20th May, 2019

Holleran lambasts slow start after the Brakes are out-done by Blyth Spartans

Ben Tyler 18th Feb, 2019

LEAMINGTON slipped to a 2-1 defeat last weekend, after an early double salvo from Blyth Spartans inside the opening seven minutes left the hosts chasing the game.

Manager Paul Holleran rued the defensive mistakes made by his side, and says the Brakes must cut out the errors that have cost them points in recent weeks.

“Obviously the bad start to the game is what has cost us,” he said.

“It’s been creeping in a bit lately, we’ve conceded some poor goals, but to be two nil down after barely seven minutes – I couldn’t believe it to be honest.

“It was similar to last week here – poor goals conceded from our perspective, not defending zones or areas correctly, not planning on second ball, you can’t start games like that.

“We’ve had spells where we’ve conceded poor goals and then we’ve worked on it and got back on it again. These were two games – Hereford and today – where we’ve had enough chances, enough play, and in between it all we’ve actually played quite well.

“We got in some good areas, had some good opportunities and sadly we just haven’t taken them. So there was lots of positives from that point of view, but you can’t play at this level of football being two nil down again or like we were last week, chasing the game.”

The Brakes made a couple of changes to Saturday’s starting eleven, with Connor Gudger and Reece Flanagan brought back into contention, but they were unable to prevent the dismal start to proceedings.

With the defence backing off Kieran Green, he proceeded to fly an effort into the roof of the net after just 60 seconds elapsed on the clock, leaving the hosts on the back foot right from the start.

Spartans then doubled their lead on seven minutes.

In similar fashion to the first goal, Daniel Maguire was allowed the room to manoeuvre the ball into a pocket of space before picking out the bottom corner.

Leamington did their utmost to claw a goal back and had a couple of opportunities to do so when Murphy’s rising effort was well kept out, followed by a volley inside the box from Colby Bishop that was struck over the bar from the resulting corner.

The hosts did have a penalty awarded to them before half-time, and with it an opportunity to get themselves back in the contest after Ahmed Obeng was brought down in the box.

What Brakes fans were not planning on was seeing Bishop’s spot-kick parried away by Jameson, although backspin on the ball almost took it inching over the goal line.

Leamington emerged a more inspired side after half-time, and on 58 minutes a second penalty was awarded in their favour.

Despite already having had one saved that afternoon, Bishop stepped up again but swept the ball into the net for his 20th goal of the season.

Bishop’s strike allowed Leamington to press on, going close through Jack Edwards and then Murphy with driving efforts.

Gittings suffered an ankle ligament injury and limped off in a final ten minutes which saw Blyth clear the ball off their line.

A strike from James Mace looked destined for the net before a defender’s intervention, as the hosts desperately searched for an equaliser.

It just would not fall the way of Leamington though, with the final whistle sounding out a defeat.

Holleran’s side now hope to pick themselves up with a victory when they visit Spennymoor Town on Saturday (3pm).

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