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.