Brakes rack up the miles to extend gap to the drop zone

Leamington cast aside their travel problems to pick up four points from two tricky away fixtures, extending their cushion over the Conference North’s bottom three to seven in the process.
Jordan Goddard is set to return for Brakes at home to AFC Fylde.Jordan Goddard is set to return for Brakes at home to AFC Fylde.
Jordan Goddard is set to return for Brakes at home to AFC Fylde.

A thumping 5-1 win at relegation-threatened Colwyn Bay on Saturday was followed by a useful point at play-off hopefuls Chorley in midweek.

And while manager Paul Holleran said the display at Colwyn Bay showed “maturity beyond our years”, it was the way his side performed three days later at Victory Park that most impressed him.

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“With a long journey in our legs from Saturday, I thought it was a big ask.

“But the performance matched, if not bettered, Colwyn Bay.

“If it was not for poor finishing and a couple of decent saves from their keeper we could have won the game quite comfortably.

“We looked after the ball well and let Chorley off the hook.

“But that doesn’t take anything away from the display.

“To put back-to-back away performances in like that is pleasing, especially considering we hadn’t been doing well away from home.

“It’s a really good bounce back after Barrow.”

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The feelgood factor at the New Windmill has been further enhanced by the arrival of former Hereford United winger Bilal Yafai.

The youngster has made two cameo appearances since joining Brakes but has already served notice of what an exciting talent he is, drawing rave comparisons from Holleran.

“We’re trying to bed him in.

“He’s only 18, an old-fashioned type of winger.

“Every time he gets the ball you’re not sure what’s going to happen. He has you on the edge of your seat.

“The way he travels with the ball, he reminds you a young Ryan Giggs.”

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Yafai looks like having to be content with a place on the bench again tomorrow for the visit of title-cashing AFC Fylde.

However, Jamie Tank (calf) and Jordan Goddard are set to return to the starting line-up, with Holleran admitting the decision to rest Goddard in midweek was with one eye on the Fylde game.

People are now aware of him. A couple of times he has been on the wrong end of hard tackles an d we are mindful of that.

“He’s not used to playing so many hard, physical games having stepped up from under-21 level and we are just trying to protect him.

“It is important to have him available against Fylde on a good pitch and against a good side.”