Saturday, December 31, 2016

Harlow 2 - 1 Tanners

Leatherhead saw out 2016 with a whimper today. For whatever the reason we weren't quite at the races. 

We created very few chances and Harlow were deserved winners. Cash scored with a fine shot when he cut in from the wing on 30 minutes but it was very much against the run of play. There wasn't much improvement in the 2nd half and it seemed inevitable that Harlow would score at least twice to take all 3 points.

2016 saw a lot of changes. It was the year of Ashdexit and Sandmexit. Rod and Dickie left office after years of service for the club. Brades took over as Chairman and Jimmy Bullard created plenty of interest when he took over as Manager. 

We have seen some encouraging signs and improved attendances in recent weeks. We can be optimistic for continued progress in 2017. So onto Merstham on Monday 2nd January. We will go into that fixture undefeated in the calendar year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead make a trip to mid table Harlow tomorrow and I can't decide if it's a new ground. We did play them in a pre-season friendly (which I went to) but don't know if that predates the stadium's opening of 2006.

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

Monday, December 26, 2016

Tanners 2 - 1 (same old) Met Police

We know what to expect from Met Police. They have always been a dirty and unpleasant team. It was a surprise today that their 'keeper was an unassuming and pleasant sort of chap. He's at the wrong club.

Met Police delighted us with their early season form. They were rubbish and looked a certainty for the drop. Unfortunately, they have turned it around in recent weeks and won 6 straight games. The Met Police Assistant Commissioner must have turned the police lottery tap back on.

Leatherhead are also a different proposition to a few weeks ago. We play quick passing football with skilful players happy to look after the ball. That's exactly what we did in the 1st half creating few clear chances against a well drilled (shouted at) Met Police side. A bumper crowd in excess of 350 reflected the new buzz around Fetcham Grove. The crowd was also swelled by three or four Met Police followers, and the welcome return of Rod.

The 2nd half bought our just reward with a superb cross converted by a fine header from Mohammed Sagaf. We were comfortable at 1-0 until the referee (who had been inconsistent throughout and a bit of a prat) awarded the softest penalty since wise men took presents to Bethlehem. The penalty was converted and it seemed more of an injustice than the treatment of Paul Gambacchini.

Fear not said Jimmy although mighty dread had seized our troubled minds. In the 87th minute we scrambled in the goalmouth and Rian Bray gently lobbed the ball into the net.
This lead to scenes of great joy and goodwill to all men. Well all those that support Leatherhead anyway! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas from all of us here at The Lip!

May your turkey be on your plate and not flapping at a cross in the 89th minute.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Met Police are coming

Shhhh.  Don’t tell anyone at the club but it appears they have forgotten to rearrange this fixture for 8am or something.  That means for most of us we can go to the game at the normal time and see two sides in fine form.  Never mind us being 4th in the form table, Met Police are top over 6 games.  Perhaps lottery funding and overtime have been put back into place…

Leatherhead’s Boxing Day clash could therefore prove to be a true classic.  Kick off at 3pm.  Yes, 3pm.  Good luck fellas.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tanners 2 - 1 Enfield Town

If the season was just six games old the currently form guide puts us in 4th place, as this impressive win perhaps signals a corner has been turned.

Leatherhead’s opening 25 minutes was impressive.  Every pass seemed to be done with menace and Enfield were clearly not ready for this.  If Leatherhead had not taken advantage of this then the result may have been different but as it was Sagaf was pounced to put us 1-0 up.  A through ball found both him and Mendy who appeared to compete to score but Sagaf was better placed and passed it into the bottom right corner.

Enfield Town did eventually come round to the idea that Leatherhead were not going to roll over easily so started to play their way back into the game although gave their travelling supporters little to cheer about for the remainder of the first half.

Leatherhead started the second half well too.  From a period of pressure we won a corner and our second goal.  The ball was swung in an I can only imagine their ‘keeper shouted to mark Mendy; in that moments of hesitation of the defender questioning whether that was Mendy with an E or a Y he beat his man and scored with a glancing header.

Two nil up and this puts Leatherhead on shaky ground.  The game always appear finely balanced between control and all out panic and it only takes one goal to shift it firmly into self-destruct and so it nearly happened.  Enfield grabbed their goal and if it were not for Wells this game may have slipped through our fingers.  Certainly when a save was made but leaving the ball sat on the goal line we feared the worse but somehow we cleared.

