FOOTBALL: BRAKES bounced back from two successive National League North defeats in some style on Saturday, beating Spennymoor Town 4-0.
It was Paul Holleran’s team’s biggest win of the 2017/18 season thus far. And although the scoreline suggests Brakes dominated the game, the clash proved to be a close contest.
Holleran shuffled his pack for Saturday’s clash against a Spennymoor side that had won their previous three matches.
Kaine Felix made his home debut and proved a handful early on when chasing – and winning – lost causes to create problems in Spennymoor’s defence.
The visitors were just as bright however with the dangerous David Foley breaking at pace up the left, Junior English intervening to cut out his attempted cross to Robert Ramshaw.
A tame start to the contest continued when English and Gittings saw headed efforts fly over the crossbar while at the other end Foley forced a low save from Breeden.
The deadlock was broke on 27 minutes though when Colby Bishop was tripped inside the area. Bishop made no mistake from the spot to gift his side the lead – his third goal of the season.
Spennymoor responded through Glen Taylor, who went close with a low drive that beat the sprawling Breeden.
Ramshaw then hit the post for the visiting side as the half ended with Brakes holding an unconvincing one-goal lead.
Though the momentum remained with Spennymoor at the start of the second half, it was Brakes that scored next when Richard Taundry’s deep cross met the head of Bishop – whose header landed in the bottom corner.
It got worse for Spennymoor when Tait missed a penalty after Kieran Dunbar brought down Chris Chantler in the box.
Tony Breeden was called upon again moments later when the assistant referee judged Taylor to have been fouled during a Spennymoor attack.
The keeper guessed right again though as Brakes maintained their lead.
Foley was guilty of a horrendous miss as he sliced wide of goal with only Breeden to beat after Jamie Hood‘s attempt to cut out a cross fell perfectly for him.
Felix almost added Brakes’ third goal after outmuscling Spennymoor’s defence to reach a long clearance and go through on goal – but his effort went wide.
Meanwhile Tait’s afternoon went from bad to worse as he was penalised for bringing down English in the area, presenting Bishop with the chance to score his hat trick goal.
He duly obliged, sending Porter the wrong way to the delight of the North Bank.
There was time for Brakes to add a fourth when Dunbar struck with five minutes remaining – beating Porter at his near post.
The win promotes Leamington to 15th in the league table – only seven points shy of the playoff frame.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda, Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kieran Dunbar (14 Rob Thompson-Brown, 86), Callum Gittings, Colby Bishop (15 Kurtis Revan, 77), Joe Clarke, Kaine Felix (17 Ahmed Obeng, 89).
Spennymoor Town: Jordan Porter, Kallum Griffiths, Chris Chantler, Jamie Chandler, Joseph Tait © (12 Christopher Mason, 81), James Curtis, Ryan Hall (15 Andrew Johnson, 81), Matt Dixon (16 Graeme Armstrong, 68), Glen Taylor, Robert Ramshaw, David Foley.