Saturday, August 30, 2014

Met Police 3 - 3 Tanners

Another high scoring encounter at Met Police but it will be the home side that will be the happier after we threw away a two goal lead.

Leatherhead started this game by far the more comfortable.   Stacy Long, a non-league Marion Pahars, and Matt Smart were pulling the strings in midfield and Rook winning flick-ons for Hughes Mason and Karagiannis to run onto.  It was therefore against the run of play that the Met opened the scoring.  A sloppy goal from my point of view.  A cross from deep found one striker alone on the penalty spot who guided his looping header over the stranded ‘keeper.  This shook Leatherhead and for about 5 minutes we were second best to everything.

Leatherhead did regroup and start launching some attacks and went on to build a 3-1 lead.  The equaliser coming from Karagiannis who was put through clear on goal, he looked to have taken it too wide but his clinical finish went under the ‘keeper and in off the far post.

Leatherhead thought they had the second moments later when the ‘keeper could only parry a shot on the edge of the box into the path Hughes Mason who tapped in with ease but he was adjudged to be offside.  Moments later he got his reward when a whipped in ball was flicked on by a defender onto another surprised Mat Police player whose touch laid it off perfectly for another simple tap in.

It got even better when a cross to the far post was met by Avery and there are few defenders that can deal with his heading ability.  It looped back over the ‘keeper for a healthy 3-1 lead.

Second half and Leatherhead seemingly had nothing to fear.  We were on the front foot and Met Police could barely string a few passes together.  Then on about 15 minutes something changed.  Their number 5 who had a torrid time in the first half was switched to right back and all of a sudden he could play and was delivering quality crosses.  The breakthrough came when one Met Polices found enough room on the edge of the box to shoot.  Now most of Met Police’s long range efforts only troubled the cricket game in the field behind but this one screamed past Wells.

Leatherhead fell into to hang on mode and a string of defensive substitutions were made.  I could see why as there was a point in the game when four tackles were pulled out of in a row so Brady probably wanted a bit more bite in midfield.  The problem was that we couldn’t keep playing the long ball anymore as we no longer had the pace to chase… but we did and so the pressure grew and grew until they got the equaliser with four minutes to go.

It didn’t look like Met Police were happy with just a point and they tried to get the winner but managed to hold on and even force a corner but it came to nothing.

We would have taken a point before the game but definitely another game of what might have been.  Billericay Wednesday it is then…

Friday, August 29, 2014

Travelling Tanners

After the 6 points notched up over the weekend there is always a danger that you could start to relax a bit.  No chance with this fixture though.  Met Police in recent years has been a classic encounter despite the lack of home crowd.

Met Police have had a similar start to the season to us.  Three points behind but with a game in hand so we are nicely poised.

Details of where the ground is (as if you didn’t know) can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tanners 2 - 0 Dulwich

I am fairly certain Dulwich would have felt pretty confident coming into this game.  They have had a year to get established themselves in the league, our last meeting in the FA cup was pretty one sided and a few wall / flood jokes surfaced on twitter.  Once the game started though the flood jokes began to dry up.

Stacy Long has made quite the impression.  He scored again to open the scoring with a deft chip from the edge of the box on 20 minutes.  Leatherhead were put under some pressure for the last 15 minutes of the first half but that is as good as it got for the visitors as the Tanners went on to dominate for much of the second half.

Avery was causing Dulwich plenty of problems and finally he got his reward with a diving header on 80 minutes, pouncing on a fine cross by Ryan Mahal.

