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...