Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Folkestone 3 - 0 Tanners

As I looked at the 2 hour journey to Folkestone I wondered what the prospect of getting a Leatherhead winning perform would be.  Mentally and physically tired; key players inured; a new player coming in; and an opposition with no other distractions.  Fortunately work commitments meant I could not leave in time as, had I gone, I would have been disappointed.

To be fair the first half it sounds like we made a fight of it.  Good spells of pressure and going close.  In the second half, the novelty of having a new player in the centre of midfield wore off and we played pretty much as I had predicted and we were brushed aside.

Not even the emergence of Sammy Moore could lift the side as we conceded three goals without response.  "Unacceptable" tweeted the manager... we will have to lift ourselves for Staines on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Travelling Tanners

What a mixed night it was.  The highs of getting a home draw, the lows of picking the one team we would least like to face and while I was accused of jinxing it, we should not forget they are not there yet and face a strong team in Brackley.  

We then got into the Fans' Forum where Moore and Midson talked about their plans which involved bringing a couple of players in for the short term and building a bigger club in the long.  There was also sad news that Paul Semakula has decided he cannot commit to playing due to having a young family.  The timing seems strange, given that we are through to the First Round of the FA Cup, but that is the story we have been given so we will have to stick with it and wish this excellent servant of the club well.

Onto tonight and it is going to be a tough task.  Sammy Moore's ankle has swollen up (probably the ripped skinny jeans preventing good blood circulation) and Midson looked a little sore so we could be down two key players straight away.  We do however have a couple of players coming back, not least Beere who was cup tied.  Our hosts are just 2 points behind, so will fancy their chances to capitalise on a potentially mentally and physically drained side...

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Margate 1 - 2 Tanners

Leatherhead get themselves into the hat for Monday night's draw after executing the perfect game plan.  Before the game, there was much talk about how we were hoping for a draw and that is how the first half panned out.  Tight and with little ambition from either side.  The second half was a different kettle of dolphins though.

Margate, perhaps lulled into a false sense of security, did not seem prepared for Leatherhead's pace from the wingbacks and we piled on the pressure.  The ref, who had mollycoddled the home side in the first half, now started giving us a few decisions to help build our confidence further.

Some thought we had our chance when Midson stuck the bar from close range; others thought it was never going to happen when Clohessy was brought down in the box; and when a corner routine found a player who scuffed the shot so badly it went backwards we were in despair but Moore had different ideas. 

From the scuffed shot he purposefully directed the ball to the back post.  Pidgley (whose main contribution to the game was to make the movable goals narrower and be the pantomime villain) was a mere spectator as the ball found the top corner.  Wild celebrations followed.

It was not too long after Midson got his mandatory goal.  He had just pulled a shot wide but on his second attempt his powerful volley beat Pidgley easily and we were certain the job was done.

Margate had other ideas and for the first time really started showing some ambition and put us under pressure.  A wonderful side volley sent the ball into the net with Margate players following soon after to get the ball back into play.  The ref then did that annoying thing of applying the injury time for the whole game on at then end (with little in the first half and then three minutes for the second) to really make us sweat but we held on.

7pm Monday is the time for the draw.  The romantic in me wants a big club away but to be in the draw is still a dream come true.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Travelling Tanners

This game should need no introduction.  Tomorrow we travel to fellow league cohorts Margate in the best chance we have had to make it through to the First Round since 2006.

Margate are the bookies' favourite.  They are playing at home on their 3G pitch.  Our form, despite the spin of being unbeaten in three, has not been the best if you include the League Cup etc. and we haven't really found a solution to the loss of Chike.

That said, we will be up for this.  We cancelled our mid-week game to focus on the game and to add an extra layer of bubble wrap to Sammy Moore on top of what has been a hefty layer of cotton wool.  Let us not also forget, we are level on points with only goal difference separating us.

We should travel in good numbers.  Two coaches - my first coach trip since Abingdon - and many under their own steam.

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

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Tanners 2 - 1 Harlow

Sighs of relief all round as Tanners secured their first win in 5 league outings and moved into a comfortable mid table position.   

