Pre Season Friendly
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Saturday 9th July 2016

Brakes went down to what on paper looks a heavy defeat against old adversaries Stourbridge in their opening pre season fixture, in which much needed playing time and fitness take precedence over the result.

Paul Holleran was able to name an almost full strength squad with the exception of Tony Breeden, who had apparently taken a knock during training, so former Stratford Town keeper Jamie Cutts started in goal.

There were some promising early signs of link up play between the forward players, the pacy Ahmed Obeng linking up well with Courtney Baker-Richardson and fellow newcomers Rob Thompson-Brown and Ryan Rowe. The first opening for Leamington arrived when Obeng drove forward up the left, nudging the ball sideways for Rowe who played in Thompson-Brown on the right, but his shot flew wide from a good position.

Chris Lait had the first sight of goal for Stourbridge as he moved into space on the left, but saw his low shot saved by Cutts. Rowe then fed Baker-Richardson at the other end but his well struck low drive was straight at Matthew Gould in the Glassboys goal.

Baker-Richardson came closer with his next attempt, his flicked header from a good ball into the box being turned round the post by Gould for a corner. The ball was only half cleared by the Stourbridge defence and was played into the path of Joe Magunda, who startled the home support and probably himself as well by cracking a low drive into the bottom corner of the net from 25 yards, his first goal in nearly three years.

The lead was short lived however as Stourbridge were back on level terms inside a minute, Lait driving forward and side stepping a challenge before firing in from 20 yards.

Rowe should have scored against his former club to restore the lead, putting a free header from close range wide at the far post, and Leamington quickly found themselves behind, former loanee Jake Heath’s deflected shot from the edge of the area deceiving Cutts as it found the net.

The usual raft of substitutions which occur in friendlies punctuated the second half, Paul Holleran choosing to use all of his at half time. A jinking run into the box from Lee Moore set up Baker-Richardson for a shot which was blocked, while good work from Thompson-Brown set up the striker again but his shot lacked the power to trouble Gould. Some neat footwork from Thompson-Brown saw him shoot straight at the keeper, while Baker-Richardson brought the ball down superbly inside the box and forced Gould to push his shot round the post.

Somewhat against the run of play, Stourbridge then added a third, Lait picking up the loose ball just yards from goal after Heath’s shot deflected through to him, prodding it unchallenged past a helpless Cutts.

The visitors added another simple goal from close range in the final minute courtesy of Brad Birch. Brakes will be looking for a more positive result when they take on near neighbours Racing Club Warwick at Townsend Meadow on Tuesday evening, the Midland League Division 1 side having already played two games of their pre season schedule.

Leamington: Jamie Cutts, Ben George, Connor Gudger, (12 Tom James, 46), Joe Magunda (17 Richard Taundry, 46), Jamie Hood ©, (14 Rob Elvins, 46), James Mace, Rob Thompson-Brown, Jack Edwards, Ryan Rowe (15 Lee Moore, 46), Courtney Baker-Richardson, Ahmed Obeng (16 Ross Oulton, 46).

Stourbridge: Matt Gould (17 Tom Hayward, 59), Kristian Green, Joe Hull, Jake Heath, Jack Duggan, Stuart Pierpoint ©, Lewis Probert (14 Jacob Wedderburn, 68), Leon Broadhurst, Kayelden Brown (15 Brandon Hague, 68), Brad Birch, Chris Lait (12 Callum Parker, 68).

Attendance: 243

Referee: Mr Bob Dadley

Assistant Referees: Mr Simon Lane & Mr Scott Tallis

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