Leamington 3 Truro City 2
Zamaretto League Premier Division
New Windmill Ground, Harbury Lane
Saturday 23rd October 2010
Brakes edged out Cornish visitors Truro City in an absorbing clash at the New Windmill Ground to record their fifth league win in a row. The visitors arrived at Harbury Lane in a similar vein of form to Paul Holleran’s side, which had seen them sweep to the top of the table, but they were put to the sword early on in this contest by a fully committed and determined Leamington side.
The attractive passing football played by the visitors almost carved the Brakes defence open in the early stages, as veteran goal poacher Barry Hayles picked out the lively Dan Smith in space on the left of the penalty area, but the winger shot harmlessly across goal. Leamington went even closer in their fist serious attack on 10 minutes. Superb work by Richard Batchelor and Marcus Jackson on the right saw the latter play a ball into the box that was nodded on by Craig Wilding for Matt Lewis to slot home, but the offside flag was raised.
The next attack proved more fruitful. From a huge clearance up field by Tony Breeden, the ball looked to be travelling towards his opposite number Tom Brooks, but the Truro keeper hesitated, allowing Richard Batchelor to latch onto the ball and head over him into the net.
Another swift break saw Craig Wilding advance into the area and cut the ball back for Matt Lewis, who shot straight at Brooks. Barry Hayles then set off on a marauding run up the left for the visitors which culminated in a low ball played into the box, only for the superb reflexes of Tony Breeden to deny Smith a close range equaliser, as he pushed the ball over the bar.
Leamington’s second goal on 25 minutes was created entirely by their opponents. A back pass to Brooks left the keeper wishing the ground would open up and swallow him, as the ball sliced off his right boot and rolled into the net.
The two goal deficit did not panic the visitors, and they continued with their neat build up play. Dan Smith almost created an opening for himself when he robbed Scott Lycett in midfield and tore down on goal, only for Marcus Jackson to intervene with a timely block as the winger shaped to shoot. However, Truro were right back in the contest moments after this, as Andrew Watkins turned in a dangerous low ball from the left. Within five minutes they were level. Watkins’ diving header struck the foot of the post, and with Brakes left flat footed, Barry Hayles expertly curled the ball into the far corner, to the joy of the away bench.
It appeared that the visitors would go in at the break with their tails up, but there was one final twist in the first half. Matt Lewis was adjudged to have been impeded inside the penalty area by Alex Jeannin, the Truro player reacting furiously to the decision along with his team mates, and after the melee had died down, he was cautioned. The delay did not affect Lewis, who coolly stepped up to send Tom Brooks the wrong way and regain the initiative for Leamington.
Perhaps predictably the second half did not live up to the drama of the first, but there was enough to keep the 603 inside the New Windmill Ground entertained. Scott Lycett was forced to head a dangerous cross behind for a corner, with Dan Smith lurking nearby. The resulting dead ball evaded everyone in a packed penalty area. Richard Batchelor looked to have broken through at the other end, but was too far wide of goal to be able to get his shot on target.
Truro saw a shot deflected over the bar for another corner after Marcus Jackson had lost possession in midfield, and Barry Hayles saw an overhead effort cleared away from the goal line. Skipper Marcus Martin was bought down in full flight, giving Truro a free kick in a promising position, but the ball was struck well over the bar.
Leamington were by no means outplayed during the half, and worked the ball back into the danger zone well following a corner. Liam Daly nodded down for the returning Guy Sanders, who was slightly off balance, to strike wide. Sanders was making only his third start of the season after a recent injury, but played as if he had never been out of side.
The final minutes of the game seemed to go on forever, as the game turned a bit feisty. Tony Breeden was treated after bravely coming off his line to claim the ball, and a rash of poor challenges followed, keeping the officials busy. Substitute James Rowe saw a shot blocked by Tom Brooks, before Andrew Taylor was booked for a late challenge on Richard Batchelor. Marcus Jackson followed him into the notebook for apparent dissent, along with Stuart Yetton for Truro, and Scott Lycett for Brakes. Fortunately the game did not boil over, and the team saw out the final moments to savour a hard earned victory.
Leamington: Tony Breeden, Scott Lycett, Stephan Morley, Lee Downes [C], Guy Sanders, Liam Daly, Marcus Jackson, James Husband, Matt Lewis (16 Peter Faulds, 88), Craig Wilding (12 James Rowe, 77), Richard Batchelor.
Subs not used: 14 Alex Cowley, 15 Chrs Murphy, 17 Lee Williams.
Truro City: Tom Brooks, Barry McConnell, Alex Jeannin, Lee Hodges, Steve Adams,Danny Clay,(14 Joe Broad, 70) Andrew Taylor Marcus Martin [C], Barry Hayles, Andrew Watkins, (16 Stewart Yetton,78) Dan Smith (15 Les Afful, 83) .
Subs not used: 12 Arran Pugh, 17 Martin Rice.
Referee: Mr G Stretton
Assistant Referees: Mr M Connelly & Mr M Scriven.
Man of the match: Richard Batchelor.