We are a well organised and hard working side but, since Chike left, lack invention and creativity. I am sure Sammy will be looking to address this as Midson is our only real goal threat. 

The midfield need to start contributing goals if we are to press for a play-off place.  Harlow are 3rd bottom and showed us why. They offered little, although gladly accepted the goal that was gifted to them. 

Jack came to the rescue with a header from a cross and Rees Williams Bowers (sounds like a show jumper) found the winner in the 2nd half from close range.  

A word about the referee. Useless.  

The players now have a week off to prepare for the big one on Saturday. The chance to get into the hat for the FA Cup 1st Round Proper for the first time since I pranced around in a suit at Torquay in 2006.   

Time to think about your dream fixture. Home to Charlton Athletic or Blackburn Rovers? Maybe away to Blackpool? Or the nightmare scenario.. Away to Billericay.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Harlow are coming...

Harlow arrive to The Grove in what I predict will be a largely one sided game.  We will have our eyes on a bigger prize.

Kick off at 3pm.  Best of luck.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Worthing 1 - 1 Tanners

First of all, Leatherhead should be proud and excited about reaching the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.  It is our "cup final" and understandable that we would want to focus on this but against a side that only has one point we could afford to dream about getting all three.  The best way to prepare for winning a game is to win games in my opinion.

So we travelled to Bognor Regis and made heavy weather of things.  We did have the ball in the net in the first half but it was ruled out for offside, other attempts were described as tame on Twitter.

On 70 minutes, Worthing took the lead; ironically during our best spell of pressure.  A powerful header at the back post that would have been a worthy winning goal.  Luckily Midson, our only real goal threat it seems, was at hand after a string of corners to snatch it in the last minute of injury time.

A point and Harlow will no doubt arrive with their tails up on Saturday...

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Travelling Tanners

The next game isn't Harlow at home (fist bump hi five), it is in fact away at Worthing (well Bognor).

This should have been the home game but their pitch issues forced us to switch them.  Sadly for our hosts, their pitch issues have not improved so they are using Bognor's pitch.

It does not seemed to have mattered what pitch Worthing play on, they have suffered with only one point but perhaps a good time to play us.  I wonder how many players will be wrapped in cotton wool tonight.

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ashford Town 1 - 2 Tanners

Leatherhead win this surprisingly low key game to book their place in the 4th Qualifying Round after coming from behind.

Off the pitch, Ashford did not seem prepared for the match which was surprising since the first group of supporters must have arrived via the coach just in time for breakfast.  One person running the bar and a queue for food that rivalled Dulwich Hamlet's gourmet burger experience.

On the pitch they were far more organised and took full advantage of Leatherhead's lack of confidence by taking the game to their visitors from the start.  A mis-timed tackle in opening minutes gifted them a penalty and the lead after just two minutes.

Leatherhead, thankfully, did manage to compose themselves to respond. D'Sean was a constant threat and from set pieces our size always caused problems.  For all the skill we had our goals were forged from classic cup desperation. 

In the first half Minshull headed the ball from close range from a corner.  While winning the ball fairly he made enough contact with the 'keeper that would normally see the ref ruling it out on another day.  In the second half a goal mouth scramble saw the ball initially bundled over the line but headed out with the goal being given but Midson was at hand to side foot the ball into the net to make sure.

The visitors did pressure in the last 10 minutes, helped by an erratic ref, but we held on to book our place in the non-league final... just a game away from the big time.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Travelling Tanners

While cardboard cut-outs of the FA Cup are being wrapped in tin foil, Sammy Moore is being unwrapped from his protective layer of cotton wool.  We travel to Ashford Town in desperate need of leadership and goals.

Our hosts ply their trade in the Evo-Stik South East league and are doing very nicely, thank you very much.  They sit in third place, taking 16 points from a possible 21.

Leatherhead have lost their way after living up to their title of "ones to watch", but hopefully the returning Moore can get us firing again.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Levred 0 - 2 Margate

Leatherhead continue to flounder without their manager playing in midfield.  The club is too busy tweeting emojis to provide an official explanation but there are rumours that tonight was due to the FA Cup, which if true is a shame.  Leatherhead now look completely bereft of confidence and still have no real replacement for Chike to provide any real threat.

