Busy Brakes push Sky Blues all the way

A Coventry City side containing a mixture of first-teamers, academy and reserve players beat Leamington 2-1 at the New Windmill Ground on Wednesday night.

Brakes can take some comfort from pushing the Sky Blues so close, with all their squad barring keeper Tony Breeden having been involved in the friendly against Racing Club Warwick 24 hours earlier.

With first-team boss Andy Thorn looking on from the dugout, Coventry took the lead in the 23rd minute when Callum Wilson nipped through a static-looking defence to steer a shot past Breeden.

Roy O’Donovan really should have doubled the advantage when he was played in behind a flat-footed defence, but with the ball not properly under control, he lifted his shot wide.

Shortly before the half-hour, City added a second goal to reflect their superiority when Brakes failed to cut out a ball across the box and Josh Ruffels pounced to place a firm shot beyond Breeden and into the corner.

Leamington halved the deficit in the 37th minute when James McPake conceded a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Alex Taylor.

Tom Berwick stepped up to drill the spot kick past Chris Dunn.

Brakes: Tony Breeden, Michael Tuohy (Tom Bates, 64), Stephan Morley, Lee Downes (Richard Batchelor, 13), James Mace, Liam Daly, Alex Taylor, Craig Owen, Tom Berwick, Jamie Sheldon (Ben Mackey, 58), James Husband (Dior Angus, 81). Subs not used: Fazel Koriya, Kyle Cartwright.

Coventry: Chris Dunn, Aron Phillips, Josh Ruffels, Gael Bigirimana, Nathan Cameron, James McPake, Killian Brennan, Gary Deegan (Courtney Richards, 43), Roy O’Donovan, Clive Platt (Shaun Jeffers, 59), Callum Wilson. Sub not used: Jordan Willis.

Brakes bounced back from Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Birmingham City to record yet another three-goal victory on Tuesday night, this time over closest neighbours Racing Club Warwick.

Ben Mackey continued his return to fitness, playing 90 minutes and notching two goals against his former club after Fazel Koriya had opened the scoring early on.

With a game against Coventry City 24 hours later it was unclear what kind of team Brakes would put out, but in the absence of Paul Holleran, Lee Williams and Liam O’Neill paid their hosts the compliment of starting with a strong side.

Leamington looked bright in the early stages and, after a superb 60-yard crossfield ball from Stephan Morley had picked out Fazel Koriya, the youngster raced into the box to produce an emphatic finish.

Luke Fuller hit the side-netting as the home side tried to respond, but after creating a series of half-chances, Leamington doubled their lead in the 33rd minute through Mackey.

The striker held off the challenge of Michael Batchelor and, despite failing to get a clean contact on the shot, the ball had enough pace on it to beat an unsighted Tom Farmer.

Racing enjoyed more of the possession in a lacklustre second half which only burst into life in the last 15 minutes when Craig Owen was brought down in the box.

Racing’s young substitute keeper Jamie Warrender guessed right to keep out Richard Batchelor’s spot-kick, but with the goal gaping, Mackey ballooned the follow-up wide.

Tom Berwick’s overhead kick grazed the post before Mackey made amends for his earlier miss, heading in off the woodwork after good work from Batchelor on the right.

Brakes’ marathon pre-season schedule came back to haunt them on Saturday when Jacob Blyth limped out of the 3-1 home defeat to a Birmingham City XI.

The young striker, who had netted four goals in five going into the game, damaged ankle ligaments after falling awkwardly and is expected to be out for between two and four weeks.

Tom Berwick scored Brakes’ only goal from the spot after being brought down by keeper Sam Beasant.

n Brakes beat Studley 3-0 last Thursday with goals from Dior Angus, Craig Owen and Jacob Blyth.