Monday, March 28, 2016

Hampton & Richmond 2 - 0 Tanners

Mr Sandmann showed that he is still undecided whether to try for the play-offs next season or settle for 14th place.  It appeared that he changed his mind at half time as a competitive first half was followed by an embarrassingly one sided second half. It was reminiscent of the second half at Torquay except Hampton are in the same league not four leagues higher.

We held our own in the first half and even had a couple of chances through Mahal and Collin. Hampton must have thought they were in for a fight for the three points but they were sadly mistaken. From the start of the 2nd half we were camped on the edge of our penalty area and attempted to repeal forces. It was fruitless. Wave after wave of Hampton attack rained down to be followed by poor clearances with none of our players able to keep the ball or pass to one another.

Hampton stay top of the league but are already promoted in the league for the most difficult ground to park.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tanners 2 - 0 VCD

Leatherhead make it a double over VCD who, along with a couple of ex-Tanners, look like the drop is looming.

The game was not one for the scrapbook.  What actually goes into the scrapbook is still open for debate.  Those behind the goal were struggling to think of one… perhaps East Thurrock away… or Farnborough away… anyway…

Leatherhead always looked the more likely.  VCD were happy to try and defend and we would probe away looking for a goal.  It got to about 60 minutes and we were getting confused.  Surely a point would not be enough for VCD and they’d have to go for it.  However their surge never really came.

Then on 70 minutes we introduced Franny Collin.  He has not been as prolific as his previous stats suggest he could be but he turned the game.  His first contribution was to send in a freekick that strikers like Walsh must love.  It eluded the ‘keeper giving him a free header at the back post.

Late into the game two events summed up why VCD may well be going down and why we will not.  VCD had a one on one with Wells who saved twice and somehow we managed to block a third shot before scrambling it away.  At the other end Collin was clear with his shot saved which was followed up by Mahal.  His first attempt was saved but his third was finished.  2-0 and the three points were ours.

We travel to perhaps the champions, Hampton & Richmond…

Saturday, March 26, 2016

VCD are coming

The Easter festivities start today with the visit of VCD.  A team no doubt scratching their heads as to how they did not get at least a point when we visited their place earlier in the season.  I felt they played rather well in the second half and worthy of a 1-1 draw.

VCD find themselves in real trouble though.  While we can look forward to a discussion on whether we will try and win a few games next season in the Ryman Premier or not, VCD are 11 points from safety with games running out.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Burgess Hill 1 - 2 Tanners

Tanners get the three points many believe will keep us safe this season thanks to two quick goals in the first half.

The host’s twitter account was having a nightmare with both goals needing clarification.  The first came from a shot from Hughes-Mason that took a deflection from Mahal.  Just two minutes later Walsh got in on the action and headed in a goal that gave us a two goal cushion.

This cushion was soon halved due to us giving away another penalty.  Burgess Hill converted and applied pressure for the rest of the half but we held on.

So now a true test.  Playing VCD Saturday with the knowledge we are probably safe…

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Burgess is probably a Hill too far for me tonight.  I still cannot face going back ever since the 2014 Trophy defeat.

Burgess Hill sit just a couple of places below us but have a slightly better goal difference.  Without a win in seven games they will be out to get a vital three points to push them away from the relegation zone.

Kick off at 7:30 and NOT 7:45.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck Tanners.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wingate & Finchley 1 - 1 Tanners

Perhaps writing off the performance as lackluster even before hitting the stationary traffic was hasty if not a tad harsh but when you consider the two goals came from a penalty and a bundled in set piece it tells you what you need to know about this game.

Apart from the last 10 minutes, where Leatherhead really did start to press, the game really never took off as a viewing spectacle.  There was a small  amount of ill feeling amongst the players and a few pushes could be seen but on the whole it was a tepid affair.

Leatherhead could have opened the scoring when Hughes-Mason evaded the ‘keeper and found himself with an open goal, albeit at a tight angle.  The time it took to get a good sight of goal allowed a defender to cover.

Shortly after a clumsy coming together  presented the referee with a decision to make and he went for a penalty.  A fairly clear decision and some supporters wanted a red card.  The resulting penalty sent Pidgley the wrong way and he would have had a better chance of saving it if he had just stood there waving at the crowd as he had done when the players lined up.

On the stroke of half time Leatherhead where a awarded a free kick about 35 yards out.  The lofted ball should have been dealt with by the ‘keeper but he dropped it and Steve Watt was on hand to prod it home.

Second half saw little in the way of clear cut chances but it was pleasing to see Leatherhead pass the ball well and play something close to football.

A new ground and a family trip to Hampstead sees me in the good books.  Not a bad day then.

