Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merstham 1 - 2 Tanners

Leatherhead lifted the Mick Sullivan Trophy with the hosts getting the lesser prize… The Hayden Bird Cup… after an entertaining second half performance.

It was not that the first half was not impressive.  It just seemed to lack chances but you could not fault the effort made on either side.  It was Tomi who had the first chance to score for the visitors.  Put through and clear on goal his powerful shot was aimed straight at the ‘keeper who had done well to come out smother.  Dembelle too managed to wriggle through the defence but could not get enough space to get the shot away and it bounced off his shin to safety.

Second half and the game was still played with plenty of huff and puff but little in the way of clear cut chances until Mahal came on and added some new pace down the right wing.  From his run on 69 minutes we won a corner and on the second attempt of swinging the wall in we got our goal.  It was a dangerous ball into the ball, low and hard and could have gone in on its own.  Perhaps it did as Mahal, Jerry and Tomi all seem to want a part in it.  I seem to think it came off Tomi and he certainly got the lion share of the praise from his fellow players.

Our lead did not last long.  A nice build of play saw the ball in open space just inside the box and it was lashed home by their winger.  Wells got his hands to it but it was simply too well struck to save.

Merstham now looked the more purposeful but with Mahal we were quick to break.  Also we welcomed back Sam Blackman, who after adjusting from playing football from soccer, looked very composed.  His best moment came when he danced through the Merstham defence with his shot going just wide.

It was from a break we got the winner.  Tomi chased what appeared to be a lost cause but just managed to get a cross in which eluded the sole defender and ‘keeper but not Hughes Mason who had the presence of mind to chest in the cross.

Merstham started to press for the equalizer again when Mahal went on another run down the right.  His cross beat the ‘keeper and found Tomi along in front of goal.  He had scored a goal and created another.  Perhaps now his confidence was up.  Alas if it was it did not help as from three yards the ball was ballooned up over the bar.  At first we cried, then laughed and then began to panic as it looked increasingly likely that the miss would cost us two points.  On the death a powerful header beat Wells and from my angle it looked to have dipped under the bar, but it sailed just over and the ref blew the final whistle.

A fantastic victory that makes it three in a row and was felt hard by the local supporters by the boardroom who are usually so smug.  In fact, if you’re a teenage boy smiling to yourself on the way out you could expect to be told off for such a show of disrespect…

So.  The Tanners have some time to see in the new year then look forward to the visit of Hampton & Richmond…

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Travelling Tanners

With Bubble & Squeak consumed we travel to Merstham for this important Mick Sullivan Derby game.  The two sides, who know each other from our Div One South Days, are separated by just one point.

An ex-Tanner leads the line for the hosts.  Phil Page has come in for Tommy Hutchings who now joins the ranks of the Leatherhead Hall of Fame at Westhumble.

All in all it is a big festive game… let’s hope it will be the Tanners who will be sleighing Merstham today…

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


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tanners 1 - 0 Brentwood Town

Leatherhead voyage in the league looks to be on calmer waters after today’s win.  Back to back wins against teams in deeper relegation trouble than us has seen us pull away 11 points clear of the dreaded drop zone.

It was another assured performance with the new Assistant adding much needed leadership and commanding things at the back with Jerry.  Walsh was pushed upfront and was masterful in his knock downs and holding up play.

Kinnear Jnr got our opening goal from such a knockdown and steered a shot from the outside of his boot in off the inside of the post.  It wasn’t the most powerful shot but did enough to beat a ‘keeper who went on to make two top class saves.  Watts could have doubled the advantage but his powerful header bounced off the bar.

Second half and Leatherhead played largely being in control.  Walsh was went off injured and on came Tomi.  He went on to miss two big chances which did little to calm the nerves as the game went on.  Playing well at 1-0 is still a dangerous position.

Leatherhead held on and took all three points.  Now on to the Mick Sullivan derby this Boxing Day…

Brentwood Town are coming

Our new friends from Essex make their first trip to the Grove today. After winning the Ryman North League play off final they are finding wins slightly harder to come by than us. They sit delicately poised fourth from bottom. This is yet another 6 pointer.

Leatherhead were spared a midweek trip to the league leaders. Unlike a handful of supporters who arrived only to discover the news of it being was not sent to anyone in the club who cared enough to spread the news.

The welcome win against Farnborough should set us up for this big game. No early clangers please!
Kick off at 3pm. See you there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead hit the road again and travel to the current leaders.  Our much needed win of the weekend may give us some confidence going into the game… then again we got a much needed win away at Lewes and then they beat us 2-0 in the following game.

We do have a new layer of management to help steady the good ship Leatherhead.  It will be interesting to those that make the journey to see how it all fits together,

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

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead hit the road again and travel to the current leaders.  Our much needed win of the weekend may give us some confidence going into the game… then again we got a much needed win away at Lewes and then they beat us 2-0 in the following game.

We do have a new layer of management to help steady the good ship Leatherhead.  It will be interesting to those that make the journey to see how it all fits together,

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

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Farnborough 1 - 3 Tanners

Leatherhead got a much needed win to give us some breathing space at the bottom of the table.  A word of the hosts though.  A fantastic stadium for a club that should they be relegated will find themselves drop down to the Combined Counties next season.  OK, they still charge big club prices (£12 to get in) but are friendly and with no chips on their shoulders.  A far cry from our local rivals in their rented stadium…

Sandmann wanted to steady the ship and he must have feared the worst after just four minutes.  A poorly hit back pass fell between the defender and ‘keeper and both tried to clear the danger but neither succeeded.  The ball fell kindly and, despite scuffing his shot, the striker found the back of the net.

Luckily Farnborough were equally charitable.  A scuffed goal kick went straight to a Leatherhead player who played in Hughes-Mason.  The ‘keeper came to smother but missed allowing a simple tap in.  After two clangers it was time to start the game again.

Leatherhead took their lifeline well.  Hughes-Mason in particular was lively and cutting through the host defence with ease.  He just simply was not able to get a shot away of square it to new boy Tomi.  With some of his glaring misses in both halves there may be a reason for that.

Second half and Leatherhead dominated the game.  Our second goal came when the ball came from out wide to Dembelle in the box.  He had a lot to do but somehow managed to flick the ball over his marker and find room to power a shot past the diving ‘keeper.

2-1 and Farnborough tried to get an equalizer but we killed the game when Mahal was set free on the left wing, pushing the ball past the rushing ‘keeper and he passed it into an open net.  3-1 and the points were safe.

A great win but Leatherhead will face tougher opposition than Farnborough though.  Notably Tonbridge just this week.  The home fans, despite the result, sang “We’re the famous Fanborough and we’re off to Camberley”… on this evidence they are correct.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Tomorrow we travel to Farnborough FC in this league fixture.  Our new manager has come out to say he is ready to steady, what many believe to be, a sinking ship.  Certainly a couple of life rafts in the shape of lofty strategic positions and higher placed clubs have already been jettisoned.

I haven’t been to Farnborough since their Conference status as Farnborough Town, and their stadium looks like a ground worthy of higher leagues.  After they had a brief spell of getting their administration in order at the start of the season they are now finding their rhythm.  Stringing together a few wins in a row but still sit in the bottom four.  Six pointer?

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


Sunday, December 06, 2015

Tanners 1 - 2 Harrow

This pretty much summed Leatherhead’s season up so far.  A bright start saw us create a number of chances.  Our right back in particular was involved in many of the attacks, overlapping and delivering dangerous crosses.

