Friday, January 30, 2015

Bury are coming

Bury Town come to the Grove tomorrow in, for me, a strange position.  I always considered Bury to be stalwarts of this league but they find themselves at the bottom of the table.  Plenty of games left in the season to get themselves out of it and Leatherhead will need to be wary of the VCD game where we lost to a club in a similar position at home.

Leatherhead fans will arrive at the Grove scratching their heads over midweek news of what looked to be quite the signing.  That was soon quashed with the offending tweet promptly deleted from the local news agency…

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tonbridge Angels 0 - 3 Tanners

The watch word behind the goal was “under-play” on Saturday.  Leatherhead under-played their way to victory by seemingly just doing enough frustrate the hosts.

The first chance of the game fell to Rook.  It looked like it wasn’t going to be his day at all when he was pulled up for the patented “Rook-grapple” deep in midfield.   Then a tempting cross was sent to the far post for Rook to head but he decided it was perhaps too high and ducked under it completely.  The defender, understandably, was not prepared for this and it bounced off of his shin straight back to Rook who was now faced only with a stranded ‘keeper.  Rook’s approach to the shot was as deliberate as a golfer approaching a tee shot off the 18th at the US Open.  Ensuring his body was correctly positioned and attempted the odd practice swing.  With the space now closed down he turned passed out of the box as if he was a cultured defender playing it out from the back to send the right back on his way down the wing.

Rook made amends shortly after.  Hughes-Mason broke free down our right and slide a ball just beyond the keeper straight to Rook just a yard out in the middle of an open goal.  He doesn’t miss those chances and so we were 1-0 up.

Second half and the game picked up.  Our hosts probably had the better of it but Leatherhead were just too organised at the back and there was always someone to make the last telling tackle.

Our second goal came from a breakaway after we had soaked up a spell of Tonbridge possession.  Hugh-Mason took charge of the ball down our right, who played in Nwokeji down the middle who in turn fed Vas the perfect ball on the left.  Vas, now through on goal, was presented with a chance he thrives on and the second goal flew in off the far post.

More Tonbridge pressure resumed until a less dramatic breakaway move saw Vas in a similar position albeit with more defenders around him.  His powerful shot was parried into the path of Nwokeji who finished to make it 3-0 and signal much of the 396 who attended to start leaving.

As the final whistle blew the hopeful message of “The Only Way Is Up” from Yazz played to the local support who chose to see out the last 10 minutes.  Leatherhead would no doubt quietly admit to not being quite so ambitious.  Sticking at 14th will do us fine….

Friday, January 23, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Richard Brady has denied he is twitching his bottom going into this game but it is a big one.  Tonbridge Angels sit just two points behind us with a game in hand.  Sure, we’re 9 points above the relegation zone but that gap can soon be closed.

Tonbridge, strangely, is a new ground for me so I am looking forward to this one.

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


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Billericay 2 - 0 Tanners

Boy, those Billericay supporters are a tough bunch to please!

Despite a historic victory over non-league footballing royalty they still sang "We're just a pub team from Essex" after the final whistle. Come on guys, don't put yourselves down.  Craig will sing you his little nursery rhyme after the game to cheer you up.

Leatherhead will feel hard done by not to get anything out of this game. For the first 30 minutes we were the more likely to score with Stacy going close a couple of times and Vas always a threat.  Unfortunately, we conceded a goal shortly before half time followed by a superb goal from distance just after.  From then on Billericay defended resolutely and we huffed and puffed but we couldn't blow the house down.

Despite the cold and the infantile goading of our strikers by their defenders, it wasn't all bad.  We weren't queuing to cross the channel, and we had the reassurance of knowing that we would soon be returning to our comfortable homes in the Surrey Stockbroker Belt.

(Report by DominicWJM)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Travelling Tanners

A-ring-a-ding-ding!  We’re off to Billericay tomorrow for league action after, quite frankly, stuffing up our last chance of winning a cup in the week.  Suspensions will no doubt mean we will be without much of our regular defence to make matters worse.

Billericay will be looking for a double.  Last orders!

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tanners 2 - 3 Ashford Town (Middlesex)

A woeful 2nd half performance saw Leatherhead crash out of the Surrey Senior Cup to a team not only 2 leagues below them but also not even in Surrey!  A local Doctor described the performance as "downright embarrassing and borderline unacceptable" and few would disagree.

Richard Brady had put out a strong side with just a couple of new names in midfield. During the first half we cruised to a 2-0 lead and the biggest concern was the cost of printer cartridges and whether Ashford's shirts were turquoise or cyan.

However, this Leatherhead side are never more vulnerable than when 2-0 up and so it proved again. The midfield and defence simply fell apart and conceded 3 quick goals. No one was more surprised than a substituted Ashford player who emerged back into the tunnel after a quick shower to be greeted by the good news shouted across the pitch by the 'keeper.

With no teams left in the last 8 of this competition from a higher level this was a golden opportunity for some end of season glory. The Ryman League Cup Final was a fantastic evening and after all football is about winning trophies.  Supporters were left wondering If the players and management cared about winning the Surrey Senior Cup as much as we do.

(Report by DominicWJM)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ashford Town are coming

Surrey Senior Cup action tonight with the visit of Ashford Town (Middlesex) tonight.  This represents our last cup competition and one that suddenly becomes more enticing.  With Merstham beating Sutton we and Met Police remain the largest clubs in the competition.

We are not without our problems though.  The recent red cards could no kick in and we could be without a number of key players…

Kick-off at 7.45.  Good luck fellas.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tanners 1 - 1 Met Police

A hard fought point against a robust Met Police who clearly have ambitions of promotion this season.

