Monday, October 31, 2011
Tomorrow is a big day, and if you needed a reminder as to why it is so big here is a little snap shot of what we are playing for. A chance to play in the first round proper and host Kettering of the Blue Square Premier.
It isn't going to be easy. Sutton proved how deadly they can be from set pieces and have powerful strikers. It is almost fair to say if they even play at half throttle they would have too much for us. They could even be better than the side that beat Coventry.
Another thing I have gleaned from their message boards is how the tactics may change. Their fans are calling for a deeper formation, perhaps a 4-5-1 and try and pick us off on the break.
Kick off is at 7.45pm. At The Grove. See you there!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
It is almost impossible to overstate how little respect Sutton have shown this little side and the FA Competition both today and in the build up to the game. A chance to play against some big time Charlies from Sheffield seemed to be taken for granted in a poorly attended game with Leatherhead creating much of the atmosphere. A glaring gap in their homework showed when they incorrectly named our manager and they were given a further crash course in how we can play today.
Our worst fear was that this would go the way of Godalming v Maidenhead. They lost 5-0, a score line the hosts are familiar with. The first ten minutes showed we could cope and that we had something to give but Sutton then did start getting more time on the ball. They were undone by a ball down the middle which found a centre back in possession, who was no doubt already thinking about his victory cigar along side Kelly Dalglish, and could not cope with the pressure from Tommy. He ran free one on one and calmly slotted it past their 'keeper.
Leatherhead's celebrations did not last long. A corner and Sutton size and presence was enough to create enough panic in the box for a telling touch to edge it past Chico.
We could be forgiven for thinking we had blown our chance but again Leatherhead came on the attack. Elliot finding space down the right wing beating the static defence and the keeper yet still having the composure to slot it home from a tight angle.
Sadly the celebrations were cut short again. The ref, who gave them almost anything he could, awarded a soft foul and from the free kick it appeared Chico came to collect but missed and it was fire in for a Sutton equaliser. Despite equalising Sutton looked a little shaken and were happy to see the half out as a draw.
Second half and if there was a hint of Chico to blame for the second we were left in no doubt when he came out to collect a ball outside the box but got left completely stranded as he was beaten to it and lobbed with ease. Now that they were winning a song could even be heard drifting up from the far end from the home supporters. Stirring stuff.
Sutton managed to hang on to their lead for 10 minutes. Kev Terry will go down in history as the man who can keep his head and score crucial goals in cup competitions. Taking the ball out on the left he cut inside while their defender turned like an oil tanker. Still some 20 yards out he shot, beating the keeper near post in style.
Wild celebrations followed and for the next ten minutes Sutton did try and get the winner using their power in the box but in the last five minutes their nerves seemed shot to pieces as it was Leatherhead who looked the most likely. The ref did show some bravery in blowing up for a back pass but forgot the basic law of allowing us to take it where the ball had been picked up by the 'keeper not where it was passed from. The free kick was blasted over from Andrews.
Leatherhead need to take their chance and two soft goals allows a replay. Sutton are a strong experienced side who will come to the Grove still as favourites but without a 20m exclusion zone around the pitch maybe... just maybe... the side we pick out the bag will need to start doing their homework about a little side called Leatherhead.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Leatherhead will come away from this game feeling a little hard done by. Leatherhead never got to grips with the blustery conditions but when a comeback looked on the officials stepped in to make sure it was out of our grasp.
This was my first visit to the ground. A welcoming club inside a plush bar but the game was played out in a rather soulless windswept "arena" with no terracing etc behind either goal and stands on the halfway line.
Leatherhead not only battled against the wind though but the officials. A referee who blew for an offside while his puffing assistant plodded along with his flag down did little to encourage the travelling supporters. Then there was no doubt it was not going to be our day when a shot at a tight angle appeared to be covered by Chico but somehow it bounced free and bobbled over the line.
The second half began and to our horror the lump of the assistant had swapped ends. Meanwhile another clanger for Leatherhead to contend with. A long bouncing ball was left by Pestle as he assumed it would go out for a goal kick but Cirencester's striker had other ideas. He nipped round the usually solid right back and hit it first time, again at a tight angle, beating Chico cleanly this time.
Leatherhead goal came with no help from the chubby "yes man". The defender clearly poked the ball passed Tommy for a corner but the lino froze waiting for his boss to make a decision. The decision came and from the resulting long corner Tommy latched onto the ball put back into the box. Leatherhead did manage to get the ball to feet in the area a number of times but a telling strike always seemed a fraction of a second too late as the Circester defence worked hard to smoother our attempts.
Then the game changed. Their lively striker ran into the area and our defender stuck out an inviting knee for him to run into. An invitation that was gratefully taken and the penalty drawn. Up steps Chico who saved well but as the ball bounced clear another Cirencester player and Boulter came together in a 50 50 challenge and this time the other lino waved his flag. Penalty number two was put away.
Not our day. Get the bad luck out of the way for Saturday...
Friday, October 21, 2011
Another long journey for us. Not the longest but a cool 100 odd miles for an FA competition that often ends in tears with little in the way of excitement so let’s enjoy while we can. We’re off to Cirencester.
If we can be encouraged by anything it is their opening line of their (excellent I have to say) pre-match preview of “The Tanners have had a similar start to the season as Cirencester Town”.
If you are making the journey you can find directions here. Kick off at 3pm. See you there.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
It was everthing the game was billed to be. A lively affair with the prospect of penalties and it was Leatherhead who came out on top.
Kev Terry opened the scoring. He is in a rich vein of form at the moment and his run from inside his own half turned the defence and he had the goal in his sites. A shot from outside the box saw the keeper dive but the ball cruelly bobbled over him to take the lead.
It was all Leatherhead and we should have capitalised as experienced sides like Wealdstone can score from nothing... as they did to make it one all. Macleod thought he had the perfect response moments later but his goal was ruled out for handball.
Greg restored the lead in the second half only for us to be pegged back again and yet again Leatherhead have to face last minute pressure with Dan Dean defending on the line to keep us in it.
Into penalties it went and Jolly missed his opening attempt for Wealdstone to make us believe it was going to be our day. The fourth penalty from us was missed by Reeves only for Chico to save their last. Up steps Jamie Coyle to assist the manager into yet another win.
On we go.
Sorry this is late. Still getting over the FA Cup draw.
Tonight we face Wealdstone in the League Cup. A side we have not played for a number of years. The last time we played these fellas Stretch was a steward who, on seeing a minor pitch invasion after they scored the winning goal, ripped off the yellow bib and gave it to a 10 year old and went home.
Exciting news about tonight. No mucking around with replays or even extra times. Straight in with penalties should it be a draw after 90 minutes.
Kick off at 7.45 (and a telling) Good luck fellas!
Monday, October 17, 2011
The reward for beating Billericay, current leaders of the Ryman Premier, is a trip to last years winners of the Ryman Premier... Sutton United. A chance to relive the joy of the Surrey Senior cup final of late entry into the ground and no parking. Thanks.
Game to be played a day after my birthday... 29 October.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
One word for the morning that greeted this FA tie. Crisp. A word that could equally be applied to our approach to this game. Even the warm up looked lively and confident and that showed on the pitch.
For the second time Leatherhead start well against the Essex side and took the lead from a header. This time it was Vernon who pounced on the corner for us to take the lead. We continued to play well with no sign of a clanger from Chico.
Second half and we came out looking a little worried that it could slip away. Inviting them on to attack. They seemed camped in our half but in a rare venture into theirs Liam Pestle seemed to ghost his way into the box on the right. Now their 'keeper was physically big enough to be a professional, but the fact he is still an amateur means he is likely to be rubbish. Liam tried his luck and in it sailed to the far corner. Two nil. Could we dare dream.
Yes we could. With 15 minutes to go a long corner to Boulter was headed back across goal for Vernon, who had his best game in green, thundered into the roof of the net.
'Ricay when winning at the start of the season were capable of frustrating us with feigning injury when clearing the ball etc. All this composure deserted them as "OLE" football came out and we ran the clock down.
See you on the message board Monday for the draw.
Friday, October 14, 2011
FA Cup time again and while we could be up against someone from the Conference North or South... Billericay away is a tough one but it certainly a challenge we are up for. The fans have spoken, they want a bus (please refer to the messageboard if you're interested) and a win in the league should give the players a boost too.
Kick off is at 3pm. We've been there before but you can refresh your memory on the directions here.
See you there!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Blimey Charlie. What hard work that was but we come away with our first league win of the season. Just.
On 8 minutes it all seemed so simple. Kev Terry sprays the ball out to Greg, into Simmo who plays a through ball back for Greg to chase, a chip over the diving 'keeper. 1-0. We used to do this every week last season.
10 minutes later Kev again goes wide to Greg who this time cuts out the middle man and goes for goal. A shot that took a slight deflection but enough to leave the 'keeper stranded as it lobbed him perfectly.
So the game went on until about the half hour mark where I felt we lost our way a little. East Thurrock were controlling the play until right at the death Greg stole the ball and was through clear on goal with only Kev Terry and the 'keeper to beat... he selflessly opted for Kev who tripped on it a little but still had time to retrieve the ball from behind him and shoot but the 'keeper managed to turn it away. This glaring miss was to turn the game.
Leatherhead came out in the second half and were really not at the races at all. East Thurrock had almost all of the posession with Leatherhead giving up the share searching for THAT dream pass through the middle that never came off. The only saving grace it appeared East Thurrock seemed totally incapable of scoring. But score they did from another cross into the box and a deft header and the pressure was back on.
Leatherhead made two subs. Macleod and Johnson came on for Greg and Tommy who both went wide. Then Drewett started playing wide. It was becoming a 4-6-0 formation and in the end it was difficult to tell the difference between a Leatherhead and an East Thurrock corner we played so deep.
The ref's whistle came as a great relief. The monkey is off our back and we can now look forward to the FA Cup trip. Just.
I have a confession to make. This game caught me out a bit as I glanced at an old programme instead of looking at the site but a game there is tonight and it is East Thurrock.
I am not even sure if there is a curry night on as no one has emailed me about it... what a shambles... hopefully the players can put in a better performance than me.
Kick off at 7.45! See you there!
Saturday, October 08, 2011
A penalty seemed to give us a lifeline when the ref saw some holding going on. Greg put it away.
A late charge could have seen us draw or even win but the chances were not taken.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Off on ANOTHER long distance trip and almost one of the longest of the season. Fear not though. When you get to Bury St Edmunds you will be directed by Britain's first internally illuminated street sign to guide you there... oh and some directions here.
This will be the new managements team first step out into the league and who knows what this may bring against a side that sit in a healthy 7th position.
Kick off at 3pm. See you there!
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Leatherhead make it through to the 3rd qualifying round as they beat Biggleswade tonight. While geographically it would have been more handy for the visitors, on the balance of play it was a fair result that we proceed.
The new boss is breaking all the rules. One, Kev Terry can start and like Seven Seas of Rye it sees out the album Queen I well and launches in to Queen II even better. A lively performance that nearly saw him nick a low near post header off the boot of a defender. Simmo too looks determined to get the team going, a goal bound shot well saved by the 'keeper.
The goal came shortly after their 'keeper landed awkwardly and seemed a little immobile. A ball cleared from a corner landed on the edge of the box and Boulter fired it on the turn into the roof of the net. The 'keeper could only help it on its way.
Second half and Leatherhead were in control yet a little nervous about protecting their slender lead. However, just when Greg looked to have lost interest in the game he found some room on the left and was back to his best. A turn here and a beaten defender there he was one on one with the 'keeper and beat him near post. Two nil and surely we had the game in the bag.
Elliot Thompson was running the show down the right and it was a cynical challenge that ended his participation as he was stretchered off. This shook Leatherhead and conceding a penalty did little to calm the nerves as you could feel the confidence draining. Chico guessed the right way but the penalty was too firmly struck and they were back in it. We were back to our brittle best as they sensed extra time could be at hand.
It was a shame that Biggleswade then resorted to yelping and screaming looking for yellow cards every time there was minimal contact but as the ref was buying it it gained them possession and they piled on the pressure. A ball was cleared off the line while we defended about 10 corners in the last 15 minutes.
The final whistle came with the sense of relief. So Leatherhead win, a new look for us but with the pressure we had to absorb its a bit like the new iPhone... some new features but essentially still the same as before. On to Bury Town though to put it to the test.
I doubt Biggleswade will be relishing this trip after taking a late lead at their place only to see Kev Terry pop up and snatch a late equaliser. It was great to see Leatherhead respond so well after they stopped getting dragged in, allowing Simmo to play in the hole that created the telling pass. Great stuff.
If you are making the long journey south you need look no further than the club house. We've laid on a reasonably priced curry buffet for you!
Kick off at 7.45pm. See you there!
Monday, October 03, 2011
From the club...
"As I hope you are aware we are having our second curry buffet for our FA Cup Replay on Tuesday. A great opportunity to join a big crowd to welcome our new management team and this follows our first very successful curry buffet last month.
The curry is provided from 6.30pm by our sponsors, Five Rivers Indian Restaurant, who will provide an excellent meal consisting of six separate dishes, for just £8. Food will be available on a first come first served basis. (It all went last time!)."
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Tanners keep their FA Cup dream alive thanks to a late strike from Kev Terry after Biggleswade seemed to have nicked the win.
Biggleswade, complete with marching band, wanted to stamp their authority on this game early and for the opening 5 minutes a nervous Leatherhead seemed overwhelmed by the confident home team. The quality that they must face certainly began to show as, unlike the sides we faced, they did little in the way of pressing us and slowly we grew into the game.
Soon it become a little one way with Leatherhead attacking freely but rarely really troubling the 'keeper. The half closed with the visitors surely believing the next round was theirs.
The second half did not pan out that way though. Leatherhead's performance seemed to drop and with Biggleswade still standing off and Leatherhead not working to find spaces it all became rather stale but for some fist-cuffs which saw two players get yellow cards.
The game then turned when our leftback slipped when under no real pressure to allow their striker almost through on goal. Rob Hill regained his feet and made a good yet untidy tackle wining the ball but the ungainly nature convinced the ref there was a foul (not enough for it to be a red when he was the last man mind). The free kick was hit low and hard seemingly under the wall and into the bottom right corner. Oh dear.
Leatherhead had to hope for something special and it came when Simmo flicked a ball 'round the corner and into the path of Kev Terry who kept the Spirit of Dulwhich alive and slid it across the face of goal and in off the post. One minute of play then passed and the ref blew for full time and the chance to meet again on Tuesday night... and just to prove we are a welcoming lot I hear the club will be hosting a curry night...
Tuesday then and one of those big nights at the Grove!