Friday, April 27, 2018

Travelling Tanners

Two teams will face each other that probably hoped for more.  Tonbridge Angels would have started the season believing they had an outside chance of sneaking in, and while our hopes were muted for much of the season the final run in gave us real hope.

Of course there is a chance we could steal a place, but it would mean a goal swing of 13 goals and with Hendon sure to be there I cannot believe they are going to put Leiston to the sword.

Still a season to be proud of though and with the Surrey Senior Cup still to play for it could get even better.

Kick off at 3pm.  Directions can be found here.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tanners 1 - 2 Hendon

A game too far for Leatherhead as they fall short (subject to a miracle) of the play-offs, despite some heroic performances in recent weeks.

It was a shambolic start to the match, with Leatherhead not being able to do any of the basics right.  Balls were bouncing off of shins and passes going astray.  Hendon pounced on this uncertainty and hammered in their opening goal.  This then set the tone for some time wasting of the highest order.

We thought we had a first half equaliser, but no Russian lino at hand to see if the ball had crossed the line or not.

The second half needed a response and we got it, but it came at a cost.  So thin is our squad, changes could only be made internally within the starting eleven.  Gallagher and Midson both advanced with others forced to shuffle back and play out of position.

It initially paid off, with Midson heading home and the 'keeper pulling off two top saves.  Tom Richards gave way to Calum and the defencive frailty was exposed as Hendon scored late to cement their place in the play-offs and ours outside of them.

Disappointment but from a team that only had real purpose in the last few weeks of last season to where we are today, chuck in the FA Cup and the pending Surrey Senior Cup it has been a great season.  We just now hope they can stick together and have no one Wander off... 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hendon are coming

Hendon arrive at the Grove tonight for out last home game and to play out a very important game indeed. 

The play-offs are within touching distance but, with our goal difference, a win is likely to be the only result that will see us have a realistic chance when we face Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.

Kick off at 7.45pm.  Car park to be full by 6.45pm.  See you there!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Tanners 2 - 2 Leiston

Twists and turns a plenty in the second half to earn a point that could still prove to be enough, although probably favours the visitors.

The first half was largely scrappy.  For the second game in a row a shot struck an outstretched hand in the box, only for the ref to wave it away.  Derry struck close to half time with a poacher's goal.  A Nana shot was parried down on the line and Derry was the first to react.

Second half and it all went off.  Twice a Leiston player could not get to his feet after falling to the ground, the fact we were attacking was purely coincidence no doubt.  The second time they benefited as they returned the ball to Manny who was promptly put under pressure with his kick.  He fluffed it and they scored with the resulting attack.

We thought justice would be done when Derry was presented with a similar chance.  He stumbled over it a bit, and their 'keeper made a valiant effort to save it but he found the net to put us 2-1.

Leiston really did not want to lose to us and so piled on the pressure and thumped a call into the back of the net.

Could we come back and score a winner?  It looked like we were going to as D'Sean crossed in (after the lino tried flagging for a free kick long after it was obvious we had the advantage) which found Tom Richards.  His shot seemed destined to find the back of the net, but their 'keeper pulled off an amazing save.

Hendon or bust.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Leiston are coming...

Layston? Lieston? Leeston? I have no idea how to pronounce our visitors, all I know is we have to beat them to stand a chance of getting in the play-offs.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Your players of the season are...

You've been voting for the Lip's Player of the Season and the winners are...

Fans' Player of the Season - Niall McManus
"Neil Grant Buzzing Development" player of the year - Reece Williams-Bowers
Ex-Leatherhead player of the year - Zaki Oualah
Best Ineligible Player - Yannis Ambroisine

Congratulations. You don't win anything, but the accolade should be more than enough.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tanners 0 - 1 Dulwich

Leatherhead had 45,501 reasons to feel hard done by last night as Dulwich stole all three points at the death.  Last minute action could decide our season, with a back-heel that did not go in at Merstham and this late blow last night.

The first half was tame.  Dulwich probably had the game under control, but it had a feel of pre-season friendly where Crystal Palace turn up with a load of youth players you have never heard of.  You should care about the score, but it was a nice evening so better to stand there and soak it in.

Second half and Leatherhead came out with a purpose.  Their 'keeper did not help matters for them by placing four or five goal kicks into the tea bar queue, but we managed to mount attack after attack and keep them hemmed in for much of the second half.

Then a tale of two corners.  With the game almost over, we launched a ball into the box that was gathered.  Leatherhead returned the favour by gifting them a sloppy corner and they sent in a similar ball.  The difference being they had three players of Jerry's stature waiting at the back post and managed to steer a header on target. 

