Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead’s hugely disappointing festive fixtures continue with a trip to Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow.  Disappointing not just the result Boxing Day, but that we have no local derby.  Perhaps it is a game with some spice as still “the wall” gets a mention on forums to this date.  The only problem is that with the London Sales the traffic may be so bad I may be setting off shortly after I finish the first verse of Auld Land Syne tonight.

Dulwich will also prove to be more than tough opposition tomorrow.  Of their 10 home games they have only lost once and sit proudly in fourth place.

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  Probably see you there…

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tanners 0 - 1 VCD

Ye Leatherhead faithful were left neither joyful nor triumphant after the ghost of home defeats past came back to haunt them.
VCD are a big strong side and probably better equipped to take their excess of drink and food from the day before. With 3 live games on TV today, would we have been better playing this fixture tomorrow when there is no league football at all?
I can't think of anything much to say about the first half other than it was cold and finished 0-0. We started more brightly in the 2nd half and looked the more likely to score until a poor throw from Louis Wells went straight to a VCD player. He was taken down by Bruce who was shown red. Wells redeemed himself by saving the penalty.
Carl Rook appeared as a second half sub and showed he was full of festive cheer by putting his arms around every VCD player he came across! The referee saw it differently and booked him after 10 minutes and very nearly sent him off after 15 minutes for what must have been his 7th or 8th foul.  
A VCD corner was met by a free header in the 90th minute and that was that. A trip to Dulwich will ring in the New Year. Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
(Report by DMontague)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

VCD are coming

Local club VCD come to the Grove for this classic Boxing Day derby.  Our visitors will be looking for some Christmas cheer as they have found life in the Premier hard this year, sitting second bottom with five wins to their name.

A Leatherhead fan may feel a lot more festive as the Christmas draw is made.  First prize is £1,000 so if you win make sure you avoid eye contact with any Officials or you’ll find yourself without the prize but with a rewarding position on the Board…

Don’t forget.  Kick-off is now 1pm!  Good luck Tanners.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Leiston 1 - 2 Tanners

Leatherhead spring the surprise of the season by winning away at Leiston.

Leiston failed to take their chances in front of goal, Louis pulled off a world-class save in the second-half and the few chances that came our way were admirably dispatched by Karagiannis and Hughes-Mason.

Green saw red with 15 minutes to go to signal a song of “We only had 10 men” and “Jingle Bells…” for the handful of supporters that braved the long journey.

Hopefully we won’t get a Christmas pudding of a display on Boxing Day when we host VCD…

Friday, December 19, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Those fixture planners must have had a right ruddy laugh at Leatherhead when they pulled these “festive” fixtures out of the hat.  Our local derbies include games against Dulwich (26 miles) and VCD (43 miles) while K’s and Hampton & Richmond would have been too easy.  Now, the day after the “Black Friday of Booze” we make the 260 mile trip to Leiston.

Leiston sit in 5th place and will test our not unreasonable away record.  I hope we can take the display of last weekend into this game to make the six hour commute worthwhile…

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 3pm.  See you there (I can’t believe I just typed that…).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tanners 3 - 1 Grays

There was no yellow hatching and we were missing 28 stewards. The referee assessed the situation and took the bold and possibly reckless decision that the game should go ahead anyway.

With the defensive Holy Trinity back (Wells, Jerry and Bruce) there was little room for excuses should we fail to put on a good show today.  With the relegation zone creeping up we needed a result and from the kick off it looked likely we would get it.

Grays arrived in good form and had probably taken a sneaky look at ours. They thought this would be a straightforward 3 points and started boldly. However, a superb free kick from Adam Green gave us a half time lead. Personally, I think we need a lot more balding players in the side.

In the clubhouse, the Chairman arrived bearing mince pies which were very gratefully received and so much more practical than a lamb. Then an urgent message was passed to our manager; the winner of the 15.35 at Cheltenham.

The second half started brightly and Grays were getting moody. Paul Semakulu hit a well struck shot to make it 2-0. The referee feigned an injury.  Their centre back started squealing like a pig when he was taken roughly from behind within a minute of Carl Rook's arrival. Grays hit back to make it 2-1 to bring back painful reminders of Burgess Hill, but we needn't have worried as Hughes-Mason expertly made it 3-1 and secure a gift more valuable than gold, frankincense or myrrh.

All round an excellent performance but lingering doubts remained; whose turn was it to drive the 130 miles to Leiston...


Friday, December 12, 2014

Grays are coming

Leatherhead welcome Grays to the Grove tomorrow for league action.  Points seem to be eluding us recently so if we can get our defence sorted we may have a chance especially with Vas in the form he is in.  It won’t be easy though, they beat Witham 4-0 last time out.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Maidstone 2 - 1 Tanners

Playing at Maidstone is never going to be easy.  A good team, different style of pitch, big support and little in the way of travelling support when playing mid-week.  Life is then made even harder when you concede a goal after 23 seconds.  A powerful shot from the edge of the box following an opening long ball doing the damage.

