Saturday, December 16, 2017

(Not yet playing for ) Leatherhead 0 Wigan 4

A disappointing day for those still hoping to play for Tanners as table topping Wigan proved too good for AFC Wimbledon.

The curse of the newly approved new stadium struck early at a freezing and packed Kingsmeadow. Meanwhile, those who used to own this ground couldn't play because of a frozen pitch at Fetcham Grove. 

AFC fought hard in the first half but missed the clinical finishing of Midson. Neil Ardley looked increasingly concerned as the game wore on as Wigan eventually took the lead in the second half. A crazy tackle saw them down to 10 men and then Wigan had as much fun as Steve Smith and scored 3 more.

On to Needham Market on Tuesday for the real Tanners and with the temperatures warming we may actually have to play this one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Game off

The local derby against Dorking Wanderers has fallen to a frozen pitch, despite warmer weather creeping in for much of the day.

No game Saturday due to other teams being in the FA Trophy so more time to get your Christmas shopping done.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Burgess Hill are coming

A new frosty period descends on Fetcham Grove, leaving the warmth of the FA Cup far behind, as we focus on the league (and the Surrey Senior Cup!) with mixed results.

Wednesday night was a combination of misfortune and (mainly) lack of application as we made life quite comfortable for our guests.  Tomorrow we see a team in a similar position arrive and we simply have to up our game if we are going to have any hope of climbing the league.

Kick off at 3pm.  "Double socker" klaxon is sounding.  See you there!

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Tanners 0 - 2 Thurrock

For the 200 hundred in attendance, we could reflect on a fine weekend and yet be a bit sniffy about the absence of approximately 900 supporters who lost their way to the ground last night.  Supporting Leatherhead isn't all league quality stadiums and TV cameras you know... but the queue for the tea bar was mercifully small so we couldn't complain too much.

On the pitch we started well.  Thurrock seemed quite rattled and could not cope with our attacks, their keeper for one lost the ability to kick and sent balls squirming in all directions.  This dominance lasted about 20 minutes before Thurrock regained control and looked quite comfortable.

On the stroke of half time Leatherhead failed to deal with an areal ball and it plopped into the back of the net.  This trick was repeated in the second half and Zak was lobbed by a looping header and the ball nestled into the side netting.

We tried to rally but found ourselves offside.  Nash did plant a powerful header straight into the chest of the diving 'keeper but even it had beat the impressively large shot stopper it would have been the last action.

On to Saturday and the visit of Burgess Hill... just two points behind us and a must win if we have any aspirations of play-offs.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Thurrock are coming

I don't think we should be too disappointed after our FA Cup exit as we gave it a good go and were beaten by a better team with form on their side.  That should help, as they players need to get back on with the job at hand; the league and the Surrey Senior Cup.

League action returns tonight.  Thurrock come to the Grove who are in a similar place in the league, albeit after playing more games.  Should be a good measure of how we will adjust to life without the glamour of the cup.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Wycombe 3 - 1 Tanners

To get over 1,000 fans at an away game is an achievement in itself, but to play out a game in front of them where for 45 minutes we had perhaps the better of it shows how far the club has come.

Wycombe are a different club to Torquay when we last faced league opposition.  Torquay were finding life hard in their league while Wycombe are fifth; off the pitch we were welcome into their bar at Torquay, here we drank in the car park.

Once in the ground it was clear who was looking forward to the match more, and if Wycombe were to lose it would be partially down to their lack of support.  A lack lustre following if ever I saw one while the away end (as is often the case anyway) were in fine voice.  I was lucky enough to be in the main stand for only five minutes just prior to kick off and the sound coming from the stand was impressive.

Like Torquay, Leatherhead surprised the hosts and got off to a good start.  It was a set piece on 2 minutes that we got our goal in Torquay so it seemed like an age before we scored from a set piece on 7 minutes.  A ball swung in from Sammy Moore and the defence panicked, pulling on Midson's shirt to prevent his run.  The ref, in a picky moid, gave the penalty which Midson confidently put away to get his tally to 12 goals.