It was not as if Margate were all over us.  For periods of the first half we were creating some good chances, one forced Pidgley into a fine save and another bouncing off of a defender who had no idea where the ball was.  Leatherhead are proving to be brittle at the back and with Margate's few shots on target they found themselves 1-0 up.

Leatherhead fans hoped for a response and they were left disappointed.  We played even worse and probably only created one or two chances while Margate were striking the underside of the cross bar, had two goals ruled out for offside before they went 2-0 up.

You know when the squawking of a Margate supporter is the most entertaining part of the game it has been a bad night out and Ashford will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing this dross on Saturday... still at least all the players had the night off from playing and managing last week in the league cup... smart move... I mean, what could go wrong..?

Margate are coming

After taking the last 10 days off, Leatherhead will hopefully approach this game slightly more professionally than they did last week in the league cup.  We may not have the same riches as Pep Guardiola, but failure to show the game the respect it deserves resulted in 9 goals conceded and none scored over the last two games.

Perhaps this may also be put down to finding life without Chike more difficult than expected.  His pace does not look to have been replaced which proved to be so deadly up until his departure.

Margate site one place above us by virtue of scoring four more goals than us, but they will be hoping for more than 12th place and present a challenge to get all three points.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dulwich Hamlet 4 - 0 Tanners

Leatherhead were well rested having not played mid week. Unfortunately the defence carried on resting for the first 20 minutes today by which time we 2-0 down. 

Surely the players would have been better prepared by recording a handsome victory over Chipstead rather than sitting at home?

If you enjoyed queueing for rides at Disney World, come to Dulwich. Dulwich fans spend their whole time queuing; admission, beer, tea, toilets, traffic lights, 20mph zones, bus lanes, waiting for a play-off win.

We had chances today but they were squandered. However, Dulwich could easily have had 6. There was a bit of belief lacking today. The talismanic Moore sat the game out and was sorely missed. It is assumed he was injured but no official reason was forthcoming. 

So a trying week ends on 0-9.  Ashford Town will be looking forward to the FA Cup fixture rather more than when the draw was made on Monday.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Travelling Tanners

While our hosts are largely still never forgiving; never forgetting I believe (hope) that seeing Jimmy Bullard banging on the dressing room wall after beating the common enemy has softened them a bit.

Leatherhead fans will want to see more commitment, more first team players and more management from the shambles in the week.  Dulwich will be licking their wounds after a tricky start to the season and an FA Cup exit.

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Chipstead 5 - 0 Tanners

After the Lord Mayor's show comes the sh*t cart.

 

A thunderous display at Ware was followed by a pathetic halfhearted effort at Chipstead. We only have two realistic chances of silverware this season. Correction, we now have one.

 

We are unlikely to win the FA Cup, and we are unlikely to tamper with Tamplin winning the league, so that leaves the Surrey Senior Cup. We don't normally enter The FA Trophy.

 

The team sheet was a huge disappointment to those supporters who made the effort to travel.  Even the player/manager decided neither to play nor manage.

 

Even more disappointing was the effort put in by the second string team. Their attitude reflected that of the management. If we are competing for the play offs come January this league cup abdication will be justified. If we are mid table and arranging friendless due to the lack of games it will prove to be a lost opportunity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Tonight we travel to Chipstead in the Velocity Sports Cup, which is the League Cup in old money.

This is a competition where a fair few youth players could be given a run out.  The FA Cup could prove a mighty distraction.

Kick off at 7.45z. Good luck fellas.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Ware to face them in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.  To win would place us in the exciting end of the competition; to lose would be very depressing indeed.

The game against Billericay showed we can present ourselves as a difficult team to beat; it also showed we lack options without the pace of Chike.

Where?  Here.  Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas!

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Ware to face them in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.  To win would place us in the exciting end of the competition; to lose would be very depressing indeed.

