Defensive stability lays the platform for Frome success


Brakes followed up their Red Insure Cup win at Barwell with another victory and clean sheet against Frome Town on Saturday, writes Paul Edwards.

Early first-half strikes from Richard Batchelor and Liam Daly secured the victory, but the fact that the defensive solidity that was evident earlier in the season looks to have returned would have surely pleased Paul Holleran just as much as the three points.

The visitors arrived having reached the last eight of the League Cup themselves during the week but although they battled gamely and tried to attack on the break, they provided very little threat to home debutant Laurie Walker’s goal.

After a quiet opening, the game exploded into life in the 12th minute when Jamie Hood headed a corner to the feet of Richard Batchelor 12 yards from goal, and the midfielder unleashed a stunning overhead kick to give Leamington the lead.

The midfielder was then cautioned for lifting up his shirt, something the assembled supporters on the North Bank vehemently disagreed with.

The goal seemed to wake the home side up, and five minutes later they moved further ahead. Matt Dodd’s perseverance on the right wing earned another corner, from which Liam Daly rose to thump a header towards goal. Darren Jefferies was stationed on the line in the perfect position to keep the ball out but it somehow squirmed over the line into the net.

Mike Perrott screwed a shot horribly wide as Frome attempted to hit back, but Stefan Moore could have added to their woes when he danced past two defenders only to blast his shot high and wide.

Moore was presented with another chance minutes into the second half when he seized on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and lifted a first time shot towards goal that dropped just past the far post.

The visitors found the target when Rob Hobbs drove in a shot following a good break up the left, but it was straight at Walker.

Stephan Morley was inches from scoring a stunning goal when his blistering 25-yard effort crashed against the bar, and he came close again with another piledriver after Batchelor’s initial effort was scrambled away.

In a late cameo, Tom Berwick twice went close to making the result more emphatic, driving into the side netting and then cracking a volley into the same area from the left wing.

Brakes: Laurie Walker, Martyn Naylor, Stephan Morley, Craig Owen, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Matt Dodd, Lee Chilton, Stefan Moore (Tom Berwick, 83), Lee Moore (Ricky Johnson, 83), Richard Batchelor. Subs not used: James Mace, Joe Magunda, Dan Ward.

Frome Town: Darren Chitty, Dave Thompson, Mike Reaney (Josh Brigham, 35), Dean Flockton, Ryan Bennett, Rob Hobbs (Connor Grogan, 59), Darren Jefferies, Dean Evans, Dave Gilroy (Claudio Herbert, 72), Mike Perrott, Mark Cooper. Subs not used: Mark Johnson, Lloyd Chamberlain.