Leatherhead could have really gone on to make things very difficult for Wycombe was Colhessy was through on goal and brought a good save from the 'keeper and soon after we struck the bar.  Meanwhile The Beast was firmly in Jerry's pocket and we were looking quite comfortable.

An area where Wycombe were dominate though was midfield.  Constantly pressuring us, forcing us into mistakes and winning free kicks and that is how they got themselves back into the game shortly before the half hour mark.  Despite being quite a way out, the free kick looked dangerous as soon as their midfielder purposely placed the ball down.  Zak might have been expected to cover more ground to save it but it was well struck.  By not retaining to half time the lead perhaps allowed Wycombe to regroup a little easier as in the second half the game was very much Wycombe's.

Their midfield were even more composed, hunting in packs and they started using possession better.  The Beast was now finding more space and his powerful shot on 76 minutes could only be parried into the path of a Wycombe striker who bundled it over the line.

Wycombe perhaps knew Moore was "getatable" and this proved to be the case when he received a niggly tackle from behind and the Wycombe player persisted in harassing him while finding his feet.  He unleashed a swinging elbow to get the player off of his shirt but the move was far too aggressive for this ref and he received a second yellow.  Despite being down to 10 we nearly scored from the freekick Moore had just won, but Minshull's header sailed well over.

A fast breakaway move stretched our depleted side and The Beast scored with a powerful diving header to make it 3-1.  The hopes of being in the third round hat dashed, but memories of a great cup run and day out will live on for a long time.

Wycombe hospitality did not extend to anything after the game, unless you approached the bouncer with a middle class accent and claimed to be neutral and got into the bar to congratulate the players.  Now they must dust themselves off for league action that starts this Wednesday... we hope to see as many of the 1,152 that enjoyed Sunday at The Grove then...

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Travelling Tanners

In 2003 our hosts were travelling to their last game of the season needing a win to stay up and while stopping halfway stumbled across a statue of a statue of a Native American.  They saw this as a lucky sign and vowed, should they win, the statue would be bought. 

They won and the lucky statue took them all the way to the FA Cup semi final the following season... now we have our own lucky charm in the unlikely shape of the dolphin.  While the providence of the dolphin has come into question, it has strangely captured the imagination of the team and I believe it will feature amongst the fans tomorrow.

Not much else needs to be said about tomorrow.  To reach the second round would have been beyond any expectations at the start of the season, a campaign that started with the future of our home ground even in serious doubt.  This cup run has brought the much needed funds to clear debts and get the ground out of the sights of millionaire academy owners.

There is everything you need to know about the game here.  Kick off at 2pm.  See you there!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Banstead 2 - 5 Tanners

For once an experimental side did not capitulate, as with the league cup, but went on to notch up an impressive 5-2 to see us through to the next round.

A handful of supporters made the journey and could only recognise about three names on the team sheet.  Finding goals came easier than hot food as Leatherhead found themselves 2-1 up at half time and then went on to score three more until they pulled one back at the death.

The Surrey Senior Cup dream goes on, but now we focus on Wycombe...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Going to Banstead is like putting on an old pair of socks (and I recommend you put on a couple more pairs for the visit to the tundra) as this was a ground I regularly visited when I first started supported Levred in the mid-90s.  In those days we made this journey twice as they ground shared with Epsom & Ewell.

Tonight we face our old friends in a Surrey Senior Cup tie that has taken on greter significance than we could have predicted when the draw was made.  A rush of blood to the head saw two of our most influential players sent off seven days before and they can only feature in our historic cup game due this fixture being pre-arranged.

We love the Surrey Senior Cup though and to advance would be great, but understandably the cotton wool will be out in force tonight and we already have news of Academy Players getting the nod.