We did make a good account for ourselves but ultimately the game was over when ex-Tanner Jamie Coyle rose and headed in the second goal of the game.  Vas continues to score and gave us some hope with a trademark goal but the hosts saw the game out to make it just 1 point from 9…

Grays come to The Grove Saturday…

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Travelling Tanners

A midweek trip to Maidstone is on offer tonight.  Don’t just take my word for it you can read their own preview of the match here.

While we have just come from a game where we were unhappy with the stewarding, I hope lessons have been learnt where we could have done with someone in a yellow jacket nearby when we scored a late winner there last time we faced them.

Kick off at 7.45.  Directions can be found here.  Good luck fellas!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ks 2 - 2 Tanners

Before the game the players gathered to take a photo to remember the famous football match that occurred during the Christmas truce of 100 years ago.  Leatherhead continued in this spirit by, apart from the opening and last 4 minutes, not taking any shots for the rest of the game.  During this cease fire the referee walked into no-man’s land exchanging gifts with the players… dodgy decisions and pointless bookings a plenty.

Off the pitch peace did not reign over the land with a continuous bombardment from the over officious stewards that, equipped with a two way radios and all the power that comes with it, decided to make rules up for their own amusement.

Back to the game.  It started rather well with a long hopeful ball played down the middle and Hughes-Mason in chase.  A low sun blinded the ‘keeper who was late to the ball and our striker coolly lobbed the ball over him and into the net.

The celebrations did not last long.  The ref awarded a penalty, the reason for which I missed as we were enjoying the second wave of steward harassment at this stage.  The penalty was well placed and left the returning Wells no chance.  Wells did not have an enjoyable first half with him slipping in a frosty goalmouth as the same Ks player took a weak shot.  2-1 down but the ref still saw fit to book a Leatherhead player for taking too long at a throw in for time wasting and deny us a penalty.

Second half it did not look like we were going to get anything from the game until Brady introduced his subs.  Kev Terry made way for the returning Rook, also Stacy made his return and together the game swung.

At last we had something to cheer about as an in swinging ball was met again by Hughes-Mason who headed onto a defender and the deflected attempt beat the ‘keeper.  There is talk of Rook getting a final touch but I missed that.

For the remaining 4 minutes we were on the front foot and had a couple of flashes at goal but the added time sign (five minutes) seemed to paralyse the visitors and it was our turn to soak up the pressure.

A good point but sadly the atmosphere created by the continuous harassment and inconsistent rule enforcement (Ks fans allowed to stand freely where we were not after an alleged phone call to an AFC official who had nothing better to do on a Saturday) did not make for an enjoyable afternoon.

Maidstone away midweek anyone?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Even as far back as the Leatherhead Rose days we would have had a bitter rivalry with Kingston Wanderers… or Kingston-on-Thames A.F.C… or Old Kingstonians…  it’s the big one tomorrow.  K’s away.

Brady must take his skeleton crew to Kingstonian who sit two places above us despite playing two games less.  Is there hope?  Of course, with the hosts only winning twice there this season so far.

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

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Harrow Borough 3 - 2 Tanners

The big news prior to the game was the departure of our big striker Rook.  He and the club have parted company after a few months.  He is a fine player and I am sure we all wish him well.

Back to the game and it was business as usual for the Tanners who succumbed to a 3-2 loss for the second time in a week.  It was the hosts on the front foot from the start this time with Leatherhead clawing their way back twice but were ultimately finished off by an old Leatherhead favourite.

Spectacular goals were on show again with the hosts scoring from range.  Perhaps our ‘keeper was unsighted but at first glance it looked like he could have done better as it bent away from him but hardly in the top corner.  Our response though left their ‘keeper no chance.  Vas, with his trade mark move along the edge of the box let fly with his left foot to send it in off the post.  1-1 at half time and back to the bar to enjoy some bread and butter pudding.

Second half and it looked like we might get some joy out of this game especially down our right wing with Dembelle and Nwokeji outpacing their number three.  Our hope took a dent when they too built up some play down their right, worked their way round the back and found an unmarked player in the box who slotted it home.

Again Vas was the source of our comeback.  Breaking down the middle he had the composure to push a perfectly weighted ball for Nwokeji to run onto and he finished low and hard past the ‘keeper.  2-2.

Could we go on and snatch a win?  No.  A hopeful ball was lobbed into our area and for once Avery was beaten in the air.  A bulked up Marc Charles-Smith held him off, taking the ball on his chest, rolling his marker and volleying superbly past our ‘keeper.

A game we would have hoped to get something from but thoughts must now turn to Saturday.  The big one.  K’s away…

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead venture into Harrow for a spot of footer tonight after the disappointment of the weekend.  As it turns out we missed out on a chance to play Aldershot and a share in a good sized gate.  

No point dwelling on that when we face a side we were a little unlucky to lose to last time.  Kev Terry had a perfectly good goal ruled out and then we run out of steam as we tried to mount a comeback.

Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 7.45.  See you there?