LEAMINGTON ended their pre-season campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Worcester City as attentions turn to their Southern League Premier Division opener against Cirencester Town this Saturday, reports Paul Edwards.
With several players missing along with manager Paul Holleran due to holidays and prior commitments, the Brakes lined up with former Coventry City youngster Ryan Quinn and an unnamed trialist in the starting line up, while midfielder Tomek Jaworowski and youth team players Charlie Fitzmaurice and George Robbins were on the bench.
The hosts looked lively early on as they looked to gain the advantage and Rob Thompson-Brown came close after dispossessing a Worcester defender on the edge of the penalty area but his cross was pushed behind by Nick Draper for the visitors.
Draper had to be alert again soon after after collecting a Tom James cross from the left before the opening goal came with 20 minutes on the clock.
A promising Leamington attack was broken down on the edge of the box as nobody seemed to want to deliver the final shot and the visitors moved the ball quickly up the other end with trialist Nathan Olukanmi putting the finishing touches to the move.
Breeden got down quickly to save a close range effort before Olukanmi scored a peach of a second almost on the half-time whistle. He took a touch around 20 yards from goal just right of centre and fired a scorching effort across goal into the top corner.
Leamington’s trialist midfielder took advantage of some loose ball control by the Worcester keeper in the early minutes of the second half, but could only fire across goal from a very tight angle.
The Brakes had a goal back however when Courtney Baker-Richardson ended a neat move up the right by threading across for Ryan Rowe to slot home his first goal of pre season just before the hour mark.
Ahmed Obeng almost got in on the left but saw his shot blocked by Tom Sharpe and he came very close to an equaliser when he turned his marker inside the box and lashed a rising drive just over the bar.
There was a bit of late unpleasantness when Ross Oulton and Ebby Nelson-Addy were both replaced after Oulton’s late challenge on the Worcester striker sparked a bout of handbags between several players from either side as the earlier challenge went unpunished.
The game finished without further incident however, and both clubs can now focus on beginning their league campaign next Saturday.
Leamington: Tony Breeden, Ben George, Tom James, Ryan Quinn (Ross Oulton, 76, George Robbins, 88), Rob Elvins, James Mace, Trialist (Courtney Baker-Richardson, 52), Jack Edwards, Ryan Rowe (Tomek Jaworowski, 64), Rob Thompson-Brown, Ahmed Obeng.
Sub not used: 16 Charlie Fitzmaurice.