24th Apr, 2019

Holleran pleased with fighting spirit, but rues points dropped against Hereford

Ben Tyler 11th Feb, 2019

BRAKES boss Paul Holleran was left frustrated but took good value in his side twice coming back to claim a point in a 2-2 draw against ten-man Hereford.

The well supported visitors were pegged back by a Jack Edwards strike and Colby Bishop’s late penalty, keeping Leamington in 14th place.

Holleran felt the first-half performance undermined their showing in the second, when Hereford went a man down, and ultimately cost them three points.

“When Hereford went down to ten men we really got on top of the game. There were lots of balls going into the box, they put in some great blocks and put their bodies on the line,” he said.

“First half we were bitterly disappointed, we didn’t deal with the conditions at all well, Hereford dealt with them better than us, albeit there wasn’t a lot of quality in the game.

“We’ll look back on the two goals we’ve conceded and will be disappointed.”

Holleran proceeded to point out the impact of the crowd on his players emotions on the pitch, but was pleased by the better quality on show after the break.

“Even before the player got sent off we were doing a lot more probing and pressing, I thought we managed to get on a lot better.

“We’re disappointed not to get a third but when you’re 2-1 down and against the wind, we showed a lot of character. It was just disappointing that we didn’t turn all that possession into another goal.”

The Leamington manager went with the same league starting eleven that had excelled in the last fixture against Altrincham, but it was the visitors who started strongest and looked to get themselves in front.

Goalkeeper Tony Breeden was on hand to palm a shot away after Eliot Richards snuck inside to go clean through, before keeping out James Waite’s curling effort.

Waite would, however, find the resulting corner worth the wait – nudging home on the rebound from his initial strike from a corner-kick.

Jack Edwards brought reprieve for the Brakes on the stroke of half-time, curling a stunner into the top corner of the net.

It would be Hereford who had the lead at half-time though, Tom Owen-Evans went to ground from James Mace’s challenge, then stepped up to send past Breeden for a half-time lead.

Leamington’s response after the interval was a positive one though, and constantly threatened throughout the half.

First Callum Gittings header was headed off the line, before Ahmed Obeng’s cross-cum-shot evaded the post and the efforts of Bishop and Jordan Murphy to force the ball in.

A red card for the Bulls saw Waite shown a straight red, catching Joe Clarke with his arm when jumping for a header, ultimately proving a game changer for Leamington.

Several blocked efforts denied the Brakes before Richards down the other end saw the post deny breathing space for Hereford.

An equaliser finally arrived when Josh Gowling upended Murphy, allowing Bishop to smash past Matt Yates to level the scores at the death.

Leamington next host 12th placed Blyth Spartans on Saturday (3pm) – who they could potentially leapfrog with a win.

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