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tanners 2 - 0 Enfield

A war of attrition today as two sides battled out a rather uninspiring game, but let us not underestimate the impoartance of the win.  Three points without Jack would have been hard to believe a few weeks ago.

The first half had its moments, with one weak header going wide from us and a series of offside decisions at the other end.

Second half we upped it to create a period of about 10 minutes of excitement, which would be cut down to about two in edited highlights.

McManus was the goal hero today.  He made a nice amount of space for himself before directing his shot past the 'keeper and in off of the post.

The Enfield 'keeper then seemed to get the jitters and made a series of blunders, the most calamitous being from a back pass that he failed to get under control.  McManus pounced and header the ball away from the juggler and then fired his shot in from a reasonably tight angle.

We all had a good laugh when a shot going well wide was nearly directed in by an Enfield midfielder; but we were laughing through gritted teeth as the temperature was dropping with little prospect of future entertainment.

Three points and now we focus on the Surrey Senior Cup.  Please let there be a Surrey Senior Cup...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lowestoft Town 3 - 1 Tanners

Getting to Lowestoft was never going to be an option for me midweek, so I looked forward to a quiet night, perhaps sit down with my laptop and make some sarcastic tweets over how the game was going. Hell, I might even pretend I was there... but that all changed in the opening minutes.

First of all (from a contact) Midson received a yellow for handball outside the box, a decision he queried and received a second yellow.  One off.  Almost from the resulting play Moore dived in and got a yellow and, not picking up on the subtle signals that the ref was not tolerating back chat, queried this decision too and got the same treatment.

Leatherhead soon conceded but fought back to make it 1-1, a Minshull header giving us hope.  By all accounts we never gave up but to be two men down (and two key men) it was hard work and so we lost a perhaps winnable game.

This was all immaterial to the excitement levels on Twitter.  Would our two key players be out for Wycombe?  The laws of the game were sent to some of the highest judges in the land (well, a Twitter poll) and it appeared OK.  Then Brady (a man I dare say has first hand experience of suffering punishment through discussing decisions) confirmed the key to this is the Surrey Senior Cup game on Tuesday.  Pray for sun.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Travelling Tanners

First a brief summary of last night where Billericay arrived at The Grove to play Kingstonian.  Without Tamplin (in hiding in Dubai) there was no silly song (replaced by "****** come on"), Paul Konchesky (on the bench) and Pennant (on the bench as usual) and an altogether better atmosphere.  Sure Ks fans threw some fake money at the 'keeper but he suddenly started to appear pleasant.

First half and Ks could perhaps claim to have had the better of it, but in the second half the conference quality of Billericay's players told and they soon found themselves two nil up.  Then Billericay's keeper admitted it was a dive for our first game and wished us good luck against Wycombe which really took the win out of our sails so we left early.  It got us out of the house though.

On to tonight and it is the longest mid-week journey I think in the league as we take on Lowestoft.  Providing our players didn't use up all of their goals we could hope for something from this game, but it is a long way to travel having played so often

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tanners 4 - 0 Wingate & Finchley

Wingate & Finchley could not have predicted the response from the FA Cup win that they were on the receiving end of yesterday.  During this cup run we have been fragile in the other competitions, but perhaps by finally getting to play a league club has brought some closure to the team and they can relax (for now).

The first set back for the visitors was their 'keeper; he pulled a thigh muscle and had to ask a friend to help take goal kicks.  The second setback was that Midson and Nash were on fire.

The first goal came from Midson, receiving the ball in the box and sent defenders and the 'keeper diving in all directions except from where he coolly dispatched his shot.

The second was from a Midson / Nash combination.  Midson stole the ball off of a defender, ran to the bi-line and crossed to Nash who slotted it in.  Nash then made himself some room in the area to slide in another... and header home his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time.  Some debate over whether this was a perfect hat-trick.

Second half brought no allowed goals, but both teams scored from offside positions in quick succession.  Nash again for us.