It was Hughes-Mason who got our goal.  Slightly on the left wing he cut across the edge of the area determined to get a shot away.  After riding, even pirouetting, over a number tackles he found enough space to send his low powerful shot into the bottom corner.  1-0.

It appears though that 45 minutes of competitive football is as far as Brady can take the current team, given the financial constraints blah blah blah, and so we were forced to watch a very different Leatherhead performance.  Credit should be given to Harrow who perhaps adjusted to the threat down our right and pegged him back.  Vas certainly didn't get lonely with two chaperones close by whenever he got the ball.

Leatherhead’s demise started almost as soon as the second half whistle sounded.  Harrow finding the back of the net in the 49th minute.  I actually missed this goal as I was walking to my usual spot behind the goal.

It was not as if we were overrun but for great periods of the second half it looked destined to be a 1-1 draw, it was just allowing them to waltz into our penalty area and rifle home a powerful shot ruined that.

So now we welcome a new era of a new manager who, if the statement is to be believed, is brimming with new ideas.  Where were these new ideas yesterday or throughout a spell that has seen us drop into relegation trouble?  Perhaps they were stifled… by the same person who will now oversee all footballing matters and, despite needing more time away from football, will be there on match days… it all makes perfect sense I’m sure…

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Harrow Borough are coming

Leatherhead “welcome” in a new era today with the visit of Harrow Borough.  A big game as we are transitioning from the middle table pack into the relegation group.  Something for the new Head of Football Development to ponder on...

The game also takes a poignant turn with a tribute to Pete Lavers with some past managers such as  Keith Oram and Dave Harlow bring some their golden generation to the Grove to pay tribute.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Tanners 3 - 0 Carshalton

Leatherhead put out a strong side, applied themselves and got what they deserved.  A much needed win and a place in the next round.

Confidence must be fragile in the Leatherhead camp and I wonder what would have happened if the visitors made more, despite being under constant pressure from Leatherhead, of their early chances.  In the opening minutes they were through 1-1 with Wells but he saved.  A similar move down the middle brought about a clumsy challenge and a penalty.  It was struck powerfully but too close to Wells who had guess the right way and it was saved.

Leatherhead got their breakthrough from a set piece.  A free kick curling in with Big Phil to glance it in.  Then on the half hour mark we doubled our lead.  A ball played across the box was watched as the defence played musical statues.  Hughes-Mason took full advantage of this and powered it past the ‘keeper.

2-0 at half time and the home fans could begin  to dream

The second half could not have gone much better for Brady.  True, Wells was forced into a couple of good saves but on the whole we were in control and he got to introduce three of his Academy players.  Notably Calum Davies who played the whole of the second half.  Fresh from scoring four goals in an Academy game on a pitch just recovered from severe flooding he played out 45 minutes with the big boys.  While on a couple of occasions it was clear he needed a few more post-match curries in the Five Rivers to bulk himself up a bit he certainly had something about him.  None more so when a long ball from Wells, following an injury in our goal mouth, fell to Davies 18 yards out.  An instinctive finish left the visiting ‘keeper no chance to round off a good night.

So, the monkey is off the trophy chasing back and on to Saturday with the visit of Harrow…


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Carshalton Athletic are coming

Four cup games have come and gone with one draw and three defeats (largely against lower level opposition) and so we attempt a fifth in this popular competition to get something from it.

Carshalton again are in the league below although I had to do a double take.  A side that I have always associated with a higher level have lost their way but sit just outside the play-off places in the Ryman Division One South.

So what can the home fans expect in tonight’s Surrey Senior Cup game?  Hopefully not a red carpet leading directly to a “Welcome” mat placed in front of Wells as was the case in the Trophy.  Just an indication that we have set out to win the game in the first place would be a start.

Kick off at 7:45.  See you there.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Canvey Island 3 - 1 Tanners

Oh to be in Canvey Island now that winter's here. The pretty Christmas markets, the stunning architecture, the cosy bars and restaurants, and the players inviting you to meet them after the game.

It didn't take long to count the supporters behind the goal because we both travelled in my car. It didn't take long for Canvey to knock two goals past us either, but it was the wind who will probably take the man of the match award. It was involved in every move and never looked like tiring.

We did rally after going behind and got a goal to bring us back to 1-2. For a while we looked like we might force an equaliser but we didn't adapt to the conditions as well as Canvey. I lost count of the number of balls that we over hit, the wind getting on the end of them and knocking them straight into touch.
We didn't show that much in the 2nd half and Canvey got a 3rd and saw out the game comfortably. However, we weren't awful and we kept up the effort throughout the game.

Let's hope for a morale boosting win over Carshalton in the Surrey Senior Cup on Wednesday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead are on the road again and travel to Canvey Island in this league fixture.  Not a happy hunting ground for us and certainly may bring back painful memories of one of a few 4-4 draws we “enjoyed” in the early part of the season.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Met Police 1 - 0 Tanners

After three weeks off the travelling contingent hoped for a fresh start and for the first 45 minutes they got it. 

In the opening five minutes Leatherhead won a penalty when the ball struck the arm of a sliding defender when we tried to cross.  A tad unfortunate for Met Police but their luck was in when Vas stepped up to take it.  I don’t think he is a convincing penalty taker and this proved right when, after sending the keeper the one way he proceeded to put the ball the other way… to far the other way and it went wide.  Moments later Wells made a save at point blank range.  It could have been 1-1 in the first 10 minutes.

The rest of the half was played out in much the same pace and spirit.  Vas shooting just wide, as did Hughes-Mason when perhaps squaring to Vas may have been the better option.  The home side were not shy at going forward either.

0-0 and into the half time break and despite the lack of goals, a game worthy of my prediction of a cracker.  Into the comfy members bar to warm up and I wish we had stayed there as Leatherhead decided to show a remarkable lack of ambition.

It was looking like a 0-0 game until Met Police made the most of a fumble by Wells.  This is unkind on the ‘keeper as he did well to get something on the deflected shot that was heading for the goal.  He was perhaps worried any attempt to tip it over would in fact send it into the back of the net so he opted to palm it up in the air.  With Wells now on the ground and the ball headed back across goal there were two Met Police players unmarked competing to head it in.  1-0 to the Met Police.

The game then got tetchy.  First Smith won a tackle which a home player took exception to and a scuffle broke out.  Both got booked.  Then Josh came on and straight away launched into a tackle that I was amazed was not penalized with a red card.  The game played on and another Tanners player slid in on the loose ball which the ref decided was over the top but while on the ground he received a stamp and another fracas erupted.  The referee’s assistant decided he hadn’t seen anything and no further action was taken.

It ended 1-0 and while the new right back looked good and Vas tried hard there was little else to shout about.  This could be a long  cold winter.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Association Football gets underway again for Leatherhead after three weeks off.  The winter break should see the team well rested but may need a quick refresher course on the laws of the game in case they have forgotten anything.

Tomorrow we travel to Met Police.  Just two points above us and generally this game has turned out to be a cracker.

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


Friday, November 13, 2015

Folkestone Invicta Are Coming

It hasn’t just been our cup form that blows hot and cold, Storm Abigail arrives overnight which might put pay to any action.  Let’s hope not as Folkestone Invicta arrive with the league’s best away record to the Westhumble Community Ground.

Leatherhead’s alternative XI are in fine form themselves.  No wonder when they boast the likes of Elliot Thompson, Kev Terry, Phil Page and Chris Boulter… I also hear one Rook has landed.

Should be a classic… Surrey v Kent… kick off at 3pm… see you there!