The game against Billericay showed we can present ourselves as a difficult team to beat; it also showed we lack options without the pace of Chike.

Where?  Here.  Kick off at 3pm.  がんばろう!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Billericay 1 - 0 Tanners

When Leatherhead pulled off the famous victory at The Grove last season we had a side packed with pace and at full strength, which were things we lacked this trip.  Clohessy (suspended) and Chike (tapped up) were both missing which left Midson to plough a lonely furrow.

We sat deep for much of the game.  Although on 19 minutes we pushed forward as Sam Blackman and Tom Richards were causing Billericay come concern down the wings.  A long kick from the 'keeper set their striker free and he powerfully finished from an angle.

We tried to get an equaliser.  A goal bound header from Midson found the back of Jerry's head and bounced clear being our best chance in the first half.  A glimmer of hope came when the fired up Konchesky received a straight red.  Mcmanus slid in for a tackle but fell short of making contact with any Billericay player.  Konchesky either mistimed his wild swing at the ball or reacted badly to this sliding move and kicked our man while still on the ground.

The home side will feel hard done by but really the ref was far too soft on the home side.  The second half was a disgusting display of how talented players abandoned the skill they are paid so highly for but resorted to sad tactics.  Namely by diving and completely overreacting; surrounding our player and the ref in an attempt to even things up.  This worked for example with Midson, who was guilty of simply running towards the ball.  Their number two clears it and then jumps into Midson to make contact.  Grimacing with pain to the ref; winking and smiling at the travelling supporters.  A yellow card was shown and No 2 gets on with the game.

We huffed and puffed and had some good shots on goal, but their 'keeper was equal to the challenge.  Luckily so was our 'keeper who pulled of some important saves to keep us in it.

1-0 it ended, but no point dwelling on it.  We have the FA Cup to look forward to...

Friday, September 08, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Lock up your adolescent boys; put away your Soccer AM faux handshakes... we are off to Billericay Town tomorrow.

Our hosts, despite an opening awkward loss to their ex-manager's Ks team, have risen to first place.  Nothing unusual about that, given the money they are throwing at the team.  What is unusual, if you are a long term Leatherhead fan, is that we sit in second place after having only lost to third place Harrow.

Since their opening day loss, Billericay have thought nothing about putting four or five goals past their opposition, so we could either be lambs to the slaughter or could we perhaps put together the resilient display that saw Jimmy Bullard singing "The World's Greatest" last season..?

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


Monday, September 04, 2017

Tanners 6 - 0 Cray Valley PM

After a plucky start from our guests the superiority that comes by being two divisions higher and in good form told.  Leatherhead put away four goals in the first half (three coming in quick succession) and two in the second to see us through to today's draw.

For 30 minutes a cautious Leatherhead approach to the game allowed Cray Valley to dare to dream about winning this game.  On several occasions they mounted attacks that kept our defence busy.  Then came our goal...

While a youthful crowd behind the goal, their 'keeper was not short of "your mum" jokes and he bit a little too early in the game.  Perhaps distracted he failed to deal with a cross properly that fell on the line for Chike to prod home.

Midson soon got on the act.  A flying header from distance and a glancing one from close range made it 2 and 3 nil in quick succession.  Then Cray lost the ball from the restart and Chike was played in to slot it past the 'keeper who was now wishing he had stayed quiet for 15 minutes longer.  The battle for the hat trick was on though...

Chike won this battle after his shot was too strong for the hand of the diving 'keeper and in crawled in.  Then Sam Blackman came on with his usual creativity and pace.  He won the ball through sheer determination and then lobbed the 'keeper deftly to make it 6-0.  The loudest cheer only coming when their female physio had to tend to an injury in front of the bar area... Karen Brady would not have been amused...

On to the draw then...

Friday, September 01, 2017

Cray Valley PM are coming

I was trying to think of a good paper joke, but they were all tearable...

Cray Valley come to the Grove tomorrow to face us in the FA Cup.  A competition that we, frankly, have been bloody useless in over the past few years.  I sense that the FA Cup this year will be taken a lot more seriously but with us an banana skin is only 90 minutes away.

