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29th Jun, 2022

FOOTBALL - Leamington edged out by Darlington

LEAMINGTON FC slipped to a third successive 1-0 defeat after being narrowly beaten by Darlington having now won just one of their last six matches.

The Brakes were without several key players and succumbed to Junior Mondal’s goal on 55 minutes at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium.

And Leamington now sit 15th in the National League North table, 10 points outside of the play-off places.

The game was preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of former Brakes player Thomas Rankin after the midfielder died suddenly aged 26 on Sunday, March 27.

Opponents Darlington were chasing a play-off spot and started brightly when Kevin Santos fired well over the bar before Mondal shot straight at Leamington goalkeeper Callum Hawkins.

The home side struggled to create a clear cut opening in the first period with Jack Edwards’ header from Joe Parker’s right-wing cross proving to be the Brakes only effort on goal.

Leamington burst into life shortly before half time when Junior English pounced on a loose back pass to find himself in behind the Darlington defence only for the chance to be quickly eradicated with no Brakes players in support.

Paul Holleran’s men came forward again at the start of the second period with Edwards forcing Quakers keeper Tommy Taylor into a smart block at his near post after he found space in the box before shooting from a tight angle.

However, Darlington took the lead when Mondal finished neatly past Hawkins from Jack Lamber’s pass having narrowly missed with a bouncing half-volley moments earlier.

And the Brakes rued their luck later in the half when Dan Meredith’s free-kick from 30-yards out cannoned back off the crossbar.

The hosts pressed for a leveller late on with Steph Morley’s free-kick going over before Adam Walker’s powerful effort also cleared the crossbar as Darlington struggled to clear their lines.

Brakes man Jack Lane had the final chance of the afternoon in the closing stages as he tried to direct a low header inside the far post but was only able to find the side netting.

Leamington are next in action away at Spennymoor Town on Saturday, April 9 with kick-off at 3pm at Brewery Field.

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