1-0 and celebrations as if they had won the league.  With Billericay faltering, they may just have.

Our big games keep coming though.  Leiston come on Saturday...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dulwich Hamlet are coming

With their first wall gag under their belts already, Dulwich Hamlet arrive at the Grove tonight with a real shot of winning the title.  Hopefully the club won't surrender the three points as quickly as they did the bar takings as we are in need of both of those too.

Sometimes when a team scores more than 4 the wind goes out their sails a bit on the following game, but Dulwich should provide enough motivation for that not to happen.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Brightlingsea 0 - 7 Tanners

A long trip, but worth it.  True the meal we had before hand was below par but the game more than made up for it.  Plenty of goals and, due to the distance, with a more select travelling support we could enjoy the game without a constant string of obscenities being launched at the ref and opposition.  The F word was rarely used, no one dropped the C-bomb and no player had their parentage doubted.

It was clear after just a few minutes Leatherhead, if they wanted to, could help themselves to a bag full of goals last night.  The newly promoted side have achieved their objective of survival with a youthful side, and as a result gifted us with ample space in which to run unhindered.  For the opening 10 minutes they did try to impose themselves with a few rash tackles but they soon got bored of that and it was open season.

The goal that opened the floodgates was meekly claimed by Nana.  I truth Nana's run on goal forced a covering tackle from behind which lofted the ball over the diving 'keeper.  There was nothing lucky about the second goal though.  A cross to Tom Richards invited a volley which flew into the net to continue his run.

2-0 at half time and little indication of what was to come.  In hindsight it was obvious.  Brightlingsea were struggling outfield as it was, then they had to sub their injured for a 17 year old 'keeper who would have struggled against the likes of Jerry in the box against a disinterested team.  Our tails were up and so he was forced to endure a torrid second half.

Two headers from Jerry put this game to bed.  Nana got a goal he could claim without swearing on his daughter's life.  Calum Davies added salt into the wound before a true talking point of the game... penalty-gate.

The penalty was won and Jerry ran to the ball to take it and claim his penalty.  D'Sean was the named penalty taker and so demanded he fulfil his responsibility.  The travelling supporters' chant of Jerry was unrelenting though, so he was allowed to step up and calmly claim the match ball ("I'll pay for it myself" he was heard saying after a local fan took umbrage to this).

With a healthy boost to our goal difference we are looking like a real contender for the play-offs... just a small matter of playing three of the other contenders in our last four games though...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Travelling Tanners


Tonight Leatherhead make the long journey to Brightlingsea to play a genuine game in hand as the other offering is only K's and Merstham.  Four points from the play-offs, a win today would start placing a bit more hope on the "there" rather than the "there-abouts".

It is going to be one hell of a drive, so set off soon!  Directions can be found here.  Kick off at 7.45.  Unbelievably... see you there!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Merstham 1 - 1 Tanners

After a long week in Bratislava, I woke to a bright crisp morning and the prospect of a wonderful day's football.  A Full English was washed down with a sturdy cup of tea and the preparation for the day was complete.

After watching the first 60 minutes of Southampton v Chelsea I skipped to the car; Southampton had a commanding 2-0 lead and nothing could spoil my day.  Fifteen sodding minutes later and the crappy footballing gods had turned.

So I turned up at the Moat-crappy-side in less than a good mood, knowing full bloody well Merstham would raise their game against their local rivals.  Leatherhead's first half did little to lift it, with Derry forced out right and Gallagher playing admirably in the back four our midfield was second best and so Merstham had the better of the game.  They got their goal, on the stoke of half-time, as I sat down to a cup of tea so I missed it.

Leatherhead made two changes and that improved things but without the running of Nana I doubt we would have got anything out of the game.

Pressure was building constantly until we got our goal.  A low ball into the area was struck and it ricocheted through the defence and beat their time-wasting 'keeper.

We pressed for the winner and in the last minute it looked like we would get it.  A powerful shot was spilled by the 'keeper and Midson ran to collect but only had time and space to back heel it into a seemingly open goal.  A defender slid in from nowhere and it stuck his arm at close range.  The fans instinctively shouted for a penalty but it did not pass the "would you be gutted to concede one like that" acid test.

The Shakespeare plot continues as we make the long journey to Brightlingsea Regent on Monday... 

Travelling Tanners

Today we travel to our old friends Merstham as we look to continue putting pressure on the top five places.  Games against our local rivals can one of two ways, and did I see Hayden Bird attending a game at The Grove recently..?

