25th Nov, 2020

Brakes getting back on track - Holleran

Ben Tyler 9th Nov, 2020

MANAGER Paul Holleran says Leamington are slowly but surely beginning to find their rhythm after picking up a point in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Kidderminster Harriers.

Kaiman Anderson’s fourth-minute opener at Aggborough was cancelled out by Koby Arthur’s header ten minutes later, with the Brakes finding themselves unfortunate not to take all three points after a strong finish against ten-man Harriers – who had Jim Kellerman dismissed in the final 15 minutes.

While Leamington drop back into the National League North relegation places, they have at least managed to turn the tide since returning from a three-week hiatus enforced by COVID-19 cases at the club, making it two draws in succession since the start of the month.

And for Holleran, there is enough evidence to suggest that his side will start picking up more results from here on in.

“I would probably say our last three performances at Chester, Farsley and Kidderminster have been as strong as they’ve been for a long time for us,” he said.

“We could have won all three, but we’ve ended up with two points. So I’m looking at the performances, and I’m looking at one or two of the new players, the young lads we’ve bought in, and we’re settling.

“In years gone by, we’ve gone to Chester and Kidderminster and had to sit really deep and try and counter attack – now we’re actually coming out and having a bit more of a go.”

Stepping into the Brakes starting XI were Jack Edwards and Sam Osborne, the former playing a big role in the opener when firing a blocked effort goalwards – the ball fortunately falling into the path of Anderson to thrash the ball home via the underside of the crossbar.

Gaining an early advantage gave a boost not just to the visitors, but also to the goalscorer, who remained a livewire throughout.

Anderson was unlucky not to add to his tally with a first-time crack at goal which deflected into the gloves of Kidderminster ‘keeper Luke Simpson.

Kidderminster were rewarded for seeing out the early bout of Brakes pressure when netting the leveller, Sam Austin’s right-wing cross headed home by Arthur.

Ashley Hemmings threatened to put Harriers in front before the break with a free kick that was whipped just past the post, a miss that ensured the scores stayed level at the interval.

Simpson had to be alert after the break when Simeon Maye’s cross-shot swerved towards the hosts’ goal, before keeping out Anderson’s follow-up attempt, while Weaver was kept busy with a stunning stop to deny Alex Prosser’s blast.

A missed header by Junior English was an agonising moment for the Brakes when it appeared easier for the defender to score, though it was defensive action down the other end by Stephan Morley to keep out Jack Lane’s inadvertent clearance that ensured the scores remained level.

With time ticking away, Kellerman was dismissed after kicking out at Joe Clarke, a mistake that Harriers were ultimately not punished for however with no further action prior to the final whistle.

Next up is a battle of the two league strugglers, with Leamington making their fourth successive away trip in Saturday’s meeting with Chorley (3pm).

Rock-bottom Chorley are only one of three sides, along with the Brakes and Brackley Town, yet to pick up a win in the division.

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