The Eltham based club currently play in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tanners 1 - 0 Met Police

There were more fouls today than there are tweets and emojis on match day. A horrible game to watch but one that ended with a deserved 3 points and joint top of the league with the obnoxious classless egotistical wide boys of Essex.

The game started cagily with a typically niggly spoiling Met Police side looking for a draw or maybe to sneak an odd goal. The weather was dangerously hot by British standards as it was almost 26 degrees celsius. How they manage without drinks breaks in Spain when it is 35 degrees we will never know.

The first half saw very few chances. The biggest concern was a misbehaving yellow motorbike until the usually superb Clohessy had a rush of blood to the head. An off the ball incident noticed by the assistant referee saw him receive a straight red. No one complained much so the decision must have been correct.

Met Police almost tried to launch the occasional attack when we were down to 10 men but it was half hearted. We went into half time on level terms but slightly hot and bothered.

Despite their player advantage, Met Police created few real chances in the 2nd half and it wasn't long before one of their number (who should have been keeping people safe in Notting Hill) was shown a 2nd yellow. Our spirits rose and the boss brought himself on. We started to control the game and we searched for a winner which finally came in the form of the influential Blackman and the lively Chike.

A superb start to the season and a well deserved 2 week rest from league action. Onto the FA Cup where last year a dreadful performance under a hapless Sandman saw us crash out at Hythe. 

This year will be different. Mooro stared down Steven Gerrard in the FA Cup not that long ago so surely will not fold against Cray Paper Mills from 2 leagues below. The friendly against Glebe showed we can not afford to be complacent . An A1 sized performance will be required, not A3 or A4.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tanners 4 - 0 Ks

You would be forgiven for thinking this was a thrilling game, but strangely it wasn't as both the players and supporters participated in a low-key manner.

It never quite got to the frenetic levels as it did against Harrow, but today the goals went in.  This was certainly the case where a cross into the box was met by Minshull's neck / shoulder but somehow had enough power to beat the 'keeper.

There was nothing fortunate about Midson's header.  That had all of the power and accuracy of a Moab missile and their 'keeper had no chance.

Second half and it was much of the same.  The home supporters did manage a quick song of "Sh** ground, no fans" which was firmly met by "No ground, **** fans" just as Chike tiptoed past three defenders to make enough room for a low powerful shot.  3-0.

There was something inevitable about the fourth.  A free kick was set up about 30 yards out and the Ks defence really didn't fancy it.  The ball was initially flicked onto the post but fell to Ambroisine who smashed it into the back of the net.

Leatherhead push up into the play off places again and now await the visit of Met Police.  A side that has conceded 12 goals so far this season...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Travelling Tanners

In any other year, Ks away would have been one of the first fixtures to look for but THIS year it takes on a new meaning while they share with us.

Ks earned a lot of brownie points on the first day of the season by beating Billericay, but that counts for nothing as we renew acquaintances in familiar surroundings.  At least we know where the yellow hatchings are at Fetcham Grove.

Leatherhead go into the game with something a defensive concern.  We have lost three defenders in the last week (two through injury and one returning to Peterborough), so a flat back one may be needed.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tanners 0 - 2 Harrow

After two relatively straightforward games, Leatherhead perhaps turned up thinking a win was inevitable as long as they stuck to their game plan.  Harrow turned up with a determined game plan of their own, to slow the game down and frustrate, and took the initiative away from the hosts in the first half to run away with a two goal cushion.

You could not fault Leatherhead's effort.  On another day we would have won this easily with the chances that did not quite come off but Harrow's ascent to the top of the league does not look to be an accident.  From early in the game Leatherhead struggled to break them down.  The usual format of our attack (everything via Clohessy) seemed to be nullified by Harrow so we tried to work out a different route to goal.

Meanwhile, Harrow snatched a two goal lead.  First a ball to the back post was headed across goal only to be met by a powerful header into the top right corner; then a powerful run into the box brushed aside our defence to shoot into the bottom corner.

