Tame Leamington slide out of FA Trophy after defeat at Redditch United

Brakes limped out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle with a turgid performance at the Valley Stadium against league rivals Redditch United.
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Despite some noisy backing from the terraces Paul Holleran’s men only really came to life in the closing stages, by which time the tie had virtually got away from them.

Coming into a fixture which gave them a break from the league the hope was that the team could bounce back from successive single goal defeats, but in truth they never looked like doing so, and the home side barely had to get out of second gear to move through to the next qualifying round.

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Recent Redditch recruit, from local rivals Bromsgrove, Prince Henry had the first effort of the game that was saved by Callum Hawkins early on, before Henry Landers was played in on the right of the penalty area, but shot against keeper Adam Harrison.

It was another frustrating day for Paul Holleran.It was another frustrating day for Paul Holleran.
It was another frustrating day for Paul Holleran.

Redditch took the lead on 17 minutes. Callum Rowe played the ball in from a free kick, but it was unclear whether it was Callum Flanagan or Tyrone Barnett who headed the ball past Hawkins.

Leamington were simply unable to get going, and Redditch came close again when Hawkins was forced into a double save from Brad Burton and George.

Brakes had a rare sight of goal early in the second half when Cally Stewart met Landers’ cross with a thumping header that was unfortunately straight at Harrison.

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They were rueing that missed opportunity six minutes later when George went down in the penalty area for what looked a rather harsh spot kick. Redditch skipper and former Brakes midfielder Reece Flanagan stepped up to send Hawkins the wrong way.

Redditch could have put the game to bed when Liam Armstrong shot just wide with four minutes remaining.

Leamington probably enjoyed their best spell of the game in the closing minutes, with Jack Edwards heading in their first goal in 270 minutes of football in the final minute of normal time, but despite four additional minutes being added on, Brakes were unable to find an equaliser, and fell to their fourth defeat in the last five games.

There is now a two week break before a long away trip to Suffolk to take on Needham Market.

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