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Tanners 1 - 5 Ks

Three cup competitions have come (over four games) and three opportunities pass with barely a whimper from Leatherhead.  This is exactly why I contemplated watching a different team yesterday in the hope of finding a group of individuals who cared.

I wonder what the team talk was… “Just go out there boys and see if you can keep it down to just 2 or 3”.  They couldn’t even manage that.  OK, Ks are a side that are in form and have realistic hopes of making it into the play-offs but this was unacceptable.  Again.

Leatherhead concede late into the first half by their recent standards… on seven minutes Ks break down the middle with Wells initially saving but his parried shot fell kindly and that was blasted home.  Ks were playing their part brilliantly.  Not getting involved in any personal spats, as they did Wednesday, but quietly winding in their catch.  Leatherhead lasted a further 11 minutes before the game was effectively put to bed as a free kick was turned in… and on the stroke of half time it was 3-0 with Ks finding that our defense, even with Walsh placed back there, was in a accommodating mood.

The second half and I imagine Brady’s half time talk went something like “OK boys, try and get at least one goal…” and they did rally but this did not last.  Hughes-Mason had a half shout for a penalty turned down with Ks playing on.  They launched a long ball down the pitch and Wells came out to punch but it only skidded off his glove to set up an open goal.  It was now 4-0.

The fifth goal was simply a ruddy shambles and now Guy, who had won the free entry but somehow forgot to claim this godsend at the gate, was feeling the unluckiest man in Fetcham Grove.  I was close behind as Knaphill beat Cray Valley 5-4 and looked infinitely more entertaining at half the cost.

A complete waste of my time and money and a reminder that I will never watch a Trophy game while this current cup ethos of rolling over and having your belly tickled is in place.  Leatherhead now have to wait until 21 November until their next game… a well-earned holiday for the supporters to try and forget this nightmare.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ks are coming... again...

Given how it ended Wednesday I dare say there may just be a few things that go bump in this game… Kingstonian come back to the Grove for this FA Trophy fixture.

Wednesday night we looked good in the second half, but Brady was photographed holding our tactics on Thursday night so they could well know what to expect.

Kick off at 3pm (festivities start earlier at the clubhouse).  See you there!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tanners 0 - 0 Ks

Leatherhead turned in one of their best displays of the season, particularly so in the second half, to earn a draw against play-off chasing Ks.

Perhaps on chances Ks edged the first half.  A clear header going wide and a couple of scuffed shots where they hoped for better.  Other than that Wells continues to impress in goal making sure of his catches.

Not that we did not have our chances.  Had Jerry been able to direct his far post header back towards goal we could have taken the lead.  If the ref walked onto the pitch with his backbone he would have given us a clear penalty when Hughes-Mason was brought down.

Where Ks edges the first half on points, Leatherhead won the second on a unanimous decision.  For the majority of the second half we penned Ks in their own half while we applied pressure.  They could not handle the strength of Tashan who was holding the ball up in the centre.  Out wide Vas and Hughes-Mason were running at the defenders but lacked the goal scoring flare of Saturday.  Chance after chance flew just wide.  The best falling to Tashan, who had the chance to place into the bottom corner, pushed it just wide.  The Ks ‘keeper also made a fantastic save from a Hughes-Mason shot.  We were all surprised he could dive that fast as he spent most of the game time wasting.

The game came to a close but the ill feeling on the pitch did not.  A card was shown as the players left the pitch.  An invitation to do it all again Saturday perhaps…


Ks are coming

Bad news.  It is my birthday today and Leatherhead have a very poor record when competing in or around this date.  From memory we have won only once in the 20 odd years I have been coming to The Grove… OK, it was Sudbury to get us through to the First Round proper but other than that it has been slim pickings.

So it is local rivals, Kingstonian, who could benefit from the jinx I have placed on the club.  They sit just two points off of the play-offs and will no doubt be looking for revenge for the 3-0 beating we handed out in August… a month that seems a long time ago for some of us…

Kick off at 7:45.  See you there!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lewes 3 - 4 Tanners

This was the very best and the very worst of Leatherhead, played out in the rolling beacons of the South Downs.

Leatherhead have been accused of being a soft touch in the opening exchanges and did nothing to start changing that opinion by conceding a penalty… after 38 seconds.  Lewes clearly informed to start brightly and on the first run into the box the ball bobbled up into Walsh’s arm.  A tad harsh but the ref gave it and the penalty was blasted past Wells, who did guess the right way but could only get a finger to it.

Leatherhead did respond by exposing Lewes’ biggest weakness.  Their left back was in all kinds of trouble trying to keep up with the likes of Vas and was puffing after just a few minutes.  Hughes-Mason was fed in down their left and retrieved the ball at an impossible angle to think he could score, but it turns out Lewes’ second biggest weakness is their ‘keeper as he allowed it so slide past him and the near post for 1-1.

Just two minutes Leatherhead took the lead.  Vas was brought down by the puffing no3 and from the free kick a Lewes defender tried to clear but sliced it past his keeper who was beaten near post for the second time in two minutes.

A side with only one win may have crumbled at this point but they equalized when they built a move down their left and crossed into the box.  Their Ciadini was afforded far too much space and he smashed it on the half volley past Wells.

When Leatherhead need something special they need to turn to one player.  Vas.  Today he did not disappoint with two curling left footed wonders that left their keeper flailing in desperate hope to get something on it.  Leatherhead go into halftime 4-2 up and seemingly in control.

Just before the game recommenced I witnessed where I think Leatherhead are going wrong.  Just before the game restarts they are made to do an elaborate hokey-cokey, jumping in and out of a circle in attempt to get them to focus.  It clearly does not work (and should cease immediately) as within a minutes of the restart a Lewes ball into the box was a stud away from being tapped in by an unmarked striker.

While Leatherhead had some chances it was Lewes who was looking the most likely to score.  Wells was forced into a fine save and the resulting tap in was deemed offside.  A lucky escape.

On about 70 minutes it looked like Leatherhead would weather the storm.  That was until Lewes’ left back deliberately pulled back Vas and was seen a second yellow.  Without a clear weakness to exploit Leatherhead looked lost for ideas and Lewes grew into the game. 

Wave after wave of attack followed with our right back now looking the weak link.  Lewes struck the post from close range before they get their goal following a mix up at right back.  4-3 and Lewes looked for the 4-4 draw that looked inevitable.  They had one more attack that was wasted before the ref blew his whistle to spare our blushes.

So we get a vital three points and an extra hour tonight for Brady to dream up a way to get this side to defend before we face local rivals Kingstonian…

Friday, October 23, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead head south Saturday after a trying week.  Two 2-0 defeats and by all accounts we looked quite below expectations.

Lewes would trade places with us though.  With only one win to their name they sit second from bottom.

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


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tanners 0 - 2 Tonbridge Angels

A horribly one sided game against a very strong Angels side who have dropped only 2 points away from home all season.

The first twenty minutes was "weak, feeble, useless and embarrassing" and I know our manger would echo those sentiments. In fact it was so bad that we subbed 2 players after 30 minutes.

The most interesting moment of the first half was a discussion about the nationality and previous club of the keeper. By the way the answers were Canadian and Peacehaven.

Angels took their foot off the pedal in the second half and spared our blushes. We were outclassed today but we get the chance to make amends on Saturday against struggling Lewes.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tonbridge Angels are coming

More league action tonight with the visit of Tonbridge Angels.  They sit one place outside the play-off spots after having two draws on the trot.