A significant win as it will give the side confidence when going into a game that is never dull… Met Police away…

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dulwich are coming

A wet and miserable Bank Holiday is forecast but at least football is at hand to brighten things up.
Dulwich Hamlet come to the Grove. Let's hope we can become friends again with our new look ground.
Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tanners 2 - 1 Hornchurch

Leatherhead notch up their second win of the season against a side that is going to find life in the Premier difficult if they continue to defend as they did today.  It was clear in the early minutes we could get something from this game when they shinned their first clearance into the car park.
That proved to be the case when Rook beat the offside trap and calmly lobbed over the ‘keeper.  Rook has been deadly from one yard out this season and it was good to see a true goal scorers touch with this deft finish.  He went on to get on first name terms with Hornchurch’s number 4…
Second half and Leatherhead must have decided Hornchurch were not up to much which in turn allowed them to play.  We resorted to long ball clearances and before you know it we were camped in our half defending.  A familiar end to the game it seems.
It was during this pressure we got our second goal though.  Dolby down the left put in an over hit cross which fell to Smart who rolled it into Stacy Long’s path.  His curling shot beat the diving ‘keeper for his coolly taken debut goal.
At this point Leatherhead must have felt the job was done as moments later a long ball from the ‘keeper was met with two or three hopeful flick-ons until it fell to a striker who prodded it home to make it 2-1.
Back into our half we fell but we had enough about us to see it out for the win.
Up the league we bounce but we have Dulwich Hamlet coming on Monday…

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hornchurch are coming

AFC Hornchurch arrive to the Grove tomorrow for the first of a Bank Holiday weekend double header.  Leatherhead are holding their own and a point against Ks would have helped confirm that but we were denied in the last minute. 

Hornchurch have not had the best of starts with only one point and two goals to their name.  That said these guys know their way in this league, last year they were in the play-offs, so we should be wary.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tanners 1 - 2 Ks

Tanners have a hard earned point snatched away in the last minutes tonight against our local rivals.  Painful stuff after we equipped ourselves relatively well for good 80 minutes of the game.

Tanners looked reasonably comfortable at the start of this game.  We perhaps even had more possession although Ks certainly had the best early chance, their striker blasting the ball into the leisure centre from close range.  Their goal was a lovely sweeping move that carved as apart and was well finished and at which point you might have expected the floodgates to open.

Not for the first time this season Leatherhead responded.  There is an online profile for Karagiannis that states he has a “sweet left foot”.  Ks would have done well to read this in advance as he shaped with his right, then switched to his left just inside the box.  His powerful shot bent in from outside the post into the top corner.  A bemused looking ‘keeper picked it out of the back of the net.  You don’t save those.

Karagiannis was in the thick of the action moments later.  Another shot whistling over the bar.  Then he was fouled just inside the box with the defender straddling the line.  The ref must have decided with one of the defenders feet outside the box it was not a penalty.  The free kick missed by a country mile.

Second half and it was pretty even but as it wore on there was a feeling Ks were going to snatch something.  They were placing us under increasing pressure and our clearances were getting more hurried.  We had our chances and Ks had their dives… their no3 was at it all game and should have been booked when feigning he was clipped when clearing the ball with the Leatherhead player nowhere near him.   Their striker was booked for diving moments later.

They did get a penalty at the death though.  No complaints with that though.  A raised hand in the box stopped a cross and the resulting penalty was finished by sending Wells the wrong way.

Disappointing but no time to dwell on it, Hornchurch visit Saturday…

Ks are coming

Tonight, it is the big one.  Our guests need no further introduction as our old rivals and it is good to be back going toe to toe with them again.

Ks come into this game with two wins and a draw.  The draw being to one of the pre-season favourites Dulwich, another side we get reacquainted with soon…

Kick off at 7.45… see you there!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Grays 1 - 1 Tanners

Rewind the clock a few years and Aveley was the scene of our first point following promotion and the score line was repeated today.

It was clear it was not going to be the same type of game as it was at Bognor.  Grays set out to use their strength and we rarely used our pace to stretch them.

Hughes-Mason continued his scoring run by doing what all good strikers should do and that is gambling on defenders mucking up.  A high ball down the middle should have been cleared up easily by a backtracking defender but he missed the ball leaving Hughes-Mason alone with the keeper and a bouncing ball.  It bounced once and we held our breath expecting a shot.  It bounced again and the keeper came out but still no shot… it bounced again and as it came down he headed the ball up over the 6 foot plus ‘keeper in the coolest lob you’ll ever see.

