FOOTBALL - Leamington's nine-game unbeaten run comes to an end after Needham Market defeat - The Leamington Observer

FOOTBALL - Leamington's nine-game unbeaten run comes to an end after Needham Market defeat

Leamington Editorial 26th Feb, 2024 Updated: 26th Feb, 2024   0

LEAMINGTON saw their nine-game unbeaten run come to an end following a 1-0 home defeat against league leaders Needham Market.

Jamie McGrath scored the game’s only goal on 75 minutes at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium after both teams had penalties saved either side of the break.

And the result means Leamington sit fifth in the Southern League Premier Central table, inside the play-off places on goal difference.

The Brakes went close to the opening goal inside the first minute when Henry Landers fired a powerful effort past the angle of post and crossbar.

And the home side saw a penalty appeal turned away soon after with Will Shorrock left in a heap in the Needham penalty area.

Cally Stewart then cut in from the right and saw his effort deflected narrowly over the crossbar while Tyrone Barnett saw his shot blocked.

Needham won a penalty just past the half-hour mark after McGrath went down in the box following a challenge from Theo Streete.

However, Brakes goalkeeper Callum Hawkins made a superb save low down to his right to tip Luke Ingram’s spot kick around the post.

Leamington spurned a glorious chance to take the lead in the second half as Needham goalkeeper Marcus Garnham made a crucial save to deny Stewart when one-on-one.

And the Brakes won a penalty of their own just past the hour mark after Stewart raced into the box and went down under pressure from Daniel Morphew.

However, Needham stopper Garnham made a fine one-handed save to his right to deny Stewart from the spot before also keeping out Barnett’s follow-up attempt.

From the resulting corner, Ewan Williams saw his goalbound shot chested clear on the line as the game somehow remained goalless.

At the other end, Dan Meredith produced an excellent headed clearance to deny Ingram the opening goal after the Needham player lobbed the ball over Hawkins.

However, the league leaders finally made the breakthrough with 15 minutes left to play as McGrath flicked the ball into the bottom left corner after the ball deflected into his path inside the six-yard box.

The Brakes almost drew level late on as a goalmouth scramble ensued in the Needham box before the ball eventually landed on the roof of the Needham net.

Leamington are next in action away at Stourbridge on Saturday, March 2 with kick-off at 3pm at the War Memorial Athletic Ground.


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