Evostik Southern League Premier Division
Saturday 17th December 2016
Brakes picked up another three points in foggy Hertfordshire at Kings Langley in a match which they largely controlled during the first half, but were forced to battle in order to preserve their lead in the second.
Both sides finished the match with ten men, the hosts having to play the entire second half with ten men after Lewis Rodrigoe was sent off, while Callum Gittings followed him in the second half.
Richard Gregory scored his first goals for the club to seal the points in this contest, putting Leamington in a commanding position with only 20 minutes played. The hosts made a lively start as they tried to attack at pace, Immanuelson Duku firing in a shot from the left that was held by Tony Breeden, but Gregory netted a neat first when he went in bravely against keeper Xavi Comas to nod Courtney Baker-Richardson’s knock on from a free kick past the advancing keeper.
Less than 10 minutes later he had his second, bending a low free kick perfectly around a defensive wall that had not retreated the full ten yards into the bottom corner.
Jerry Amoo was one of the home side’s key attacking players, and he manouvered into the box at pace only to balloon his shot over the bar. Team mate David Hutton was inscenced that he was not awarded a penalty after throwing himself to the ground in the penalty area, but Leamington ignored the protests and almost added a third when Gittings won the ball well just inside the Kings Langley half, driving towards goal before nudging a pass left for Connor Gudger to fire first time into the penalty area. Baker-Richardson connected at the back post, and though Comas looked to have scooped the ball back from over the goal line, nothing was awarded.
Duku and Amoo continued to be the danger men for the hosts, the latter moving forward at pace before finding his team mate, who cut in and fired over the bar.
There was an unsightly end to first half proceedings when Rodrigoe was sent off after Baker-Richardson was left grounded by a bad tackle, which led to a spot of handbags just inside the hosts half. It appeared a little harsh, and the Kings Langley coaching staff were not slow in showing their displeasure to the match officials as they left the pitch at half time.
Baker-Richardson forced a great save from Comas with the best chance of the second half early on, the keeper tipping a powerful header over the bar from a great cross by Gudger. The Brakes striker then saw a quick turn and shot saved by Comas.
Gittings was then given his marching orders after a high challenge on Ollie Cox, more pushing and shoving on both sides not helping matters.
With the numbers now level again Kings Langley had a good go at trying to pull a goal back to set up a rousing finale, but despite their efforts the closest they came was a free kick from Hutton that was directed straight at Breeden.
Substitute Jonny Munday fired a poor shot well wide of the target, but a quick ball out of defence from the same player almost caught the Brakes defence flat footed, Amoo getting in on the left but managing only to fire the ball across the face of goal and out for a throw in.
Brakes will enter the Christmas period on top of the table, but they have one more fixture before then, the visit of in form Chesham United on Tuesday evening. Paul Holleran hopes to be able to welcome back Darren Pond, while Ryan Rowe made his return as a substitute in this game, and Jack Edwards will be available after suspension. Jamie Hood may require a scan to discover the full extent of his recent injury. Ahmed Obeng limped out of the action at Kings Langley but it is hoped that his injury is an impact one.
Kings Langley: Xavi Comas, Jack Pattison, Lewis Rodrigoe, Emmanuel Folarin, Jorell Johnson, Ollie Cox (16 Jonny Munday, 72), Jerry Amoo, Ryan Plowright, Immanuelson Duku (14 Oran Swales, 72), David Hutton, Mayo Baloglin.
Subs not used: 12 Mason Bush, 15 Boris Kipeya, 17 Steve Ward.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda, Dan Preston, James Mace, Courtney Baker-Richardson, Callum Gittings, Richard Gregory (15 Ben George, 84), Rob Thompson-Brown (12 Ryan Rowe, 67), Ahmed Obeng (14 Tom James, 65).
Subs not used: 16 Nathan Olukanmi, 17 Ryan Quinn.
Referee: Mr Marcus Carmichael
Assistant Referees: Mr Sam Olhausen & Mr John Perry.
Brakes Man of the Match: Dan Preston.