Resounding win sits well with Holleran


It takes a lot to get Paul Holleran to sit down.

The Brakes boss usually spends the 90 minutes prowling the very limits of his technical area, barking out instructions to everyone from Tony Breeden to the assistant referees.

However, 80 minutes into Tuesday night’s match, Holleran was perched arms folded on the bench next to sports therapist Mick Talbot. Such was the ease of this victory, Breeden could easily have pulled up a chair and joined him.

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“Having had Bedford watched at the weekend, I was expecting a little bit more,” said Holleran

“There was certainly an element of us getting out of the blocks quickly and it was a comfortable night’s work.

“They came to play and it was quite open. In that secenario we have the better players.

“It had the feel of a pre-season game and it was a nice enjoyable evening.”

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Brakes took the lead in the seventh minute, with Jacob Blyth’s shot finding its way through a crowded goalmouth after James Rowe had seen his effort saved.

It capped a rousing opening from the home side who had already pulled out an excellent save from keeper Ian Brown after a neat backheel from James Rowe had set up Neil Barnfield.

After the opener, Liam Daly put a free header wide from a free-kick, while Rowe was inches away from providing the finishing touch after Daly had headed on a Stephan Morley free-kick.

Bedford’s only response was a Craig Daniel shot which was deflected wide after Jermaine Ivy had shown Morley a clean pair of heels.

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As Leamington resumed their onslaught, Rowe got too much on a shot after combining well with Jimmy Husband, with the midfielder also the provider as Neil Barnfield lifted the ball over the bar from six yards.

A second goal was inevitable, but it came from an unlikely source, with Bedford defender Stuart Wall’s back-pass finding its way into the net with Brown stranded.

There was still time before the break for Lee Downes to hit the top of the bar with a free-kick after a bustling run from Rowe was halted illegally.

There was no respite for the visitors after the interval with Daly seeing another header safely pouched by Brown and Rowe causing an anxious moment for the visiting keeper with a curler from the edge of the box.

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The only surprise was that Brakes had to wait 20 minutes into the second half to score their third, Husband sweeping the ball home after Rowe had once again wreaked havoc in the visitors defence.

Rowe missed the chance to add a fourth when he stumbled following up a parried Blyth strike.

Rowe was replaced shortly after by Luke Corbett, who took seven minutes to add his name to the scoresheet, blasting home at the far post after neatly bringing down Husband’s deep cross.

Downes made it 5-0 in the 90th minute, curling home a free-kick off the underside of the bar and there was still time for substitute Chris Knight to twice go close to adding a sixth.

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The only blot on an a throughly dominant Brakes performance was a first-half penalty miss from Daly, awarded after Derwayne Stupple had pulled back Rowe.

“It is something we need to improve upon,” said Holleran, who expects to be back to standing for tomorrow’s tough trip to Evesham.

Brakes: Tony Breeden, Scott Lycett, Stephan Morley, Lee Downes, Liam Daly, Jamie Hood, Michael Tuohy (Alex Taylor, 63), Neil Barnfield, Jacob Blyth (Chris Knight, 81), James Rowe (Luke Corbett, 73), James Husband. Subs not used: Jamie Sheldon, Adam Newbury.

Bedford Town: Ian Brown, Ben Islam, Eddie Lawley, Derwayne Stupple, Stuart Wall, Jermaine Ivy (Nat Peacock, 65), Craig Daniel, Jamie Cole, Josh Sozzo, Ian Draycott, Ishmael George. Subs not used: Tom Damon, Ady Hall, Michael Kavanagh.