Hopefully Tom Richards will play upfront and continue his fine scoring run. 

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dorking 0 - 1 Tanners

Leatherhead book their place in the final at Gandy Bloody Green following a gutsy display last night. 

The first half lacked a little quaility but both teams gave their all in the second.  Tom Richards scored for the second game running to put us into the lead.

There were some outstanding performances from Gallagher, who played in the unusual position of centre-back, and Nail McManus.

Dorking thought they had scored a late equaliser but the lino was quick to flag for offside.  The home side were furious with the officials, but he had let them off a couple of heated clashes where another ref could have shown a red.

Hopefully now we can go on and win this much coveted trophy...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Travelling Tanners

The stage for Live Aid rotated to allow the next band to appear in quick succession to the last act, a situation we find ourselves in now for the rest of the season.  Dorking Wanderers are our Style Council to the Status Quo of Staines Town.

Tonight we play the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup and I hope the lessons of Met Police are learnt; too many changes and we will struggle.  I am in Bratislava, so will miss the joy of snooty "security" who swear behind your back.

Kick off at 7.45.  Good luck fellas.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Tanners 2 - 0 Staines

A physical yet unimaginative Staines side came to The Grove to play out a rather drab 2-0 win today.

Any kind of high ball into the box was soon snuffed out by the huge centre backs and we only looked dangerous when Nana stretched the play.  Up until our goal there was only 5 seconds of excitement when a series of shots eventually squirmed wide for a corner.

Our goal came in the last few moments of the first half.  Nana was sent free down the right and finished well, under the 'keeper.

Second half and Midson came on to add some height to our attack.  The true turning moment of the game came Derry (Brand Manager, Brixton) suddenly swiped right and was taken down by a player who had already seen yellow from not retreating from a free kick. 

Staines were down to 10 and we could be a bit more adventurous.  An attacking move was well finished by Tom Richards, using the utside of his foot to deceive the 'keeper and beat him near post.

Staines never really troubled us and the games drifted to its conclusion without further incident.  Another big game on Thursday...

Staines are coming

This game is massive.  Lose this and the already distant hope of the play-offs (subject to point deductions) becomes a thing of the past.

Many of the team were rested and hopefully Sammy Moore will play his best player, Sammy Moore.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Met Police 1 - 1 Tanners (we win on penalties)

On arriving at Imber Court we got to see the team sheet my first thought was it was one or two changes too many, and that is how it proved as we only really got a grip on the game once some changes were made.

Leatherhead did not look comfortable for the first 10 minutes at all, in which time a free kick whistled past the top right corner and they scored from a smart move on the left wing.

Reece Williams-Bowers led the line well but was not given much assistance from Wynter who still needs more time before playing in the senior side.

The introduction of Ghallager and McManus made us more competitive and we started to look like the only side likely to score.  Only the ref and the increased physicality of the game could stop this, the former was becoming increasingly frustrating with his chummy-smile-bottompat style of referring that allowed some nasty tackles to go unpunished.

The ref did make amends by awarding a penalty when the 'keeper clearly brought down Nathan Woods in the box.  Williams-Bowers coolly slotted it away to send us to penalties.

I feel bad for Chris and his son who I firmly told it was extra time and so they slipped off to the bar... I hope they got back in time to see Met Police's No3 (who should have been booked in the opening minutes for an outragous colley of abuse he gave the ref) have his shot saved by Manny. 

We made no mistake from our spot kicks (although their 'keeper got a hand to a couple of them) and when Manny saved a further penalty it was down to Minshull to put us through to the semi final.  He found the top corner and the tie with Dorking Wanderers was confirmed.

On to Saturday and the big game against Staines Town...

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Travelling Tanners

Surrey Senior Cup action tonight (subject to the weather no doubt) and a chance to progress into the semi-final... we just two games away from the dream at playing at the souless-bowl of Sutton.

I have heard this is now a fixture where a full(er) strength side will be set out, mainly as that is all we have.  Jerry may be rested due to injury but Will Seager had an im[ressive debut in our 4-1 win over Tooting & Mitcham.

Kick off at 7.45.  See you there!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Travelling Tanners

I'm amazed, but today's game is on!  Leatherhead have failed to win now in the last four games - roughly since the news of Yanis must have broken internally - and perhaps now the p word can be dropped from match reports.

Today we travel to Tooting & Mitcham, a side we beat 2-0 on New Year's Day and a team we could be close to should the point deduction talked about come home to roost. An unlikely 6 pointer.

Kick off at 3pm. Good luck fellas.