PAUL Holleran lauded the impact made by new boy David Bremang after the Coventry City loanee helped Leamington advance into the third round of the FA Trophy.
A replay was required on Tuesday night, following a 90th-minute equaliser from Kingstonian’s Dan Hector to cancel out a Fabio Saraiva own goal in a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s original tie.
Jack Edwards’ strike just after the half-hour mark then settled affairs in a 1-0 win against the Isthmian League Premier Division outfit at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium in midweek.
Leamington will now visit either Concord Rangers or Bath City of the National League South in the last 16 of the competition – pending the outcome of a postponed replay.
Holleran was fully aware of the threat posed by the visitors heading into the tie, and said: “This Kingstonian side, and I had a good look at them on Saturday and prior to tonight – they are such a good side.
“You’ve only got to look at their results in the cups this season. They play a good brand of football and it has been a really tricky tie for us.
“I thought we edged it Saturday but fair play to them, they showed a lot of grit and character to nick something at the end.”
And despite losing key names in recent weeks, the Leamington manager has been complimentary of his current crop of players.
“When you look at the last round of the Trophy, we had George Carline one side, Dexter Walters on the other and Josh March down the middle,” Holleran said.
“It’s great that George is back in Solihull’s first team, it’s great that Josh is playing full-time football in League Two, but at this stage of the season when you’ve got to try and rebuild in attacking areas – it’s really difficult.
“You’ve seen tonight what David Bremang adds, he gives us something different and his link-up play is brilliant. He’s had a good start.
“I think to keep a clean sheet against a team like this is a massive compliment to the players.
“It’s great for the fans, and we now go into the last 16 against another Step Two club, so it’s all to play for.”
In reaching the third round of the tournament, the Brakes have equalled their progress from the 1983/84 season when they last appeared at this stage – going on to reach the quarter-finals.
Debutant Bremang was at the centre of a lot of Leamington’s positive play, exemplified by his pass to put Edwards through on goal – who fired low into the far corner of the Kingstonian net.
Both sides were afforded chances after the opening goal, with Bremang having the best of these when taking the ball past goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey before seeing his shot hacked off the line.
Edwards went close to a second of the game when his first-time attempt narrowly cleared the bar at the beginning of the second half, while Stephan Morley low cross-shot pinged against the post.
With a second goal to confirm their progression evading the hosts, Holleran’s men sought to shut up shop, a ploy which saw them through to the full-time whistle.
Leamington return to National League North life on Saturday (3pm) when welcoming Chester.