Kick off at 7:45.  Good luck fellas from Barcelona!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Billericay 2 - 0 Tanners

Our usual result against the usual style of Billericay side. Physical, bullying, loud, whingeing, unsporting, with the referee buying into it. Their captain even found it necessary to barge into our management team as they came out for the 2nd half. That should be no surprise as the acorns don't fall far away from Craig Edwards' tree.

We often struggle against pressing physical sides who have no intention of playing attractive football. And we struggled from the start today creating very few chances. The first goal was unfortunate as Wells came out to get a cross he couldn't reach leaving the goal wide open for a Billericay head.

We had a couple of half chances in the 2nd half and a very good chance for Tashan who had a free header from 8 yards but Billericay converted a free kick and we never really looked like getting back into the game.

Anyway, for those that enjoyed this game there is more rugby to watch on TV this evening, and we have the visit of K's on Wednesday to look forward to and hopefully the return of football.

Travelling Tanners

After a fine double over Grays, Leatherhead will travel to Billericay in good spirits.  With the new look team we can hopefully call time on the bad run of results we had but look to move further up the table.  It will be a close one today, our hosts sit a single point below us.

Kick-off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Grays 0 - 2 Tanners (5-0 on aggregate)

Thank you very much for the 6 points Grays. Thank you very much. Thank you very very very much.

A very welcome second victory over Grays in a fortnight and only our second away win of the season, was earned courtesy of goals from two of our most recent recruits.

The first half was goalless but encouraging, our new look midfield much more lively and youthful than many of our performances this season. The shakeup in personnel seems to be starting to have an effect and there seems to be a more positive attitude amongst this current group.

On his debut, the much misspelt, Adeoye Yusuff (

put us into the lead on 50 minutes. Then followed a period of Grays pressure which paid off when the referee gave a penalty for handball. The Grays player opted to stroke the ball down the middle of the goal but, unfortunately for him, Wells hadn't moved and was able to calmly pick up the ball.

Grays continued to search for an equaliser but were denied by a couple of stunning saves from Wells who had a blinder. In the second minute of additional time, we broke away and Tashan Adeyinka ran the length of the pitch to calmly make it 2-0. Tashan had previously played for FC Jazz  (  and it was certainly worth celebrating only our second consecutive league victory of the season with a cup of tea and a Jazz mag.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Travelling Tanners...

Tomorrow night Leatherhead travel to Grays Athletic.  They will no doubt be smarting from the last midweek encounter where we ran out 3-0 winners.  Our hosts also won their FA Cup game against Hanwell Town, thus avoiding a replay, so they will give us their undivided attention…

Kick off at 7:45.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tanners 3 - 2 Burgess Hill

Leatherhead rode out the second half storm to gain all three points against a professional outfit that liked to chat to the ref.

The first chance fell to the visitors.  After a large appeal for a penalty the ball fell to their captain with not much to do other than beat the ‘keeper.  He missed and then promptly ran to the ref to complain.  This dialog went on for some time and set the tone for the rest of his time on the pitch.

Meanwhile Leatherhead quietly went about their business and applied much of the first half pressure.  The pressure told through the left foot of Vas you twice found space on the edge of the box to lash home to glorious goals.  The second better than the first.

Burgess Hill made two halftime changes and they had the desired effect.  They went on to dominate the first 30 minutes second half and soon found themselves level.  Leatherhead were unable to cope with the pressure and invited the shots on goal.

At 2-2 Josh was thrown into mix and soon the game was swinging back in our favour.  With five minutes to go Leatherhead won a corner from which Jerry headed what looked to be the winner until Burgess Hill’s number 7 stuck up and hand to punch it off the line.  Straight red for the would-be Maradona.  Vas stepped up, perhaps a little too near the ‘keeper for my liking but it did the job.  3-2 and the cheat didn’t prosper.

A tricky midweek away game at Grays awaits…


Burgess Hill are coming

Last years Ryman division one South champions of live at the Grove today.
Burgess Hill, who inflicted defeat on us in cup competition last year, sit in 10th place with a whopping six points difference.
Kickoff at 3 PM. See you there!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead’s Youth Team play in the FA Youth Cup tonight away at Worthing.

Kickoff is at 7:45.  Good luck fellas!


Saturday, October 03, 2015

Enfield Town 4 - 0 Tanners

Some of the Leatherhead supporters who enjoyed the win over Grays would have woken early this morning, but then decided to stay in bed sensing a false dawn.
Those that did rise would have spotted one swallow in the garden and quickly realised that it wasn't warm enough to be summer.
That left about 6 people to travel to Enfield. Even Bedfont Sports seemed a more attractive option for the fair weather supporter.
Tanners started the game with a hint of belief after the win on Wednesday but Enfield Town had won 6 on the spin and proved far too strong as the game wore on.
The first half was edged by Grays with a chap wearing a pineapple on his head running riot in midfield. At 1-0 down we were still in the game but there were no shades of greys and the belief slowly ebbed away.
In fairness Enfield look a very good side and I'm sure will be in the play-offs again this season.
So we have a week off before we have entertain Burgess Hill. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Enfield Town with a spring in their step.  A resounding 3-0 built on a solid defence and a lively midfield managed to see off second place opposition.

Leatherhead will need more of the same if they are to beat Enfield Town.  Our last trip saw us lack any real form of cutting edge while the local support, boosted by a Belgian contingent, cheered them to victory.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas.


Thursday, October 01, 2015

Tanners 3 - 0 Grays

I am feeling pretty smug about this one.  It was “one of those nights” at The Grove, inspired by a revitalized midfield lead in no small way by Josh.  It was clear lessons had been learned and the midfield were quickly snapping at the heels of the surprised visitors.

It was not all Josh.  It was a combined effort as they hunted in packs.  Daly though shone, intercepting many of their hurried passes and building the attacks.

While we pressed the first half goals came from corners.  The first was sent long with the defence switching off, assuming the ball was drifting to safety but from a tight angle Josh sneaked in and tapped it home.  Soon after another corner from the same side was sent into the box and Grays made a complete mess of dealing with it.  Players were on the ground, diving in but Josh had the presence of mind to smash it through the chaos and score our second.

2-0 at half time.  The ball did fall kindly for us in our third of the pitch but you make your own luck when you play this positively.

Second half and on the 60 minute mark it looked like Leatherhead had tired and Grays started to apply  some pressure.  Luckily after 5 minutes Leatherhead seemed to get a second wind and Hughes-Mason was soon dashing down the right flank to find an unmarked Daly.  Outside of the box he still had plenty to do but his strike found the top corner despite the ‘keeper getting a hand to it.

So Leatherhead saw the game out.  The ref was a ponce though.  Their number 4 was of the Carl Rook school of playing and engaged in some rather unhealthy marking, only in the last minute (when he was swapping shirts a little early) did he finally have a word.

Great stuff and now on to Enfield Town with green shoots of recovery…

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Grays Athletic are coming

What do you need to steady a ship at a time like this?  A side that cannot buy a win at the bottom of the table perhaps?  Tough, we’ve got second place Grays Athletic fresh from a morale boosting 6-0 win in the FA Cup last weekend.

That said there is nothing like a big team coming to The Grove to focus the mind and (hopefully) raise our game.  I am sure we can all think back to one of those “nights at The Grove” where this has happened… just… well… it’s been a while…

Kick off at 7:45.  See you there…

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tanners 2 - 5 Hendon

The weight of expectation proved too much for Leatherhead today as, in the second half in particular, we were overran by our visitors.  It was not that we lacked effort but the application was completely misplaced.  Avery paid the price for the recent run form.  Perhaps the results could have been put down to a lack of leadership on the pitch but there is little to say things will improve without him.

