Brady: Strikers get plaudits, but the defenders deserve them too

Tanners’ success rests on experienced heads

Defensive Brady: the Leatherhead manager praised his silent heroes in defence SP68715

Boult-ed on defender: Chris Boulter's return to full fitness has benefitted the Tanners' defence SP59643

First published in Sport Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Tanners manager Richard Brady admits that his free-scoring strikers are getting all the plaudits, but he says it is at the expense of his solid defenders.

Leatherhead have conceded just three goals in nine games, including just one in the Ryman League Division One South, suggesting the defence is as stingy as the strikeforce – with 16 goals in nine games – is potent.

And it is producing dividends as the Tanners are still in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, and are sitting pretty in fifth in the league.

Brady points to the return of Chris Boulter to full fitness as key, while Jamie Coyle, who has played in Blue Square Premier, Jerry Nnamani from Crystal Palace, Adam Gross and goalkeeper Matt Reed, who have played in the Confernce South, complete a strong defensive line up.

Brady said: “There is a lot of experience across the back line and perhaps more importantly than that they are all good players.

“The back five, including the goalkeeper, have been the players who’ve done well by keeping clean sheets, but I expect that from them.

“They set themselves high standards and they certainly have been delivering. But the plaudits do generally go to the forwards, although I think the defenders are happy to let the strikers take the limelight.”

But the defence will be facing a severe test this weekend when the Tanners travel to Chelmsford City of the Blue Square South in the FA Cup.

Brady said: “We’re going to Chelmsford with nothing to lose. They are odds on favourites to turn us over.

“We’re actually looking forward to having a game where we’re not the favourites. All the pressure is on them, they have a big following, and we’re happy to play the underdog.

“It is a role reversal of what we have faced all season where we play teams who park the bus. We won’t be doing that, instead we’re going there to play a football match and in the FA Cup you never know what might happen.”

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