The Tanners could have no complaints about dropping three vital points against a side who, although several places below them in the league – and flirting with the relegation zone – quite simply, wanted the points more on the day.

Bob Langford was able to start with the same line-up that braved the elements the previous Tuesday to see off Chipstead. Encouragingly, Steve Goddard appeared on the substitute’s bench for the first time in several games.

Leatherhead started lively enough, an early foray from Tony Cuff saw an air shot from Jason Henry in front of goal after an excellent cut-back. The swirling wind did not help either side and, add that to a ball coloured red after a well known charity but behaving like a beach ball, the first half was pretty poor fare.

Casuals have the worst goal scoring record in the league and the crowd of some 140 did not have to wait very long to see the evidence. Twice in successive minutes, the home side had good chances in front of goal but, on each occasion saw the ball skied wildly into the adjoining fields.

Cuff, the pick of the Tanners players going forward, created his fair share of balls into the heart of the home defence but with the central defenders dwarfing the speedier but less aerially dominant Leatherhead attackers, no real opportunities came their way. Later he was to fall foul of some inexplicable refereeing to pick up two yellow cards and an early exit from the game.

Probably the best Leatherhead chance of the first half, again, came from some excellent work from Tony Cuff. Fighting to retain possession, his eventual cross was met by Tom Hutchings whose header slid narrowly past the far post.

Jason Henry was bearing the brunt of Walton’s physical approach as his trickery constantly bemused his markers. Time after time, he was sent tumbling with no apparent recognition by the officials that the challenges were anything other than fair.

There was no question that the home side had the better of the first half with more of a desire to be first to the ball, and although rather protected by a weak refereeing performance could have ended the first period in front.

The second half started badly for the Tanners. Despite winning an early corner, a quick break by Casuals proved to be their undoing. Goal-scorer Michael Barima broke wide down the right and played the ball into the area. Despite the usual heroics from Chris Lewington, Gavin Bolger (an ex-Tanner from their FA Cup run side) cleverly flighted the ball into the area to be met by Barima who stabbed the ball home. Barima had been the pick of the home forwards and it was fitting that he had the deciding say in the result.

With Kev Terry suffering from a knock, Bob Langford brought on the welcome figure of Steve Goddard. With just 20 minutes of the game left there was not enough time for the ex- Met Police man to swing the result the Tanners way but his physical presence gave the Mole Valley side enough impetus to trouble the home defence.

There were some robust challenges flying in the midfield area and when Luke Roddenburg lunged in on Cuff, the yellow card was flourished again. Mysteriously Cuff also received his second and left the game to the surprise of all (including the Walton bench) The Tanners late flurry prompted, as ever, by the tireless Stewart Holmes briefly threatened the home goal but disappointedly – but somewhat deservedly - all three points stayed down by the Thames.

After the exertions and total commitment of the previous Tuesday, this was a disappointing performance against a moderate although physical side. With Saturday’s opponents, Corinthian Casuals providing the surprise of the day by beating high-flying Kingstonian, Leatherhead will need to step up a gear to take anything away from this game.