Back-to-back losses burst Brakes’ bubble

Two successive 1-0 defeats have punctured the feel-good factor at Brakes, with speculation about automatic promotion now a distant memory.

Manager Paul Holleran admitted last week that players had been talking of overhauling Truro and Salisbury after an impressive run, which had seen his side take 38 points from a possible 48.

However, following losses at Hemel Hempstead and Chesham United, Leamington are now anxiously looking over their shoulders in the final play-off place.

But, while disappointed by his side’s failure to pick up any points on their travels, Holleran believes there is no need to get despondent.

“To go away and restrict Hemel to two shots and Chesham to two shots and come away with nothing is ridiculous,” said Holleran. “It is a bitter pill to swallow.

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“What we’ve done is used up our lives.

“But we should remember we are still in a good position and I’m confident if the level of performances stay the same we won’t have a problem.”

The back-to-back defeats follow the departure on Friday of club captain Guy Sanders to Evo Stik First Division South side Barwell.

Sanders, who joined Leamington in December 2007, was no longer an automatic first choice following Jamie Hood’s move from Halesowen earlier in the season.

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However, with Hood suspended for the games against Bashley and Cirencester, the 32-year-old was part of a defence which kept two clean sheets before being dropped for the visit of Swindon Supermarine

“We worked very hard over the last two or three months to keep Guy at the club,” said Holleran.

“It’s disappointing because we had enough games to mix it up a bit.

“He came in when Jamie [Hood] was suspended and he did well, but because of the physicality of Swindon, we decided to go with Hoody and Liam Daly as they have got a bit of presence about them.

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“Guy knew he was going to play against Hemel, so to get a phone call on the Friday night was disappointing.

“He was well aware he was going to have a big part to play in the last ten weeks.”

A move for a replacement is not expected before tomorrow’s trip to Cirencester, despite Liam Daly aggravating an arm injury at Hemel.

Holleran added: “In Scott Lycett we’ve got someone who can play at centre-half and right-back, so it’s not a major issue.”

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n Trialist Chris Knight signed for Brakes last Friday, with the 20-year-old former Gresley Rovers striker making the bench for the trips to Hemel and Chesham.