BRAKES manager Paul Holleran bemoaned a slow start in his side’s 4-1 loss at Southport in National League North.
David Morgan struck a hat-trick, including a goal inside the first minute, to leave Leamington chasing the game almost from the first whistle.
Holleran wants his team to stop making life easy for their opponents, having not won in the league since the end of August.
“We have to be realistic, we can’t start games the way we did,” he said.
“When you come to Southport, you know they will come right at you, especially with the midfield runners.
“We were very aware of that, but we didn’t deal with it for 15 to 20 minutes and found ourselves two down against a good side.”
The Leamington boss nevertheless took positives from some aspects of the performance, namely the response to going two goals behind.
“I was pleased with the character we showed after that and leading up to the end of the first half we got back in the game,” Holleran said.
“The game got a bit stretched at the end, but yet again, I think if you look at three of their goals, you look at individual errors from our point of view.
“I think for long periods we’ve given a good account of ourselves, played some good football and looked a threat.
“We had a great chance to make it 2-2 and with ten minutes to go we took a bit of a gamble and threw a couple of players on to try and get that goal. Obviously it’s gone the other way.”
With just 53 seconds on the clock, Devarn Green beat Stephan Morley to a header to play in Morgan, who made no mistake with a volley into the far corner.
After struggling to find a route into the game, Brakes fell further behind when Green’s cross into the path of Marcus Wood was hammered goalwards, with the pace on the ball meaning Jake Weaver could only parry to Bradley Bauress to convert.
With Leamington frustrations rife, they were gifted a lifeline when a foul on Josh March inside the penalty area allowed the forward to sweep home his 13th goal of the season.
March went within inches of levelling when meeting a centre from Dexter Walters – a miss that was all the more agonising given Southport’s third goal to kill off the game.
With four minutes remaining, Wood sent Morgan through to post a strike inside the post, before sealing his hat-trick six minutes later from 12 yards after Junior English conceded a penalty.
Leamington are out of action this weekend but face a trip to Kings Lynn Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).