Saturday, February 24, 2018

Enfield Town 0 - 1 Tanners

If anyone turned right at the no right turn sign on leaving the ground, they will get a nasty surprise in the post in the next couple of weeks. I found this to my cost last season but even that shouldn't take the gloss of an excellent win today. It certainly wasn't one to twitch your nose at and decide to go shopping for rabbits instead.

Every game now seems like a must win as we have gradually scratched our way into play-off contention since the FA Cup run ended. This was another extremely professional and hard working performance at a ground where we have often been Enfield's bunny. Lettuce hope the winning run continues.

Nathan Wood was rewarded for his efforts against Ks on Wednesday with a start on the right wing and he was very lively in the first half. Sammy marshalled the midfield with his usual skill and excellence. Jack could have had 3 penalties in the 1st half as he was repeatedly barged over by the Enfield number 5 but the referee wasn't convinced by any of them although he would have been given free kicks anywhere else on the pitch.

The goal came fortuitously as a Tom Richards free kick was deflected into the net by a cotton-tailed defender on 35'. Enfield applied some pressure in the 2nd half but we kept our hare on and were fairly comfortable. The boys get a well deserved midweek off and good timing as well with Siberia coming to the UK. 

Massive game next Saturday as we host Hendon. Can we pull another rabbit out of the hat?

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead travel to Enfield Town today, looking to build another run of wins to help us put more pressure on the p***-off places.

I'm rather in love with their ground.  That stand is quite something to behold and they are a well supported club.  Pity the pitch is sometimes hard work and our results haven't been to spectacular either (perhaps as a result).

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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tanners 2 - 0 Ks

The five players I mused over last night were indeed absent as kept a solid defensive line up while experimenting upfront, opting for some of the younger players on the fringes.  Ks made a similar amount changes giving four U18s a chance, three of them making their debut.

Sammy was rewarded for his throw of the dice as the attacking line up performed well.  Guided by the experience of McManus and Clohessy, Williams-Bowers and Wood began to shine.  It took a while for it to click, with the opening 25 minutes being something of a stand-off, but when it did there was only one team in it.

There are a number of supporters who offer the advice of "hit it" as soon as we get the ball about 35 yards out.  This is someone infuriating as they are not shouting at Lionel Messi but at Lee Minshull, so it was with mixed feelings we celebrated Reece's goal as he placed his shot from distance into the side netting.

Ks had some chances - Manny pulling off a fine save that had to be cleared off of the line and scoring an offside goal - but overall they lead a charmed life.  All too often a deflection from a shot or a wayward parry from the 'keeper would squirm agonisingly wide where on another day at least one would creep over the line.

McManus helped us to make it safe but using his now trademark tomfoolery to mesmerise the defence and force a rash tackle.  Penalty awarded.  Some of the confusion was self-inflicted though as their 'keeper became tired of the lack of organisation in his defence and started ordering them around.  The poor no 14 for example (only on for a few minutes), was ordered off of the back post and to mark a player at the front post.  Having been no doubt told by his manager to take over at the post he was somewhat conflicted and tried to keep both masters happy by doing neither and standing somewhere in the middle.

Williams-Bowers stepped up and confidently placed the penalty into the back of the net, despite the 'keeper guessing the right way and getting a hand to it.  Two nil and the game won.  The chance to go and play a greatly reduced squad at Met Police the prize.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ks are coming

I can't think of a cup tie more quintessentially more Surry than Leatherhead v Ks... Walton Casuals v Walton & Hersham perhaps but it is up there as a classic. 

The bigger question is more over how many players will be rested...  Moore, has a knock or a niggle.  Midson, could do but unlikely.  Ruel, he is young but too important.  Derry, too handsome.

It will be a shame if too many players are rested as this is a competition we would love to win.  Ks are a side we would love to beat.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tanners 2 - 1 Brightlingsea Regent

Brightlingsea Regent waltzed into today, sounding like a clumsy hero in a poorly written pantomime.  With the popular Zak having recently departed, Manny would have been hoping to avoid being the villain.

It was a subdued start from both the players and the crowd.  Perhaps over recent weeks we had forgotten what to do... but soon it was clear Leatherhead looked the more accomplished side.  Midson could have had a hatful with good heading opportunities spurned and a low cross was met by an air stroke.

