LEAMINGTON suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Harrogate Town in Conference North on Saturday, writes Ryan Merrifield.
Brakes will now bid to bounce back when they host Wroxham in the FA Cup second qualifying round on Saturday, before Hyde are the visitors when league action returns the following weekend.
Richard Batchelor’s equaliser on the stroke half time cancelled out Callum Hassan’s 14th minute opener, giving fresh hope after a disappointing first half display, but despite improvements after the break from Leamington, hopes were dashed as late strikes from Craig Nelthorpe and Dave McGurk secured a first away win of the season for the Yorkshire club.
Simon Lenighan headed an early chance well over the bar for the visitors while Neil Collett saved well from Adam Nowakowski. However, he was powerless to prevent Hassan’s deflected effort, which found its way into the bottom corner.
Hassan continued to create problems for the Leamington defence, heading James Walshaw’s deep left-wing cross high and wide at the far post and sending a back-heeled effort into the arms of Collett from close range.
But, just before half time, Brakes found an equaliser from nowhere, when Batchelor stooped low at the far post to head home a well placed free kick from the right, giving the New Windmill Ground crowd a timely boost.
The goal looked to have given Paul Holleran’s side fresh impetus as the second half kicked-off, with Aron Wint driving just over from the edge of the box and James Mace heading over under pressure.
But, as the game entered the closing stages, it was Harrogate who struck the decisive blow. Nelthorpe got away from Joe Magunda just outside the box, before unleashing a powerful drive that flew across Collett into the far corner.
The lead should have been wiped out again when Walshaw went down and the visitors stopped expecting a free kick, only for the game to continue, but though Stefan Moore poked his resulting effort wide.
This was to prove a pivotal moment as Harrogate added a third goal almost immediately, forcing a corner from which McGurk slotted home inside the Leamington area, leaving little time left for a fightback.
BRAKES are pleased to announce a new partner sponsorship agreement with Heritage Property.
Richard Hill, managing director of Heritage Property, commented: “We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of Leamington Football Club for the forthcoming season. As a business we love to support the local community so we are hoping to build our relationship with the club who seem very focused on bringing football to as a many people and different age groups as possible.
“There appears to be a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, both for the game and for the club, from those involved in running it, and clearly there is a desire for future continued success both on and off the pitch which we look forward to being part of.”
Nic Sproul, commercial director of Leamington FC, said: “The best partnerships are built on solid foundations, something Heritage Property knows a lot about. This sponsorship agreement is yet another example of the club’s hard work in getting into the bloodstream of the local community and the businesses that serves it.
“Over the course of the season we will be supporting Heritage Property on a number of initiatives aimed at creating a successful long-term partnership.”
Richard, whose well established company sells and lets property, added: “From a business perspective our intention is to offer special discounts to supporters and their friends and families who wish to use our residential sales and lettings services.
“Details of these offers will appear in matchday programmes as well on the club’s website and in both our social media postings.” Visit www.heritageproperty.co.uk for details.
Brakes’ Jamie Tank and Stuart Pierpoint battle Harrogate’s Adam Nowakowski and James Walshaw for possession. Picture by Sally Ellis. (s)
Leamington’s Jordan Goddard goes up against Adam Nowakowski. Picture by Sally Ellis. (s)