Pre Season Friendly
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Tuesday 11th July 2017
Brakes notched up their second victory in successive pre season games against a lively Worcester City side at a rain soaked Phillips 66 Community Stadium.
Paul Holleran worked with the same squad he had named against Daventry with the exception of Liam Canavan, who was unavailable.
Having managed to hold on to some of the players who had previously turned out for them in the Conference North along with signing up others who have played at higher levels, Worcester will surely be more than a match for most teams in the Midland League this season, and they were more than a match for Leamington in the first half particularly. Dave Reynolds, scorer of 53 goals in 46 games for Malvern Town in the West Midlands League last season, was quickly looking for his first in a Worcester shirt. A low curling shot was the first of the game for either side, Tony Breeden saving comfortably.
Stefan Moore fired just wide for Brakes before some pressure from the visitors resulted in a vicious first time drive from just inside the box by Brad Birch which was met by a flying one handed save from Breeden.
City player-manager Lee Hughes then dragged a shot wide before Reynolds saw his snap shot on the turn parried by the body of Breeden, James Mace clearing the loose ball away from goal.
Reynolds saw another effort fly wide before Leamington began to come into the game a little, Junior English heading Kurtis Revan’s right wing cross over the bar. The former Worcester man then lashed a first time drive wide of the post before Joe Clarke saw his shot saved by Matt Gwynne.
The visitors deservedly moved in front on 38 minutes as they took full advantage of the award of a somewhat contentious free kick around 20 yards out, Matt Birley curling a beautiful effort inside the post, with Breeden only able to help it on its way.
Both sides had early second half shots on target, but it was Leamington, with more of their regular starters on the field, who began to look more threatening. Substitute Courtney Baker-Richardson laced a powerful drive just over the bar, and should really have scored when a great Leamington move ended with him meeting Connor Gudger’s pinpoint left wing centre three yards out, only for last season’s top scorer to balloon his first time effort over the bar.
Another former Worcester man, Colby Bishop, headed Richard Taundry’s cross straight at Gwynne before having a big hand in the equalising goal. Turning his marker inside on the left side of the penalty area, he crashed a low drive against the base of the post before picking up possession once more, flighting a cross to the far post for English, who stooped to power home a close range header.
Brakes were quickly in front, young substitute Charlie Marsh finding Baker-Richardson in the area, who was clipped by Nathan Hayward, the verdict was penalty from Referee Scott Tallis. Second half substitute Rob Thompson-Brown stepped up to crash his fourth goal in two pre season matches into the top corner.
It was another substitute, trialist Tom Rankin, who bagged the third, reacting quickest when his initial shot was blocked to thread a second effort through a crowd into the bottom corner. After impressing when coming on in the first half on Saturday, he did his claims to win a deal no harm at all.
Leamington were made to work hard for the win by their visitors, and the new signings all impressed again, along with the substitutes. With Liam Canavan and Dan Quigley, who has been sidelined with appendix and wrist problems, to come back in, Brakes look to be building some good momentum in the early weeks of pre season.
Leamington: Tony Breeden, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Clarke (17 Tom Rankin, 67), Jamie Hood (12 Joe Magunda, 58), James Mace, Kurtis Revan (16 Callum Gittings, 46), Junior English (18 Shay Nicholson, 85), Colby Bishop (19 Charlie Marsh, 83) , Stefan Moore (15 Rob Thompson-Brown, 46), Ahmed Obeng (14 Courtney Baker-Richardson, 58).
Subs not used: GK Charlie Hornby.
Worcester City: Matt Gwynne, Tyler Weir, Aaron Griffiths, Alexandru Albert, Shab Khan, Nathan Hayward, Matt Birley, Brad Birch, Lee Hughes, Dave Reynolds, Jamie Smith.
Substitutes: 12 Sam Smith, 13 Chris Rich, 14 Myles Newman, 15 Sam Yeomans, 16 Dahmarnae Sinclair, 17 Josh Harris-James, 18 Mike Wright, 19 James Baldwin.
Referee: Mr Scott Tallis.
Assistant Referees: Mr Martin Gittings & Mr Joe Clarke.