The ref was making a name for himself too.  The highlight in the first half was booking McManus as a reward for pulling off a fantastic tackle, winning the ball cleanly but perhaps the theatrical tumble the Brightlingsea player took convinced the ref there was more to it.  Rather than use his assistant he guessed and got it wrong.

A lot of out play was coming down the right with Sean, but our goal came through the middle.  Ruel slotting a pass to Midson who just found enough space to slot it past the keeper and inside the post.  1-0.

Second half and we pressed for another but the ref's erratic decision making made it hard work for both sides.  Moore, who was finding it hard to hide his frustration, took himself off and we lost our shape a little.  Over committing and allowing Brightlingsea to score on the break.  Manny would not have thanked his team mates for leaving him so exposed, leaving him no chance.

Just when a point looked to be our only reward from the game, the ref came to our rescue.  Midson received the ball by the goal line in the penalty area and was met by a clumsy two footed tackle.  The ball was missed... I am not sure to the extent Midson wasn't missed but he went down and the ref decided on a penalty.  Midson recovered from the tackle enough to slot it away.

Three points and we now concentrate on the Surrey Senior Cup on s.

Brightlingsea Regent are coming

The 5am pitch inspection passed so we are good to go!  See you at 3pm...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Leatherhead v Needham Market (Pools Panel Home Win)

A great day for Leatherhead as none of the teams there or thereabouts won.

The pools panel win means that we would have gone 7th just one point behind 5th placed Staines.

Meanwhile across Surrey other teams braved the very dangerous soft conditions and played an actual game.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Needham Market are coming

The club have thrown caution to the wind and arranged a Happy Hour tomorrow, which can have mixed results in terms of atmosphere behind the goal...

It was a 0-0 draw with Needham Market in December that sparked us into life and set us on our fine run of form.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Tanners 2 - 1 Burgess Hill Town (BHT)

This was hard work for all concerned. The pitch was heavy, the weather was freezing, and BHT were up for a battle.

And the last thing you want on a brass monkeys night is a 5 minute delayed start while the 'keeper changed his kit at the behest of the referee.

This was a must win if we were to keep the play off dream alive. The pressure seemed, to weigh heavily as we were frequently predictable and relatively easy for to defend. There was plenty of pressure usually involving crosses from Sean but little creativity and the mysteriously accented 'keeper had little to do except complain about his recent groin injury.

BHT livened the game up in the 2nd half by taking the lead on 55' with a header. We responded with purpose and equalised through Sean on 67' at the far post from a cross at close range. There was just enough time to bundle in a winner on 85' to much relief and chattering of teeth. The 'keeper immediately decided enough was enough and shambled off injured.  He was replaced by a sprightly young man who looked delighted with the chance to come off the bench and run around a bit to warm up.

The play offs remain a possibility just but another win is needed on Saturday against Needham Market.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Wingate & Finchley 3 - 1 Tanners

Wingate & Finchley proved to be the yang to Hendon's ying as we crashed to a 3-1 defeat.  Leatherhead had enough chances to win it but on the day it didn't work out for us.

A bright Leatherhead start was undone by a long shot that beat Zaki where we thought he had it cover.  I got a bit too close to the action when Tom forced the 'keeper into a fine save, with the ball clipping the post but hitting me firmly in the chest.

MCS now plies his trade at Wingate & Finchley, and always seem to have a hand in goal when playing against us.  Sure enough, he was brought down for a penalty to make it 2-0.  It got even worse when we left their striker completely free on the edge of the box to allow him to collect a pass and place his shot without a challenge.  Meanwhile, we had a goal-bound header cleared off of the line and had a clear penalty interpreted as a dive.

We rang some changes and continued to apply pressure but it did not seem to be our day.  As the game wore on, Sammy's hat was showing better body language than the manager himself; standing erect and proud while he slouched on the touchline.  Hopefully he will pick himself again soon.

Jack Midson pounced on a spilled shot to make it mildly interesting at the end and had Tom Derry's shot not been ruled out for offside we probably would have lost 3-2, but alas it was not to be.

Hopefully a return to form will be on the cards on Wednesday, when we entertain Burgess Hill Town...

Friday, February 02, 2018

Travelling Tanners

After Tuesday's success in North London, Leatherhead will be eager to go back to get a similar result and a similarly placed team.

Such is the prospect of a good game, some are making the trip by train.  They set off at 10.53 from Leatherhead station and will take in a pub (Chandos by Finchley Central) before the game.

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