Saturday, February 13, 2016

Travelling Tanners

Leatherhead head south to take on Burgess Hill in the battle for 12th place.  We sit just one point apart but with the same goal difference of seven in arrears.

Now, I thought this game was a certainty to be on but persistent rain in the morning (and Bognor Regis being postponed) it may be worth keeping an eye on Twitter.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tanners 2 - 2 Hampton & Richmond

Was it two points dropped or two points gained?  For us it probably doesn’t matter either way.  We will hopefully finish mid-table and look back on a wonderful run of form that got us out of trouble.  Given the loss for Dulwich our visitors may look back at this point and find it rather important.

We also now know a two goal cushion is not enough given the complete loss of composure we seem to suffer when ahead against stiff opposition.  This was shown against Leiston and again last night.

The first half we cannot fault.  While Hampton & Richmond probably shaded possession our defence looked rather solid and upfront we had a certain about menace.  Hughes-Mason and Collin stole the show combining twice to race to the 2-0 lead that proved insufficient.

First it was Hughes-Mason who found himself advancing on goal down the centre with a defender and ‘keeper to beat but opted to slide a pass to Franny who made no mistake from a tight angle.  He returned the favour just minutes later when Franny broke down our right and fired in a cross.  Get your scrap books out.  Hughes-Mason buried his chance with a header.

Second half and all of that attacking endeavour went out of the window and we were forced in to hurried clearances.  This allowed our promotion chancing guests to set up camp in our half.  Our defence, led by Watt was magnificent though.  So much so it looked we could hold on and it was only down to a fortunate deflection that gave the visitors hope.  A shot was struck Jerry and ballooned up and over Wells in what turned out to be a perfect lob.

Then Watt re-asserted himself and kept them out until the last minute of injury time.  He made a crunching tackle to the right of goal, got up and ran to the far post to head clear from the cross that quickly followed.  The header then fell to another Hampton player who sent in another cross but it evaded our colossus and it was headed home.

A further 30 seconds of play was allowed before the ref ended the game.  Not the embarrassing defeat it could have been and something for Burgess Hill to think about Saturday…

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hampton & Richmond

After conceding seven goals in your last two games you could perhaps hope for an easy game (if there is such a thing when you have conceded seven goals in two games!) to get your eye back in.  No such luck for Leatherhead.  Hampton & Richmond will be a tough task.  Losing once in the last 11 they put goals past Leiston at the weekend.  Our only hope is that they conceded three themselves.

The pitch may be a factor.  Currently the form is soft and with no rain forecast the game should be on.

Kick off at 7:45pm.  See you there.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Tanners 0 - 3 Enfield Town

Seven wins out of eight was a healthy return but 7 goals in two games has taken the shine off of that a bit.  It is difficult to decide which game was worse.  Saturday’s visit of Enfield Town was not brilliant but lacked the shambolic corner taking of the midweek game.

In both games we were conceded a spectacular goal.  This time it was the third goal, which came on the stroke of half time was a magnificent bicycle kick from around the penalty spot. 

By then we had already conceded two.  The first from a mix up between Watt (who play and missed at a ball in the box) and Wells (who did not expect such a spectacular swipe of the ball to be sliced across the face of the goal).  The second was just a well worked move which slide in a more direct ball for the same player to tap in.

Second half and Enfield Town came out looking to settle for the 3-0 win and it appeared Leatherhead accepted the offer and played out a rather lackluster half.  Only Mahal, on an a sub, came anywhere near to scoring.  His toe pock from close range was saved by the rather charming and friendly ‘keeper.  In fact it was only watching his goal kicks as he mastered beautifully the windy conditions that offered any real kind of entertainment value.

Can we hope for better Wednesday when we host Hampton & Richmond.  Somehow I think Storm Imogen will spare our blushes.

 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Enfield Town Are Coming

Leatherhead are hoping that playing at home will result in a level playing field as we take on Enfield Town who are looking to press on with their promotion chase.

Enfield Town steamrollered their way through us when we met at their place last season but they have hit a bumpy patch after losing their last two games.

Kick off at 3pm.  See you there!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tonbridge Angels 4 - 0 Tanners

So, what went wrong last night?  We have heard much about the new signings adding balance but could it be the unassuming figure of Kinnear was the lynch pin to our recent success?  Certainly a lot was asked of Parker and Semakula to try and combat the hosts in midfield.  For 20-25 minutes it was a credible attempt but soon we started to become overrun.

Another factor that could not have helped was Steve Watt was out with an illness.  This placed Walsh into the back four which meant we had no real physical presence beyond the defensive unit.  

We had four attacking options upfront with Collin, Hughes Mason, Mahal and Okoh.  That latter two were deployed on the wings and looked lively but as the game wore on, with little support from the centre of midfield, they became isolated and easy pickings for the Tonbridge players.  By the end of the game we were playing a 6-0-4 formation that allowed the final onslaught to take the score to 4.

The other problem was the state of our corner taking.  In the second half those behind the goal were appealing to the ref to give a goal kick instead of a set piece to us that ultimately ended in failure and embarrassment.  They were largely either scuffed to the near post or became a complete shambles when taken short.  One corner was sent in with any real purpose.  One.

Tonbridge hunted in packs and grew in confidence and were well worth the 4-0 score line.  Their first goal was a stunner.  Pressure from the home side resulted in a ball being half cleared to the edge of the box.  This was volleyed back with interest and screamed into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

All too often we have accused Leatherhead of only turning up for the first half and then collapsing in the second.  Perhaps they had given us the first half we asked for and we can expect for a change in fortunes.  Alas, as already indicated it only got worse.  Their second goal again coming from pressure that could not be cleared and they shot from close range to beat Wells who had been magnificent at keeping it close until that point.

Two goals followed in the last ten minutes, long after we had got into the car to return home.  A look at the balance at the side is needed and perhaps Sandmann should make a call to Dover or Maidstone for a defensive midfielder.  Or perhaps look on eBay.  It’s amazing what you can pick up on there these days…

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Travelling Tanners

For some of us this is the second trip to Tonbridge Angels this season.  A late downpour caused the game to be called off but not so late that Leatherhead officials in the know could have shared the information via twitter… at least we know the way there.

That cancellation may have done us a favour as back in December they were top of the table.  With only one win in ten things have slipped.

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