by the brass monkeys behind the goal, and some concern for Canvey Island as their manager anxiously checked the time of the last ferry back from the mainland. A fairly uneventful extra time lead to the usual debate about which end the penalties would be taken.  The referee saw sense and chose the end nearest to my car.

A superb set of penalties from both sides made it 5-5 when Wells made a fine save to the 6th and we were through. Mike had been considering a pitch invasion but it was agreed that the perimeter fence was too high for someone with a PhD in Chemistry when Physics would have been more useful.

Those at a work dinner missed out on a hard fought win and positive signs for the rest of the season.

(Report by DominicWJM)

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Canvey Island Are Coming

Tonight we face Canvey Island in a replay as we continue our quest to reach the FA Trophy final for the 2nd time in just 36 years.

Canvey Island went one better in 2001 when they defeated Forest Green Rovers at Villa Park in front of 10,007.  We can be confident of the 7 coming from Canvey Island tonight but maybe not too many more.

If we win, not only do we bag £2,700, but we also face the prospect of a rejuvenated Greg Andrews at Whyteleafe. Will he be in one of his tantrums? Let's hope we can find out!

Kick off at 7.45.  Good luck fellas.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Canvey Island 1 - 1 Tanners

It was a solid performance and a hard earned draw. We started in lively fashion with 4 attacking players in Vas and Kev Terry out wide, supporting Rook and Nwokeji. Richard Avery slotted into centre back as Jerry is out for up to 6 weeks after picking up an injury in Wednesday night's friendly!

Vas earned a penalty which Rook stood up to take but he was faced with a sunken penalty spot. The referee insisted that the ball must be placed in the middle of the crater and Rook's careful penalty was comfortably saved. Matt was smartly on hand to pick up the pieces.

An equaliser came from a deflected Canvey free kick.

Half time bought a stroll to the river and a healthy debate as to at what point a river becomes the sea. We decided it was the sea as it had a sea wall.  The 2nd half was mostly Canvey but Rook saw a towering header just pass the post, and a chance for Kev Terry bounced harmlessly off his knee for a goal kick.

Still £2,700 up for grabs on Wednesday in a winnable replay.

(Report by DominicWJM)