Highgate United 1 Leamington 3
Pre season friendly
The Coppice,
Tythe Barn Lane
Friday 22nd July

Leamington enjoyed a useful workout as they made a visit to the home of Midland League Highgate United for the first time in some years.

With almost a full strength squad to choose from minus Joe Magunda and Jamie Hood, Paul Holleran was able to make changes and look at the different options available to him.

Lee Moore saw a shot deflected through to the goalkeeper in the early stages but Brakes almost found themselves behind on 14 minutes when James Mace was adjudged to have fouled Lei Brown in the area. Aaron Brown stepped up to take the penalty, firing the ball down the middle but Tony Breeden, making his first appearance of pre season, made a fine save with his legs.

Jack Edwards saw a long range strike deflected over the bar before heading powerfully over from Moore's corner.

Brown made amends for his penalty miss by putting the hosts in front with his next opportunity just past the half hour mark, going through on goal and shooting low past Breeden despite the keeper getting a strong hand to the ball.

Leamington were level within a few minutes however, Ahmed Obeng swivelling to stab a low shot across goal that appeared to deceive the Highgate keeper as it found the far corner after Moore had capitalised on defensive hesitancy by pushing the ball back into the penalty area.

Recent signing Darren Pond curled a good effort in that was held by the goalkeeper as the two sides ended the first half level but that quickly changed within moments of the restart, Rob Thompson-Brown slotting home at the far post after some near overlap play down the left between Moore and Connor Gudger saw the latter play in a cross that was finished off by the summer signing from Redditch United.

Almost immediately an acrobatic effort from Moore was well saved, the follow up from Obeng being blocked by a defender.

Leamington were unlucky not to have a third goal when Obeng's pace got him clear on the right, a sweeping ball across the box finding Thompson-Brown on the far side. He still had work to do but beat his man and touched the ball back to substitute Courtney Baker-Richardson, who had an empty net to aim for as the keeper came off his line to attempt to smother, but unfortunately his shot struck the legs of Thompson-Brown, who was doing his best to jump out of the way.

Moore saw another effort saved and Tom James watched an ambitious effort from way out drop past the post shortly after coming on.

There was a familiar face in the Highgate side in former Brakes midfielder Josh Hawker and he picked the ball up in midfield, moving purposefully forward and feeding a team mate who turned to shoot low but wide. Brown then forced a save from Breeden with a low shot at his near post.

The Leamington fans gathered behind the goal felt their side should have been awarded a penalty when Baker-Richardson got clear but was bought down by a combination of two defenders in the box. The Referee was not interested however.

Highgate went close twice late on, Simon Fitter's well struck free kick held by Breeden after Hawker was bought down on another surge towards the penalty area, while a fine dipping effort from Declan Attenborough bought an equally good one handed save from Breeden.

Baker-Richardson bought an end to proceedings with the final touch of the game, thumping in a header from a Tom James corner.

Attendance: 100 approx

Leamington: Tony Breeden, Ben George (Ross Oulton, 60), Connor Gudger, Jack Edwards, Rob Elvins, James Mace, Lee Moore (Tom James, 60), Darren Pond, Ryan Rowe (Courtney Baker-Richardson, 46), Ahmed Obeng (Ryan Rowe, 70), Rob Thompson-Brown (Ahmed Obeng, 85).

Sub not used: Richard Taundry.

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Under the guidance of Community Director, Paul O'Rafferty, and Community Development Officer, Dave Trowell, the club have been working hard in the local community delivering courses at numerous schools and venues.
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