Travelling Tanners

First of all, apologies for the lack of match report from the Wednesday game.  I thought I was going to receive a report from someone at the game but he was either comatose or concerned over the impact of the sugar tax, the conversation on which was the most entertaining part of the game.  That said, good luck to Bognor in their Trophy Game today.

Today we travel to Wingate & Finchley.  A trip I find myself making, although I fear I will witness another halfhearted performance that will inevitably end in disappointment.  It’s a new ground so still worth the trip.

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


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bognor Regis are coming

Tonight we welcome Bognor Regis as they return to league action after enjoying a fine FA Trophy run.  Currently they are 1-0 down in a two legged semi-final with Grimsby.

All that excitement has seen them slip down the league by virtue of the fact they have played six less games.  I would expect them to start rising again soon but with such a big game Saturday perhaps tonight is a good time to play them.

Same again please Leatherhead.  A spirited performance Saturday gave the home supporters something to look forward to.

Kick off at 7:45.  Good luck fellas.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tanners 2 - 1 East Thurrock

Finally Leatherhead show some passion that has been so lacking ever since the dismal Surrey Senior Cup display against Merstham.  Leatherhead went toe to toe with the visitors and grew into the game to deservedly win the game.

It didn’t start that way.   On just two minutes we looked disorganized and were forced into desperate tackles, one of which resulting in a penalty which was coolly dispatched by the visitors.  For those who have seen too many lacklustre performances recently feared we’d be on the end of a thrashing but a couple of things happened.  Firstly, the visitors began to rattle the cages of key players (and the officials) with some robust tackles and persistent playing the man rather than the ball.  Second we won a penalty when a defender’s raised hand struck the ball.  Franny was equal to the task.

In the first half the officials seemed to be very much intimidated by the guests but things changed in the second half.  Certainly when their centre-back went off injured (and should have been sent off for the volley of bad language directed at the angelic Leatherhead supporters by the bar) they lost some of their presence.

Mahal was in wonderful form today, running at the defenders and creating problems.  With ten minutes to go it was just him and the ‘keeper and perhaps he should have finished it but for a wonderful save but the ball ran to Franny who fired it into the top corner.

Masterful ball retention from Leatherhead followed and when East Thurrock finally had the chance to play the ball into the box we held firm.  Not conceding the now traditional last minute goal.

So Bognor turn up mid-week and perhaps something for them to think about.

East Thurrock are coming

At the start of the season it was all about Dulwich and Bognor Regis as to who was going to go up automatically but now our visitors have emerged as a credible challenger for first place.

Only last weekend they saw off Tonbridge easily 3-0 and will no doubt come to the Grove looking to improve on the draw they got at their place where they must have felt they threw away all three points.  3-1 up at half time, Leatherhead stormed to a 4-3 lead only to concede in the last minute of the game.  Exciting stuff.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Tanners 2 - 2 Needham Market

This was a game Leatherhead would have hoped to win and could certainly not afford to lose and perhaps that accounted for some of the nerves on show in the first half.

Needham Market look like they are going to survive to play another season, and if they do it will be built around the skill of their number 9.  We discovered that at their place so it was disappointing he was the one player we allowed to have the ball about 20 yards out and his shot beat Wells on just three minutes.

We feared the worst but Leatherhead struck back.  After some pressure, the visiting ‘keeper made a smart save but could only push it into the path of Mahal.  His powerful shot found the back of the net after perhaps two deflections.  The ‘keeper made another fantastic save from a Franny Collin free kick.

Second half and we played with a bit more freedom and with our attacking pressure so Needham Market started making mistakes.   It was Mahal’s pressing that allowed him to steal the ball in midfield and set up Franny Collin.  He was now one on one with the ‘keeper and he picked his spot well.  2-1 and we could now dream for a much needed win.

It looked like we were on the right track until we made a couple of substitutions that unsettled the balance and gave the visitors the initiative.  First was the much anticipated Cooper Smith, who had he scored would have no doubt signaled a chant of “he’s one of our own”, for Mahal.  Then Okoh for Walsh.  Now neither of these did anything particularly wrong it was just their enthusiasm for the game found them offside more often than not and so the ball often returned to Needham Market to build attacks.

As a result the pressure built until the last minute of the game where a swung in ball found a head and Wells was beaten again.

No game now until Saturday where we host the current leaders… East Thurrock are coming.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Needham Market are coming

Hopefully we can get a game on for a change.  I swear it’s been ages since the last time I saw Leatherhead play so I am looking forward to seeing some action.

Last time we met we made the 200 mile trip to witness a first half where we were largely outplayed but to bounce back and do everything but score, suffering a 1-0 defeat on the way.  We felt we were unlucky but a trend has since emerged.

Maybe by returning the favour and inviting down our new friends to a boggy pitch is the polite thing to do…

Kick-off at 3pm.  See you there!