Monday, March 31, 2014

Tanners 1 - 0 Folkestone Invicta

The game was not pretty but Folkestone were sent home pointless and lucky to have only conceded one.  I did worry about this game given the ambitions of the 4th placed visitors who were looking over their shoulder at Merstham.  I had nothing to fear as they turned up and were shackled from the start.

While on Wednesday it was almost a free for all the wide players set out with a clear instruction it would seem to “tuck in” and so the visitors resorted to a long ball game.  Food and drink to “Terry Butcher and his mate” who kept any attack at bay for much of the 90 minutes.  I do not want to do Ibrahim a disservice, he may have pulled off a wonderful save but I do not remember a meaningful attack until we got into the 4th minute of injury time in the second half.

Our goal was a screamer.  A ball into the box was partially cleared which fell to Bradbrook who instinctively decided to hit it first time.  It flew into the near corner leaving the diving ‘keeper no chance.

Half time entertainment ensued with a foul mouthed team talk from the visiting manager.  You could tell by the limp applause that it had missed its target and Folkestone went out and played even worse than they had before.  Leatherhead seemed quite content with this and so the game became rather stale.  Three points were becoming a certainty.

It could have been made safer when in the last 10 minutes Leatherhead then started tearing into Folkestone.  Theo was denied by the ‘keeper who had been lambasted by his manager for slicing a clearance.  Then Ryan Mahal struck the crossbar from 6 yards when faced with an open goal.

These misses looked like they could haunt us only when the ref went on to find 2 to 3 minutes of extra extra time but we held out.  A mid-week trip to Whitstable now awaits…

Friday, March 28, 2014

Folkestone Invicta are coming

Even stranger than Dickie’s prediction was that of Folkestone’s manager in a press article claiming how their playoff hopes were boosted after a 5-0 win at Leatherhead.  They can afford to be confident (although hopefully not that confident) with three players in the top 15 goal scorers with 48 goals between them.

Quite the challenge for us while Guernsey face Walton & Hersham in an evening kick-off.

Kick off at 3pm for us though.  See you there!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tanners 5 - 0 Eastbourne Town

It was a confident prediction of goals that could have easily have gone sour but on the night it came true thanks to Bradbrook and a Leatherhead team looking for an emphatic win.

It wasn't long before Dickie must have been planning his "told you so" post.  Kev Terry was causing trouble down his left and Bradbrook gratefully took advantage of his work by finding some space and "placing" the ball in the net with his left foot.  The English Bebeto celebrated the birth of his first child...

Soon after there was a touch of deja vu too with the penalty.  With a goal 'keeper off his line and well beaten a goal bound shot was denied by a raised arm.  This time only a yellow was shown with the belief it was more ball to hand.  Smith stepped up and placed the penalty to his right with the 'keeper going the wrong way.

Draycott turned provider of sorts for the third goal.  A powerful shot was parried into the air for Bradbrook to pounce and head into an empty net.  A perfect hat trick was on...

Second half and Leatherhead were at it again after a brief spell of Eastbourne trying to score.  It was a fleeting period of the game and soon shots pounded the visiting 'keeper.  A series of shots eventually fell to the right-back who finished near post and almost seemed embarrassed to celebrate.

Bradbrook must have had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Could today be his hat trick day?  Yes it could as he found himself in front of goal, firing initially with his right but finishing the rebound with his left.  No perfect hat trick.  What a failure.

So, Leatherhead push on and will need this form with Folkestone Invicta coming to the Grove Saturday...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Eastbourne Town are coming

Leatherhead entertain Eastbourne Town tonight in the league.  A chance to increase the gap to eight points is at stake but caution to thinking the bottom placed side will be a push over.

Firstly we have had a bit of a wobble and we went to their place needing at least two goals to put pressure on the play-off places… while we won it was by a single Sam Blackman goal and so the dream slipped by.

Kick-off at 7.45pm.  The last mid-week £5 game I believe!  See you there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sittingbourne 0 - 1 Tanners

With Guernsey losing the 1pm kick-off the opportunity was there to put up a five point cushion.  A trip to a new ground was also in store for the travelling fans.  What could possibly go wrong?

The main problem was the entertainment value.  It was not easy on the eye and the only thing to look forward to was the unusual offering of lasagna and chips at half time.

