Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Welcome Sammy Moore

Following the departure of Jimmy, we welcome Sammy Moore following a "process" that means for the second time running my CV is still in the post before the announcement was made.

So, what do we get?  When I first heard about this, I thought it would be another work experience project where we would try and play football beyond our team's capabilities until we got close to relegation and then go direct.

That said, Sammy has played non-league football.  He knows there is a mixer somewhere on the pitch and may have heard you can score if you can get the ball into it every now and then.

Who knows.  Let's see.  Welcome!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Club statement

I am sure you have all had a chance to read it, but if not the statement on River Lane and the cancellation of next week's meeting can be found here.

This is welcome news, as the consistent theme in all of the fans' forums was that there was insufficient information to make an informed decision.

A team have come together to explore the feasibility of remaining at Fetcham Grove, so at least a fair alternative can be offered.  For us this will continue so to ensure the appropriate due diligence is applied, not only to the new site but to our current home.

Any comments, please get in touch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Leatherhead U21s in the final

Leatherhead face our old friends Billericay Town in the Isthmian League Development League Play-Off Final this Saturday (6 May 2017), 3:00pm to be be played at Aveley.

Billericay side have won the Development North League, and we the South so the two teams will meet for the play-off final.

So Under 21s football on a Saturday... a final to boot... better than a slap in the face...

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Role clarification

Following a number of queries I should clarify, we are not looking necessarily for someone to step forward and do all of the building / electrics work (although it would be nice) but someone who has experience in these areas, establish what really needs doing, get quotes and oversee the project.

So far I have had a good response from painting the dressing rooms to £20,000 of investment.  However, without a full team we won't have a credible alternative to put towards the members and shareholders.

As always, I can be reached on mattleross7@aol.com.

Monday, May 01, 2017

A call to arms

Since the last fans' forum not a lot has happened.  Certainly the list of what needs to be done has not arrived and more rumours of Fetcham Grove rescue packages etc. have only delayed any attempts from the fans interested exploring whether The Grove can be saved.

Therefore we simply need to press on with the information at hand.  From discussion, the only way we can proceed to form a credible working group to propose an alternative solution.

To do this we need people to step forward who have particular experience in certain areas to take on the work required.  These areas, I believe, are as follows:
Buildings - roofing, construction etc.
Electrics - re-wiring for flood lights, buildings etc.
Project management - ensuring the above two work
Authorities - dealing with local authorities, grant applications etc.
Legal - company secretarial, share / debenture issuance
Funding - maintaining / generating income streams

If you feel you can actively participate in any of the above areas then please let us know at mattleross7@aol.com.  If on the other hand you are sitting there thinking you don't have any of the those skills but have £200k you are desperate in investing into a local football club, we'd love to hear from you too.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dorking Wanderers 0 (win 5-4 on penalties) Corinthian Casuals 0

A well organised yet strangely subdued affair in front of 967 mostly neutral supporters.

Chris Boulter, Mu Man and Josh Gallagher represented the Tanners on the field. Off the field the Tanners were well represented by many familiar faces, even an ex manager who had masterminded an embarrassingly easy play off win over Dulwich 6 years earlier.

The first half was dire, but flew by as yet another informal fans' forum developed in the little stand behind the goal. It was similar to the previous three forums in that no one knew any solid facts (or were hiding them behind secret agendas). Words were muttered whilst carefully checking who was around you......leases, car parks, lux, shares, BlueGold, roofs, toilets, etc etc. 

Finally, we bored ourselves stupid with these conversations and moved onto discussing the poor quality of the game, and how badly it needed some magic in the form of a Kadell Daniel  or a Jerome Frederico. 

Casuals had by far the better of the 2nd half but spurned numerous chances, much to the annoyance of the increasingly foul mouthed Casuals supporters who must have been on loan from Chelsea. It was a difficult decision to stay for extra time and witness another 30 minutes of dross. Penalties were a welcome relief. Dorking prevailed and the pitch was swamped by at least two of their celebrating supporters.

That just left the run to the car park to beat the queue of traffic, and thoughts returned back to the mystery announcement due on Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday, or maybe....oh for God's sake!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Voting update

Following the recent Fans’ Forum  I submitted a letter (signed by 15 members) requesting more time between hearing the business case of River Lane and deciding on how to vote.  I am pleased to say that this has been agreed, and I include the following instructions from the club below.

"The Members’ Meeting to be held on Tuesday 9th May 2017 will provide the opportunity for members to hear the relevant information about the proposed move to River Lane and listen to the answers to questions put from the floor.

If the members are in favour of the move to River Lane, then work on this major project will need to begin with the minimum delay. However we can understand that it would be helpful for some members to have more time to consider the matters discussed, but we are not able to hold a further meeting.

The Board have therefore decided that a further period of one  week can be provided before voting. Voting slips will be offered to members at the meeting in the secret ballot and can be taken on the night, but for those who need further time, it will be acceptable for them to submit votes by post to reach my address (as Membership Secretary) by Tuesday 16th May 2017. (Details will be shown on the voting slips.)

For those unable to attend the meeting (of whom I believe you were one) I can post a voting slip on request, for return to me as explained above.

We hope that this will address the concerns of you and the other signatories to your letter. When publicising this letter please could you take the opportunity to confirm that only members will be allowed to attend the Members’ Meeting, in accordance with normal practice."

I believe this provides fans with the opportunity to hear both the case for River Lane and for staying at Fetcham Grove to be heard more fairly.  In order for fans to follow developments more clearly a Facebook page has been create: https://www.facebook.com/savefetchamgrove/

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fans' Forum - Part Two

Colin Ward summarises the meeting very well here.  Despite his high praise I was a little disappointed as my proposed call to arms lacked any weight as I still awaiting any official damage report regarding Fetcham Grove.

The meeting was positive, attended by over 30 supporters, and the overall message from those in attendance was we have been in a worse situation; and tell us what is wrong and we would try and fix it.  There was life in the old girl yet.

With that in mind, one of the outputs of the meeting was a letter to the Board requesting that the 9 May meeting be used for information, a chance to lay out all the facts, and hold a subsequent meeting (or period) to vote.  This was signed by 15 members, which exceeded the 10 required under the 2000 constitution.  I was told that this may not be relevant under the 2013 constitution but I believe the request to be reasonable for the Board to consider in their meeting this week.

