It seems that whenever the Tanners take one step forward, they follow it up by taking two steps back.

It was no different this weekend when, after an encouraging win against Whyteleafe on Friday they lost their manager Bob Langford on Saturday and followed that up with an abject performance against an average Hamlet side.

The game started very badly for the home side when, after just two miutes, Dulwich’s Daniel Francis won the ball on the right hand edge of the penalty area and turned inside to finish with a shot that left Chris Lewington grasping at air.

Although Leatherhead responded by taking the game to their South London opponents, the final ball was always poor or the shot was going wide. It is unlikely yjat Sheikh Ceesay in the Hamlet goal had a worthwhile shot to save all game.

Things got even worse for the Mole Valley side after twenty seven minutes when a long punt caused Lewington to race pout of his area to block a Dulwich attempt only to see the ball fall to the ungainly Junior Kaffo who rifled the ball home from fully thirty yards.

With injuries starting to take their toll, Jason Turley – so effective in the Whyteleafe game – succumbed to a knock and was replaced by Matt Jones. The rest of the half had little to commend it.

Leathread gave the ball away far too easily and, for all their trickery on the ball, Hamlet had no shape and impressed very little.

The second half started with Tony Cuff (who was one of the few Leatherhead players who looked as though he could deliver a decent ball) giving way to an ankle injury and being replaced by John Wilfort.

Despite the odd flurry when a Steve Goddard header went straight to an under-worked Ceesay – Dulwich were enjoying most of the possession – admittedly without really showing that they had enough of a cutting edge to make their territorial advantage count.

For the Tanners, Stewart Holmes, yet again, showed his prodigious work rate and Iain Hendry continually competed for balls that a tall Hamlet set of forwards never really looked like using to the best advantage.

Caretaker manager, Mickey Stephens took his last throw of the dice when he brought on promising midfielder, Tom Horley in place of an injured Dev Williams but, in all truth, it made little difference.

Dulwich could have extended their lead when a cross cum shot cracked off the angle of the post and bar but did eventually get their third and Kaffo’s second as the game was lurching to its welcome conclusion with just four minutes left.

Kaffo never gave up on a ball that was spinning away from goal and, on the left hand edge of the penalty area, turned and hit a low shot that squirmed under Chris Lewington’s body.

There have been slim pickings for the Tanners over Dulwich Hamlet for the past few seasons and this proved no different.

The team would certainly have been unsettled by their manager’s untimely departure just two days earlier but it was disappointing that the heart had completely gone out of their game just a couple of days after they put in a competent performance at Whyteleafe.

For many of the supporters, the last two matches will be nothing more than a chore if performances are of the same calibre. Whoever takes over this side for the coming season will need all of his motivational and managerial skills to pick the Tanners up again for the next campaign.

Team Lewington, Williams (Horley), Shannon, Palmer, Hendry, Holmes, Cuff (Wilfort, Goddard, Hutchings, Terry, Turley (Jones)