A win that makes our league position look healthier, but a different kettle of fish with the long trip to Lowestoft on Tuesday...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wingate & Finchley are coming

Still on a high, mentally and physically exhausted... and that is just us supporters following the heroics of Thursday. Now we face league opposition in the shape our friends from North London.

Wingate & Finchley sit in a nice position in the league and would be tough to beat on an ordinary Saturday... but with FA Cup Round 2 two tickets on sale it just isn't.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Billericay 1 - 3 Tanners

I'd like to think we could chalk up tonight's win due to arrogance.  Arrogance that Glenn Tamplin would grin while predicting he would tear us apart in the replay.  Arrogance that he would settle for a draw.  Arrogance that he would play on Tuesday.  That would be doing us a disservice though as we thoroughly deserved our win tonight.

The first half had BT Sport continuously trying to coax positive answers from the pundits over Billericay but at half time the managers from Wycombe and Woking were resolute; Leatherhead were the better side.

In the second half we were event better, but I feared the worst when they scored from an offside position.

Midson does not disappoint in the FA Cup and he was soon at hand to head our equaliser and in the 70th minute, following a clear foul in the area, he dispatched the penalty to put us 2-1.

The ref was promised a new car so found 5 minutes of injury time but it only allowed us to smash a third goal through the money grabbing hands of their 'keeper to make it 3-1.

A victory for football and now, finally, our FA Cup can begin.  We are off to Wycombe.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Travelling Tanners

When Glenn Tamplin's massive ego took over while being interviewed on the BBC, he perhaps did both teams a favour.  It created just about enough interest in the game for us to get on the TV, which I appreciate as I can now watch the game from a bar in Poland.

The prediction was that they would destroy us in the replay, and he may well be right.  Better sides than us have received a good beating and only last night, while they could have perhaps focussed on the FA Cup, they beat Merstham 3-0.  If recent Leatherhead performances are anything to go by, if Billericay come out with only ten men and play two second halves it could well be 10-0.

Football isn't as clean cut as that though, as our fellow Surrey based team Woking will testify.  Despite Billericay's big money signings we have gone toe to toe with them for 180 minutes and are only one goal down... that goal being a very dodgy penalty.  A ref that sees that interview will hopefully give it some more thought before pointing to that spot again.

Kick off at 7.45, although get there early in case there is another queue to get in.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Royston 3 - 2 Tanners

Sammy was covered in cotton wool for this one and Brades was covered in an unkempt beard. Rod was also present, starting to show an interest again now he has the chance to get on TV. 

There were just 15 lost souls supporting The Tanners compared to 1,500 the previous weekend. At least we were well qualified with a high percentage of our supporters holding a PhD.

A strangely subdued Jack started the game but was a shadow of his usual self, particularly compared to his heroics against Billericay where he played centre forward and centre back. Perhaps he was rightly concerned about picking up a knock or a niggle before the big one.

We started full of vim and vigour for the first 30 minutes and completely forgot that we were nervous about appearing live on TV at Tamplin Towers Theme Park on Thursday. Liam and D'Sean put us two up and we were looking great.

Slowly we started to tire and look leggy. Royston worked their way back into the game just before half time. The 2nd half was a bit of a disaster. Royston equalised then the referee gave us no chance by sending a Royston player off. A goal in injury time meant that for the 3rd time this season we lost to 10 men.

In preparation for our FA Cup Replay, and out of respect to the beloved Glenn Tamplin, I will leave you with Isiah 40;31 

But those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not be faint

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Travelling Tanners

The joyous occasion of a new ground is potentially tarnished with the understandable onset of cotton wool, that has already claimed Sammy Moore, as we take on Royston Town today in the FA Trophy. 

Some of our new players do not appear cup tied in this competition so I hope they can give some of our squad a rest while trying to add to the FA competition satchel we have accumulated this season.

Our hosts ply their trade in the Evo-Stik Premier League and are placed in a similar position.

