Match report Vs Leamington FCVenue: New Windmill GroundDate: 06-01-18Att: 912 (away fans: 375)

06-01-18 - Report - Leamington FC 1 Harriers 1

Lethargic Harriers held to a draw at Leamington

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers came away from Leamington with a draw after taking a first half lead through Andre Brown with his second goal in consecutive games. Sadly we failed to build on that and a second half goal from former Harrier Ahmed Obeng gave the Brakes a share of the points although, to be fair, they should have had all three if it hadn’t been for some excellent goal keeping from Brandon Hall.

We started the game with an almost full complement of players after days of thinking that we would be down to the barebones. Joe Ironside was back in the starting eleven following his brief absence with a sprained ankle. Also appearing was Brown who had looked doubtful after getting injured at home to AFC Telford Utd on New YearsDay. Manny Sonupè didn’t make the cut though after also going off injured against Telford.

On the bench was a surprise to everyone with the return of Dan Bradley from long term injury.

On a bitter cold day the two teams got the game underway with the hosts having by far the greater share of the possession. We just couldn’t seem to get anything constructive going and that’s how it stayed for the major part of the match. Leamington, on the other hand, were content to punt the ball upfield to the number ten Jack Edwards for him to put the ball into the area. It was from one of these punts that their first chance came when Kane Felix forced Hall into saving with a shot from the edge of the area.

Former Red Callum Gittings also got a chance to score with a header that went just wide of the upright but we were finding it hard work to create similar chances.

Andre Brown sent a soft shot in that Tony Breeden – another former Harriers – collected easily while a minute later James Pearson inexplicably collected a cross onto his chest, just in front of the goal, and allowed it bounce off him over the bar when he should have let it drop onto a shooting boot.

Amazingly, against the run of play, we took the lead just after. Joe Ironside had just seen a shot blocked by a defender but from the loose ball Brown sent it back in again and, with the help of a deflection, it went past Breeden and into the net.

We should have confirmed our lead following that but instead still struggled to create much of any note against a Leamington defence who were giving very little away. It took until the end of the first forty five minutes to register another attempt on goal from Elton N’Gwatala but his shot was too soft and failed to trouble Breeden.

HT: 0 – 1

The second half was a struggle. In the first half we had failed to control the midfield and our defence was jittery with far too many pass backs that were putting Hall under pressure. When we did try to get the ball out it was falling right for the Leamington players to mop up and recycle the ball back to us. When we did try to pass the ball to feet again Leamington were wise to it and closed us down quickly leading to us losing possession again.

It was from some slack defending that the Brakes drew level. The ball out from the back was poor again and fell perfectly for Ahmed Obeng to strike it back goalwards where Hall saw it late and could only help it on its way into the net.

A change was needed and on came Bradley and Lee Vaughan in place of the disappointing Liam Truslove and Joel Taylor. Bradley gave us a little more presence in midfield and chased balls down without really getting on top of it. Vaughan, too, tried his best and played higher up the field than Taylor did but still we couldn’t find a way through the organised Leamington defence.

It was Vaughan though that cleared the ball off the line after Kane Felix’ shot had beaten Brandon Hall within minutes of his arrival on the pitch.

Most of the chances for either side were half ones and neither side looked likely to be adding to their score until almost at the end when substitute Kurtis Revan forced Hall into a brilliant stop at the foot of the post when it looked like it was going in.

We held on for the point though but apart from three players; Hall, N’Gwatala and Horsfall, we looked tired, jaded and un-interested. We go to Chorley this Tuesday and a place where we know that to get anything there you have to be on the ball and up for it. If we fail in that then questions need to be asked of the players who today seemed to be going through the motions.

FT: 1 – 1

Goal for Leamington: Obeng 57

Goal for Harriers: A Brown 27

The Harriers Online MotM is: Brandon Hall

Talk about the game here and phone the Harriers Hotline on 01905 577 777 after the game too

Latest table and stats here

Leamington FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Felix   80  
Edwards   69  
Obeng 92  
Magunda   92  
Canavan   69  
Revan   80  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Taylor   62  
A Brown 82  
Truslove   62  
Wright   82  
Vaughan   62  
Bradley   62  
Mr Martyn Rawcliffe