This was none more so than defence.   Green is desperately missed.  Mahal must have been given orders to stay in his third and played within himself.  The centre back pairing of Jerry and Bruce looks destined for the divorce courts.

I didn’t hear the pre-match and half time team talk but I am sure he would have asked his players to hold a ruddy line.  Be strong, take the game to Hendon and create chances.  Disappointingly this could not have gone any worse for the beleaguered side.  In the first 60 seconds a ball through the middle allowed a Hendon striker to run through and smash it under Wells.  25 seconds into the second half the striker didn’t need to strike the ball but roll it in he had so much time.

Hendon were doing the simple things well.  Their second goal was a result of a free header of the back post across goal being met by another headed again under little pressure.

Leatherhead possess an attacking threat in Vas.  Perhaps today our only threat.  He was deadly from the edge of the box not once but twice with similar free kicks that beat the stranded keeper.  Half time at 2-2 and we discussed what the second half may bring.  Optimistically we settled on only one more goal would be scored.  I should have accepted the 2 and a half all when it was offered.

After the shock of the 25 second tap in Leatherhead fans were hoping for rally but it did not come.  Hendon went on to dominate the half as performance dropped from spirited, to half-hearted to embarrassing.  Hendon were afforded too much space to allow a shot in the box for their fourth and a clumsy foul on the edge of the box gifted a free kick which headed home with ease.

The bar benefitted from a few early drinks being bought as supporters looked for something to drown in.  Wednesday night Grays Athletic arrive at The Grove.  The bar could start serving beer by the bathtub.

Hendon are coming

There will be two sides licking their wounds at Fetcham Grove tomorrow.

Hendon also lost 1-3 in the FA Cup to Ryman One opposition at home. Hendon have also had a very average start to the season in the league.

There is a general feeling that our players are simply turning up to pick up their wages and that running around the pitch is too much trouble when they could be sat at home playing on the Xbox.

Tomorrow could be a case of which side wants it the most. Oh dear…


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tanners 1 - 3 South Park

This was one of the worst first half performances we have seen this season and that is saying something. No energy. No desire. No quality. Many of our players have played at a higher level in their careers but their performances today weren't even worthy of the Kent League.

The prize money of £3,000....the share of a 2,000 gate at Maidstone.....the proud history of our club in the FA Cup.....none of them seemed that bothered. South Park cruised to a 2-0 half time lead and everyone was wondering what had happened to the team that gave such a good account of themselves last season.

Richard Brady must have gone for the hairdryer at half time as something approaching the Leatherhead side of old came out for the 2nd half and started to believe in themselves. Shots started to fire in although some were from ridiculous distances. Finally we got an equaliser and a protesting South Park player was sent off for protesting it was offside. At least I think that was the reason. Maybe the ref was just trying to even it up.

Against 10 men with 15 minutes, left surely we could force extra time? We should have done when Kiernan blasted over from 10 yards. However the last laugh was with South Park who made it 3-1 on 90 minutes and pocketed what must be around £8,000.

If our team doesn't shake themselves out of their stupor soon we will have a relegation battle on our hands.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

South Park are coming

Second time lucky as Leatherhead host South Park tonight in this rearranged FA Cup fixture. 

A lack of goals over the weekend may indicate that the return of Vas isn’t the complete remedy to some of our recent results.  A clean sheet against well placed opposition gives us something to build on though.

Kick off at 7:45.  Good luck fellas.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wingate & Finchley are coming

After being spared a midweek replay Leatherhead now face a side that is doing rather well.  Wingate & Finchley sit in fourth place and have a game in hand that, should they win, take them just one point behind Grays.

On the plus side Vas is back to give us some added fire power and the new players have had some more time to get to know their new teammates.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

South Park are coming

Leatherhead take on South Park looking to progress into the FA Cup and face Maidstone.  On leaving South Park a local supporter announced what he had seen to be “daylight robbery” and in many ways he was correct.  It was far from convincing and we will need to be better to avoid leaving the competition at the first time of asking.

Good news comes in the return of Vas.  His three match suspension is over and hopefully he and Hughes-Mason can cause enough mayhem to see us over the line.

Kick off at 7:45.  See you there!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

South Park 1 - 1 Tanners

With the route to the next round littered with “CAUTION - SLIPPERY SURFACE” signs eyebrows were raised when on arrival to the ground we saw Big Phil was playing in defense.  By all accounts he has plied his trade there before and did not look out of place but was this the time to do it?  Our best striking options appear to be Vas, Big Phil and Hughes-Mason but with Vas still suspended this move left us at 33% of our scoring potential.

That said we could have put this game to bed in the opening 10 minutes.  Mahal hit the bar in the opening minutes when attempting to chip the ‘keeper and then Stacy pushed a shot just wide of the post.

You need to take your chances and soon South Park were the ones on the front foot.  A curling shot going just wide before they got their goal.  A ball through the middle beat the back line with so much ease there was two South Park players advancing unchecked.  The breakaway move was calmly finished and there was an uneasy feeling behind the goal.

The players came out with Big Phil still in defense and somehow they managed to be even less potent than the first half.  Long hopeful balls hit to diminutive strikers who barely looked interested as it was without being engaged in a fruitless areal battle.

After 10 minutes common sense prevailed and Big Phil was advanced into the front line and instantly the tempo lifted.  We were winning balls in the air.  The players around him could collect a ball to their feet while facing goal.  It wasn’t all a bed of roses.  This initial spurt lasted about ten minutes before we lost our way again.

The goal came from nothing.  A cross found Hughes-Mason on the edge of the box and his first time shot surprised the ‘keeper and it found the goal with room to spare.  We picked the ball out of the net as if to say we wanted the winner.  It was probably South Park who looked the most likely to score in injury time but the ref found time to stop talking to players about how great he was and blow the final whistle and set up the replay.

Leatherhead will have Vas back for the replay.  We can only hope this will bring a change of tempo.

Travelling Tanners

FA Cup day and Leatherhead are in a desperate need of a win.  We travelled to Three Bridges, albeit in the league cup, without taking it too seriously and paid the price.

South Park ply their trade in the Ryman South and sit mid-table BUT with two games in hand a couple of wins could see them go second.

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


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dulwich 1 - 0 Tanners

Leatherhead's very brief glorious summer at the top of the league is in danger of turning into a winter of discontent. Just one point from 4 games and everyone is scratching their heads to establish where we are going wrong.

Man of the Match was undoubtedly Louis Wells who made some outstanding saves. Meanwhile at the other end we did not have a single shot or corner for the whole of the first half. Vas and Green were absent but other than that we were at full strength.

That the score line was kept to just 1-0 was, as Brades stated in his interview, no consolation. At least there were grass fed 100% British beef burgers on offer for just £6. Remarkably, Kiernan could have made it 1-1 near the end when he smashed the ball into the side netting from just a couple of yards out.

There is good news though....Dulwich hang a flag behind their goal stating that refugees are welcome in their hamlet.  Lebanon host approximately 1.2 million refugees and so if Dulwich are good to their word so we can expect to see the attendances at Champion Hill swell dramatically over the next few months.

So from refugees and burgers to banana skins. A whole box full is waiting at South Park on Saturday. Wear sensible shoes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Travelling Tanners

It’s off to Dulwich Hamlet tonight in the league after a rather turbulent weekend.  Dulwich drew a 1,500 crowd while we entertained a more modest gathering to a 4-4 draw.

