At last the Tanners fans had something to cheer about.

With no wins in the league since November 22nd, it has been a lean time for the Mole Valley side and, despite facing the league’s current whipping boys, this was an emphatic win that will boost the squad’s confidence and go some way to appeasing the, by now, restless supporters.

Still without Tony Cuff and Ben Shannon (recovering from injury) and Steve Goddard (serving a one match suspension), Leatherhead restored the strike partnership of Tom Hutchings and Kev Terry with John Cartledge joining Iain Hendry in the middle of defence. Jack Holmes filled the slot normally occupied by Cuff.

Leatherhead took control of the game right from the referee’s whistle. Crowborough have suffered financially since their main backer pulled out and fielded a side heavily dependent on Reserves and Youth team players.

They did have one major asset in the first half; a competitive centre back in Craig Bishop.

With no Goddard to put pressure on the centre of defence, the small but highly mobile strike force of Terry and Hutchings could not get past the impressive Bishop and his central defensive partner Ben Haugh.

With Tommy Moorhouse having a splendid match in the middle of the pitch – and, for a while looking the post likely to score, the Tanners had control of the game for much of the half without finding the back of the net.

The home side also had their goalkeeper, nick Stone to thank for keeping a Moorhouse effort out after 30 minutes.

With the half time whistle beckoning, John Cartledge was only denied by an off the line clearance which would have given leatherhead a well deserved lead at the break but Crowborough’s luck held and it was all square after the first 45 minutes.

Crowborough had had precious few chances in the first half and had relied on a well marshalled defence to keep on terms.

Their task was made almost impossible when Bishop did not reappear after the break and Haugh was substituted early in the second half.

It was the signal that gave Hutchings and Terry more opportunity to receive the ball with time to turn and run at the defence.

Although that was the decisive change to the game, it was not to be the cause of the opening score.

That came from a corner where the combined force of Iaian Hendry and John Cartledge combined for Cartledge to convert the Henry knock-down with a low shot from inside the 18 yard box.

If the first goal came from a traditional set piece move, the second came from an outstanding piece of individual skill.

Receiving the ball wide on the left, Kev Terry turned inside his defender and hit a low curling shot that found the net off the far post.

It was a well taken goal from a forward who has found the going tough of late.

Within 10 minutes, the Tanners had put the win beyond doubt.

This time a fine passing move that started with Terry putting Tom Hutchings through on the left hand side, finished when Hutchings crossed the ball into the area for Jason Henry to get in front of his marker and score with Stone only able to watch.

Hutchings would have been disappointed that his first touch took him wider than he would have liked but his cross showed great maturity as many a forward would have blasted for goal rather than taking a more considered option.

It was Hutchings again who turned provider with just 5 minutes to go when his measured through ball allowed Terry to outpace his marker to finish with confidence.

Although the Tanners will face sterner tests in the coming days and weeks, this emphatic victory will do wonders for their confidence and, although there are still questions to be resolved over the overall team performances this season, it was a good days work.

With Steve Goddard set to return, there will be more aggression in the attack and with Cuff rapidly returning to fitness the midfield should have a more balanced look to it.

If the Tanners can keep injury free (Tommy Moorhouse was taken off as a precautionary measure with a tight hamstring), the win at Crowborough will be a good platform to start the campaign to finish in a respectable league position.

As a footnote, this was Chris Lewington’s first clean sheet since he joined the Tanners despite having some outstanding performances between the sticks.

Team: Lewington, Williams (Wareing), Palmer, Hendry, Cartledge, Holmes, henry, Moorhouse (Wilfort), Hutchings, Terry, Holmes (J)