Young Brakes go down in high tempo game
It was a clear moonlit night at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium for the third close encounter between Leamington youth and Aylestone Park in 6 weeks. Brakes won 2-0 away in the league and Park had run out 1-0 winners in the League Cup at Leamington 3 weeks before, so it was going to be feisty affair with the players getting to know each other in this Eastern League divisional game. Both goals were threatened in the early exchanges with Brakes Winiarski's relentless running and Parks Owen Prior stretching Leamington's defence down the left flank.
On 14 minutes the speedy Parks number 7 De Matandoza forced a corner from which Max Lane missed a free header when unmarked in the box. On 18 Winiarski latched onto a long through ball and forced the keeper to deflect the ball into the path of brakes Adam Peepal who was hurried into his shot and skewed the ball wide of the Harbury Lane End goal. Winiarski's pace was putting pressure on the Park defence, Lewis Annals went on a super run from the halfway line, beating 3 players before laying on a pass for Winiarski to fire a fierce shot which the keeper did well to take the sting out of for a covering defender to clear. Then in an immediate counter attack Matandoza forced a double save out of Hopkinson after the Brakes stopper had fumbled a searing shot from outside of the box. The game had turned into an end to end ripper as chances fired in at either end. Parks Max Lane got a dressing down from Referee Mike Bingham for a heavy flying tackle on a Brakes forward and Fitzmaurice went close with a strong run down the middle and a good shot on target. 2 minutes later Jack Winiarski was rewarded for his incessant running when latching onto a perfect pass to lash the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0 to the Brakes. However the celebrations were short lived as Park swept straight up the other end to equalise with skipper McGann heading home a fine cross from wide right. And just before half time Parks Owen Prior missed a good chance firing wide with the goal gaping at his mercy. Half time 1-1.
The second half began at a hectic pace with both sides chasing long through balls from out of defence and on 56 minutes Park took the lead with Billy Tebbat nodding in a corner. The menacing pace of Metandoza was stretching the Brakes defence and he latched onto a deflection from a mix up in the Brakes midfield and unselfishly squared the ball with just the keeper to beat only to see his pass go astray.
Park had turned up the pressure on the Brakes goal and with Brakes defending deep they hit the post with a fine 20 yard effort from Eithen Pegg and Tebbat tested Brakes' keeper with a similar effort. But it was all over bar the shouting moments later as McGann found himself unmarked again on the penalty spot to fire in the third from a well placed cross.
Brakes' George Robbins who had done a great job at left back all night moved up field to his favoured wide position and dribbled past 2 defenders to lob a cross to the far post for a chance for Connor Byrne to nod home but the Park keeper made a good save . Aylestone Park ran out 3-1 winners, well deserved for their relentless work rate in the second half.