While everyone in the meeting was in favour of exploring ways to remain at Fetcham Grove I did speak to members who felt the game was up; Fetcham Grove had been allowed to decline too far.  The one area that unites both camps is seeing both the proposal and the reasons as to why our current ground is beyond repair.

Tomorrow night may give further insight into this as Laurence and Gerald host a Q&A session in the bar at 7pm...

Tanners 3 - 2 Harlow

Both teams played their part in what could have been a dull end of season non-event.  Harlow had missed out on the play-offs and Leatherhead had missed out on relegation (barring a 20-0 loss).

In the first half, the visitors had more of an edge about them.  Just after the 15 minute mark, a ball into the box was handled and a penalty awarded which was coolly dispatched.  We had our chances, and a diabolical short corner routine, but the first half ended 1-0.

The second half brought new vigour into Leatherhead and we looked to take the advantage.  The strike that levelled it at 1-1 was either goal or fluke of the season which came from a short corner (which pains me to say), as Jerome lofted a ball into the area that beat everyone and found the back of the net.

Harlow struck back with 15 minutes to go from a well directed header which sent their 'keeper into a bout of smug celebration directed... a celebration that went on to haunt him.

First of all Nana was played in and lashed in a powerful shot into the bottom corner. 2-2.  Not so smug.  Then as we play the last minute of injury time a shot hit the hand of a defender which played in Jerry.  While he was deemed onside due to this second phase of play he must have believed he was way off (as did the defence) such was the nonchalance of his strike.  It went under the now devastated 'keeper to end our season with a 3-2 win.

Leatherhead marched off the pitch full of hugs and selfies (but no punches) and somewhere a WhatsApp group is created called "Ex-Levred" with perhaps 7-8 participants.  I doubt we will see such a talented bunch that ended our season for a long time.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fans' forum - part 2

Now that the hard work on the pitch is almost over, our thoughts turn to affairs off of it and the important decision that lies ahead.
A group of supporters have come together to explore the feasibility of remaining at Fetcham Grove.  This is not to simply oppose or block such a move but in order that all of the costs, benefits, risks and opportunities are understood when making such an important decision.
Therefore we are hosting a supporter led meeting tomorrow, before the Harlow game, at 2pm in Leatherhead Cricket Club for all fans / members.  This is just to gage opinion and to outline what we believe we need to do over the next two weeks.
I am reliably told the bar will be open and we look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fans' Forum

So what did we learn?  First of all there were two elephants that were physically absent from the room but their presence felt.  Their absence meant they could not be discussed.

The plans for River Lane will be shown on 9 May.  It sounds wonderful, with £400,000 being invested.  Although it was not clear as to who would have to pay this back (Leatherhead FC, Leatherhead Youth etc.) or whether it would be a gift / donation.

What needs to be done at Fetcham Grove to stay there?  This for me was the biggest gap in procedures, the complete lack of information on this front to know what our options are.  What we are voting for.  By all accounts we need a new Board Room (no estimate provided but I am guessing £2k to £5k) and the flood lights (short term fix £6k and a long term fix £60k).  These are urgent and will be addressed before ground grading, so in many ways are not relevant to the decision as that commitment will be met and should be considered a "sunk cost".

Other work needs doing.  Club house roof (no indication how urgent), electrics (as with the roof), dressing rooms (first stated as serious, then played down), referees dressing room (initially sounded as if the ground grading depended on it, then appeared less serious), leaking roof in stand (no indication of how bad or cost to fix), the toilet block and just a feeling that Fetcham Grove was beyond repair. 

It was even suggested we could see for ourselves, just take a look around and see what needs repairing... but we can do this with almost any non-league ground; it is part of the charm.  Who hasn't laughed at the bowed roof at Walton & Hersham, enjoyed finding which radiators are warm at Harrow Borough or wondered what all that concrete is for at Wingate & Finchley?

Lastly, a thorny issue of who should be allowed to attend the meeting.  First of all, the opportunity for fans to hear the formal River Lane proposal is currently not an option.  Only members can attend and then subsequently vote.  Then, who are the members?  It was pointed out that a number of season tickets have been given to people (press officers etc.), should these be able to vote is something still being decided upon the Board.  It should be clear as the email clearly stated "It is only fully paid up members of Leatherhead Football Club as at 31 March 2017 that may attend the meeting".

Passion was running high and it could not have been a pleasant experience for the Board who called this meeting, but from the feedback I have received more information is needed...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Met Police 0 - 1 Tanners

The blood and guts (I'm referring only to the game here!) of Saturday was replaced with a completely different affair yesterday.  A win would almost certainly keep us up, while the hosts seemed initially happy for a draw so a chess like match was played out.

I was worried that perhaps we had left it all on the pitch at Fetcham Grove but a surprisingly large travelling contingent was there to rally us into the game.  Our goal came from a deft looping header from Moore, beating the stranded 'keeper.  This then caused a surge in 3/4g activity as we focussed on results elsewhere.

Second half and The Met applied the most of the pressure and had a good shout for a penalty waved away.  This may have then played on the mind of the ref who promptly awarded any decision to the home side; including having Luke Moore in a headlock and using Nana as a step ladder.

Despite being camped in our half we held firm, and rode our luck occasionally to secure the precious three points.  Technically it isn't over... but it would have to be a very bad day in someone's office for this to materialise.

The fight to stay up is over, for some fans the fight for Fetcham Grove goes on...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Time to focus on Leatherhead again.  There is a danger we put so much into the win on Saturday that we've left nothing in the tank for today.  However, today is an even bigger game.

The Met Police just sit three points ahead of us. Come 5pm we are either both safe or we have a new relegation team to buddy up with.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tanners 3 - 2 The World's Greatest

Anyone with the slightest piece of self-awareness would have sensed the viral video of them singing was creating a monkey for their own back, but that isn't Glenn Tamplin.  What is so great about the video is that you can see not everyone buys into this vision (the 'keeper for one which is a shame he bore the brunt of the teasing).  Therefore, the next game could prove too much for them... and that is how it turned out...

It didn't start that way though.  Billericay have assembled some names and it appeared we were in awe of them for the first five minute but a personal battle emanating from the left back position allowed us to grow in confidence.  The Lip's player of the season, Danny Murphy, started dishing out uncompromising and so confidence started spreading throughout the team.