With double carbs on the menu you could expect a similarly sluggish second half but changes breathed life into the game.  None more so than Mo Eisa whose composed finish turned out to be the goal that separated the sides.

Five point gap retained and basement club Eastbourne Town come to the Grove Wednesday…

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Today Leatherhead travel east to try and put a worrying run of results behind us.  Slips happen but this has become more of a slide...

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  Good luck fellas.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tanners 0 - 1 Hythe

No second half flurry to save Leatherhead last night as we fall 1-0 to our visitors Hythe.  Leatherhead missed some early chances to take the lead which came back to haunt them when Josh Burchell pounced on a loose ball in the box.

Guernsey play Whitstable tonight in an attempt to close the gap to just two points…


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hyde are coming

Twice now in recent weeks we have had to rely on a purple patch in the second half to get us the three points, on both occasions the new signing Theo has been at the heart of it.

If the last time we played them is anything to go by we will need such a goal rush tonight as they ground out a 1-0 win at their place.

Kick off at 7.45.  £5 again I believe!  Good luck fellas!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Tanners 1 - 3 Faversham

A worrying blip has emerged as for three of the last four games we have found life difficult.  It appears that the loss of Coyle perhaps has unsettled the defensive unit as without his organization skills we have looked vulnerable.

Going forward we looked fine.  Creating chances which were not being taken.  Faversham on the other hand, despite our lack of confidence at the back, found clear chances hard to come by but still managed to score two from the slim pickings they had.

Second half and Leatherhead again pressed forward, albeit from a rather shaky platform after just conceding a third, and got their reward.  Bradbrook got lucky with a ball striking his hand which placed it nicely in his path to score.  Theo was then placed in a more advanced position alongside Bradbrook which unsettled the visitors but no goals came.

Back at home again for the visit of Three Bridges.  We had a slow start against them away but came through impressively.  I hope we can repeat that tomorrow…


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Faversham are coming

Greetings from Zagreb which, as I expected, is as drab as a 3-2 defeat away to Merstham.  That said the club need to move on from that defeat and focus on the task at hand.  A visit from Faversham.

Faversham are just hovering below the play-off places and a timely run could see them burst into the promised land.  With Hastings losing last night they would see tonight as the perfect opportunity.  Let’s hope we are firing again.

Kick off at 7.45.  £5 again I believe… good luck fellas.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Merstham 3 - 2 Tanners

A very below par day out for Leatherhead today.  For all bar 10 minutes we were disjointed today with few players covering themselves in glory.

Ex-Tanners were always going to be a danger today.  None more so than Tommy Hutchings who has a left foot that, while underperformed this season, can cause problems.  So it turned out as he went on to score a hat trick.

The first came after a difficult period of play to watch.  Leatherhead we not comfortable on the ball and Merstham seemed up for it.  It was a defensive slip that let in Tommy.  Treading on the ball pushed it into his path and he smashed it home.  1-0 at half time.

Second half and Merstham were really all over us.  They hit the post before Tommy got his second chance.  The initial save was then smashed home.  All looked lost as Leatherhead seemed completely flat.  That said Merstham seemed to take their foot of the gas and Leatherhead grew in confidence.

The first goal came from a corner, poked into the goal at the near post by Eisa.  2-1.  Could we dream?  Yes we could.  A long ball was chased by Theo and the 'keeper panicked when trying to gather, spilling it into out striker's path and he walked it into an open net.

While Merstham fell away winning 2-0 they stepped it back up at 2-2 and applied pressure to tap in after a cross was not dealt with.  They gave the goal to Tommy, I am not so sure.

Guernsey and Peacehaven win... Faversham in the week is far from a meaningless fixture...

