FOOTBALL - Streete nets winner to keep Brakes in play-off places - The Leamington Observer

FOOTBALL - Streete nets winner to keep Brakes in play-off places

Leamington Editorial 5th Sep, 2022   0

THEO Streete’s first Leamington goal helped the Brakes secure a 1-0 win against Bradford Park Avenue to remain in the National League North play-off places.

Streete’s well-taken first-half goal proved decisive as Paul Holleran’s side earned a hard fought victory at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium.

The result means Leamington sit sixth in the table, five points behind leaders King’s Lynn Town after seven matches.

Leamington’s first chance fell to Devon Kelly-Evans when he won back possession before drilling a powerful low effort inches past the post from 20-yards out.

However, the visitors almost ended their three-game goal drought when Will Longbottom poked the ball through the legs of Brakes goalkeeper Callum Hawkins only for Jack Lane to stab the ball clear on the line.

And Leamington then took the lead on 20 minutes when Streete slammed home a first-time effort from Ben Usher-Shipway’s downward header after good work from Louis Hall.

The home side grew in confidence following the goal as Dan Meredith shot straight at Bradford stopper George Sykes-Kenworthy before Dan Turner headed over.

And the hosts were once again indebted to Lane as the defender made his second goalline clearance after Harrison Hopper had lifted the ball over Hawkins before Kelly-Evans was denied by Sykes-Kenworthy at the other end.

Bradford improved after the break as Andre Brooks shot wide before Avenue captain Gianluca Havern saw his effort ruled out for a foul in the build-up which incensed the visiting bench.

Leamington responded with two chances of their own as Turner fired into the side netting before Kelly-Evans was again thwarted by Sykes-Kenworthy.

The away side pushed for an equaliser at the death and saw a shout for a late penalty for handball turned down by the officials as Leamington held on to claim all three points.

Brakes manager Holleran said: “I thought we were tremendous in the first 35 minutes. We came out of the blocks really well.

“We spoke beforehand about trying to impose ourselves on the game, play with aggression with and without the ball.

“Our play probably deserved more than a 1-0 lead. Bradford came into the game more, and then the second half became difficult. Both sides struggled to get any rhythm in the game – we certainly did.

“When all is said and done, we’ve had an excellent start. I thought the two wide boys were really excellent in the first half.

“We scored a really good goal, where we’ve kept it alive, probably a third phase goal, and when you flip it round you have to earn points in lots of different ways in this league.

“We’ve had to dig deep. It’s another clean sheet. We were resolute when we needed to be, we’ve had to defend our box, and I think we’ve just about edged it at the end.”

Leamington are next in action away at Blyth Spartans on Saturday, September 10 with kick-off at 3pm at Croft Park.

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