Soon Kadell was in on the act, making their highly paid players look stupid as he danced around them.  On 8 minutes he worked some space and fired a shot that dipped over the 'keeper and found the top left corner.  The mountain was beginning to crumble.

Four minutes later, Billericay conceded a penalty through sheer arrogance.  Kadell was on the ball in the box and their No6 just ran straight through him, probably believing the ref would never give a decision against THEM.  He was wrong but they were saved when Luke Moore fired his spot kick against the post.

Billericay levelled through the only area they were better than us, upfront in the air.  A long corner found a player on the far post who headed back across goal and it was bundled in.  1-1 at half time.

Second half and Billericay needed a reaction, but it came too late.  Take Konchesky for one.  Ex-Premier league, playing a few levels beneath him, clearly happy to take the money.  Meanwhile we were simply better man for man and went on to build a healthy lead.  Jerome was unlucky when he struck the post from a break away move but Moone, who danced through three hapless tackles, made no mistake.  Firing into the bottom right.  Then Nana broke away and found the inside of the post.  3-1.

Billericay did make it interesting when they bundled in a second and the ref was desperate for an equaliser and allowed 9 minutes of extra time (after signally 6) but the whistle came to much celebration.

We were revelling in it, I admit with "You're not singing any more!" which was the least the guests deserved but then it turned sour.  A supporter offered his hand to O'Hara, someone who was on Celebrity Big Brother so must love the attention, and withdrew it as it was accepted.  It was childish, but there was a perfectly good reason for this.  It was a 14 year old boy who was guilty of only watching too much SoccerAM.  The scenes that followed can now be seen on national media.

Despite our heroics and table position, we sit only 1 (and a half) points outside the relegation zone so we need to do it all again.  Close your eyes Leatherhead, you are the mountain.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Billericay are coming

A big day in Leatherhead's history tomorrow.  Off of the pitch we discuss the future of the club and learn more about the proposed move.

On the pitch we have quite the tall order.  We have to take on the mountains, tall trees and fast winds of Billericay.  They are looking to pounce on a play-off spot having won the League Cup.  Three points is likely to keep us out of the relegation zone.

Chat off at 12.30.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fans' forum

A Fans' Forum has been organised where Richard Brady will be available before the Billericay game in the Running Horse from 12.30 to openly discuss matters with himself and the other Directors.

This is open to all fans not just members.  I hope as many of you as possible take up the opportunity to attend so you can arrive at the May meeting adequately informed to vote.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Leiston 1 - 0 Tanners

On returning from this trip my wife asked me the inevitable question; was it worth going?  Sadly, I don't think it was...

OK, it was a new ground and the locals were welcoming but it was not a ground I would remember other than the extended no-mans land at each end of the pitch and the annoying net behind one goal.  The tea queue was a disaster and, we lost.

The first 15 minutes we gave a good account of ourselves and it was difficult to see who was looking to finish in the play-off places.  Nana bought a foul early on; nipping in front a the defender and waiting to be struck from behind.  He then later did the same trip in the box, but the contact was minimal and the ref played on BUT Nana's card was marked and he failed to get a foul for the remainder of the game.

From then on it became a stalemate.  Each club probing but seemingly happy with a point until a breakaway move saw their striker through on goal and he beat Wells into the bottom left corner.

This now leaves us with three games and the visit of Billericay on Saturday...

Friday, April 07, 2017

Travelling Tanners

While Leatherhead's board announce plans to sell their soul off the pitch, the team will endeavour to make a 6 hour round trip and get three points at high flying Leiston.

We sit just outside the relegation spots and three points would go a long way to making us safe.

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Dulwich 1 - 1 Tanners

We would have taken a point before the game and certainly, judging by the comparison in emotions between supporters at the final whistle, we are happy with it now.

Going to Dulwich is not easy.  Logistically it is challenging; off the pitch, they come in number; and on it they are a handful.  We were going to have to be on the top of our game to get anything out of it... and we were.

The back four worked hard to keep their attacks to a minimum and our forwards looked threatening when we were allowed to break.

The real downside to the game was our corners.  Three came and went in utter disarray.  We insist on these short routines that need more work in practice.  I can understand why they opted for this, the Dulwich defenders were massive, but a bit of variety wouldn't go a miss.  I would have more respect had they passed it back to Wells from the corner.  It certainly would have spared Murphy a near yellow card for being forced into a rash tackle as they broke from such a set piece.

First half was end to end and I think we gave a pretty good account of ourselves.  The second half was much the same, except our hosts began turning the screw.
So it was a relief that eased the pressure by scoring a goal.  Dulwich decided to be clever at the back (where have we seen that before?) and promptly gave it away to Nana.  One on one with the 'keeper, he coolly slotted it into the far corner.  Three points would go a long way to keeping us up.

Dulwich pressed and got their equaliser through one of the strikes that can either end up in the fresh produce aisle in Sainsbury's or break the net.  Wells did everything according to the textbook on goalkeeping, a good punch sending it high and wide, but the volley came back with interest - rattling the bar as it shot in.

The ref somehow managed to find four minutes of extra time for us to sweat through but we held firm.  The final whistle blew to cheers from the handful of supporters who made the trip at our end... deathly silence at theirs.

On to Leiston Saturday then....

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Wall blah blah... cheats blah blah... wall blah blah.  That's the Dulwich pre-match update written for them.

Leatherhead travel to Dulwich at a rather crucial time.  With our goal difference as it is we have effective a half point advantage over Ks and Burgess Hill.  To expect to stay in the league on goal difference is precarious to say the least so we need something special.

Dulwich sit just one point outside the play-offs and so would be looking at a win tonight to propel them into the knock-out stage and inevitable disappointment.

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 7.45.  See you there.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Tenants 1 - 2 Landlords

Probably one of the worst games of the season but with one of the best results.

This was the first game in charge for the unlikeable, uncouth, former pub side manager of Billericay, Craig Edwards. He had called his new side to the ground an hour early to allow extra time to shout, swear, and threaten them.

K's are having a nightmare of late. They have lost their last 7 games and accumulated just 2 points from the last 11 games. With Craig's expletives doubtless ringing in their ears, K's started the game like startled chickens who had just spotted a fox entering the coop.......running around all over the place like their live's depended on it. 

