Pre Season Friendly
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Friday 14th July 2017
Brakes stunned a talented young Leicester City side as they turned a half time deficit into a comfortable win, thanks in the main to a stunning cameo from second half substitute Kurtis Revan.
The midfield ace forced the corner which led to Courtney Baker-Richardson’s equalising goal, then won the penalty which handed Rob Thompson-Brown the chance to put Leamington ahead. Revan came within a whisker of capping a brilliant performance with a goal towards the end, but he was a constant menace from the minute he stepped onto the pitch.
There were plenty of positives to be taken from the third warm up match of pre season as Brakes were given a stern test by the Foxes youngsters in the first half, and were made to work very hard off the ball, Connor Gudger in particular was outstanding.
He was beaten briefly in the opening exchanges, Llandro Martini turning inside and out before firing in a shot that Tony Breeden had covered at his near post.
Both sides lost a player to injury early on, though Callum Gittings had withdrawn from the starting line up prior to kick off with a thigh issue. The visitors’ Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall stayed down after an innocuous looking coming together with Baker-Richardson , and eventually hobbled off, later to be seen on crutches, wearing a protective boot.
For Brakes, Liam Canavan was taken off with a thigh problem in only his second outing of pre season, and looked very annoyed at not being able to play any further part in proceedings. Ahmed Obeng came on in his place, and quickly got involved.
The visiting youngsters fizzed the ball around with purpose but were unable to break down the Leamington defence. Meanwhile at the other end Joe Clarke almost played the perfect ball through for Colby Bishop, the pass just inches in front of the striker.
Breeden got down well to make two saves in quick succession to prevent Leicester from taking the lead before plunging to his right once more to keep out a diving header from the impressive Hamza Choudhury, before pouncing on the loose ball.
He was unable to do anything about the opening goal on 28 minutes however, as substitute Faiq Bolkiah’s shot deflected into the bottom corner to give the young Foxes a deserved lead.
The same player then lifted a shot onto the roof of the net from distance after Richard Taundry’s pass back towards his own goal almost played his team into trouble.
Baker-Richardson was penalised for climbing as he headed a cross from Gudger to the far post back across goal, and Leicester striker Josh Gordon cut inside to arrow a powerful drive high and wide just before half time.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with the visitors starting strongly, but Leamington gradually began to exert some pressure of their own. Keeper Max Bramley punched a cross off the head of Baker-Richardson, while Thompson-Brown sent a dangerous low ball right across the face of goal, Obeng just unable to reach it at the far post.
Leamington were certainly looking livelier than they had done in the first half but it was the introduction of Revan just past the hour that swung the pendulum in their favour. His first contribution was to power in from the right wing, Bramley forced to paw his vicious cross over the bar as it threatened to find the net.
The ball most certainly found the back of the net moments later however, as Baker-Richardson thundered onto the left wing corner to crash a bullet header down into the net with Leamington’s first effort of the evening on target.
Revan’s next contribution was a neat piece of footwork to make the space for a dart into the penalty area, where he was clumsily tripped to win a spot kick. Thompson-Brown stepped up to fire a low shot towards the bottom corner, and it looked as though Bramley had saved it, only for the ball to strike his arm as he dived, ricocheting off his back and into the net, much to his frustration.
Revan was clearly well up for this, and picked up possession on the edge of the box but was unable to quite find the angle he needed get his shot on target.
Bramley who had been a virtual spectator in the first half, was called into action once more as he dived full length to push out Baker-Richardson’s vicious cross shot. Revan then dispossessed a defender and fed Thompson-Brown, who fired over the bar.
Richard Taundry did superbly to slip Revan in for a blistering strike that ripped past the side netting. It would have been a fine way for the star man to finish the evening.
Leicester came close twice to a late leveller, a shot whistling past the far post, before Breeden did what Breeden does best in these situations, springing to his right to push out a stinging effort from Gordon following a slick passing move from the Leicester youngsters, who were finally undone as Leamington moved forward once more, Obeng making space just inside the box for a shot that Bramley again looked to have covered, but somehow let squirm from his grasp into the net.
Taundry almost added further gloss to the scoreline with a low curling free kick which was pushed away by Bramley at his near post. Nevertheless, this was a stirring second half comeback by Brakes against a clearly talented group of youngsters.
Leamington: Tony Breeden, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Clarke (16 Tom Rankin, 80), Jamie Hood, James Mace, Courtney Baker-Richardson, Joe Magunda, Colby Bishop (15 Kurtis Revan, 65), Liam Canavan (14 Ahmed Obeng, 21), Rob Thompson-Brown (18 Junior English, 88).
Subs not used: 17 Stefan Moore, 19 Charlie Marsh
Leicester City: Max Bramley, Josh Knight, Connor Wood, Hamza Choudhury, Sam Hughes, Fredric Neilsen, Llandro Martini, Dean Hammond, Josh Gordon, Admiral Muskwe, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Substitutes: 12 Josh Debayo, 14 Habeeb Makenjuola, 15 Faiq Bolkiah, 16 Sean St Ledger.