Merstham 1 Leatherhead 0

This was the second time the two clubs had met in the past few weeks and, as on the last occasion, the weather was not kind to them.

Although not as extreme as the match at the Grove, sleet and a blustery wind combined to make difficult playing conditions.

This time, the Tanners were without John Cartledge in the defence and Ryan Palmer moved over from the left back slot to fill in.

His place was taken by former Ks man Jason Turley.

This was not an impressive performance from either side.

Despite having a good deal of the territorial advantage, Leatherhead seemed unable to unlock a stubborn home defence and use the pace of their striking partnership, Kev Terry and Tom Hutchings.

The home side still harboured dreams of a play-off place – and they may still achieve that but, on this form, they will find progression very difficult.

The opening shots in the campaign were fired by the Tanners.

Merstham found it difficult to move the ball out of their own half but, despite some good approach work, the Mole Valley side were unable to mount any real attack to threaten Ian Chatfield in the home goal.

Ex-Tanner, Dan Dean could have gifted his old youth team cmrade, Tom Hutchings a chance when his half clearance fell to the Tanners' leading scorer.

This time the shot was high and the deadlock remained.

Merstham gradually fought their way back into the game despite the early Tanners pressure but had created little until Kwabena Agyei – who was becoming more and more of a handful – picked up the ball, turned well and fired a low shot beyond Chris Lewington for what proved the only goal.

It was probably the first clear-cut chance of the game for either side.

With a ragged first half drawing to a close, a late flurry from the Tanners produced a series of corners that saw a Terry shot blocked and a low cross run behind the late arriving Stewart Holmes.

With frustration at the lack of progress bubbling to the surface, Hutchings received a yellow card for dissent.

Clearly, Bob Langford had to make changes to effect a clear breakthrough and his substitution of Alex Inglethorpe for Ben Shannon was certainly aimed at doing that.

The Spurs academy boss had the afternoon off and relished getting back into the Tanners green shirt.

Despite his promptings, the Tanners were just not providing quality service through the midfield and could have gone further behind when a slip in defence allowed Kevin Lock to find space – only to fire high and wide.

The Inglethorpe effect nearly worked when a neat cross was met by the head of Iain Hendry but the Leatherhead skipper’s touch was too powerful and the ball comfortably cleared the cross bar.

Jason Henry, closely marked for the whole game finally found some space as the game shuddered toward the final whistle.

Despite having done the hard work by slicing through a cumbersome defence, his final touch let him down and the ball ran to the grateful Chatfield, whose pink strip had hardly been sullied by too many Tanners efforts through the afternoon.

Leatherhead are most likely safe from any relegation worries but the club will want to see a more coherent performance from the side to ensure that the season ends with the chasing relegation pack not too closely attached to the Tanners’ heels.

Tanners: Lewington, Williams, Turley (Jones), Hendry, Palmer, Holmes, Henry, Wilfort (Musungu), Terry, Hutchings, Shannon (Inglethorpe).