The Tanners looked confused, reluctant to join in, hoping we could play total football instead. But we were left with no choice other than to get stuck in and play like a Sam Allardyce side rather than a Jimmy Bullard one. We got to half time goalless without too much alarm except for the length of the tea bar queue staffed by a solitary lady.

It looked likely that this game would be won with one scrappy goal. In fact it was won by 2 scrappy goals to 1 scrappy goal with our scrappy goals from the immense Jerry Jerry and the impact sub Nana. Jubilant scenes followed the final whistle after a very nervous last 5 minutes.

There isn't much time to enjoy our 3 point cushion which could very quickly evaporate as we travel to Dulwich on Tuesday. They normally run us ragged at their place in front of a 1,000 or more urban bohemians looking on smugly.

Travel Tip: Go to McDonalds before the game if you are hungry as the burgers are £8.50.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Travelling Tanners

With rumours of a side near the bottom due to drop three points, this game is massive.

Ks away is already a game to look forward too (stewards aside) but now it shifts up a gear.

Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tanners 1 - 0 Wingate & Finchley

A vital win for Leatherhead, sees outside the relegation zone and puts our fate into our buttery fingered hands as we enter the last six games of the season.

A bright start for Leatherhead saw Carr brought down in the box, but it was far too early into the game for the ref to give it without breaking their unwritten sacred code.

It would be 30 minutes later until the breakthrough came.  Theobalds given the time and space to pick his spot, moments after we survived a penalty scare of our own.  A guilty conscience of the ref perhaps…

Leatherhead went on to frustrate Wingate & Finchley and keep the score to just 1-0.  Saturday’s game, away at Ks, just got bigger.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wingate & Finchley are coming

Sixth place Wingate & Finchley come to the Grove on Saturday as we enter the final stages of the season.  Other results aside, they are a win away from sneaking into a play-off place; we are a win away from sneaking out of the relegation places.

Last weekend we were outstanding for the first 45 minutes, then in the second half Enfield Town worked out what we were doing and we ran out of ideas.

Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Enfield 2 - 1 Tanners

A very familiar story for Leatherhead; a cracking first half and then capitulation in the second to allow the three points to slip away.

I like going to Enfield.  Last time their crowd was buoyed a couple of coach loads of Belgian fans so I wondered what a standard game would be like but there is a very pleasant and welcoming buzz to the place.  The pitch looked greener but still the occasional puff of dust to show the pitch was hard and dry again.

For the 20 or so behind the goal in the first half it was looking like the trip was worth it.  Enfield could not cope with Jerome and Kadell and chuck in the threat of Carr up front we had them on the back foot.  We got the breakthrough after Jerome worked some space on the edge of the box and had the audacity to try and lob the ‘keeper.  It was inch perfect with their shot stopper only tickling as it sailed over him.  1-0.

We pressed on but the warning signs were there of what was to come.  Namely with us mucking about with it at the back, trying to be clever and to waste time but Wells got mixed up and was forced into a rash tackle outside his area.  A red card was expected but he got away with it and stayed on the pitch to pull off a fantastic save from the resulting set piece.

So, into the second half and the table showed us outside the relegation zone.  All we had to do was play the same and we’d be OK, but that is not how it turned out.  I am no expert but any threat we had down the wings suddenly dried up and we had no plan b.  Perhaps Jimmy didn’t fancy any of the options on the bench as no change came until the damage was done, opting to clap encouragement.

The first Enfield goal was classic Leatherhead.  A free kick on the edge of the box was directed to the back post where a player was completely unmarked and headed home.

The second goal, well we out Leatherheaded ourselves again but I have some sympathy.  It looked like Kadell was fouled on the edge of the box but the ref played on; so from a dangerous position we find ourselves chasing the ball and they score from the breakaway move.

Subs did happen with about 5 minutes to go in drips and drabs – it was as if we were the team looking to waste time – but nothing came of it.

Back into the bottom four and we wait for a tough game this Saturday…

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Travelling Tanners

While on a company conference we were treated to a motivational speech by the famous conductor and producer, Christian Gansch where told the story of how they played the concert of their lives in Berlin.  Three days later they were in Paris in good spirits when the conductor them while setting up with a simple message, “Berlin didn’t happen”.  The point being the past performance did not make it an automatic right that they would play well again and they had to prepare for the concert like any other.

At this point I should have been thinking about career paths or succession planning but my mind drifted to our plight following a good home win.  While confidence is important, Enfield Town will pose a completely different audience.  However we play, I hope they know their brass from their oboe.

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tanners 2 - 0 Folkestone

A thoroughly professional performance gives us new hope.

Folkestone expected to win this one and were taken aback by our attacking positive football.  Jimmy's Plan B of more direct football and cutting out the mucking around at the back, has reaped rewards quickly with 7 points from 4 games.

We were too hot to handle for Folkestone for much of this game and they frequently resorted to breaking up our attacks with cynical fouls. The referee let them off initially but grew tired of the persistent fouling and handed out about 6 yellow cards by the end of the game.

The new addition of Jerome Frederick made the difference last Saturday when he came on at half time and he opened the scoring last night with a cracker. We could have been 2 or 3 up at half time so there were still plenty of nerves when we went in with a slender 1-0 advantage. Folkestone livened up briefly at the start of the 2nd half but we regained our composure and made certain of the 3 points with a Daniel Carr penalty.

We now have a tough games at Enfield then home to Wingate & Finchley but if the players stay positive and maintain the energy levels there is no reason why we can't pick up points. How about 4 points lads?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Folkestone are coming

This is massive. Folkestone arrive at The Grove tonight just 24 hours after Merstham'a impressive win. Hopefully the need for a win has been clearly communicated to avoid the kind of first half performance we witnessed Saturday.

Kick of at 7.45. Good luck fellas.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Where's my paddle?