A fantastic win and Jimmy insisted on making the team walk off together to receive the cheers of the home support.  Let’s hope for more of the same with the visit of Met Police over the festive fixture season…


Friday, December 16, 2016

Enfield Town are coming

After the much needed win against Hendon, Leatherhead host Enfield Town tomorrow in what will be a very different proposition.  While they have drawn their last three games, they sit in eighth place and they didn’t get there by accident.

The club is offering half price entry (with proof of a re-tweet) for adults and under 16s are free.  This is then followed by “An evening with Jimmy and Razor”; where you can pay £25 to hear your own manager speak, banter and no doubt something a bit blue.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hendon 1 - 3 Tanners

The few who made the game feared this was not going to be a fruitful trip with the departure of so many key players, Ricketts being the one that caused the eyebrows to raise the most.  However, Mendes was at hand with a debut that rivalled that of Glenn Boosey’s.

Another factor that worried me was the pitch.  It was a 3G one, seemed to have more pellets on that I remember seeing elsewhere, and we had already tasted defeat away at Worthing on a similar surface.  I need not have worried as it suited our new players perfectly.  With an even surface they were unplayable with the ball at their feet and it was from a confident run across the box Mendes opened his account.  The defenders seemed reluctant to get close and his powerful shot; low and into the corner; beat the ‘keeper.

A phrase we have heard recently is to “look after the ball”, and Hendon were poor at it.  All too often a Hendon defender would chase a ball but without being fully aware or committed and a determined Leatherhead player would beat them to it.  It was from such a move that Mo Sagaf scored, stealing the ball and running at goal at a tight angle.  The angle was such we felt it there could have been a better option but he slid it under the ‘keeper to prove us wrong.

Two nil at half and time to enjoy the facilities.  When I saw they didn’t have a dedicated tea bar I feared the worst but it turned out to be something of a highlight.  Polite service, reasonably priced and a soup that enters my top three in terms of football sustenance (a hotpot pie at Marine still up there).

On to the second half and it was a pretty open game with the ref happen to let things go and wave play on all over the place.  Hendon should have perhaps had a penalty due to some extreme shirt pulling but he let it go.  There was a little scuffle which could have seen two yellow cards, but he let it go.  Mendes lobs the goalkeeper after being blown up for being offside in the 90th minute and got the first and only yellow and was called “stupid” by the ref too as he had worked so hard to avoid paperwork.

Before his fall from grace he scored a wonder goal.  A poor clearance saw the ball bounce in the box and sit up just above knee height and he latched onto it and it flew in off the inside of the bar.

Hendon did get one back to ruin Wells’ clean sheet bonus, which was a shame as he had pulled off a fantastic point blank save to send the ball high into the air.  A Hendon player was at hand to head it home but at the cost of Joe Howe who was trying to clear.  He went off injured which is unlucky considering he had only come on that half to replace Jerry.

A wonderful three points but a very different challenge on Saturday with the visit of Enfield Town.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Christmas comes early for me this year as the gift of a new ground presents itself with a trip to Hendon on Saturday.  No more ground sharing with Harrow for them.

Life in their new ground hasn’t been easy, although three points easier than our season.  A win would take us above them on goal difference though as we look nervously over our shoulder at the relegation zone.

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

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Needham Market 2 - 1 Tanners

I didn’t go to this game as I had made the long trip only to see a dominate second half performance thwarted by both the conditions and a failure to take their chances… and so history repeated itself.

We did at least score; Akindayindi pouncing on a poor clearance to take the lead on just 19 minutes.  A surging Needham run and powerful shot cancelled out that lead just three minutes later and a stunning free kick put us behind five more minutes after that.

Again we were strong in the second half but no end result other than for the substitute, Richard Seixas, to pick up two yellow cards.

NEW GROUND KLAXON for Saturday as we travel to Hendon…

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Travelling Tanners

If Needham Market treat us as we treated our hosts in the week they will call this off at about 1.30: leaving us in limbo and potentially on the road.  I'd doubt they'd be that stupid to sit on pitch inspection results for an hour though...

They like to get a game on though.  Last year we arrived to see a freshly ploughed cabbage patch and we struggled with the conditions.

Needham Market continue to sit in the play-offs despite us grabbing an equaliser the last time we met.

Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas.