Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tanners 0 - 1 Carshalton

Sorry this match report is about 12 hours late.  Have we scored yet?
After an initial spell of 10 minutes where we looked a bit shaky Leatherhead put in quite a, relatively, stunning 15 minutes.  Getting the ball wide on occasion and creating two chances which could have tipped the balance.  Firstly a power whipping cross to the far post could have been headed in by Ottaway but he appeared to pull back perhaps thinking it was going in of its own accord. 
Moments later a header on the edge of the box looped up and Vernon sprung the offside trap alone with the keeper.  He chose to try and head over the on coming 'keeper and his effort sailed wide where perhaps a volley or chesting it down would have been better.  Easy to say when behind the goal I know.
Then a familiar pattern emerged where Leatherhead struggled to create anything.  Carshalton struggled to create anything.  The highlight footage taken from the roof is not going to make good viewing.
Their goal appeared simple.  Ball down the right the lofted to the back post and headed home by Pigden, a player who froze when confronted with an open goal in a play off final for us mustered the composure for them.
Worse was to come in terms of performance as we did not get the lift as we did last Tuesday.  This was not helped by having our talisman and goal scorer playing out wide left with little or no support.  This may explain why Tommy shot so often from distance when he found himself in front of goal.  The left back as well has a habit of always hitting the first man when trying to cross.  An incredible feat.
Subs did come taking Mu off for Elliot to allow Tommy to go up front.  Also Colin Richmond then came on for a defender to bring on the usual rout of goals for us.  I am being sarcastic of course as this never happens and it almost certainly signalled another 1-0 defeat.
Leatherhead as a unit are not functioning pretty much on any level and someone needs to get them together fast.  With Hastings winning the pressure has increased considerable and Saturday signals yet another game we simply cannot afford not to win.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Travelling Tanners

Well now that the pressure of those four crucial winnable games is behind us perhaps we can put crystal balls to one side and get down to the serious business of playing football.
Carshalton come to The Grove tonight looking to improve on the draw they got at home.  No Champions League football to distract the casual supporter so get down to the Grove and see what the final quarter of the season has to offer...
Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Concord 2 - 1 Tanners

First can I congratulate Concord on running a fine club there on the Canvey Island.  A friendly club serving a pint at £2.60, kids free to get in, a "meal deal" that included hot food and a free programme with your entry fee.  It was in that programme Concord were gracious enough to say they were a little fortunate to get a 3-1 win at The Grove stating their 'keeper had made three top saves in the first half.  Well, the tale was almost reversed as Chico was outstanding today.

Leatherhead offered little.  Again.  This game was however entertaining from a Leatherhead perspective as it looked like we would get a win despite the complete dominance of the hosts.  As early as eight minutes you could see how the game was going but with the ball firmly planted in our half we got a rare break and Tommy made enough space to feed a delightful ball for Manning to run onto.  With a keeper rushing out and two defenders tracking back there was not much room to place it but he found a gap to wrong foot all three and score against the run of play.

With the majority of the play it was not surprising that Concord had the ball in the back of the net BUT the flag went up for offside.  The ref went to talk to the assistant and the decision stood but it appeared it was harsh as we had a man on the line playing everyone on.  Then in the last seconds of the match Chico tipped a wonder drive onto the post to keep our lead.

If the first half was a touch fortuitous for Leatherhead the second half was looking like we had sold our souls to the devil.  Chico had to make three fantastic saves in the opening 5 to 10 minutes.  Then the ref, no doubt feeling guilty for his first half blunder, awarded a soft penalty which was blasted onto the bar.  We could have been 4-1 down but with the lead maintained we thought it was going to be our day.

That was until the ball bounced on the edge of the box following some more Concord pressure and it was fired home.  One all.  Leatherhead tried to push up the pitch, earning two free kicks but from the second the ball went straight to their 'keeper and they streamed down the other end, got round the back and squared across goal to tap in with ease.

Brady at this point appeared to resign himself to defeat, choosing to lean against the railing and let the last few minutes of this pitiful away trip pass by.  Four crucial games.  One point.

Tuesday night for the next game at The Grove.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Travelling Tanners

So.  There were four big games highlighted a while ago and this is the fourth.  Concord Rangers away.  Lets hope it goes better than Concord Rangers at home where we got caught out somewhat by the injury to Nnamani.  We certainly need a better return than we've enjoyed over the past three games.
Let's look on the positives though.  Its a new ground... errrm...
Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tanners 2 - 2 Wingate & Finchley

Hardly the return we hoped for but our first point from the 9 available and it seemed like we wouldn't get that after a terrible first half.

Wingate fans will disagree as they saw their team boss the game and forcing Chico into making some saves.  Leatherhead, certainly after 10 minutes were chasing shadows while the body language in some showed where this was heading.

A break away move and perhaps Chico was distracted with the purchasing of raffle tickets as we were but I hear he was lobbed with ease.  1-0 to the visitors.

Second half and the changes were rung.  Mu and Brunt off with Terry and Elliot on.  We started out in that style of play we did in December or so.  Do you remember it?  Before East Thurrock... you know... when we were winning.  By jove... we started scoring here too.

First Simmo sent in a cross from a free kick which Ottaway rose to just ahead of the 'keeper to equalise then classic Kev Terry.  Running for a ball through the middle and touched it past the 'keeper.  We were on top...

...for a while anyway.  Perhaps nerves of not knowing what to do once in the lead but Wingate forced us back until a low cross was side volleyed into the back of the net.

The ref did his best to urge Wingate on but decided to call it a day with only three minutes of stoppage time despite a lengthy injury and a bit of handbags which he really should have dealt with better.

A better display BUT this "mix" to stay up is starting to look thin on the ground...

Wingate & Finchley Are Coming

Well.  This is the third part of The Grove Trilogy and it hasn't been going too well for the Rebel Alliance so far.  No points from two games, new players drafted in that have shown promise but yet to have the material affect of a goal.  Flooding the field with cuddly Ewoks seems to be the only way forward.
Wingate & Finchley have been trying to play this game for a number of months to get this game on.  Things have been looking rosier for them in this time as now they have a game in hand and are 7 points better off.
So.  A lot of questions to be answered tonight.  Will we score?  Can we win?  Is Richard Brady my father?
Kick off at 7.45.  See you there.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tanners 0 - 1 Hendon

Another bright display and another loss as Leatherhead fail to take their chances and get punished by an experienced striker in the last few moments.

Leatherhead seemed a little in awe of our visitors in the opening exchanges.  Perhaps reading of their impressive away record unsettled them but it looked like it was going to be a long day for us behind the goal.  Somehow we snapped out of this trance and took the game to Hendon and went on to dominate much of the game.

We also welcomed back Mu Maan who must have been delighted to get the text from Brady to come back and help us out.  A fine display he put in hitting the bar in the first half and dragging a shot past the near post which, had it been on target, would have been a goal having sent the keeper the wrong way.

Then however on about 75 minutes just before the heavens opened the game went stale.  Did we get tired, lose our nerve or a concerted effort to see out the game?  Either way it was the calm before the storm as on comes Isaiah Rankin to punish us on 87 minutes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hendon Are Coming

Hendon arrive to the Grove with the second best away record in the league tomorrow.  Expectations and targets may have to go out the window but if they put in the effort they did Tuesday night anything can happen.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tanners 1 - 3 Concord

The last time we lost at home by this kind of score line my write up clear that Leatherhead were simply not good enough but there was no accusation of that today.  Apart from a 10 minute spell at the start of each half Leatherhead looked lively and tried until the final whistle.  That said the 'keeper, who picked up a knee injury, was rarely tested.

What struck me was the pace of the game.  Two well rested teams trying to make a good game of this crucial match.  Concord had a firm header on target (although headed attempts on goal were generally weak efforts off target all round) while Kev Terry managed to steer a goal bound header straight into the face of their 'keeper.

Concord get the half time hairdryer treatment and it pays off.  They come out brighter and take the lead moments after we cleared from the line.  Luckily we have Tommy Hutchings who sprang their offside trap and delicately chipped their hobbling 'keeper who opted to go for the ball.

1-1 and Leatherhead were dealt a telling blow.  The impressive Nnamani limps off and we roll the dice bringing on Elliot to try and win the game.  It certainly looks like it might work until the next uninformed change where we seemed to try and accept what we had by taking off the returning Ottaway, who was having a great game by the way, and bring on Colin Richmond. 

We were certainly short at the back which proved to be the case with their second goal as they found a way through to slot home their second while their third was a spectacular shot after their player rode three tackles (with a small cry of handball) and fired home with his left foot.

Still we tried but no quality shots on goal came and so we end up on the end of a very unflattering score line but at least we have a performance to reflect on and take into Saturday's game.  Against 5th placed Hendon.  Who have the second best away record.

Concord Ranger are coming

Been a while hasn't it?  Tonight we play Concord Rangers at last in a night that may prove to be so relatively warm the ref may consider a drinks break on 30 and 60 minutes.
The message board has stated a few complicated algorithms which boil down to one thing.  Tonight is massive.  We could even see ourselves out of the drop zone.
Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Game watch...

Today's game is off as you know but keep an eye on the twittering feed to the left...

If I hear of any games that are ON I'll tweet them...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Game off...

While yesterday's mild weather gave me some hope that the game might be played a cold night with more harsh conditions to come (-4c by 6pm they say) has meant tonight's game is an early casualty.
The pitch still covered in snow in places and where it has melted, because the ground is frozen, it has turned into a lake.
FA Cup replays on the telly it is then...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Football free day

Carshalton are either to blame for this weekend or have spared us a ruddy freezing day out tomorrow.  Their FA Trophy game away at Newport County means we do not play.

Fear not.  Here are just some of the other fixtures around...

Horsham v Aveley
Kingstonian v Margate
Walton & Hersham v Hythe Town
Croygas Phoenix v Ashtead

It will be a two socker where ever you go though!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Tanners 2 - 0 Margate

Margate came to the Grove without their Football League talisman and
were found wanting at The Grove on a cold night.

It took a while for Leatherhead to test their keeper but the first
half ended honours even.

Tommy got our first goal early in the second half. A lovely ball out
to Kev who cut it back into the path of Tommy. 1-0.

Margate responded but were caught by Manners who finished off a
flowing Tanners move.

A fine win to help bannish the memories of Saturday and a slightly
less precarious looking league table...