Evostik Southern League Premier Division
Tuesday 6th December 2016
Brakes responded in a positive manner to only their third defeat of the season by bouncing back with a comfortable victory at Dunstable which was was marred by a sickening clash of heads between Darren Pond and home defender Sam Doolan that caused a fifteen minute delay to the match.
Leamington had gone in a goal to the good at half time thanks to Ahmed Obeng, and ensured that they would take all three points back to Warwickshire with a second from Courtney Baker-Richardson, but both players could have easily had hat tricks with more accurate finishing as Brakes contrived to miss a hatful of chances to really kill the game off.
An early Dunstable shot was well blocked, by whom nobody was quite sure, while Jack Edwards shot wide on the turn for the visitors, who lined up with four changes from the side which started against Hitchin. Richard Taundry, Joe Magunda and Darren Pond returning, while new loan signing Dan Preston made his debut just hours after signing from AFC Telford United, in place of the injured Jamie Hood, putting in an impressive display. Ryan Rowe was also absent, allowing Baker-Richardson to push into the main strikers’ position.
Danny Talbot saw a shot parried by Tony Breeden before Dunstable were forced into an early defensive substitution. The hosts nearly contrived to put their visitors in front when David Longe King’s attempted clearance ricocheted off his skipper Adam Pepera and whistled just past the post.
Leamington were patient however, and went in front on the half hour. Edwards looked in a good position to shoot in the centre on the edge of the box but instead moved the ball out to Connor Gudger on the left. His low cross was picked up by Obeng, who cut past his marker to lash a low left footed drive across goal into the bottom corner past Jamie Head.
Paul Holleran’s men were playing some confident passing football and a great passage of play found Rob Thompson-Brown in space on the right, Head diving full length to push his goalbound shot away.
The unfortunate clash between Pond and Doolan occurred midway through the Dunstable half as Leamington were attacking with the second half only minutes old. It was a worrying sight as both players remained prostrate on the turf for some time. The teams were sent back to the dressing rooms for a short time, and while Pond eventually got to his feet and made his own way off the pitch, Doolan was stretchered off with a large lump on his head and taken to hospital as a precaution. Having spoken to Dunstable the following day, Paul Holleran reported that ‘Sam has been kept in hospital overnight and they are looking to do a scan to check for a hairline crack or fracture.’ We wish him all the best and hope to see him back on the field when Town visit us in March.
When the game eventually restarted Leamington quickly gained the ascendancy. Baker-Richardson looked to have got goal side of right back Longe King, only for the defender to make a superb clearing tackle as the striker shaped to shoot. Thompson-Brown fired well wide on the turn, while Baker-Richardson flicked a clever ball to Obeng, who cut inside again but shot low at keeper Head.
Shane Bush cracked in a deflected effort from distance which Breeden parried before collecting, while substitute Jack Hutchinson mishit a shot from out on the left which fell to Kelvin Bossman just yards from goal, only for the striker to practically pass the ball back to Breeden.
Brakes finally got a second goal just prior to the hour mark, Baker-Richardson capitalising on Dunstable’s inability to clear their lines from Richard Taundry’s ball forward to charge in on goal and finish calmly past Head for his eleventh of the season.
Leamington continued to create clear cut chances but somehow managed not to take any of them. Baker-Richardson got clear again but unselfishly moved the ball sideways to Obeng, who should really have done the same with Thompson-Brown in acres of space to his right, but instead fired wide.
Callum Gittings thundered a first time drive just past the upright from a deflected clearance before another slick move saw Thompson-Brown’s dangerous ball into the six yard box sliced over the bar by Jack Edwards from close range when he should have at least hit the target. Jamie Head then snatched Obeng’s cross as Baker-Richardson prepared to pounce.
Thompson-Brown’s low drive from the edge of the box went just the wrong side of the post before Obeng broke clear again, exchanging passes with Thompson-Brown before shooting just wide.
Dunstable continued to work hard but Bush’s tame effort was hit straight at Breeden. Substitute Hutchinson then set off on a purposeful run towards goal which was unfortunately for him, not matched by his shot.
There was still time for Brakes to fashion two more opportunities, Edwards directing a header towards goal from a free kick only to see it saved, while Obeng fired a pass in to Baker-Richardson, who took a touch and fired wide.
Dunstable Town: Jamie Head, David Longe King, Gedeon Okita (16 Jhai Dhillon, 18), Danny Talbot, Sam Doolan (15 Jack Hutchinson, 47), Adam Pepera ©, Vences Bola, Danny Green, Kelvin Bossman, Shane Bush, Jack Green (12 Alex Cathline, 63).
Subs not used: 13 Jack Smith, 14 Adam Moussi.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda (14 Tom James, 85), Dan Preston, James Mace, Rob Thompson-Brown (15 Ben George, 83), Jack Edwards, Courtney Baker-Richardson, Darren Pond (12 Callum Gittings, 47), Ahmed Obeng.
Subs not used: 16 Nathan Olukanmi, 17 Ryan Quinn.
Referee: Mr David Nicholson
Assistant Referees: Mr Luke Peacock & Mr Daniel Peacock
Brakes Man of the Match: Courtney Baker-Richardson.