Leatherhead got some help from the referee on about 30 minutes when he sent off their left back.  Chike's heel was clipped and he went down, too theatrically for the defender who confronted our striker and then pushed him in the chest.  Chike went down holding his face and the ref showed the red.  Perhaps the defender thought the ref was a soft touch as he had allowed such blatant time wasting.  Notably kicking the ball out of Moore's hands as he placed it to take a free kick.  Either way, I don't think anyone covered themselves in glory in this passage of play.

Leatherhead, with the man advantage, went for the all out attack but were denied by a good 'keeper, brave defending and a slice of luck.  Notable efforts were Chike's goal bound shot being blocked on the line by a covering defender; Calum clipping the bar; Midson grazing the ball wide off of his studs; and pulling off a triple save from Chike.

Disappointing but we have the Ks fixture to look forward on Saturday.  Two of their stewards were out our game getting some match practice in to keep us off any hatched areas and stop any fun.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Harrow Borough are coming

A Marc Charles-Smith-less Harrow come to the Grove tomorrow in good form.  They have taken the opportunity of remaining in the league, after last season's reprieve from relegation, by winning their opening two games.  Only a goal prevents them from being top over us.

A big crowd was present for the win over Worthing and now we sit top perhaps even bigger figures can be hoped for...

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tanners 3 - 0 Worthing

The A24 will feel a lot longer on the trip home for our visitors as they were largely outclassed tonight.  A 3-0 win takes us to the top of the league, but both of our victims have yet to win so we'll try and keep our feet on the ground and dressing room walls lion free.

Leatherhead could have been a couple up in the opening few minutes.  A cross in the box was slashed at twice before it ballooned off of a shin.  Chike missed from about 6 yards too add to the first half nerves.

The nerves were eased when a corner was firmly met by Jerry and the ball powered into the back of the net.  1-0 at half time and Jerry nearly repeated the trick early in the second half but the 'keeper saved well.

The 'keeper turned out to be a bit of an enigma.  Saving well on the one hand but inviting trouble on the other.  As a result Leatherhead seemed applied more and more pressure until the goals came.

Sean Clohessy's crossing has been impressive and it was from another of his corners we scored.  Midson thought he had done enough but it rebounded off of the crossbar, but only as far as Chike who added to his tally from point blank range.

Sammy Moore took himself off to watch the game from the side lines and introduced the more attack-minded Sam Blackman.  Some individual skill from him saw him with room to shoot and he put it away to make it three.

High flying Harrow come to the Grove Saturday to test our winning streak...

Worthing are coming

This story from tonight's guests tickled me a little bit.  If you are going to fail a pitch inspection, do it properly.  Don't have some pencil pushing jobs worth from the Isthmian League of Sussex FA tell you it looks a bit too lumpy; have someone from FIFA turn up not once but three times.

I am sure Worthing don't see the funny side yet, but as a lover of grass it is good to see an old fashioned pitch like the Grove come to the rescue.  Although our pitch is going to take an early season battering.  This rearrangement gives us five "home" games in a row (with Ks on 26 August).

Worthing did not get their season off to the best start either, losing 3-1 to Met Police.  Meanwhile we will look to build on the victory over Lowestoft.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tanners 2 - 1 Lowestoft

Leatherhead got their season off with a win at the weekend, thanks to two goals from Midson who was assisted by Chike.

It didn't take Leatherhead long to get on the score sheet.  Chike chased a through ball down the left that turned the visitor's defence and had them scurrying to recover.  This left Midson open in the middle of the goal and Chike's perfectly weighted pass made it almost impossible to miss.

Moments later Chike danced through the Lowestoft defence to again square it to Midson but his shot ended up in the leisure centre.  The 'keeper also pulled off a fine save with his face from a Chike header.

So all in all the first 20 minutes was pretty impressive, but then we seemed to lose our way.  It could have been we opted to shoot the wrong way, away from the Bernard Edwards Stand, in the first half so we just got lost.  Certainly, buying tea and clapping off the team was made harder by this decision so I can imagine it would disorientate the players too.