If you are sat at home wondering why the mood has changed and talk of relegation is in the air, it is because the reality of the season to come has finally struck home.  Those winnable games where we tried to be clever overplaying with no look passes into the path of an open striker have all but dried up and we have a tough run in.  A Leatherhead supporter (Chris) shared with me his predictions on how it will go, so far he is spot on…

The points for the team 4th from bottom in previous seasons has been:
2016 - 50 points - 24 teams (Lthd 11th 62 points)
2015 - 48 points - 24 teams (Lthd 10th 67 points)
2014 - 49 points - 24 teams (Lthd in Southern)
2013 - 41 points - 22 teams (Lthd in Southern)
2012 - 41 points - 22 teams (Lthd 18th 41 points - relegated)

So we may need 50 points, and have 31 at the moment (he did this before Lowerstoft game).  Remaining games and his predictions:

Lowerstoft away - Lose 0 points (Lost 1-0) - CORRECT
AFC Sudbury home - Hopeful win - 3 points (Won 2-0) - CORRECT
Tonbridge home - Draw at best 1 point - CORRECT
Bognor away - Lose 0 points - CORRECT 
Dulwich away - Lose 0 points
Folkestone home - Draw at best 1 point
Hendon home - Hopeful win 3 points - CORRECT
Enfield away - Lose 0 points
Wingate home - Lose 0 points
Kingstonian away - cheeky draw 1 point
Leiston away - Lose 0 points
Billericay home - Draw at best 1 point
Met Police away - Draw at best 1 point (we will be 2 or 3 up and draw at best)
Harlow home - Lose 0 points

Total points 11 .  End of season 42 points.  3rd from bottom and relegated.  Prove us wrong Levred, prove us wrong… 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tanners 3 - 2 Hendon

We were treated yesterday to the very worst and the very best of Leatherhead in a game that looked to seal our fate but then still keep our hopes alive.

Leatherhead were woeful in the first half.  For the first 5 minutes or so I thought this was going to be easy work as Hendon appeared to just sit off us and let us come forward, but soon they decided we looked a bit shaky and too the game to us.

For weeks Leatherhead have been overplaying and trying to pass it into the net, and at last it worked.  It was just a pity it was our own net as a pressured defender passes to where he thought Wells would be and not where he actually was.  Not for the first time in recent weeks, passing without looking where the danger is has cost us goals.

From “no look passes” we then started “no look defending” as a breakaway move down Hendon’s right wing saw us crowd around the ball like it was a Under 7’s match (apologies to any six year old out there).  This left their no8 completely open to receive the ball in front of goal and beat Wells.

There were some high points in the first half; Carr looked unplayable and his shot went just wide.  However, changes were needed especially in midfield.  Ty Smith is a player I like a lot, but with so many attack minded midfielders the role of enforcing some form of discipline fell to him and for whatever reason it wasn’t his day.  So Jerome Federico (?) came on to play down the left and Kadell moved into the centre which worked a treat.

As I mentioned, we had our moments but given how bad we were it was telling that the Hendon defence looked constantly on edge.  With a revitalised Leatherhead they did not look comfortable at all and the reinforced numbers behind the goal could sense we could get something from this game.  The first goal coming from such a spell of pressure.  Their ‘keeper, being forced into a save, concedes a corner and from the resulting set play Theobalds smashes a shot through a crowded box.

Fifteen minutes later Carr gets halfway to his brace.  A looping shot from Kadell (I think) beats the diving ‘keeper, strikes the bar and falls kindly to Carr who taps in.  We rush to get the ball back in play as a draw would simply not be enough to keep us up.

Despite all the attacks we did need some help from the ref.  He then awarded a penalty that I can only describe as soft.  The Hendon back four did have a habit of letting our player know they were there which went largely unpunished, so perhaps they were overconfident in what they could get away with.  Nana was in the box and it was true he was being tightly marked and to a certain extent impeded but when he hit the floor I have seen them turned away.

Over to Carr for the penalty who decided to tease the ‘keeper by hitting it tamely at him knowing he would spill it and get to tap in the rebound.  The very definition of confidence there.

The relegation fight, and it is a fight we should have taking seriously weeks ago, goes on with another crucial game and the visit of Folkestone. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hendon are coming

Check your out tray for misplaced envelopes. Hendon are coming in this crucial game. Three points up for grabs... I hope...

Kick off at 3pm. See you there!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Bognor Regis 1 - 0 Tanners

There are better sides than Leatherhead who will make the trip south and come off worse that a 1-0 defeat but flattery does not get you points on the board.

While Leatherhead looked far more composed at the back than a few weeks ago the pressure told and Bognor got their goal midway in the first half.  It was now a case if we could respond and get a goal back.

Wells kept us in it with a fantastic save but we failed to snatch a goal that would have kept us within three points of safety (given our goal difference). 

No midweek game but a very important game to focus on this Saturday…


Saturday, March 04, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead have a tough test on their hands today.  Bognor Regis Town sit on top of the league, albeit with a game not in hand, and with a healthy 27 goal difference.  While we have kept two clean sheets in a row that will be put to the test today.

Meanwhile Sudbury host Folkestone in what could be a crucial tie for our survival hopes…

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tanners 0 - 0 Tonbridge

After going practically 75% of the season with only two clean sheets to their name, they have now doubled that tally in the last two games.  The latter a credible draw against a side pushing for the play-offs in Tonbridge Angels, thus completing a mediocre double of drawing both games against them.

If there is hope for our survival it won’t come from this draw alone but the change the style we are now playing.  No more inviting pressure by constantly overplaying it from the back; Louis Wells can now get his boots dirty and pick out a player further up the pitch.  The endless sideways movement around the box has been replaced with more purposeful attacks, giving the other team something more to think about.  The end result is a more entertaining game and a few points on the board.  Pity it took until nearly March to work this out.

It could have been more though but for the visiting ‘keeper who pulled off two fantastic saves.  Kadell looked like he had scored in the first half when he picked out the top corner from a powerful volley but the ‘keeper responded and tipped over.  Then in the second half Jerry prodded a ball into the bottom corner but again we were thwarted.

Wells was called into action notably once to keep us level and take us within two points of Sudbury.

Dulwich will have a replay in the Trophy to contend with so that trip will have to wait.  Just Bognor Regis to look forward to on Saturday then….

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tonbridge Angels are coming

The stark reality of the situation is starting to hit home now.  We are going to need to pull off some stunning results between now and the end of the season if we are going to stay up.

