LEAMINGTON manager Paul Holleran was left feeling gleeful after a six-point Easter Weekend for the Brakes sent them up to 14th in National League North, following victories over Nuneaton Borough and Kidderminster Harriers.
A 2-1 win away to Kidderminster on Good Friday was followed by a 3-0 thrashing of relegated Nuneaton at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium, where Colby Bishop subjected the crowd to a finishing masterclass.
Holleran was delighted by his side’s consistency to back up Friday’s showing in front of a home crowd on Monday.
“To play as well as we did on Friday was a fantastic start to the Bank Holiday weekend, and then we’ve come back home against a Nuneaton side who sadly have got their troubles at the moment.
“But it was about us doing things right, applying ourselves correctly, trying to play at a good tempo.
“This weekend has capped off a great period for us – we’ve had a really good, strong finish to the season.
He praised the performance of Bishop in particular, who he was delighted to see hit top form after a period without regularly finding the net.
“We’ve been solid, we’ve been scoring goals, they’ve been coming from all angles, and obviously today they’ve come from Colby.
“He’s had so many assists over the last few weeks, so many good number 9 performances but he hasn’t been hitting the back of the net, but he’s scored three excellent goals today so I’m delighted for him.
“We wanted to finish off well here, and we’ve done that.
“The points tally is great, we’re moving up the table and all of a sudden it’s turning into a very productive season.”
The Brakes faced Warwickshire rivals Nuneaton on Monday in the first of two fixtures against Borough in the space of ten days, with the two sides contesting the Birmingham Senior Cup final on Thursday May 2.
Two changes to the starting line-up brought Connor Taylor and Sam Wilding into the fold, in place of Ahmed Obeng and Callum Gittings – who were afforded a rest after their recurring starring roles in the side.
Leamington went ahead on the 18 minute mark when a move started from a Tony Breeden goal-kick led to Connor Taylor whipping the ball into Bishop to plant a header into the back of the net.
Within minutes, their lead was doubled when Bishop fired home from a scramble inside the penalty area, his 25th of the season.
The Brakes continued to threaten and finally found the third goal just after the hour – when Jordan Murphy directed the ball into Bishop to lob the ball over the onrushing Borough keeper to seal his hat-trick.
His third of the evening earned him an early substitution, in which he received a standing ovation from the Brakes faithful.
Despite the Brakes’ intentions to notch further marks on the scoresheet, Nuneaton somehow held firm for the remainder of the game.
On Good Friday, Leamington resurrected from an early Joe Ironside goal to return home from Aggborough with all three-points.
Ironside’s powerful hit on five minutes was quickly cancelled out by Jack Edwards’ rebound goal on ten minutes.
Both sides traded chances with the game back level again, but Junior English ultimately had the final say when powering a header home from a corner kick on 32 minutes.
In what proved to be Mark Yates’ final bow as Harriers boss, his side threw everything at the Brakes to try and break their resolve, but Holleran’s men remained resolute to secure another impressive three points.
Leamington now head to 16th-placed Darlington to culminate their excellent 2018/19 season, with the prospect of finishing as high as 11th with a victory on Saturday (3pm), or as low a finish as 15th with defeat at Blackwell Meadows.