20th May, 2019

Brakes throw caution to the wind, but to no avail in York City loss

Ben Tyler 4th Mar, 2019

LEAMINGTON suffered a third successive loss in National League North, after a 1-0 defeat to York City at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium.

The Brakes were once more ruing their misfortunes in front of goal, failing to respond to Alex Kempster’s 11th minute opener, which ultimately proved the match winner.

Leamington boss Paul Holleran could only take positives from his side’s performance, but was once more left frustrated that his side could not make their good play count.

“Sadly it’s taking a bit of a familiar pattern for us at the moment really, where we’re having a really good go in games,” he said.

“There was lots of energy there today, lots of good individual performances, but it’s another defeat.

“I think when we look back at the goal we’ll be disappointed with that. It was difficult in the first half with the conditions but we defended well.

Holleran admitted he was confident that the Brakes could turn their fortunes around based on performances in recent weeks.

“At the moment there’s not really a lot that I can criticise, I’ve just got to keep the players ticking over.

“We’ve just got to stick at it. We’re experienced at this, that’s one thing I will say is in our favour, and I just think that if the players can keep the individual levels up

“We’re getting closer to a clean sheet which I think is important for us, and these chances can start going in.

“I firmly believe that lots of things we’re doing are right, the level of commitment and effort from the players, there’s no question marks there.”

Unlike the visitors, who had recorded three straight victories in the league, Leamington had been winless in three games – having last won at the end of January.

The difference in form looked evident when York took an 11th minute lead, which arrived when Tony Breeden initially kept out Hamza Bencherif’s drive, but could not prevent Kempster slamming into the roof of the net on the rebound.

Leamington almost responded in emphatic style when Jordan Murphy flicked Junior English’s cross goalwards with a backheel, but it was kept out at the near post by City keeper Adam Bartlett.

Dan Sweeney almost got lucky with an over-hit cross from the right wing which forced Bartlett to tip over, before Colby Bishop brushed the frame of the bar with a volley.

A number of York City efforts flew into the arms of Breeden before the break, who could have had ten men on the pitch had Bencherif been sent off for an alleged punch on Jack Edwards – who was left with a broken tooth.

Leamington emerged in the second-half an improved side and enjoyed the majority of chances in the half.

Jamie Hood swiped the ball well over the bar from a corner, before Murphy burst past two defenders and evaded both Bartlett and his crossbar with the resulting shot.

Hood once more had a corner-kick opportunity, this time grazing the bar with a bullet header, whilst Edwards drove narrowly past the post with a powerful strike.

Bartlett was clearly on form, and proved his worth once more to tip Bishop’s effort superbly over the crossbar.

Leamington threw caution to the wind for the final ten minutes, but were unable to get back on level terms as the visitors held on.

The Brakes have little time to recuperate, ahead of visiting Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday night (7:45pm).

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