There is no better place to start that Tonbridge Angels tomorrow at home.  Last time we played them it was an entertaining 4-4, but I doubt our visitors will be as charitable tomorrow.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tanners 2 - 0 AFC Sudbury

In the bar before the game a fellow Leatherhead fan reeled off a few stats.  Up until this game we had only kept two clean sheets, both against the same team Merstham.  Not a good indication that you will stay up if you can only prevent one other team in the league from scoring against you.  Further analysis showed AFC Sudbury are the only side we are realistically likely to pip to the post for the safety spot so a win today was crucial.

Leatherhead certainly approached the game slightly differently.  It appeared less show-biz, slightly more direct and purposeful.  AFC Sudbury, perhaps jaded from the long mid-week journey, had little in response but of course we had our scares.

Our opening goal came from a long ball down the middle (at last!) and the pace of Nana who rounded the ‘keeper and had an open goal in front of him.  All he had to do was tap it in; tap it in with his left foot and this is where the fun began.  He took his time, switched it to his right, took an extra touch and then another to avoid the returning defender. 

“I don’t believe it!” I heard myself say amongst the panic behind the goal.  A Victor Meldrew moment born of so many frustrating moments watching Leatherhead cock it up this year.  Thankfully he composed himself in time to get his goal but his left foot became something of a theme.  There was a good shooting chance in the first half that was shunned and in the second half there was a mix up in the AFC Sudbury defence that saw him in front of goal with the ‘keeper and two or three defenders all stranded… all stranded just to the right of him.  Rather than switching it to the left and rolling into another open net he opted to go right and then right again as he ran into more and more trouble.  Let’s leave the Nana bashing there; he worked hard and got the goal but it was a surprise he didn’t hop off when substituted.

Back to the game and the second half where we lived in fear it would all go wrong again in this end to end game.  We should have been comfortable but for some reason the chances were being missed.  Then came our salvation.

Callum Davies swung in what looked on first inspection an innocent looking cross but he picked out the run of Kadell Daniel who volleyed superbly past their ‘keeper to make it 2-0.  Of course, Leatherhead being 2-0 at any point of the game does not guarantee anything but AFC Sudbury looked suitable wounded that a fightback seemed unlikely.

On to Saturday and the visit of Tonbridge Angels…

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

AFC Sudbury are coming...

I looked online for the odds and AFC Sudbury are about 3-1 for tonight.  I am not sure if that is for them to win or to turn up as this fixture has been plagued with misfortune…

…which leads us nicely into our year so far!  2017 has been nothing short of a disaster so far and with Harrow winning 4-0 last night the picture is looking increasingly bleak.  Oh for a win tonight!

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there… I promise!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Advance clearance was needed before considering making this trip to Lowestoft Town.  This could be six hours of driving with only 3-1 beating to break up the journey if recent performances are anything to go by.

Let’s look at the positives though.  It’s a new ground… and… well, we did play well at Tonbridge Angels where we went thinking it would be a wasted trip so this may be the kind of game we bounce back.  There is a coach going, so the travelling support should be in good voice too.

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tanners 1 - 2 Burgess Hill

Under Sandmann we were ill-equipped and lacked the players to cope with the Ryman Premier League.  Under Jimmy we have the players but lack the motivation and / or defensive discipline to win the important games and look certain to slide into the Ryman League South if 2017 form is anything to go by.  Start planning your trips to Walton Casuals.

The performance in the first half was workman like.  Not too gung-ho but we showed enough about us to carve out two good chances; forcing the ‘keeper into a good save and clipping the bar from a deft lob.

Then the warning sign.  When under no pressure we give the ball away in our third of the pitch and presented an open goal.  Wells came to our rescue and we can only hope they had learned their lesson.

They didn’t.  Into the second half and we over play it at the back and pass it straight to their striker, whose powerful shot beat Wells near post.

Leatherhead did get one back.  Some smart work from the sub Nana set up Carr in the middle of the goal who had to dig it out of the mud a little but found enough power to find the back of the net.

Then Leatherhead make the same mistake again, giving the ball away in a dangerous position and presented another open goal.  2-1.  This disheartened the side and really we were treading water for the rest of the game with no spirit.

Burgess Hill players embraced when the final whistle went; they knew how big the game was.  Pity no one told Jimmy and our players that.

Burgess Hill Are Coming

Another crucial game and hopefully the weather or traffic conditions won’t get it called off.

The one thing we could not hold off any longer was the three point deduction which has put us back in the chase for relegation.

Kick off at 3pm (please check twitter and the RAC for updates).  See you there.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

AFC Sudbury are coming

AFC Sudbury make the long mid-week trip to Fetcham Grove in this crucial encounter.  They sit just one point behind (or two ahead) and with a game in hand.

For the game against Canvey the first half showing was so poor that Jimmy must have laid down the law in the dressing room and let them think about it, as he waited outside the bar with a face like thunder.  I hope he will not need to play such mind games tonight as drawing these games is becoming increasing unacceptable.

Kick off at 7.45.  Good luck fellas.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Tonbridge Angels 4 - 4 Tanners

Well.  How to write this lot up?  Trying to recollect the events of tonight is going to be practically impossible as there is only so much you can take in during a 90 minute game of football.

The first thing I recall is the ease in which Tonbridge opened the scoring in the opening minutes of both half.  Both goals shots from distance catching Wells off-guard.  Tonbridge were in an equally charitable mood and gifted Leatherhead their first goal.  A long ball down the middle was misjudged and allowed Hamons to run on unmarked and slot past the ‘keeper.  The goal was awarded to Carr, I’m not sure why.

Then a wonder strike (or a lucky cross) when Daniel who fired in a lofted ball to the far post and in it dipped.  Ty Smith added to the joy by being afforded too much space in the box and his powerful – yet placed – shot found the side netting.

3-1 up at half time and we went into the bar to contemplate the state of Jimmy’s coat and the prospect of a 3-3 draw.  This looked ever more likely when another audacious lob was attempted and scored by Tonbridge from distance in just the opening couple of minutes.  Their third goal I don’t recall.  I think a player dashed into the box and fired into a corner.

Their forth was a real eye opener.  I have no idea what is taught in training but I wonder how much time is spent organising the defence.  I say this because we have Jerry (former player of the season) and Howe (non-league player of pedigree) at the back there but to allow their striker so much space to head a goal is shocking.  No organisation nor awareness of the danger and it happens all too often.  Jimmy was incensed and got sent to the stand.  Perhaps upset that the move came from the ref getting in the way of a Leatherhead pass and inadvertently chesting it into the path of a Tonbridge player.