Where the game grew stale in the first half, the second half became tense as Lowestoft were very much in top.  It was a relief that on 78 minutes Chike lofted a ball to the far post for Midson to head powerfully home.

While there may be fears that this team is costing too much, the budget was spared a clean sheet bonus as Lowestoft pressure finally told and they pulled it back to 2-1 to make it interesting.  Last season this would have signalled at least another goal, but on this day we held on to get three points in the bag.

Leatherhead fans went home happy but news that our tenants scored a last minute winner away at Billericay caused unprecedented joy not just in Leatherhead but the footballing community in general.  Will the joy continue on Wednesday when we host Worthing...?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lowestoft are coming

OK.  The pre-season is done, and a pretty successful pre-season it was too.  We tested ourselves at the right level and came out with some impressive wins, the beating of Ks just one.

That all counts for nothing though and tomorrow we really see if we have something special on our hands with the visit of Lowestoft Town.  They finished two places above us last season in 11th so a true marker as to how we may have improved...

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Ks are coming...

So many questions. Will Leatherhead maintain their good form? Will Chike keep us 100% goal scoring ratio? Who is at home? How much to get in, £5 or £7?

Kick off at 3pm. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Tanners 2 - 1 Basingstoke

A friendly that both clubs appeared to want to win made for an entertaining encounter last night.  If Basingstoke are a force to be reckoned with in their league then this is an encouraging sign of the season that lies ahead.

It was Basingstoke that opened the scoring though.  A powerful low near post shot that seemed to go through our 'keeper.

Leatherhead soon bounced back by scoring from a corner.  A ball to the far post was headed back across goal, over the keeper, onto the head of Chike; who could not miss from one yard.  "Puta madre!" were the words of encouragement from the family of the Basingstoke centreback...

The second half and the one person who really needed the practice was the referee.  He had mastered running backwards while joking with the players, that's like riding a bicycle for them surely, but he lacked match fitness in being able to observe things.  On another, less friendly day, we could have had three penalties.  The climax came when their 'keeper pulled of a fine finger tip save from a Midson shot, only for the ref to award a goal kick.

We got our winner in the end through a Basingstoke mix up at the back.  A cross was destined for the 'keepers hands but inexplicably a centre back jumped up and flicked it on.  The slight adjustment in flight meant the ball was dropped and Calum was at hand to prod it into the back of the net.  "Filho do puta" was the thoughtful assessment of that from the travelling support.

A good win and onto out last friendly.  Away to Kingstonian...

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Basingstoke are coming

Subject to the cotton wool being taken off of the pitch after the rain stops, we are hosting Basingstoke Town tonight in the first friendly at The Grove.

Our guests ply their trade in the Southern League Premier Division so it should be an even match.

Kick off at 7.45.  No idea on how much the entry will cost.  See you there.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Many thanks

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your support for my Ride London event tomorrow. 

After riding 1,500 miles and spending nearly 100 hours in the saddle this year all I needed was the financial support, for Prostate Cancer UK, to qualify and you rose to the task. Over 50% came from Leatherhead FC and I am very grateful.

I cycle through Leatherhead at about 12 tomorrow, so if I see a Leatherhead shirt I'll give you a wave.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Tanners take their pre-season tour to Hayes & Yeading tomorrow as they continue to prepare for the coming campaign.  Our hosts should prove to stiffer opposition than Godalming, but hopefully not too stiff so we can continue to experiment and build confidence.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Godalming Town 0 - 4 Tanners

Leatherhead ran out easy winners last night, against a side three leagues below them but what did we learn?

Not a lot.  It was hard to gage how good we were due to the inability of the hosts to organise their defence.  In the first half Midson and Jerry were left completely unmarked in the middle of the box at corners for example.  Also we missed some absolute sitters which don't mean much in July but come October it could become very frustrating.

On a positive note, we looked lively and perhaps much of Godalming's disarray was down to our movement.  Chike and Calum combined twice in the first half to make it two nil.  Chike finishing Calum's pass and vice versa.

