PICTURES BY SALLY ELLIS
Leamington are looking forward to taking on Kettering Town in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup after their 3-1 win over Stone Old Alleynians at the weekend.
The Poppies needed a replay to overcome Spalding United while Brakes made sure they didn’t slip up against their Midland Football League Premier division opponents.
“Cup games are always tense affairs,” said manager Paul Holleran.
“Everybody wants to win, whatever level you are and Stone have done well this season with some good results, they’re big and strong and well organised.
“It’s always difficult for the higher ranked side as you have everything to lose but that’s cup football.”
Leamington scored with their first attack after Jack Edwards played in Dan Turner, a former pupil of the Old Alleynians school.
It was 1-1 at half time, but on the hour Joe Parker’s cross was deflected into the path of Kelsey Mooney a yard out from goal for 2-1 and with five minutes to go Dan Meredith won a penalty, scored by Turner.
Brakes’ success has earned them a home tie against their National League North rivals on October 2.
“It’ll be a bit of a local derby and both teams will think they have a chance,” Holleran said.
“It will come down to who performs best on the day and who makes the least mistakes.”
Brakes were in action again on Tuesday night, going down 1-0 at Alfreton in the league.
“They’re very experienced with a lot of know-how but I think we probably just edged the first half,” said Holleran.
“Then probably from the 55th to 75th minutes we came out second best, they changed formation and we didn’t adapt quickly enough and lost a lot of duels in different areas. I thought we had enough about us to get back on the coach with a clean sheet, which is what you want on a Tuesday night, away from home, but we failed to manage that period of the game.
“Overall I am happy, there were plenty of positives with a tinge of disappointment. We worked hard to get a foothold but let it slip.”
Brakes are on the road for another league game tomorrow (Saturday) at Hereford.
“Hereford’s always a great ground to visit and a great football club,” added Holleran.
“We’ve been good at home, but our away performances have been patchy so we need to find a bit of consistency, but we are looking forward to it.”