Brakes manager Paul Holleran hailed the best performance in his time at the club after seeing his side claim top spot in in emphatic style at Weymouth on Tuesday night.
Four second-half goals sealed a second successive Southern League Premier victory for Leamington, following on from Saturday’s 2-0 win over Frome, and helped them leapfrog Hemel Hempstead to go two points clear at the top.
And following on from three successive away league defeats, Holleran said the 4-0 win at The Terras was as welcome as it was unexpected.
“When you take in the circumstances of the game, not knowing if it was going to be on, the players booking time off work and the travelling, it was the best performance in my time at the club,” said Holleran.
“We were aware how tough it was going to be and that the last two or three away performances haven’t been where they should have.
“I always say to the players ‘you’ve got to earn the right to play’.
“Our shape was good, we snuffed out the early danger and when the game opened up our performance was far above this level of football.
“The goals, any one of them could pick up a trophy at the end of the season.
“It was great for the supporters who had made the trip down there to see goals and a performance like that and it’s given everyone a lift.
“We’re heading to the business end of the season now and it was a great tonic.”
Heavy defeats at St Albans, Banbury and Stourbridge had threatened to derail Brakes’ title assault, with the defensive stability on which Holleran prides himself worryingly absent.
However, since losing at Amblecote, Leamington have shut out Barwell (in the Red Insure Cup), Frome and Weymouth to leave Holleran desperately hoping tomorrow’s home clash with Redditch escapes the big freeze.
“There’s been a great response to the defeat at Stourbridge with three clean sheets in three matches,” he said.
“We’re planning for the game [against Redditch] to be on and we want it to be on.
“We’ve got great momentum and no matter what you do on the training pitch you can’t replicate confidence.
“We looked back to our very best on Tuesday night.”
Amid the euphoria, there was some bad news on the injury front with an MRI scan expected to confirm fears that Alex Taylor sustained cartilage damage in the defeat at Stourbridge.
Striker Tom Berwick also picked up a dislocated shoulder at the weekend to leave Holleran on the lookout for attacking reinforcements.
“We’ll be doing some business.
“We’ve still got Jimmy Husband to use if we need him, but with Alex Taylor and Tom Berwick being out long-term, we need to do something.”
Brakes have been drawn at home to Cinderford Town in the quarter-final of the Red Insure Cup.
The tie will be played on Tuesday February 5 (7.45pm).