The game then returned to being the scrappy affair it had started out to be.  The ref loving the sound of his voice and stopping the game for chats and booking four.  In the last five minutes the ref struck and awarded Grays a penalty.  It looked soft with two players coming together in the box.  The penalty looked scuffed but did enough to beat Wells.  Moments later Hughes-Mason was again through on goal chasing a bouncing ball but before he could shoot there was a coming together with a defender.  This time no penalty came.

Second half and Leatherhead were besieged in their own half for large periods of the game.  While Grays mainly fired in long range shots they were on target and Wells was called into action in spectacular fashion.  Leatherhead did mount a few attacks with a header from Mahal being glanced wide being the best but they were few and far between.

1-1 not a bad result and off to the visit of K’s on Wednesday…


Friday, August 15, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travelling to Grays Athletic tomorrow in the hope of continuing their opening form.  Four points from the first two games was more than many would have thought given the opposition.  Grays meanwhile are looking for their first points after losing their opening games 2-0.

Don’t forget they ground share with Aveley and directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rocks 1 - 2 Tanners

Well, this is going better than expected.  Leatherhead snatch all three points after looking like they were going to be punished for not taking their chances in the first half.

Leatherhead started this game brightly and were certainly difficult to contain down the left hand side with Karagiannis and Dolby running riot.

The opening goal came from Karagiannis stealing possession and running clear on goal.  His shot was parried but only into the path of Rook and for the second time he scores in a poachers position.  Leatherhead went on to have some good chances with Cooper heading over being the clearest.

One to the good at half time and on to the second half where the game seemed to swing to Bognor Regis and it was their turn to press.  It was our ‘keepers turn to parry into the path of a striker and we conceded the equaliser.

As the game seemed to be heading to a draw, or worse still a loss for the Tanners, Bognor Regis again lost possession in a dangerous position.  With still plenty to do Hughes-Mason scored another beauty, curling past the ‘keeper to send the travelling Tanners wild.

Off to Grays (well Aveley) it is then Saturday…



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead make their first trip on the season and we are away to Bognor Regis.  A well supported side that, despite their opening loss, will no doubt fancy themselves for promotion.

The last time we went there was in the Ryman South in what we felt would be a decisive game.  A close encounter which they went on to win but they failed to win the league and entered the lottery of the play-offs.  The rest is history…

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Congratulations Peter!

I have had the word that Peter completed the Surrey 100 (well 87 after Boxhill was cut out) safely and in good time despite the terrible conditions.  It was probably the hashtag #prayforpeter when it started trending that spurred him on…

A fantastic effort that puts my cycling from Guildford to Leatherhead and back Saturday to shame…

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Tanners 2 - 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe

Perhaps it was the superiority the visitors exerted over the Ryman Division One South last season many will feel this is a good result.  Certainly if you had offered us a point at half time many would have bitten your hand off as we failed to look like a team but a group of individuals.  The visitors on the other hand look composed and it seemed inevitable that they would score. 

Their goal came down the left side, which was looking a bit vulnerable in the opening minutes.  The looping cross was met by the grateful striker that headed into the back of the net at point blank range.

Whereas the first half was disjointed, the response in the second half was emphatic.  Leatherhead did survive an early scare where Peacehaven hit the post but after that it was nearly all Leatherhead, pegging the visitors into their half large spells.

Leatherhead’s goal was spectacular as their change in play.  New striker Hughes-Mason bringing the ball down on the edge of the box and firing a powerful shot into the top corner.  Moments later he could have doubled his tally when his glancing header (well shoulder) struck the bar.

It got better.  The impressive Karagiannis was fed in by the equally superb Ryan Dolby who forced the ‘keeper into a smart save.  The rebound fell kindly to Rook’s knee who prodded it home to take the lead.

Leatherhead looked like they could hold on but a rare second half attack from Peacehaven down our right and resulting cross allowed for another close range strike.  2-2.