If you’re driving I highly recommend an app called WAZE to get you there in good time.  Or you can follow the directions here.  Kick off at 7:45.  Good luck fellas!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

East Thurrock 4 - 4 Tanners

There was a point in this game I wondered exactly why I had driven 60 miles to watch this game.  It certainly wasn’t for the benefit of my daughter who was more than happy to pass the first half by roller skating around the ground.  I envied her as East Thurrock grew in confidence and began to dominate the game.

It didn’t start out that way though with Leatherhead giving as good as they got, providing it was Stacy doing the giving as he was our only real threat.  East Thurrock struck the post from a free kick which must have unsettled us as we allowed them to pressure for the remainder of the half.

Their opener came from a penalty that looked a little soft if you ask me but a gift East Thurrock snapped up.  It was from a free kick we conceded our second.  From distance the ball was struck under the jumping wall and it beat Wells at the far post.

So 2-0 down at half time and perhaps a second half talking to would stir things up a bit… not on first inspection.  Leatherhead did not really pick up the pace and allowed a free header to make it 3-0 and I was contemplating leaving early…

Avery gave us some hope.  Getting the ball just right of the goal he advanced and let fly with a powerful shot that beat the ‘keeper and struck the underside of the bar and in.  3-1.  Something to cheer about.  Now it was not just Stacy looking dangerous on our right but Green was advancing on our left and East Thurrock were finding it hard to cope.  From the pressure Smart struck the post and it bounced out with Jerry in possession at a tight angle and with his back to goal.  While the ‘keeper (me included) waited for him to turn he simply back heeled goalwards.  It caught the ‘keeper off-guard and it snuck in off the far post.  Cheeky and 3-2.

Josh, who replaced Semakula, sent the few who had made the trip wild when he latched onto another attacking move from Green and slipped it past the ‘keeper.  3-3.  Could we go on and win it?

It seemed we could when Stacy used the outside of his right boot to lob the ‘keeper.  4-3.  Twitter was in melt down and I could barely believe my eyes.

It is fair to say with 5 goals and several substitutions (which included taking off Big Phil which I believe surrendered an advantage in the dying minutes) the ref was well within his rights to add plenty of stoppage time and so he did.  Enough for them to build the pressure and smash it past Wells.

With both managers thinking they blew 3 points you can imagine I was quick to rush my children past the dressing room areas for fear of having to explain some new vocabulary.

A good game but leaking goals for our second 4-4 draw will be a worry.  Not least because it is Dulwich in the week!


Friday, September 04, 2015

Travelling Tanners ©

While everyone agrees Brady is the best man for the job the form suggests the team are not fully engaged at the moment.  The first two games gave us hope we could usher in a new period of challenging for the play-offs but it seems the honeymoon period could be over.

East Thurrock meanwhile have only suffered defeat once and will no doubt fancy their chances tomorrow.

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

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tanners 2 - 0 Merstham

Difficult to write this one up.  Mainly because I was not there, not that has stopped me from making it up before, but because there is very little to write about.  

Leatherhead made a nervous start to the game, obviously bruised from the trip to Brentwood.  While slightly more assured they were clearly on the back foot when Merstham struck in the first half.

Second half and Leatherhead did not do much to rally and when the second goal went in, following some nifty work from Tommy Hutchings, it seemed we resigned ourselves to a second straight defeat.

We’re off to East Thurrock on Saturday…

Monday, August 31, 2015

Merstham are coming!

The Mick Sullivan Derby comes to Leatherhead for this Bank Holiday fixture.  Newly promoted Merstham will be looking for their second win of the season having beaten Met Police last Saturday and arrive with old favourites like Hayden Bird, Mark Norman, Tommy Hutchings and Mick Sullivan.

Leatherhead, on the other hand, have some serious thinking to do.  Saturday was a disaster that not only lacked quality but any kind of desire to avoid the humiliation.  Hopefully this derby will raise the spirits as it did against Dulwich.

Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Brentwood 4 - 1 Strangers

Those of us who turned up to this game after queuing for 30 minutes at the Dartford Crossing were in for a surprise when we finally arrived at Brentwood. The Leathehead team hadn't turned up at all. If Carling did lacklustre performances then this was it.

A strangely subdued Tanners side went into this game like they were playing a friendly against Ashtead. The commitment and discipline of the victory over Dulwich was nowhere to be seen and hardly a chance was created, hardly a pass went to another player in green, and worse still they looked like they didn't care less. 

At 4-0 up and looking like they were going to get at least 6 the Brentwood captain urged his team "Don't take the piss." Dean Holdsworth wasn't listening though and bought on his 12 year old son for the final 10 minutes.

Anyway, a chance to put Edward Hyde behind us straight away on Monday as we desperately hope for the return of Henry Jekyll against Merstham on Monday.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Travelling Tanners ©

Another new ground passes me by as I spend a long weekend in Bratislava.  Leatherhead travel into Essex where there must be more football clubs per capita than any place in the world.  Brentwood Town were promoted from the Ryman North last season and I don't recall us having played before.

The world looks different again.  After a string of disappointing results we won the big one.  Important we take that performance on into this game.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  Veľa šťastia fellas!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tanners 1 - 0 Dulwich

Out of chaos comes order.

Leatherhead bounced back from a horrible 10 minutes on Saturday to produce a disciplined professional performance of which Nietzsche would have been proud.

We secured all 3 points against a very strangely attired Dulwich side. The traditional beloved pink and blue quarters have been abandoned in favour of an almost black nondescript kit that makes it very hard to pick out the referee.

A lively opening spell produced a headed goal from our new Aryan centre forward who has proved a fine addition to last season's squad. A fairly even first half ended with Leatherhead having had the best of the chances. This was a more amiable encounter than recent games between these sides, and was summed up well by a Dulwich hipster who felt that growth in wisdom can be measured precisely by a decline a bile.

You must carry chaos inside you to produce a dancing star and the star was again Vas who was our man of the match and often our only outlet in a 2nd half in which Dulwich dominated possession. Our backs were against the wall but nothing collapsed and in defense Jerry again proved that he is not a man he is dynamite.

The final words were left with Rod who summed up the game thus: True, we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dulwich are coming!

There are four games on tonight but only one should grab the attention.  I hope the bar has stocked up on cans of Red Stripe as Dulwich arrive at the Grove in what is probably one of our biggest games of the season.  After a great start we have wobbled with a collapse at the weekend associated with a tail end batting order.  That said the two teams find themselves on 7 points having both lost to Staines.

Kick off at 7:45.  Good luck fellas!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tanners 4 - 4 Canvey

A frustrating game in the end as Leatherhead finish with 10 men and sacrifice a two goal lead (on two occasions).

The first half bubbled along nicely I have to say.  Canvey initially showed a complete lack of composure at the back, gifting us several corners which we took poorly.  It was Canvey though that had the best chances.  First a close range bicycle kick that was well saved then their goal.  Curran allowed to run onto a loose ball in the box and find the back of the net.

Luckily for us, Canvey’s charitable defense continued to offered up chances and when we finally delivered a telling ball in from a free kick it was Bog Phil who steered it back across goal and into the path of Hughes-Mason who prodded it home.

Vas was in the mood for scoring it seemed and while he opted to shoot rather than set up Big Phil on one chance to test the patience of the home supporters, all was forgiven when we went on to get a brace.  The first was a perfectly weighted ball left Vas running onto a ball that was simply too tempting for the ‘keeper not to come out for.  This left him completely exposed and he was lobbed in apparent ease.   Fifteen minutes later he ran at the defense who melted away allowing him time and space to pick his spot.  3-1 at half time and all seemed well…

During half time the visiting supporters bemoaned the refereeing.  Feeling he had missed a handball in the box for a penalty (I actually thought it was ball to hand) but it was the home support that felt aggrieved by the end of the game.