Second half and the game threatened to boil over a little bit.  Midson had already had a chat with most of the home side and the ref and a few tackles started flying in.  Chike coolly finished amongst this unprecedented intimidation.  In the dying moments a diving header from a new player I do not know yet made it 4-0.

Good to visit Godalming again, and good to see a team coming together.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Tonight Leatherhead travel (subject to it being called off because it has rained a bit and the groundsman still has the pitch wrapped in cotton wool) to Godalming Town.

It is a venue packed with so much Leatherhead history.  It was the opening game for Bob Langford, where the players made it quite clear they weren't going to play for him after just 30 seconds.  I still remember the death stare from Dave Stevens as he walked off.  Then our hosts employed Chuck Martini, the pantomime villain who made his presence felt in the club house prior to our first meeting.  Good times.

I have no excuse to miss this one, it is just up the road from me.  Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  See you there!

Monday, July 24, 2017

AGM review

About 40 members turned up, with some old and new faces, to hear the report on the previous year and an outlook into the future.  The review of the last year's minutes was cut short as it turned out nobody was taken them.  Rod was given the task this year.

The thorny issue of River Lane was raised early.  It is still technically in a consultation process but we were told the appetite for the move appears to have faded for a number of reasons.  We were asked for a show of hands for those in favour to hear of the proposal, a luke warm response was received and less than 50% of the members gave the go ahead to even hear a proposal.

Then on to finances.  These accounts are not in the public domain yet so I will gloss over this, only to say the club has realised some losses through establishing a true position with debts to the council.  The club have a repayment plan and have managed to keep on track since year end.

The existing shareholders then proposed a plan to offer shares, by diluting their own holding, to raise funds to pay off the debt and create a contingency for future floods / surprises.  This vote got a warmer response and so they will pursue options.

The meeting then closed on words of thanks to Alfie and the current Board for their hard work.  I am sure The Lip was next to be thanked but we were running late and the meeting was brought to a close...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Well. Last day of term scuppered my plans of Canterbury City, and good job too as a team of trialists were no match for hosts.  They lost 4-1.

Hopefully a more settled team will travel to Glebe today.  Kick off at 3pm. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Tonight Leatherhead take on Canterbury City in the first of a Kent double header, as they return to Glebe tomorrow.

Tonight's hosts ply their trade in the Southern Counties East Football League  and currently ground share with Deal Town; a ground I missed when we played them in the FA Cup so I will be making the trip.

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The AGM

Just a reminder that the AGM is tomorrow at the club.  If you are a member then make sure you come down to hear a report on the past year and plans for the season ahead.

Kick off at 7.30.  See you there!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Friendlies start

The new side is up and running with two friendlies in quick succession.

First up, it is a hastily re-arranged trip to Corinthian FC.  This annual fixture always seems to fall on a date I cannot make and tonight is no exception.  If you can make it and want to go, then you can find the address here.  Kick off at 7.45.

I would not be sure of the calibre of new player going to the Kent club tonight as we have our old friends Bromley "visiting" us tomorrow.  Not quite a home fixture as it will be played at River Lane.  This should not be read as a taster session!  The Fetcham Grove pitch is under going some treatment that means it cannot be played on throughout July.  Kick off at 3pm.

I will be interested in hearing how we perform...



Monday, June 26, 2017

Pre-season fixtures

The pre-season fixtures are out.  They have some of the usual ones (Corinthian away) and some new grounds to visit (Canterbury, Glebe and Sheppy).  Given the new manager, it is a shame we couldn't get AFC Wimbledon down to the Grove and give them a chance to finally beat us…

 

8th July 15:00- Vs Bromley (River Lane)

11th July 19:45 Vs Woking (River Lane)

13th July 19:45 Vs Sheppey Utd (Away)

15th July 15:00 Vs Corinthian FC (Away)

21st July 19:45 Vs Canterbury (Away)

22nd July 15:00 Vs Glebe (Away)

26th July 19:45 Vs Godalming (Away)

29th July 15:00 Vs Hayes and Yeading (Away)

2nd August 19:45 Vs Basingstoke (Fetcham Grove)

5th August 15:00 Vs Kingstonian (Fetcham Grove)

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…