Vanarama National League North
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Saturday 28th October 2017
What a difference a month makes. At the beginning of October few looking at Leamington’s fixtures would have given them much hope of picking up too many points, never mind finishing the month without defeat, yet they have achieved both with a turn in fortunes that has been down to hard work, team spirit, perseverance and belief.
North Ferriby United arrived at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium occupying bottom spot in the table, a position Brakes themselves were in not so long ago, but they presented a different kind of hurdle to the ones overcome in the last few weeks. The game will not live long in the memory but it was a workmanlike, solid performance.
A strong start to proceedings saw Leamington move in front on 7 minutes, Jack Edwards firing in a shot following Kurtis Revan’s long throw that looked to have taken a deflection as it looped up and over goalkeeper Ross Durrant into the net.
The visitors threatened briefly when Ross Barrows drove the ball in from the right, forcing Tony Breeden to save down at his near post.
Connor Gudger, sporting a visible wound from his unfortunate head injury at Harrogate last week, curled a well struck free kick just wide of the post after the busy Revan was brought down by Simon Russell on the edge of the box, the North Ferriby man receiving a yellow card for his trouble.
Revan was posing all sorts of problems for the visitors with his pace and direct running, and he won a penalty for Leamington on the half hour when he was brought down by Jake Skelton on the touchline to the right of goal. Top scorer Rob Thompson-Brown stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted past Durrant to give Brakes a comfortable advantage.
There was brief panic when Breeden was forced to tear off his line to clear as the ball was played dangerously across goal, with Callum Rzonca closing in. Thompson-Brown curled a free kick over the bar just before half time while Curtis Bateson drove a shot just over the bar from the left wing right on the whistle.
Man of the moment Revan created the opportunity for the third goal on 56 minutes with a superb turn just inside the visitors half before he accelerated towards the penalty area, where he was halted by Jordan Cooke. Thompson-Brown went the same way with his second spot kick and while Durrant guessed correctly he was unable to keep the ball out despite getting a good hand to it.
The visitors came close to a goal back late on, Breeden saving from Stephen Brogan after the initial shot was blocked, before Darnell Bailey-King pounced on a back pass but shot straight at the Leamington skipper.
Thompson-Brown was presented with a great chance to grab his hat trick goal when set up by a neat back heel from Callum Gittings on the edge of the box, but curled his shot high over the bar. Substitute Colby Bishop then beat his man on the edge of the box but rolled a weak effort straight at Durrant. The striker then just managed to get his head on the end of a ball into the box, glancing a header into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, James Mace, Connor Gudger, Callum Gittings, Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kieran Dunbar, Jack Edwards (15 Joe Magunda, 70), Kurtis Revan (14 Colby Bishop, 77), Liam Canavan (12 Richard Taundry, 70), Rob Thompson-Brown.
Subs not used: 16 Stefan Moore, 17 Matt Hill.
North Ferriby United: Ross Durrant, Ross Barrows, Stephan Brogan ©, Russ Fry (16 Mitchell Langton, 77), Jordan Cooke, Jake Skelton, Simon Russell, Curtis Bateson, Kuda Muskwe, Joel Ambalu (12 Jake Picton, 69), Callum Rzonca (15 Darnell Bailey-King, 60).
Subs not used: 14 Mark Cray, 17 Yannick Gomes.
Referee: Mr Martin Woods
Assistant Referees: Mr Alex Gray & Mr Martin Cattell
Brakes Man of the Match: Kurtis Revan.