Promising start is built on resilience, says Holleran

Ben Mackey celebrates his winner in midweek. Picture: Tim Nunan
Ben Mackey celebrates his winner in midweek. Picture: Tim Nunan

Leamington manager Paul Holleran was a happy man after seeing his side follow up a 3-0 win at Histon with a hard-fought 3-2 success at home to Kettering Town.

The successive victories lifted Brakes to third in the fledgeling Southern League Premier table but it was the resilience his side have displayed which most pleased Holleran.

“We’ve had two tough games at home against opposition that wasn’t much different from last year in the Conference,” said Holleran, who admitted he walked off on Tuesday evening feeling like he had played in the game.

“We’ve shown a lot of character and resilience and scored some good goals.

“On Tuesday night, for the neutral, it was a fantastic game to watch, it had everything.

“Both teams could have had more goals and whoever lost it could feel hard done by.

“But just on chances created, I felt like we deserved it.”

After taking a two-goal lead into half-time, Brakes were wobbling immediately after the restart with Kettering needing just six minutes to get back on level terms.

A fine strike from Ben Mackey put the home side back in front and Holleran admits he did not think that would be the end of the scoring.

“In the blink of an eye it was 2-2.

“They had changed their system to 4-3-3 and they were over-running us.

“But we slightly tinkered with our shape and got a foothold in the game.

“We played in better areas, started using the ball better and were always a threat on the counter.

“It was a fantastic goal, for Ben to finish from that angle - it was great finish.

“I didn’t think it would stay at 3-2, though.

“I knew they would come back at us and I didn’t think we would withstand it, but equally I knew we would be dangerous on the counter. That’s why we brought Will Green on.

“We failed to take one or two chances but we managed the last 15 minutes of the half much better than we did the first 15.”

Brakes have an excellent chance to build on their impressive start when they entertain Bideford tomorrow.

The Robins have taken just four points from their opening four fixtures, with an 89th-minute goal denying them a point at Weymouth in midweek.

However, they fought back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with St Neots on the opening day, scoring three times in the final ten minutes and Holleran says they have to be respected.

“They are a side who are always resilient,” he said.

“They will be tough opposition.”