Canvey started the second half with real purpose.  The warning signs where there when the felt they had scored when a shot struck the post and appeared to have crossed the line but we managed to clear.  Then from a similar move they struck at close range and made it interesting at 3-2.  Game on.

In the first half came an incident that set the tone for the rest of the game in my opinion.  Vas was out to the right outside of the box when he went down a bit too theatrically for the ref and who (after a small delay) booked him for diving.  Now Vas was a marked man.  He was nibbled at and left completely unprotected by the ref who could now see no wrong in the defenders’ actions.  Eventually this boiled over with Vas being accused of diving by an angry player who proceeded to barge Vas heavily in the back while he was being confronted by another player. 

A small tangle ensued where Vas took a swipe / push across the defenders back.  The ref chose only to see Vas’ retaliation and showed him a straight red.  What was annoying was the assistant had clearly seen the first more violent incident and initially flagged as a foul in our favour by but the ref chose to ignore that too even after speaking with him.

Even more upsetting was Kieran found himself alone roughly in the same spot where Vas had been fouled and their central defender (the same one who had barged through Vas) came out to greet him.  His greeting came in the form of a two footed tackle from behind.  The ref, who had deemed a pat on the back a red card, issued only a yellow.  While the ref must have been feeling pretty pleased with himself Leatherhead managed to bundle in what we felt was the winner when Big Phil beat the defender to the swung in free-kick to make it 4-2.

Credit to Canvey though.  While it is true they had the extra man the pressure was there before and many sides would have taken the fourth goal as a sign it was not going to be their day.  They continued to press on.  Leatherhead meanwhile panicked and when we managed to intercept a pass all we could do was punt it hopefully up the pitch and wait for it to come back.  On one such occasion the player who collected such a punt ran at the defense.  Our defender was actually backing away quicker than the Canvey player could advance.  So much so he backed into Bruce who pushed him back towards the advancing Canvey player but it was too late.  He had too much space and made it 4-3.  Leadership in defense needed.

The equalizer was all too easy.  Just as Vas was allowed to pick his spot in the first half, so was Canvey’s Easterford and he levelled it all up with enough time for a winner but for once we held on.

What a time have such a crash in confidence on the pitch with the “classico” on Wednesday.  Dulwich come to the Grove…

Canvey Island are coming

Ryman Premier stalwarts come to the Grove today and I am hoping for a better match than the last visit.  They seemed content with only a point and it was not a pretty sight.  Leatherhead did manage to get a winner as we were on a good run of form then.

Our form now is undecided.  Two great wins, then a loss in the league and a further loss to a lower league side albeit in penalties.  Kieran stated he expected a reaction after the Staines defeat, let’s hope it is today.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Three Bridges 1 - 1 Tanners (Tanners lose 11-10 on penalties)

Despite the significant changes made to the starting 11 this was a game that had it all.  The managers had agreed before the game not to play extra time and go straight to penalties should it be a draw.  While there were times in the first half I’d wished the managers had agreed just to toss a coin at the start of the game and be done with it the second half more than made up for it.

Leatherhead fielded a youthful side to face a slightly more robust looking Three Bridges, although to be fair they had made some changes themselves for this game.  Leatherhead did not really find their feet in the first half although could have taken the lead when Jordan Gallagher went clear but his tame shot was easily saved.  Kieran went close too with his trade mark lob but it went over.

Three Bridges meanwhile applied a constant amount of pressure and it produced a goal from a corner.  Their tall MacVicar got his physics right and judge the trajectory of the ball perfectly to head it powerfully past the ‘keeper.

Second half and Leatherhead came out with a purpose and took the game to the hosts right from the get-go, mainly driven by the experience of Kieran and Josh.  It was the former that got us back into the game.  Breaking clear of the back four he turned sharply and beat both the defender and the out coming ‘keeper with an open goal.  Their defender, Crellin then brought down Kieran and it seemed with him being the last man it was an obvious decision that he should go.  The ref was quick to explain that the ball would have run onto the ‘keeper despite the fact he was well and truly done like a kipper.  Only a yellow was shown.  Justice was served as Kieran fired his shot powerfully into the top corner despite a sizeable wall.

Crellin wasn’t done though.  Moments later he pulled down Semakula who was advancing on goal.  The ref initially pulled out his yellow card and realized he’d have some real paper work to fill in so put it away again.  From the resulting free-kick Crellin dived in off the ball and fouled again and this time the ref had decided he’d seen enough of the angry young man so sent him off to cool down.

Leatherhead pressed on for the winner as Three Bridges for a long period failed to adjust to having a man less.  Waves of attacks came and went until the hosts rallied and forced Jake Nimmo into some heroic saves.

Despite a lengthy period of extra time and we entered an even more lengthy period of penalty taking.  As I lost count during the shootout it is fair to say this summary is going to patchy at best.  Steve Sargent missed the first, a move that Kieran copied.  Three Bridges then launched their next effort into Crawley while we found the net.  They scored.  We missed and all of a sudden after 4 attempts each it was 2-2… and so it went on until we reached double figures. 

The highlight was undoubtedly the keepers’ who made the initial saves then took penalties themselves.  I think that is where I lost count.  There was something mesmerising about the Three Bridges keeper’s effortless curling shot into the top corner when you were expecting a power drive down the middle.  These were also some of the best penalties you’ll see with the top corners and side netting powerfully found on a regular basis.

Eventually, much to the relief of the grounds man who had a bus to catch, it came to an end with Leatherhead’s 13 penalty saved.  Glad I made it back from Brazil for this one and good luck to Three Bridges in the next round.

Back to the league Saturday…


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Travelling Tanners

League Cup action tonight and we travel to our old Division One South friends Three Bridges.  Richard Brady was not too happy with the performance on Saturday so here is a chance to right some of those wrongs.

Kick off at 7:45.  Directions can be found here.  For the first time this season…. See you there!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Staines 1 - 0 Tanners

“The Invincibles” took an early blow to their league campaign.  While Leatherhead had their chances in the opening exchanges it was Staines who took the lead.  Leatherhead failed to deal with a corner and paid the price.

For the remainder we simmered but did not really get a grip on the game with Staines going on to gain their first win of the season.

Hopefully a good response is on the cards to regain the top spot…

Friday, August 14, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Tomorrow Leatherhead play old friends Staines Town in the league.  It has been a while as I think the last time we faced each other it was funny to say you were part of the Staines Massif.  Well funny-ish.

Our hosts, relegated from the Conference South last season, will be one of the pre-season favourite to be there or there abouts but haven’t had it all their own way.    They drew their opener against Met Police and then lost to Bognor Regis.

Meanwhile Leatherhead hope to continue their perfect start and begin to stretch their lead at the top of the table…

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ks 0 - 3 Tanners

A stunning first half humbled our local rivals in their own, rented, backyard.  The half got even worse with one of their defenders getting a red card making the game even more manageable.

Two first half goals from Vas and then Big Phil’s first goal for the club made the game safe.

Leatherhead then spent much of the second half toying with the hosts as the game ran to its inevitable conclusion… another three points and the perfect start for the Tanners.

Leatherhead travel to Staines Town on Saturday…


Monday, August 10, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to local rivals Kingstonian tonight, thanks to the Ryman we can get these local fixtures out of the way...

