Saturday, January 30, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel  to Hendon (who play at Harrow) today for this league fixture.  Hendon have enjoyed back to back wins but we’ve been on quite a run ourselves.

I started typing this believing there was no need for a pitch inspection... now there is one at 11:15 so check twitter for updates.

Kick off at 3pm (I hope).  Directions can be found here.  See you there!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tanners 3 - 2 Leiston

Three first half goals were enough of a buffer to protect the three points from the second half slump and a terrible referee.

Leatherhead needed some performances today if they were going to overturn the visitors you had made the 130 mile trip south.  In the first half at least we got it and with a shade of fortune built up an impressive lead.

The opening goal came from Frannie.  Since his debut penalty he has seemed a little goal shy so it was a relief to see him on the scoresheet again.  Playing in a deeper role he collected the ball on the edge of the box and drove a low purposeful shot into the bottom left corner.  The ‘keeper could have perhaps done better but it was well placed.  Six minutes gone and things were going well.

Hughes-Mason was a player who had perhaps caught the bug Tomi brought with him in recent weeks.  Glaring misses have plagued him over the last four games but he has always maintained his ability to burst into the box with the ball at feet.  On the half hour mark he did just that and released a fierce shot which, despite the strong hand of the ‘keeper getting to the ball, sneaked in on the far post.

Just three minutes later Frannie made it three with another shot from outside the box.  He was aided by a massive deflection and with the ‘keeper going the wrong way it found the back of the net.

From here on in the ref took over.  On a televised game he’d be in the “let things go” category but it was difficult to watch when some of these instances appeared to inflict genuine pain.  Phil Walsh took a high boot to the face for example with on the assistant prepared to give it.  Phil was subbed off shortly afterwards.

Leatherhead have developed a habit of only being able to play 45 minutes and so Leiston pressured with us sinking deeper.  On the hour mark there was a goal mouth scramble with the ball crossing the line.  Unsurprisingly the ref was unable to make a decision and the assistant stepped in and gave it. 

Leiston did not seem to have the urgency to really press us though and at no real point did the fans get too nervous.  In fact we thought the result was beyond doubt when Alex Wood tapped in from a Cash cross but it was ruled out for offside.

Deep into stoppage time Leiston pulled one back to cause the pulse to race a little.  Not aided by Leatherhead’s decision to believe the last kick of the ball from the re-start would come from punting it straight at their ‘keeper.  The ref found an extra few second to allow the ball to be sent back towards our goal but we managed to hold off their last attack long enough for the ref to finally see sense and call time on a great win.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Leiston are coming

I hope this game is on.  The frosts of midweek were replaced with persistent rain on Friday but the sun is out so hopefully we can get the game on.
Leiston would hope to be there or there abouts so promise to be a very different opposition to that we have faced in the league recently.  There was a time we used to consider teams from Kent our bogey sides.  Lets hope we don't come to the same conclusion about sides from Suffolk.
Kick off at 3pm (look at twitter for updates).  See you there!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Needham Market 1 - 0 Tanners

Tanners will come away from this game disappointed they did not get more, perhaps a point being a fair result.  Then again, VCD would not doubt feel the same so while we have three points over the two games if football was fair we’d only have two.

The first thing that struck the few that made the 100 mile trip was the state of the pitch, it looked as if it had been freshly ploughed.  Home advantage proved to be crucial as the hosts quickly adapted to the conditions.

Something Needham Market had was a powerful forward who dominated down the wings.  He seemed unstoppable and no sooner did we get to grips with things he simply changed sides.  It was from one of his runs they got the goal.  Down the right he fired in an early cross that found an unmarked player just inside the box on the left hand side.  He had time to pick his spot and curl his shot past Wells with apparent ease.  Disappointing but with 60 minutes to go we need not panic.

It was only really in the second half did we really get going.  We were now used to the cabbage patch and started to apply pressure.  Also we tried to match their tactics of a large striker and deployed Walsh upfront to bolster our attack.

Things just simply did not go our way.  When Hughes-Mason was clear on goal with a ball coming to him it would bobble under or over his foot.  Shots from midfield were sliced.  In the dying minutes we had a goal mouth scramble where three shots on target were blocked or save.  The third and best shot was hit with so little power the defender on the line could have built a campfire to keep warm waiting for the ball to arrive.

It wasn’t meant to be and Sandmann suffers his first defeat after an impressive six straight wins.  There is also no chance to bounce back with a quick game as conflicts elsewhere mean Bognor Regis will not be coming Wednesday.  Leiston it is on Saturday then!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ks 0 - 1 Tanners

Difficult to know what to think about this game.  It certainly didn’t get off to a good start.  The ref has one job to do before the game and that is to get it started on time.  He failed miserably, coming out two minutes late and then allowed Ks to do a stupid warm up routine.  They too join the ranks of teams I have seen muck about on a side line then lose.

The game also didn’t start too well from a Leatherhead perspective.  Ks were quick out of the blocks and on three minutes they were through on goal.   Wells is in the form of his life and must have appeared to be an oncoming Darth Vader to the striker and the shot was well saved.  The resulting corner brought about a free header that was cleared off the line and the follow up shot smothered by Wells.

I would say that set the tone for the match.  Leatherhead were the team forced to desperately clear their lines while occasionally springing an attack of their own.  The highlight being Mahal scoring but seeing the offside flag go up and Hughes Mason blasting over at close range, albeit from a tight angle.

During the second half it looked as if the game was going to reach its natural conclusion.  Penalties.  However Leatherhead managed to build some pressure from a number of corners and it was from one we scored.  First half we mucked about with short corners which serve no purpose in my opinion.  Second half we took proper corners, swinging in and causing trouble. 

