Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Merstham 4 - 3 Leatherhead

The 1st Team have been doing so well lately in the league that half of them were rewarded with the night off. We don't need the match practice after all and so they had a night in with a take away and watched the Liverpool V Spurs game.

It would only seem fair to similarly reward the U21s who played tonight with a rest and let the U18s have a run out in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Merstham have decided they are in the big time now and felt that £12 was an appropriate admission fee. I can only assume that the most expensive entrance fee in the league must include keeping the souvenir mug into which my soup was poured.

Anyway, we took an early lead through Sole while Merstham pondered whether it was worth putting a tackle in with the Oxford game just 10 days away. Eventually they decided enough was enough so stretched their legs and scored a couple of goals to go into half time 2-1 up.

Merstham gave the impression throughout that they would be able to do just enough to win this one but they didn't expect 2 quick goals from the visitors. A Sole free kick on 50 mins was deflected into the net to draw us level at 2-2, and then Cobban scored a great goal on 55 mins to give us a surprising lead 3-2.

Merstham don't like losing to Leatherhead and stepped up a gear. Goals on 75 and 88 minutes gave them a 4-3 win and we march on to see play Chesham in the FA Trophy on Saturday hoping to concede less than 3 goals.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Grays 1 -2 Tanners

The Ryman League have made a mistake. This win was surely worth 9 points at least.

It wasn't entirely convincing though. Grays were onto their 3rd goalkeeper of the afternoon and down to 10 men but we were still more nervous than a prostitute in church whilst trying to hold onto a 2-1 lead.

An uneven meadow was not what Jimmy wanted to showcase his protege's passing skills when he ventured into Essex in his white Range Rover but that is exactly what he got.

The travelling hordes of around 10 Levred supporters were scratching their heads to arrive and see Bradbrook, Sol and Mahal on the bench but we just muttered to ourselves about it. None of us could claim to be worth £55,000 a week to play football, no one is capable of playing golf to scratch, and no one has fished for England. Anyway it's not like we were changing a wining side.

A scrappy encounter ensued with the deadlock broken by a well taken free kick by the new boy Ty Smith. Towards the end of the 1st half the Grays keeper went off injured to replaced by what seemed to be a genuine reserve keeper rather than an outfielder. Then, just before half time Grays equalised.

Soon after the re-start a scrappy goal by Kamara saw us take a 2-1 lead. The replacement keeper didn't last too long after that and was sent off for handling the ball outside the box. This sent us into a state of mild panic. The pressure of not beating the bottom side with 10 men and a 3rd choice goalkeeper was almost to much to bear. 

Somehow we held out for the 9 points and go into a League Cup and FA Trophy mid winter break. We sit comfortably outside the relegation zone by one point but having played 38 games more than anyone else.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead face Grays Athletic today in what is a massive game. The team with the least amount of points host the team who have played the most games.

Leatherhead dominated the home tie at the start of the season but let it slip. If Leatherhead are to survive this season they can't do that again tomorrow.

Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Worthing 3 - 2 Tanners

For the neutral this would have been a cracking game.  End to end football played at pace with some fantastic saves and missed chances.

Leatherhead are not making life easy for themselves.  In the opening few minutes it was clear we had not familiarized ourselves with the new artificial surroundings and Worthing tore into us.  A silly free kick was conceded on the edge of the box and they scored from the resulting free kick.  From the view behind the other goal there were some of us who felt they had time to run to the other end and save the looping shot so were puzzled how it beat our returning ‘keeper.

The attacks kept on coming and soon Worthing had doubled their lead.  We failed to deal with an attack down the left and the powerful shot beat the ‘keeper as the ball flew in off of the far post.

Leatherhead did manage to get one back.  A lofted ball into Bradbrook and a deft header sent the ball goal bound.  Normally this would have been saved with ease, but their ‘keeper decided to impersonate a chicken and came out flapping.  The ball trickled in and we had hope at half time.

This hope did not last long.  Jerry fizzed a cross in and Bradbrook tried to adjust his body to get his head on the low ball but his effort flew over the bar from about three yards out.  From the resulting goal kick the ball went down the other end; we won possession and then needlessly gave the ball away to their powerful striker who evaded three tackles before curling a shot into the top right corner.

Then Godman went into beast mode and showed why he was brought back to as our ‘keeper.  He pulled off a string of fantastic saves to prevent the score line becoming embarrassing, but questions need to be asked as to why he was forced into so many saves.

The ‘keeper came to our assistance one more time.  He delayed a clearance which allowed Bradbrook time to chase the ‘keeper down and make a block which fell kindly to Sole.  With an open goal he curled the ball into the side netting.  For Leatherhead to get an unlikely draw we needed their ‘keeper to concede the perfect hat trick and let it go through his legs or something but it didn’t come.

So another game played (we have played the most in the league) and another disappointing result.  On to Grays, which is now classified as a “12 pointer”; at least.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead will have mixed feelings about the weekend.  A draw would have been snapped up at the start of the game but after building a 2-0 lead there will be disappointment in the ranks.

With that comes a midweek trip to the south coast and a visit to our old friends Worthing.  They are mid-table with five more points BUT have a two games in hand and slightly better goal difference.

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  See you there (I think)!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dulwich Hamlet are coming

Leatherhead host our old friends Dulwich Hamlet today. While the club sit just outside the playoff places, their home support is breaking records every week it seems. If just 10% of their support travel then it will be a good gate for Leatherhead.

Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tanners 0 - 1 Havant & Waterlooville

It was a stark contrast to Saturday, where then the players had been instructed to go out and enjoy themselves but last night they were clearly told to be bloody miserable.

It was a far more conservative approach to the game, against a very good visiting team, that was not easy on the eye.  Havant were experienced and patient enough to wait until their goal came while we offered little in the hope of a draw.

I am not saying the ref cost us the game, we were quite impotent, but it couldn’t have helped.  First of all Lopez was brought down and the ref had the good eyesight to spot it happened an inch outside the box.  This eyesight deserted him when Tomi was pulled back inside the box.  He was a ref who loved to “let things go” for both sides but when Sole was fouled and the ball fell to a marked Leatherhead player he shouted advantage.  This advantage quickly disappeared as the marked player was dispossessed and they went down the other end and score. 

Tomi was later booked for diving after riding three poorly timed tackles and then getting clearly tripped.  While the ball had run on slightly beyond him there was clearly contact and a massive mistake by the ref.

Hughes Mason came on and looked dangerous when playing through the middle.  He actually found the net but it was ruled out for offside.  Those fair minded supporters by the bar were convinced it was yet another blunder by the officials.

So Leatherhead lose, albeit to a side that are going to be challenging for top spot, and it may get worse with the visit of old friends Dulwich Hamlet.  Perhaps Bradbrook will be back to reaquaint himself…