Monday, January 23, 2017

Wingate & Finchley 2 - 1 Tanners

I misread text made me believe the game was called off and by the time I realized it was too late to get there.  A lucky escape.  Despite Leatherhead’s coveted strikers and one man advantage we simply lacked the application, leadership and desire to get a win.

Wingate & Finchley have strung together a few nice results.  Since Boxing Day they have drawn 1-1 with Havant & Waterlooville and Dulwich.  They have beaten the sides around them.  We on the other hand have only managed to draw with the sides near the drop zone and lose to those above.

It does not help when you cannot keep a clean sheet and it is no wonder why.  A long ball from the ‘keeper sends their winger on an almost free run down their right.  A cross into the box and an unmarked player taps it in.  Hopeless.

On the half hour mark, the ref decided Leatherhead needed some help so asked a Wingate player to take an early shower.  The old adage of it being harder to play against 10 men suddenly comes to the fore as for the remainder of the first half.

Leatherhead did rally for the second half but you could hardly describe their second as a “sucker punch”.  From a throw-in Wingate moved the ball around the box with ease; Leatherhead standing there like statues with no commitment to close anything down.  The invitation was accepted and the shot was rifled into the roof of the net from some distance. You see them end up in the car park but we got what we deserved.

A goal by Carr may have offered some excitement for the 99 people in attendance but it was too little too late.  Back to the Grove Wednesday for the all-important game against AFC Sudbury.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Travelling Tanners

If the frost spares us we could be travelling to Wingate & Finchley tomorrow, a side that is unbeaten in eight games: we are unwon in five.  It has not been a good post-Christmas period for us having accumulated -1 points.  Our only two draws were against fellow relegation sides that we would have hoped to beat going into Christmas.

I went to the fixture and was rather impressed with the ground there.  It was also the debut of Lenny Pidgeley, an altogether unnecessary signing but a good bloke to have around.

Keep an eye out for pitch inspections.  Directions can be found here.  See you there… I hope…


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Game off

A 2pm pitch showed the pitch still to be frozen and gave the travelling players and fans enough notice to prevent them from starting a futile journey.

The future date, probably shoehorned into January somehow, will be announced shortly.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tanners 2 - 3 Ks

The Chairman was speaking in the carpark before the game, stating he was hoping for a clean sheet and then laughed – nervously – as there has been little evidence that this is possible recently.

To get clean sheet you do at least need some help from the ref, but it wasn’t forthcoming at either end of the pitch.  When the Ks player planted both feet on the ground and dived over the ball I wrongly assumed the ref would see through this obvious ploy but I was wrong.  If the awarding of the free kick was fortuitous there was nothing so about the finish.  A wonderful free kick that soared into the top left corner.

The rest of the half made me question some of my lifestyle choices and whether I should take up hardcore drinking.  A bottle of absinth would just about take the edge of the tepid display and only watching Jimmy muddy his coat due to low traction winkle pickers on the touch line made for any entertainment.

I am pleased to say Leatherhead responded well in the second half and it turned into an exciting game.  Daniel Carr got beyond his man after being played in and was pulled back by the defender.  An obvious penalty and when the ref waved play on it was a sobering reminder that today was not going to be our day.

Ks got their second through a powerful run into the left hand side of the box and firing in a low shot using the outside of his boot.  The ball bent enough to clip the inside of the post.  Leatherhead responded quickly, a ball into Kadell was chested down and his pivoted shot sent goal wards.  The ‘keeper anticipated it but his hand not strong enough to stop it and it rolled over the line.

Back into the game, well so we thought.  Leatherhead fail to deal with a cross into the box from the right and a free header gifted them the all-important third.

Daniel Carr, when allowed to run freely without someone holding on to his waist, broke free and fired a low shot beating the ‘keeper near post.

The ref then found time to miss two obvious handballs, one of which was in the box, to round off a terrible performance that also saw him run away from a nasty head injury to a Leatherhead player with even the Ks player signally for instant help.

Folkestone arrive to the Grove Wednesday.  For the sake of Jimmy’s dry cleaning bill, I hope we don’t slip up again…


Friday, January 13, 2017

Ks are coming

My goodness, I was busy doing something else and I nearly completely forgot to write the pre-match preview for tomorrow’s game.

Our old, well stewarded, friends arrive at the Grove tomorrow having turned their season around from the difficult start they had.  They now sit in 9th having just beaten Staines.

The disappoint of only drawing against Harrow, given we were so dominant, will hopefully focus the mind for tomorrow’s game.  Defeat could see us slip firmly back into relegation contention.

Kick-off (subject to pitch conditions) at 3pm.  See you there!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Woking 2 - 0 Tanners

Despite a spirited performance, Woking had a bit too much about them last night and strolled out 2-0 winners.

The first 15 minutes were uncomfortable for Leatherhead as Woking pinned us back into our own half.  After a spell of retaining the balls through about 50 sideways and backward passes we grew in confidence and started to counter attack.  Daniel Carr, who seems to have a new lease of life since leaving behind Dulwich for a couple of months, looked the most likely to score as he stretched the host’s defence. 

The first goal was therefore disappointing, certainly in the manner it was scored.  Wells did well to save a point blank header and a goal mouth scramble with two further attempts were made.  On the third attempt, the defender whose job it was to clear was busy doing something else and then forgot so as a result we suffered a one goal deficit…

Second half and Leatherhead did fairly well I have to say.  The game could have swung firmly our way with a red card for a Woking player but the ref showed cowardice not once but twice.  First of all their no. 7 went in two footed on Ty Smith.  A nasty high challenge that was worthy of a straight red in its own right which saw the influential midfielder go off injured.  The ref gave the player a yellow and a stern talking to.  The ref’s words were soon forgotten however as only moments later the same player mistimed a tackle from behind, not a dangerous tackle but a tackle that would see yellow in normal circumstances but the ref took no action.  The net effect, we lose one of our best midfielders while they play on at full strength.

And play on they did, as they strode into our box and fired a powerful dipping shot that gave Wells no chance.  At 2-0 the game was all bought and paid for with little hope of us getting anything from it.

Another trip to Woking ends in defeat.  On to Saturday where we host Ks.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Woking tonight in the Surrey Senior Cup, who promise to put out a strong side.  I just hope the side we put out is all correctly accounted for to prevent further disappointment after we suffered yet another point deduction this week.

I can’t remember a successful result against Woking.  Typically this is all done and dusted by half time, but perhaps we can hope for more under new management.

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