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

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Tanners 1 - 2 Folestone

Leatherhead's form in the league continues to slide away despite an encouraging first half.  Our guests could not have predicted the fast start to the game we initiated, thanks to a lively new signing in Nash.  It was through Nash we got our opener as he was brought down in the box (and not outside it) and took the resulting penalty.  It is clear he is not short of confidence as he took the penalty like it he was trying to get the ball out of a bunker and into a green.

Despite the pressure we let Folkestone back into the game on the stroke of half time.  I missed this goal I have to confess.

Second half and our energy levels dropped and the offside count rose.  Folkestone decided to test our 'keeper from range and were right to as one slid through his hands as he was diving to save it.  A second attempted save from another shot fell to a striker who scored but was deemed to be offside.

We had one header on target in the second half so there was little to lift the loyal crowd who were there despite not having the glamour of the FA Cup to prompt them.  That or 1,400 people snuck in for free.

Off to the Trophy then...

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Folkestone are coming

By Sammy's own admission, this is going to be a tough game for all concerned tonight.  After the physical and mental strains of just watching Tamplin being interviewed, let alone the disappointed of the penalty that wasn't a penalty, we have to try and focus on the league.

The squad is in a bit of flux.  We have signed a couple of players that are cup tied and so should be fresh on the one hand, but an unused player in Calum has left to play his football elsewhere.

Folkestone would be a tough game anyway.  They are pushing for a play-off place and will no doubt look to exploit our distractions.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

It's Wycombe Wanderers

Should be avoid being thorn apart by Billericay next Tuesday, we will face The Chairboys in the second round.  A club who created their own FA Cup history by getting through to the semi-final on the back of getting Roy Essandoh via a Ceefax ad (a player we later saw at Bury Town) in 2001.


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Tanners 1 - 1 Billericay

Leatherhead get their name into the hat for the Second Round draw but with a tough task ahead with the replay at their place.  For a while it looked like the task was going to be too big this time round as a timid Leatherhead failed to get to grip with their guests.  After 15 minutes we calmed ourselves down and got into the game and looked the most likely to score.

Paul Konchesky, I have seen him three times now and I have no idea why they persist with him.  Subbed off last season, sent off this season and today found himself distracted by the crowd.  So much so he wondered off the near post to allow Midson to steal in and deftly flick a low ball into the net past the stranded 'keeper.

That goal pretty much summed up the two sides in the first half.  Leatherhead were prepared to throw themselves at the ball, Billericay to trot around and take the money.

Second half and Billericay were a lot more focussed; perhaps their physio had managed to paint a few lions in the away dressing room or there was an extra chorus from R Kelly.  It was a shame though that their equaliser did not come from some noteworthy passage of play or individual skill, but from their player diving outside the box and conning the referee.  Zak got a hand to it but it was too powerful.

Billericay looked the most likely to win it, and even when Leatherhead did attack we often got in each other's way and it broke down.

On to Billericay then and Glenn Tamplin showed his class, showing off in front of a pretty BBC reporter, and stated we need not even turn up as we are going to get thrashed.  Footballing gods, please take note.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Billericay are coming!

Glenn Tamplin and his array of highly paid talent arrive at the Grove for the First Round proper of the FA Cup.  He won't be looking forward to this one, after being beaten here last season, losing O'Hara as a result, and twice making approaches for Leatherhead's manager... and failing... twice.

Leatherhead have approached this game in exactly the same way as we did for Margate, and while the task is bigger I hope we can come out with the same result.  On paper we lose this one, easily, but by sticking to a game plan and some luck who knows.

Kick off at 2pm.  See.  You.  There.

Ticket update

The club have asked me to post that there will be a number of tickets available at the gate. The capacity is 2,000 and we've enjoyed good pre-sales from both clubs.  Perhaps get there early tomorrow to avoid disappointment and queues...

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Training Tanners

So; what would have any Billericay scout have learned from yesterday?  If confidence is inversely proportional to activity then we are ready, if not over confident as precious little happened from the advertised start time to just after 8pm.  The players emerged from a lengthy session of sitting down in the dressing room and chatting.