On this corner it went long to the far post with Jerry waiting.  With some improvising he managed to bring the ball down and then blast his shot under the ‘keeper.  Leatherhead fans celebrated, Ks fans wondered what had happened to a side that won here comfortably 5-1 and should have been enjoying a home fixture.

The rest of the game was played in torrential freezing rain.  If only the game had started on time, the ref could have been wrapped up inside by then.  Shame.

So, Martin Tyler at 8:50 tomorrow morning for the draw?  It’s a date.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Travelling Ks

Surrey Senior Cup action tonight as Ks fulfill their “home” fixture at the Grove.  At the time of the draw I wrote this game off.   Our form wasn’t brilliant, our cup form even worse and we had just been dumped out of the Trophy 5-1 by our local rivals.  After a run of five victories perhaps renewed optimism for this fixture and our last chance at a cup run.

The pitch has survived the rain so no need for a pitch inspection.  Kick off at 7:45pm.  See you there.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

VCD 0 - 1 Tanners

Tanners make it five in a row and push into the top half for the first time in, what feels to be, a long time.

On arrival the pitch looked excellent.  Lush, green and no standing water.  On closer inspection the grass looked a little long and you could hear water underfoot.  It wasn’t Eastleigh but it must have been hard work to play on. 

A word to VCD though.  As far as I am concerned no team in the bottom four has ever won a game, in the history of football, by taking out cones and performing a warm up routine just before the ref blows his whistle to start the game.  You’ve had perhaps 30 minutes to warm up, it looks ridiculous and it achieves nothing as the opposing side simply wait for you to finish and then have a huddle so you cool down again.  I predicted they’d lose following this as I did with Brentwood who tried the same nonsense.  So, on to the game.

The game promised so much early on when we scored.  The beauty of our goal was its simplicity.  Leatherhead had the ball in the middle and were confronted with what looked like a well-organised back four.  Kinnear then simply pushed through a perfectly weighted pass through the centre.  Mahal timed his run perfectly and with his first touch eluded the ‘keeper and with his second slotted it into the goal.  Such a move wouldn’t have seemed out of place with Messi passing to Suarez.  This was obviously something that they have been working on as such passes were tried for the remainder of the half but without threatening.

Second half and Leatherhead set out to settle for what they had it seemed and VCD had the majority of the ball.  That said Wells look largely redundant with only a lobbed attempt that went close saw him move with any urgency.

Leatherhead meanwhile had their chances.  Hughes Mason had the best two but were missed.  The first one was forgivable as he could have believed that Walsh would make contact to the low cross into the box.  He didn’t so Hughes Mason had a stab at it and it went wide.  The second identical ball was meant for him and he had time to settle but in the wet conditions it skewed wide.

It was then a case of holding the ball in the corners for the last minute until the ref realized he’d seen enough.  1-0 it ends and quite a build-up of momentum to face Ks Wednesday in the Surrey Senior Cup.


Saturday, January 09, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Game on!  According to our official Twitter feed anyway as I have yet to see any confirmation from the hosts.  No rain is forecast before the game (although none was forecast last night and down it came) so we should be good to go.

VCD are having a hard time of things this season but will be buoyed by the memory of a league double over us last season. 

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

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Tanners 3 - 0 Staines

Leatherhead made it four wins in a row and inflict more misery on the travelling Staines team who have picked up just three points in the last 6 games.

The visiting ‘keeper had a strange opening ritual.  On the ref’s whistle to commence the half he jumped  and touched the cross bar.  A touch of OCD perhaps and I wonder why he does it.  Perhaps if he doesn’t he’ll concede in the first minute or something… actually he conceded twice.

Leatherhead kicked off and made a purposeful attack down the middle.  An attempt at a throw ball struck the outstretched hand of a defender and the penalty given after some time to think.  Had the ref waited a fraction of a second longer he would have seen Hughes-Mason strike the ball under the diving ‘keeper.  Hughes-Mason fancied getting the goal he was denied but new striker Franny took the ball off him and planted the ball confidently past the ‘keeper.  1-0 with barely a sip of the pre-match tea taken.

Staines felt they bossed the first half.  I disagree.  Sure they had some possession but rarely threatened and we looked the more likely to score on the break.

Second half was a different kettle of fish though.  Their Staines really did come out with a view to score and started to apply some genuine pressure.  Watt has created a rather impressive defensive unit since his arrival and while the attacks came they were swatted away.

That said, Leatherhead fans always suspect their luck would run out and when a nasty deflection surprised Wells into a reflex save we felt that time was soon to come.  Luckily this feeling did not last long as a break down the right fed in Hughes-Mason who was now clear on goal.  He wanted to hit it first time but probably assessed he was too far out so allowed himself to travel a few metres forward, sent the defender the wrong way and calmly curled it into the side netting from the edge of the box.  2-0.

Thing were looking pretty safe but things got worse when Mahal sent in a dangerous cross with Frannie Collin looking favourite to tap it in at the far post.  The covering defender tried to deal with the situation but could only steer it in from two yards.  An impressive finish considering the misses we have seen from that range recently.

VCD it is then, weather permitting, Saturday!


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Staines are coming (?)

By all accounts we should have a game tonight.  A close encounter with our old friends Staines.  I am concerned that the pitch is still underwater… certainly the U21s did not play last night for that reason.

No rain forecast for today so there is hope.  Keep following twitter for updates…


Saturday, January 02, 2016

Game Off

The new year is dry on a footballing front as overnight rain has taken its toil on the pitch.

Time to find a game that has survived...