We were not done yet and Ty Smith scores another goal I can’t remember.  It escapes me as we could have won the game.  Daniel Carr went on a hell of a run – Michael Owen and Argentina springs to mind – and was through on goal.  We rushed to the barrier assuming a match winning cuddle was imminent but he opted for the surprise element of shooting near post instead of the inviting far post where the goal was gaping.  Three Leatherhead supporters, two Dulwich supporters (!?) and a players father stood a gasp.

Very much a game of what could have been and now a weekend without a game to dwell on it…


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Tonight we travel to Tonbridge Angels.  I don’t need to write much about tonight; they have done an excellent job in this post here.

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  See you there.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tanners 1 - 1 Canvey Island

In the early moments of the game the ref asked for “nothing silly” from the players while defending a corner.  Wishful thinking as the usual slapstick defending was close at hand.

This corner came during a period of Leatherhead pressure.  By pressure I mean playing the ball horizontally about 30 yards out with the occasional shot at goal.  Pretty to watch but without much threat.  The fateful corner was won just after 7 minutes and was swung straight into the impressively tall ‘keeper.  His confident catch resulted in an equally confident kick up field where we came up short.  A wild swing of the boot hit only air allowing their striker to run through on goal and put his shot away.  This was pretty much the theme for the remainder of the second half and, but for Wells, the guests could have been three or four up.

Somehow we managed to stumble into the second half just one goal down and it took us about 10 minutes to truly find our feet.  Then we did start to play by opting for a more direct style of play and using our pace to stretch the team who have a goal difference of -35.

On the hour mark we levelled.  Some smart work down the left allowed our player to pick out a clinical pass just wide of the post.  It fell to Carr who had the simplest of jobs to tap in.  He was through one on one with the ‘keeper moments later but his low shot was well saved.

This was a game we had to win but, as we have with other teams around us, we only managed a draw.  Off to fifth place Tonbridge Angles on Tuesday night then…

Friday, January 27, 2017

Canvey Island are coming

A mild night should allow the frozen pitch to thaw so we can get this game played tomorrow, but a freshly thawed pitch may create the sticky conditions that will make our punchy passing game difficult.  Not a bad thing based on recent results.

Canvey Island are a side we simply have to beat.  They sit in the relegation zone and are five points behind us so, given the three points could be coming off imminently, it is a nine pointer of a game.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


A frozen pitch has put pay to tonight’s game against AFC Sudbury. 

Hopefully better luck on Saturday when we host Canvey Island. ..


Monday, January 23, 2017

Wingate & Finchley 2 - 1 Tanners

I misread text made me believe the game was called off and by the time I realized it was too late to get there.  A lucky escape.  Despite Leatherhead’s coveted strikers and one man advantage we simply lacked the application, leadership and desire to get a win.

Wingate & Finchley have strung together a few nice results.  Since Boxing Day they have drawn 1-1 with Havant & Waterlooville and Dulwich.  They have beaten the sides around them.  We on the other hand have only managed to draw with the sides near the drop zone and lose to those above.

It does not help when you cannot keep a clean sheet and it is no wonder why.  A long ball from the ‘keeper sends their winger on an almost free run down their right.  A cross into the box and an unmarked player taps it in.  Hopeless.

On the half hour mark, the ref decided Leatherhead needed some help so asked a Wingate player to take an early shower.  The old adage of it being harder to play against 10 men suddenly comes to the fore as for the remainder of the first half.

Leatherhead did rally for the second half but you could hardly describe their second as a “sucker punch”.  From a throw-in Wingate moved the ball around the box with ease; Leatherhead standing there like statues with no commitment to close anything down.  The invitation was accepted and the shot was rifled into the roof of the net from some distance. You see them end up in the car park but we got what we deserved.

A goal by Carr may have offered some excitement for the 99 people in attendance but it was too little too late.  Back to the Grove Wednesday for the all-important game against AFC Sudbury.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Travelling Tanners

If the frost spares us we could be travelling to Wingate & Finchley tomorrow, a side that is unbeaten in eight games: we are unwon in five.  It has not been a good post-Christmas period for us having accumulated -1 points.  Our only two draws were against fellow relegation sides that we would have hoped to beat going into Christmas.

I went to the fixture and was rather impressed with the ground there.  It was also the debut of Lenny Pidgeley, an altogether unnecessary signing but a good bloke to have around.

Keep an eye out for pitch inspections.  Directions can be found here.  See you there… I hope…


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Game off

A 2pm pitch showed the pitch still to be frozen and gave the travelling players and fans enough notice to prevent them from starting a futile journey.

The future date, probably shoehorned into January somehow, will be announced shortly.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tanners 2 - 3 Ks

The Chairman was speaking in the carpark before the game, stating he was hoping for a clean sheet and then laughed – nervously – as there has been little evidence that this is possible recently.

To get clean sheet you do at least need some help from the ref, but it wasn’t forthcoming at either end of the pitch.  When the Ks player planted both feet on the ground and dived over the ball I wrongly assumed the ref would see through this obvious ploy but I was wrong.  If the awarding of the free kick was fortuitous there was nothing so about the finish.  A wonderful free kick that soared into the top left corner.

The rest of the half made me question some of my lifestyle choices and whether I should take up hardcore drinking.  A bottle of absinth would just about take the edge of the tepid display and only watching Jimmy muddy his coat due to low traction winkle pickers on the touch line made for any entertainment.

I am pleased to say Leatherhead responded well in the second half and it turned into an exciting game.  Daniel Carr got beyond his man after being played in and was pulled back by the defender.  An obvious penalty and when the ref waved play on it was a sobering reminder that today was not going to be our day.

Ks got their second through a powerful run into the left hand side of the box and firing in a low shot using the outside of his boot.  The ball bent enough to clip the inside of the post.  Leatherhead responded quickly, a ball into Kadell was chested down and his pivoted shot sent goal wards.  The ‘keeper anticipated it but his hand not strong enough to stop it and it rolled over the line.

Back into the game, well so we thought.  Leatherhead fail to deal with a cross into the box from the right and a free header gifted them the all-important third.

