Evostik Southern League Premier Division
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Saturday 11th February 2017
Brakes followed up their hard earned point at King’s Lynn by battering five goals past visitors Dorchester Town without reply in a vastly improved display to their last league outing at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium.
The six goal reverse against promotion rivals Slough will quickly be consigned to memory if Leamington continue to produce performances like this. It was the perfect riposte, a vibrant performance which the visiting Magpies had no answer to, with some well worked goals which went some way to repairing the damage done to the goal difference two weeks previously.
The pitch covers and sterling work done by volunteers to remove them had ensured that the match was never in danger of postponement despite the bitterly cold conditions, but Paul Holleran’s side warmed the majority of the 405 present with a sparkling display.
This was a first look at Wrexham loanee Callum Powell for the majority of the Brakes support and pacy wideman quickly showed what he was capable of when given the ball, setting up Darren Pond to drive well over.
The opening goal arrived on 12 minutes, Tony Breeden’s lofted free kick into the Dorchester penalty area was headed down by Jack Edwards to Ahmed Obeng, who calmly took control before slotting his eighth goal of the season under keeper Shane Murphy.
Edwards nodded down into the path of James Mace in Leamington’s next attack, the centre back looking good for a potential second goal as he shaped to shoot, only for Franklyn Clarke to whip the ball off his toe with a very well timed challenge.
Powell was enjoying being able to get on the ball and use his pace after a frustrating debut on a difficult pitch the previous week, and a promising run towards goal was halted by Dorchester skipper Nathan Walker. Powell took the free kick himself, curling in a well struck effort that was beaten away by Murphy.
A second goal was not long in arriving however, Leamington winning back possession midway through the visitors half, Edwards playing the ball in from the right wing to Obeng, who turned his man well and squared for Powell to coolly slot home a first goal in Leamington colours.
Murphy almost spilled a shot from Courtney Baker-Richardson, with Obeng lurking to capitalise, but the keeper just about managed to hold on to the ball. Obeng was clearly enjoying his afternoon and almost bagged a spectacular third, mesmerising two defenders with his footwork before crashing a blistering effort back off the frame of the goal.
Baker-Richardson’s cut back into the box was scrambled away by the overworked Magpies defence, while more good work from Obeng saw him find Edwards who drove in a shot that was parried, Baker-Richardson unable to direct the rebound on target.
Jordan Goddard was making his full debut after returning to the club for a second spell from Halesowen Town recently, and saw plenty of the ball in the second half, having a shot parried by Murphy. A free kick into the penalty area then almost caught the Dorchester defence flat footed, Obeng seeing another shot blocked.
The visitors briefly threatened for the first time in the game when Breeden was caught off his line, Richard Taundry clearing away as the ball was played across goal. Ollie Bassett was easily the visitors most lively player, and he lifted a hopeful effort towards goal from distance that wasn’t too wide of the mark, Breeden watching it all the way.
Leamington stepped up the pace once more, and extended their lead when a fine defence splitting pass from Mace sent Baker-Richardson into acres of space on the right, from where he advanced into the area and clinically found the far corner with a low effort to bring him level with Ryan Rowe on 15 goals for the season.
Three minutes later it was four, Goddard winning a corner on the left and sending an inviting delivery into the six yard box for Mace to glance home his third of the season.
Rob Thompson-Brown replaced Baker-Richardson late on, and completed the ‘old five’ soon afterwards, taking a touch before lacing a 20 yard drive into the bottom corner past the dive of Murphy.
There were further chances for Leamington to really turn the screw, good work by substitute Richard Gregory almost being finished off by Mace at the far post, while Dorchester had a good chance to net a consolation when Bassett was played clear, but while Breeden had enjoyed a quiet afternoon he was still switched on, and saved well with his legs to preserve a seventeenth clean sheet of the season.
Obeng highlighted the work ethic throughout the whole team when he sprinted almost the length of the pitch to put in a last ditch block and prevent a shot on goal with the last kick of the game.
Brakes boss Holleran was pleased to see his side build on their last two performances, saying ‘I felt that if we could get the ball down and play, with the likes of Jordan Goddard, Callum Powell and Ahmed, Courtney and Robbie coming on, we would make an impact, and that’s exactly what happened. I think probably the first 45 minutes was as good as it’s been for a long long time. There were lots of 8’s and 9’s out of 10 today, and when we’re at those kind of levels we’ll give any team in this league a hard game. It’s really pleasing because it’s been a while since we’ve hit those kind of levels. We’ve managed games ok but we really opened up today, and looked a threat.’
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry (12 Richard Gregory, 74), Connor Gudger, Darren Pond, Jamie Hood, James Mace, Courtney Baker-Richardson (15 Rob Thompson-Brown, 65), Jordan Goddard, Ahmed Obeng, Jack Edwards (14 Joe Magunda, 69), Callum Powell.
Subs not used: 16 Ben George, 17 Callum Gittings.
Dorchester Town: Shane Murphy, Matt Oldring, Jordan Williams, Jon Vance, Nathan Walker ©, Franklyn Clarke, Ollie Bassett, Ollie Griggs, Lewis Powell (12 Ben Wood, 84), Ollie Mehew (14 Tom Blair, 71), Neil Martin (16 Billy Mitchell, 71).
Subs not used: 15 Jason Brookes, 17 Owen Nicholson.
Referee: Mr Matt Law
Assistant Referees: Mr Anthony Giles & Miss Lauren Holt
Brakes Man of the Match: Ahmed Obeng.