It got worse.  Whitely came on for on 80 minutes and got stuck straight into the action.  Running onto a ball and attempting to beat two or three players.  One of them was Cotton who appeared to foul him but it went unpunished.  Whitely then appeared to strike Cotton once in the initial contact, an innocent coming together perhaps, but the second strike was a little more blatant.  Cotton went down in a fine piece of showmanship and so the red card was brandished limiting Whitely’s contribution to about 30 seconds.

We held on and a well-earned point sees us start the Premier League ahead of our last outing.  Away to Bognor Regis Tuesday then…




Friday, August 08, 2014

Peacehaven & Telscombe are coming

Last year’s Champions come to the Grove to get this season off to a start.  Both teams not only have promotion in common but also lost their top striker in the summer to higher ranked teams.  They lost 40+ goal  man, Charlie Walker, to Luton.

Tomorrow we get to see the effect of losing so many of our players and how well we have been able to recruit.  Peacehaven may have suffered the same fate but if they turn up with players like Craig Richards then I would say not.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Monday, August 04, 2014

12th man

The Club have asked me to post this…

“Leatherhead FC are operating the 12th Man fund raising scheme for the new season 2014/15 which helped the playing budget when it was introduced last year. The scheme gives the opportunity for any and every supporter to get involved in helping us to field the strongest team that we can every week. Understandably we have to work to a tightly controlled Playing Budget and this scheme helps us to recruit better players.

You are invited to give your help in improving our chances this season by joining the scheme and paying a sum that you can afford each week that will be used only for the Playing Budget.  I will again collect cash donations each week I will submit an updated spreadsheet to all participants who have provided me with their email address, the Directors and Richard Brady showing the details of sums collected. This will enable you to ensure that your donations have been recorded accurately.

I hope that many of you will be able join in. Please help us by letting me have your cash commitment each week. Weekly payments help us to rely on the contributions and plan accordingly, but if you would prefer to help the scheme on a less regular basis your help will still be much appreciated.”

For further please contact Richard Bligh (Membership Secretary) via email.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Leatherhead 3 - 3 Slough

No complaints on the entertainment front today with six goals and a more competitive match.  Eyebrows will be raised though at the defensive display at times, especially in the second half where we lost our composure a few times and gifted them a goal.

The game started brightly.  Not the day to have a flat tyre with two goals coming in the first eight minutes.  Leatherhead struck first with Dolby beating the ‘keeper with a free kick.  The lead did not last long with Slough breaking down the middle and calmly slotting the ball into the corner.

Into the second half and Slough rushed to a 3-1 lead.  Their second goal came with Leatherhead failing to deal with a ball in the box with the shot going through our ‘keepers legs to add insult to injury.  Moments later Leatherhead tried to pass the ball out of defence only for the ball to clip the heel of a defender and rebound kindly for Slough to run unchallenged on goal and finished with ease.

While the defending was a low point the response was commendable.  Some changes were made and meaningful attacks were strung together.  Ogeah-Andrews being the grateful recipient of a ball played in on the left side of the box and scores via the far post.

Soon after it was Slough’s turn to lose concentration and failed to deal with a free kick and Cooper was at hand to volley into the top corner.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Tanners 1 - 1 Eastbourne Borough

A game that never really caught alight as both sides set out not wanting to lose but not really that desperate to win either.  There were some bright spots though.  Players like Oceah and Mason-Hughes look like exciting prospects upfront while Mahal continues to create down the wings.

The game was not looking like it was going to deliver much so I have to confess I nipped off early.  It was 15 minutes later that the game sprang into life.  The visitors scored on 75 minutes with a deft lob over our keeper.  Then at the death trialist Matt Parsons popped up with an equaliser.

So we avoided defeat to a higher ranked side and the experience was enjoyable for Matt Smart to come out of retirement.  Important with Semakula being away at the start of the season while honeymooning.

On to Slough’s visit in the last pre-season before we get serious…