Daniel Carr, when allowed to run freely without someone holding on to his waist, broke free and fired a low shot beating the ‘keeper near post.

The ref then found time to miss two obvious handballs, one of which was in the box, to round off a terrible performance that also saw him run away from a nasty head injury to a Leatherhead player with even the Ks player signally for instant help.

Folkestone arrive to the Grove Wednesday.  For the sake of Jimmy’s dry cleaning bill, I hope we don’t slip up again…


Friday, January 13, 2017

Ks are coming

My goodness, I was busy doing something else and I nearly completely forgot to write the pre-match preview for tomorrow’s game.

Our old, well stewarded, friends arrive at the Grove tomorrow having turned their season around from the difficult start they had.  They now sit in 9th having just beaten Staines.

The disappoint of only drawing against Harrow, given we were so dominant, will hopefully focus the mind for tomorrow’s game.  Defeat could see us slip firmly back into relegation contention.

Kick-off (subject to pitch conditions) at 3pm.  See you there!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Woking 2 - 0 Tanners

Despite a spirited performance, Woking had a bit too much about them last night and strolled out 2-0 winners.

The first 15 minutes were uncomfortable for Leatherhead as Woking pinned us back into our own half.  After a spell of retaining the balls through about 50 sideways and backward passes we grew in confidence and started to counter attack.  Daniel Carr, who seems to have a new lease of life since leaving behind Dulwich for a couple of months, looked the most likely to score as he stretched the host’s defence. 

The first goal was therefore disappointing, certainly in the manner it was scored.  Wells did well to save a point blank header and a goal mouth scramble with two further attempts were made.  On the third attempt, the defender whose job it was to clear was busy doing something else and then forgot so as a result we suffered a one goal deficit…

Second half and Leatherhead did fairly well I have to say.  The game could have swung firmly our way with a red card for a Woking player but the ref showed cowardice not once but twice.  First of all their no. 7 went in two footed on Ty Smith.  A nasty high challenge that was worthy of a straight red in its own right which saw the influential midfielder go off injured.  The ref gave the player a yellow and a stern talking to.  The ref’s words were soon forgotten however as only moments later the same player mistimed a tackle from behind, not a dangerous tackle but a tackle that would see yellow in normal circumstances but the ref took no action.  The net effect, we lose one of our best midfielders while they play on at full strength.

And play on they did, as they strode into our box and fired a powerful dipping shot that gave Wells no chance.  At 2-0 the game was all bought and paid for with little hope of us getting anything from it.

Another trip to Woking ends in defeat.  On to Saturday where we host Ks.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Woking tonight in the Surrey Senior Cup, who promise to put out a strong side.  I just hope the side we put out is all correctly accounted for to prevent further disappointment after we suffered yet another point deduction this week.

I can’t remember a successful result against Woking.  Typically this is all done and dusted by half time, but perhaps we can hope for more under new management.

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions from the station can be found here.  See you there!


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Tanners 2 - 2 Harrow

If a half of football was just 60 seconds long Leatherhead would have given a credible first half display and got the winner in the second, but as it is the game is a lot longer and we could consider this two points dropped.

There was something inevitable in the manner we started, playing some fantastic football which was soon rewarded by a goal when a low cross was fired into the roof of the net by Cash. 

After a couple of glaring chances being missed Leatherhead then became guilty of overplaying it somewhat and invited Harrow into the game.  Their goal came from losing the ball in midfield while attempting a disguised reverse pass which was cut out and allowed them to counter attack.  The cross could have been dealt with but it somehow evaded our centre-back and was headed in.

From then on Harrow dominated, striking the post but failing to score to send us into the half at 1-1.

Second half and Leatherhead started in the same manner as the first.  This time scoring even earlier into the game on just 47 seconds.  Theobolds danced his way into the box and fired past the diving ‘keeper.  2-1.

Unlike the first half Leatherhead did not let off the pressure and we must have missed three golden chances to give us the two goal cushion we needed to be safe.  Adam Cash perhaps the most guilty with a blast over a seemingly open goal and striking the post.

Then sucker punch.  Playing it from the back is commendable but can be high risk as we found giving the ball away from our own goal kick, deep in our half.  We did repel the first attack but not the second.  It seemed a little fortuitous as the shot was going well wide but an instinctive strike prodded the ball back on target.

2-2 and while we pressed for a winner no goal game.  Disappointing and now we must re-group for the trip to Woking… which is only 0.9 miles from the station. Apparently.


Friday, January 06, 2017

Harrow are coming

Tomorrow is a massive game.  Harrow sit one point above the relegation zone and just three points behind us.  They are looking for the double over us after a 3-1 win at their place earlier this season, where we seemed in control for the first half and then got overrun in the second.  What is more they have Marc Charles-Smith who simply cannot help himself from scoring against us.

The second of nine January games (that is currently more games than in February and March combined) kicks off at 3pm.  See you there.


Monday, January 02, 2017

Merstham 0 - 0 Tanners

This game was rather like an episode of "Escape to the Country" in Shropshire.....dull and inconclusive but passed the time harmlessly enough. It was our first scoreless draw of the season but it was enough to maintain our undefeated run in 2017.

The glory of the FA Cup 1st Round must seem a lifetime ago to a struggling small club like Merstham. The £50k they received from BT Sport wasn't evident today as it still costs £12 to get in and they seem to have run out of mugs for the tea.

The highlight of an uneventful 1st half was an argument between the petulant Bird and our left back who appeared ruffle Bird's feathers. Bird almost took a peck at him and made himself look a bit of a tit.

The highlight of an uneventful 2nd half was a pathetic attempt by the match announcer to pronounce the name of our latest addition; Nana Emeka Boakye-Yiadom. He gave up after the first two words and slunk down shamefully from the chair he insists on standing upon.

Our defence has improved considerably with the recent signings, but we now seem a little toothless going forward. Merstham pressed on and looked the more likely to score going very close on a couple of occasions. We defended resolutely to earn a point giving us 4 points from the 3 festive games. The players look weary after 2 games in 3 days but will need to rejuvenate themselves quickly for an important home fixture with Harrow Borough on Saturday.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead start 2017 travelling to Merstham, a side that ruddy love to beat us and always up their game.

We need to up ours from the trip away to Harlow, where a win could have set us in the top half of the table.

Kick off at 3pm. See you there!