Fans of watching grown men chat were in for a further treat as the dressing room chat was followed by a further chat but in a circular formation in the middle of the pitch.  This was followed by some warm up exercises that took place, annoyingly, on the furthest point from the invited fans.

Then, on about 8.20 they got into some light pass and move drills and set up into three groups of defence, midfield (the largest) and attack.  At about 8.40 I had to go as I did not want to miss The Apprentice but they stuck to a variety of pass and move drills with some players switching between the groups.

Was it a waste of time for the fans?  If you left at 8.40 then perhaps but maybe later on we saw something more challenging.  The whole experience was rather comforting though, a chance to catch up with fans and perhaps dare to dream that we can send the big money men of our league back home with us in the second round... or at least to plan how to make a quick getaway...


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Tanners 1 - 0 Hythe

One of the friendliest cup games you could ever wish to see. The referee didn't really need to bring his whistle to this one, as we tried to quietly win the game without Jack getting a booking and without anyone getting a knock or a niggle.

The plan couldn't really have gone any better. A solitary goal from a penalty with 10 minutes to go courtesy of Jack was just enough to see us through to the next round. 

The queue for FA Cup tickets caused more interest than the game along with rumours that Glenn Tamplin had bought up 6,000 tickets and ordered 100 coaches. One of the coaches is being specially adapted to transport Glenn's ego.

A nervous week lies ahead for all Leatherhead supporters. There is one good omen. In 1974 we also played fellow Isthmian opposition in the FA Cup 1st round in the form of Bishops Stortford. The rest is history.........

Friday, October 27, 2017

Hythe are coming...

It's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to.  Historians will know my birthday is not a lucky day in the Tanners' calendar, with us only winning one game on this day that I can remember... OK it was Sudbury to take us through to the first round proper, so not a bad one to have under your belt but it is slim pickings.

Our guests are Hythe.  A side we battled for several hours through the traffic to lose to in the FA Cup last season.  It is also the FA Trophy a week before the big one, so I am not entirely sure how this will go despite our higher league status.

On the plus side, we have a new striker from Dover (who isn't cup tied) to take a look at.  Could he be the answer to our dependence on Midson?

Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Staines 3 - 0 Tanners

A profligate Leatherhead leave Staines this stormy encounter empty handed and with a manager speaking of ringing the changes.

Despite the score line, it was a reasonably entertaining game for a Leatherhead fan.  We were bright, positive and you could not fault the team for effort.  There were other positives in Beere looks like he is going to be a handful for the opposition this year and young Nathan Wood (I haven't seen him before) looked like he could handle himself too.

The chances.  We had a few.  Midson was probably the most guilty of missing the clearest chances; blasting high over the bar from close range.  You cannot blame him for his bicycle / side kick from just going wide; it was a wonderful bit of improvisation.  Beere then struck the post and then just went over.  Woods could have scored but seemed to be distracted by the possibility of being offside.  In the second half Blackman sent his volley straight at the 'keeper.  You get the point.  We had chances.

Meanwhile it was a different story in defence.  The warning signs were there when Minshull twice gave the ball away to put us under pressure.  Then, just as everything was looking solid again, we switch off and allow a striker to be completely unmarked in front of goal.  1-0.

This trick was repeated two more times in the second half.  We switch off, they play a simple ball to an unmarked player.  Shoot.  Score.  The third goal beat our 'keeper near post from an angle to further highlight the bad day we were having.

On another day we win this game 3-0... I hope we have one of those days in a couple of weeks time...

Friday, October 20, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Staines Town tomorrow in their last league game before the big show down with Billericay.  I can't see it going well if I am honest with you, but I am slightly more hopeful than I was with the Folkestone game.

Staines had a good start to the season, scoring 12 goals in the opening three games, and sit four points above us (albeit having played two games more).

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

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...