Friday, March 07, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Off on the road again to play our old friends Merstham and meet up with Hayden Bird.  On getting the directions I noticed their website had a section called Bird Banter… a section that should be moderated after his attack on the league led to a bit of humble pie being eaten…

On the game itself and after scoring four goals I sometimes find a side can go off the boil so I hope that isn’t the case tomorrow.  Things are hotting up and we can’t rely on sea breezes and spring flowers to get us home advantage in the play-offs or (dare I say it) the title…

Directions found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Tanners 4 - 0 Ramsgate

After the disappointment of the weekend it was important to bounce back and keep the pressure on the top spot.  Bounce back we did with an energetic display that was finally rewarded with goals.
It was clear from the outset that Ramsgate were not going to pose the same problems as Guernsey as the Leatherhead started positively.  Their ‘keeper was leading a charmed life was free headers from Coyle and Terry both were straight at the ‘keeper.  Theo too danced through the defense to have a chance to beat the keeper but it was fired low and hard again at the ‘keeper.  The large shot stopper did pull off a fine save from Terry who tried to find the far corner.
After this pressure Kev Terry had another chance not without some controversy.  Another fast break down the right saw Kev clear on goal, the assistant raised his flag then put it straight back down.  Kev continued his run and this time found his spot.  Ramsgate were not happy.
Second half and the game was played again at high pace.  Ramsgate persevered with a high line which was being beaten with ease.  Bradbrook missing the best of several chances as the ball bobbled up from a cross that left him with a tap in, the shinned ball going just wide.  Bradbrook was then withdrawn, perhaps his rib injury playing up again, and for a while this unsettled us but we soon found our rhythm again.
It was Draycott that first sent us on our way to the impressive score line.  Beating the trap just right or goal, wrong footing a defender and then powerfully beating ‘keeper.  Moments later Eisa scored a mirror image of that goal.
Then the own goal.  It wasn’t a particularly powerful cross but it came into the box that tempted both the ‘keeper and their captain into dealing with it.  The ‘keeper sliding out to gather and the defender shaped to hoof.  A moment of hesitation from both players caused the ‘keeper to withdraw his hands and the defender to halfheartedly swipe at the ball… the result was the most delicate of chip over the ‘keeper (who could have only been a foot away) and into the net.  A finish Messi would have lorded over for years.
Plenty for Guernsey to think about tonight as they travel to Whitstable.  We’re off to Merstham Saturday…

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ramsgate are coming

A massive night of football tonight.  Never mind the England friendly, just look at the fixtures in the Ryman League One South…

Horsham  vs  Tooting & Mitcham United
Leatherhead  vs  Ramsgate
Peacehaven & Telscombe  vs  Folkestone Invicta 

We take on a Kent club that have fallen away of late but still lie in a dangerous 8th place.  Two of our promotion rivals slug it out near Brighton… meanwhile Tooting travel to Horsham.

Another £5 game I believe tonight!  Kick off at 7.45.  See you there.


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Guernsey 2 - 0 Tanners

Leatherhead suffered a two goal defeat on their travels as their hitman continues his run while ours was at home.  The weekend got off to a bumpy start as it was.  While I was on a nice early flight as the day went on the winds grew stronger and by the time the players’ delayed plane slammed down the winds had grown to gusts of 40-50 mpg.  I dare say we will have a few Dennis Bergkamps in our ranks if we are to play there again.

With the players tucked up in bed the fans hit the town with varying degrees of composure… sore heads all round for the big match.

With a crowd of over 1,200 you should expect an atmosphere but Guernsey is not like that.  Polite, friendly and welcoming yes.  Boisterous no.  It is the only crowd I have heard “Let’s all have a disco” being sung sitting down.

The game itself did not really live up to the expectations.  In the first half the ball was largely stuck in the middle third with each team cancelling each other out.  When it did break for a rare attack the slim majority of attempts fell to the home side.  Theo, who shone in the week, had some moments that caused the home team concern but not quite the same display as he was made to play a Bradbrook-esque role of chasing and stretching play rather than a ball to his quick feet.

Second half and Guernsey took the lead.  Ross Allen providing the killer blow.  Leatherhead began to stir.  The best chance falling to Kev Terry who rose at the far post but his header could not be directed on target. 

Ross Allen soon added his second.  It appeared like he had scuffed it but when you’re hot you’re hot and the ball found the far post.  Leatherhead now threw everything at them and the home side began to buckle.  Coyle also had a looping header on target but the handsome / cocky ‘keeper tipped it over.  A back header from their defender had to be cleared off the line to prevent an own goal.

Once those scares passed Guernsey started playing for time and finished the game the victors.  We still remain second though and it is important we remain there to prevent another trip to the Island in May…