Before the game you’d be forgiven for forgetting there was a game on.  A sit down lunch for the players of 1975 with the FA Cup in the corner of the room looking on as if to say “look at what you could’ve won”.

Back to the game and Leatherhead equipped themselves well in the first half.  The only moan was the home side felt the referee was very much out to protect the visitors and blew up for players seemingly doing nothing but holding their ground.

Second half and it could be argued the Met Police had the better of it, but hardly enough to call it “run of play” as has been tweeted.  The goal did come from a blunder though.  The ‘keeper tried to clear a back pass but scuffed his effort straight to Stacey.  He opted not to try and shoot from distance into an open goal but to pass to Vas who was through on goal but now with the formidable presence of the ‘keeper back in place.  His perfectly placed shot gave the ‘keeper no chance and so we took the lead.

The game seemed to amble along until the visitors were given a rather soft free kick a few yards outside the box.  The wall could have done better as the ball was knocked a couple of yards to the right to change the angle then shot powerfully into the bottom corner.

We did seem to survive a penalty shout for handball and the ball hitting the post before a coming together of Smart and a Met player saw a red card for the latter.  The extra man meant we dominated possession in the final 10 minutes but it was not converted into a winning goal.

Still. A good point and now Ashford (Middlesex) arrive Wednesday for the distraction of the Surrey Senior Cup.

Met Police are coming

The game is on! FA Cup in the bar. Football on the pitch.
Kick off at 3pm. See you there.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Tanners 4 - 3 Bognor Regis Town

Here is a game which left many a Leatherhead fan shaking their heads as they left.  We had won and had been seemingly entertained but no one was quite sure why.  With seven goals the moments of happiness created the impression of a rip roaring game but we are not so sure…

The first 30 minutes were frankly dire and Bognor Regis looked the most likely with a greater share of the possession.  Then Leatherhead stuck twice in the last 15 minutes to make the game seemingly safe… little did we know.

The first goal came from a high ball to Rook who tried to deftly flick it on past the ‘keeper.  He just missed but his presence attracted enough attention that no one noticed Hughes-Mason who collected the loose ball and slotted it past the desperate ‘keeper’s near post.

Just before half time Hughes-Mason pounced again using a clever flick from a Stacy cross to deceive the ‘keeper and send the ball through his legs at close range.  The ‘keeper was not having a good night.

Second half and Bognor Regis started playing the more purposeful football and scored two quite nice goals.  A cross from the right was first glanced in off the far post from their danger man Prior before Thomson let fly from a cross again from the right into the top corner.  2-2.

Leatherhead did not seem to be playing with much urgency with only Vas and Stacy making any real purposeful runs it seemed.  It was Stacy who put us back in the lead.  Playing just off the shoulder of the defenders, asked for a through ball which we ran onto and beat the ‘keeper… near post again.  3-2.

Bognor Regis were not finished though.  Parson received the ball deep on the right and ran at our midfield, then our defence and then found space to shoot and score the goal of the night.  A bit more steal needed in defence I think!

We would perhaps have taken a draw before the game but we certainly would after the moment of madness shown by the normally level headed Avery.  He received a knock from behind as he passed out to the wing and set us away for a breakaway move down our right wing.  I don’t know what happened by he kicked out at the Bognor Regis player and the ref had no option but to issue a straight red.

Oh dear, it looked like we had thrown all the points away until Vas (who had been outstanding all night with a disallowed goal for offside) broke into the box and was brought down.  Bognor’s centre-back argued he got the ball and he had a good case but the decision was made and Vas got up to take his own penalty.  Now where to hit a penalty against a ‘keeper having a night like he was having?  Straight at him and so it bounced under him to score the winner.

While we didn’t move up a place the gap from the relegation zone looks a little wider and we go into the Met Police game with renewed confidence of our scoring ability…

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Bognor Regis Town are coming

Tenth place Bognor Regis take centre stage tonight in this league encounter.  They may have joint fifth place hitman Oliver Pearce but we have a player that is just one goal behind in Hughes-Mason.

Let’s not forget that Connor Heffernan may step into the limelight following his midweek move to Leatherhead.

Curtains raise at 7:45.  See you there!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead hit the road again and will need to win this one.  A tidy run of results have come to an end in an Everton style and three points would make the table more comfortable viewing again.  Our hosts, while below us in the table, have enjoyed success this festive season.  They beat Grays 2-0 at home.

I am looking forward to this one as it will provide a new ground for me.  Those who travelled to Dulwich would have met my enthusiastic nephews from Sao Paulo and they too are looking forward to the trip.

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

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Dulwich 4 - 1 Tanners

I didn’t really fancy this one and so it turned out to be a complete ruddy disaster.  Dulwich spent most of this game on top and while we had our chances, restricted to the first half, 4-1 pretty much sums it up.

Dulwich are a professional outfit.  They know how to shield the ball, nudging us off the ball just enough to win the ball and favour from the referee.  They also hold onto it well and pretty much squeezed us into our own net by the time their deflected shot beat Wells.

Our heads did not drop with Stacy and Vas leading the way, both going close before we won a free kick out wide.  The cross was flapped at by the ‘keeper and then headed in at close range from Jerry.  1-1 it ends at half time.

If we had about 40% of the game in the first half in the second it probably dropped to about 20% and this then was reflected in the score line.  Pressure resulted in goals.  A glancing header to make it 2-1.  A shot from the left and a shot from the right make it 3 and 4.

So, Hornchurch away Saturday to round of these very unfestive fixtures…