Ks lost on their opening game to Leiston so will be looking to get some points on the board.

Kick off at 7:45. Good luck stewards.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Tanners 3 - 0 Lewes

Leatherhead end the day in second place, cruelly denied top spot by virtue of the alphabet, while Lewes’ pre-season optimism seems a little misplaced.

Despite not all of the results going our way, preseason appears to have been beneficial in terms of understanding.  Phil Walsh, this seasons Karl Rook, was quick to nod the ball into the path of Hughes-Mason who ran on and opened the scoring.

Only 8 minutes later Leatherhead win a free kick and when you retain the services of Vas you stand a chance and so we doubled our lead.

Leatherhead introduced Nwokeji for Marsh on 87 minutes and it took only 3 minutes for him to ensure he is not forgotten in the front line.  On 90 minutes he popped up to make it 3-0.

Not much time to rest though.  Monday night football is on the cards with a trip to Kingstonian and all the fun that comes with their hatched lines and jobs worth stewards.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Lewes are coming

Leatherhead are back in action tomorrow with the visit of Lewes.  Much has been said about settled sides that will find it tough in their second season so it will be good to actually get the season underway.

Our visitors will certainly be looking to improve on their last season and tweets indicate some reasons to be positive.

Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Margate are coming...

Our penultimate friendly comes to town on Wednesday night (7.45pm kick-off)… and it should be friendly too as pound for pound they were the quietest home support I have visited given their numbers.  They may have their minds on another friendly, they host a Wolves side at the weekend.

Hopefully the game will go slightly better than the visit of Dartford did.  Old favourite Ibrahim keeping a clean sheet while Dembele notched up a goal against his old club.

It’s a fiver for adults to get in Wednesday, £2.50 if you’re U16 and free if you’re a season ticket holder or under 8.  Hope you enjoy the game.

Friday, July 24, 2015

So... where are we?

Apologies for the lack of updates… three weeks of travelling has taken its toll… no one has been banging on more door mind so I am probably updating for my own enjoyment but here we go.

Pre-season continues but with a loss away at & Belvedere last night.  Stacy Long’s opener wiped out with two late goals.  Leatherhead now look to practice at home with the visit of Dartford Saturday.  Kick-off at 3pm.

Fixtures are out… Dulwich twice before 8 September?  Strange.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead kick off the season tomorrow with the now traditional fixture of Corinthian FC away.  An early chance of who has stayed, who as left and who has turned up looking for a game.

Unfortunately the chance of getting what would be a new ground for me slips by again.  Maybe next year…

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.   Good luck fellas.


Friday, July 03, 2015

FA Trophy Draw

No FA Cup draw, I forgot we come in after the preliminary rounds.  The FA Trophy is out though and we are home to Ks.  I hope the work parties give the hatched areas a lick of paint for the occasion.  Game to be played 31 October.  We’ll need more stewards as we expect more than 287 (or another made up number) people.

In the FA Youth Cup we have drawn Lewes away.


The season starts here-ish

Keep your eye out for the FA Cup and Trophy draw today… then next week we can hope for the league fixtures.

My prediction for the FA Cup draw is a disappoint Met Police away… prove me wrong FA… prove me wrong…

Saturday, June 20, 2015

London to Brighton

In a shameless plug I announce that I am cycling the London to Brighton tomorrow. This is a chance for you to sponsor me by following this link.
I am sure which Brady will be first in line given all of the managerial advice I've given them over the years…
All in aid of The British Heart Foundation.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tanners 0 - 1 Harrow Borough

Harrow arrived at The Grove knowing that if disaster struck they would be relegated so travelled in good numbers.  Even before the game started they were given the boost of some key absences in the Leatherhead ranks.  Man flu, a prize holiday and an assistant manager position left us three players short and in need of some reorganising.

With the visitors well prepared for the task at hand it was no surprise that they fought just that little bit harder and dominated most of the game.  The dominance rewarded by a player who takes his chances when presented.  MCS scoring the winning goal against us both home and away this season when he latched onto a loose ball in the box in the first half.

The second half was a little quiet.  Our best chance came via a penalty awarded when Vas’ run was blocked in the box.  A soft penalty that was struck with equal measure by Vas and was saved with ease.

With little at stake Leatherhead allowed some youth team players to get a run.  We did rally but no breakthrough came.  At the final whistle the visitors over celebrated somewhat given the collapse by Peacehaven made the result redundant.

Leatherhead can take a lot of pride of the season overall.  Especially given the revolving door we were faced with at the start of the season.  With a bit more stability we can hope for an exciting campaign next season…


Friday, April 24, 2015

Harrow Borough Are Coming

Harrow Borough come to the Grove in a bit of a spot.  Of the five teams in relegation trouble our guests look the safest but should all the other results go against them and we win they will be down.  Leatherhead can feel pretty good about themselves after an altogether successful season given it was our first year back in the top flight of the Ryman.  I hope we don’t take our foot off the pedal as we could finish as high as eighth above Billericay.  A-ring-a-ding-ding!

Meanwhile at the top Enfield Town go into the game not knowing how it will turn out for them after being hit with an FA charge of playing an illegible player through no real fault of their own.  Dulwich could still miss out but only in the place of Met Police…

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lewes 0 - 1 Tanners

On a chilly day which was warm at the same time, Leatherhead produced a fine away win against a Lewes side who are fighting to avoid the drop. A surprisingly large crowd of over 700 had come to fret over the fortunes of their local team who were briefly in the Conference National in 2008. 
A top 10 finish for Leatherhead will be achieved with a win at home to Harrow next week and we could move to as high as 8th. We could only have dreamed of this at the start of the season when the team had to be virtually rebuilt from scratch due to the departure of many of the side that gained promotion. 
Congratulations must be given to Richard Brady for being able to attract players of the quality of Vas, Kiernan, Stacy, and Adam Green (we also attracted Rook) and being able to blend them into a strong side more than capable of holding their own in this division. 
The season could become even more pleasurable should Dulwich fail to secure a play off spot in what has been a spectacular collapse in form. Maidstone are certain to become deserved champions unless they lose about 20-0 on Saturday. Met Police could still make the play-offs and will be hoping for a Labour election victory to ensure an increased playing budget next season.
(Report by DominicWJM)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead to travel to Lewes today in our last away game of the season. Lewis have a tense end to the season looking over their shoulder while Leatherhead have the luxury of shrugging theirs. We can only go up or down a couple of places.
Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tanners 1 - 0 Margate

A fine win but ever there was an end of season feel to a game it was this one.  Off the pitch, a large crowd watched in near silence as Leatherhead went about keeping third place Margate quiet on the pitch.

The winner came early in the game.  A Margate centre back tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but with Vas in chase you need to be careful.  The defender tried to be clever but Vas got the better of him, stole the ball and advanced on goal.  The centre back again tried to be clever and nudge Vas off the ball but in doing so stuck out a leg… the invitation to be tripped by it was gratefully received and the penalty given.  Vas struck his penalty a little too close to the ‘keeper for my liking but as he was diving the wrong way it did not matter.  1-0.

Margate were then lucky to have 11 men on the pitch when Hughes-Mason broke down the middle of the pitch.  A cute cut inside would have seen him clear on goal but the centre back cynically pulled him down.  Only a yellow awarded.

Second half was largely tame but assured.  Not that the game was devoid of entertainment.  There were some good chances, some “oooohs”, some “ahhhhs” and a rousing cheer for Richard Brady and the team for the win that, on balance, they deserved. 

Lewes away Saturday…