'Bitterly disappointed' Paul Holleran left counting the costs after Leamington exit FA Cup at Kettering Town

Kettering won last night's replay 2-0.Kettering won last night's replay 2-0.
Kettering won last night's replay 2-0.
Kettering Town 2 Leamington 0

Leamington boss Paul Holleran admits he's 'bitterly disappointed' to have exited what he calls an 'expensive' FA Cup campaign.

The Brakes were beaten 2-0 at National League North rivals Kettering Town in last night's replay following a 3-3 draw at the weekend.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Callum Powell put the Poppies ahead in the 34th minute last night before Isaac Stones added a second after the interval.

Defeat means Leamington are still looking for their first win of the third qualifying round since 2005, but for Holleran there is an even greater frustration.

Skipper Jack Edwards was able to feature at Latimer Park but will miss Saturday's trip to Guiseley following a red card in the first meeting between the two sides.

Midfielder Simeon Maye is facing a spell on the sidelines after picking up a leg injury in that first encounter, while Kelsey Mooney completed last night's contest with his head bandaged before making a trip to hospital.

"It's been an expensive cup for us," Holleran said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We've ended up with a red card and a player with a broken leg. We had a player in hospital last night with stitches in his head and another player with a closed eye.

"We're bitterly disappointed."

Despite his frustrations, Holleran conceded the two meetings were 'great ties for the neutral'.

"They've started the season well Kettering and they're a good side," he added.

"I don't think we could have done any more first 45. We kept our shape and spent virtually the whole 45 in Kettering's half - a combination of poor finishing and some fantastic defending has kept it at 0-0 until they scored.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The disappointing thing is that from one of our set-plays we got a little complacent at the half way line and one clearance out the box has ended up in our net five seconds later.

"Momentum and the elements played their part second half and we got a bit leggy in the middle of the park.

"They'd argue their second half performance deserved a goal and I wouldn't disagree. We've got ourselves to blame."

Holleran, however, felt a replay could have been avoided had his side been a little more streetwise at the New Windmill Ground on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Steph Morley and Dan Turner twice put the hosts ahead only for Claudio Ofosu and a brace from Kyle Perry to turn the contest on its head.

However, Turner's late penalty earned a draw.

Edwards saw red harshly for challenge in the first half by referee Michael Barlow while Maye's afternoon ended with him being stretchered off after attempting to clear a Town attack.

"On Saturday we've ended up with a replay because of decisions out of our control," Holleran said.

"We got in a good position and ended up with 10 players and only one person will ever know why that happened.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We've watched the game back and had a blatant penalty not given. Dan Turner's been trampled on the ground, Jack Edwards has been two footed late and we end up with 10 players.

"We weren't dealt the good hand and showed great character to get back to 3-3.

"We felt sorry for ourselves Saturday as decisions went against us that possibly weren't in our control, but we could have managed a very, very weak referee better.

"(In the replay) we've done everything right but conceded a soft goal."