Holleran outlines 12-point plan for National League survival

Leamington boss Paul Holleran says his side cannot afford to relax despite back-to-back wins having lifted them up to 15th in the National League North.

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 5:26 am
Daniel Udoh and Ahmed Obeng celebrate Brakes match-winner against Blyth. Picture: Morris Troughton

Brakes have opened up a handy four-point cushion over Telford in the final relegation spot but Holleran still believes his side need at least four more wins to ensure their survival.

“It will need a huge amount of points to stop up,” said Holleran.

“Some poor bugger is going to go down with close to 50 points.

“We’ve still got lots of work to do.

“We need another ten to 12 points at least.

“(North Ferriby aside) We were hoping one or two teams would be dead and buried. I dare say some teams thought we were dead and buried but we’ve pulled out two big results.

“They’re all good sides down the bottom and they all want to be in the National League.”

Daniel Udoh scored the only goal of the game, while Tony Breeden saved a penalty as Brakes overcame in-form Blyth Spartans last Saturday. However, it was the performance of Junior English, filling in at right-back which Holleran singled out for praise.

English was switched to combat the danger of Robbie Dale and succeeded in keeping the prolific winger quiet as Brakes recorded a second successive clean sheet.

“Without a shadow of doubt Dale is the best wide man in the league,” said Holleran.

“I saw him score a hat-trick against Tamworth and he gave us a right torrid time at their place.

“Physically he’s very strong but physically Junior is very strong and is very good in one-on-ones.

“I’ve seen Junior play in every position and no matter where he plays you always know you’re going to get a nice little seven out of ten.

“It was one of the quietest games I’ve seen Dale play.”

Brakes’ trip to Spennymoor tomorrow is already in doubt, with the north-eastern side expected to make a decision on the match this evening (Friday).

n Two goals from Patryck Swiercz helped Leamington’s youth side beat Coventry Sphinx 4-1.

Jay Morgan and Nathan Dodd completed the scoring.

On a milder night for late February the Philips 66 pitch was looking well prepared for Brakes first game in a month after this long cold winter had forced 3 postponements in row.Brakes kicked off towards the Harbury lane end in the famous gold and black whilst Sphinx lined up in their unfamiliar all red away strip.The lay off was showing little signs of wear on the league leaders as Gerald Zefi put in a super cross from the left wing that hit the crossbar and rolled to safety as early as the third minute.Brakes pressure forced a series of corners and in the fifth minute Jay Morgan forced the ball home from 6 yards .1-0 to Brakes.two minutes later the Sphinx keeper pulled out a superb diving save to deny Winnarski and from the resultant corner the Sphinx number one pulled off another good save to stop another headed effort from Morgan.But it was 2-0 on 8 minutes when the ‘on fire” Patryk Swiercz picked up a loose ball in midfield ,controlled the ball on the bobbly surface and unleashed an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that was still rising as it lashed into the back of the net.Enough to douse any teams spirit,but,credit to the Sphinx side,they rolled their sleeves up and came roaring back and number 11 Alex Pearson got onto the end of a long ball down the middle to find himself one on one with the Brakes keeper on the edge of the box and must have thought his chip was enough to beat the 5 foot 6 keeper but,incredibly the Brakes stopper pulled off an incredible save by leaping up to catch the effort ( like a salmon).!

sphinx were now putting a few passes together and using the right wing to good effect and a defensive lapse let in the speedy number 10 Luke Whatsize who shot into the side netting with the Brakes defence stretched.Despite the pressure Brakes forced yet another corner on 16 minutes andNathen Dodd buried a header past a stranded keeper to make it 3-0 .on 20 minutes Whatsize broke down the right again and fired in a stinging shot that Vollie in the Brakes goal could only push onto the post and watch in anguish as the ball span over the line 3-1.Sphinx now began throwing players forward as belief began to grow and following a free kick the number 6 Leeson Moore missed a great chance when well placed on the far post 10 yards out.At the other end Winniarski produced a touch of magic beating the 2 central defenders in one move and laying a super ball across the box that just needed a tap in...moments latter Nathan Dodd forced another quality save from keeper Mcpolin and Swircz waltzed round 2 defenders and produced a stinging shot from a difficult angle that hit the post.it was all Brakes as the half drew to a close as pressure from Winnarski forced a back pass that the keeper picked up.From the free kickZefi fizzed a shot narrowly over the upright.HT Leamington3 Sphinx 1.The Brakes were out 5 minutes early for the second half doing their warming up excercises in the centre circle such is the keenness around this team.But with the game seemingly in bag the Brakes found it difficult to break down a 9 man defence that relied on long balls up to 2 fast running forwards from a deep defencive position.it was Swiercz again on 57 minutes as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and Coolley took it wide of the centre back to nail his second of the night and made it 4-1 .The Sphinx centre half Danny Bull who had been tormented all night by the pace of Swiercz and Winnarski finally caved in and was booked for kicking the ball away in frustration after he had upended Swiercz for the umpteenth time.on 75 minutes Luke Dodd drew another fine save fromMcpolin diving to his right to make a one handed save at full stretch and on 80 minutes Swiercz was denied a hatrick by a tremendous last minute tackle by Bull after the number 10 had outpaced 2 defenders on a 30 yard run.The Brakes back 4 were solid to the end and Vollie had just one save to make in the second half bravely diving at the feet of enrushing Lucinee Dunzo on the edge of his penalty area.An overal comfortable win for the table toppers still with that unblemished 100 % record and just 6 more to play.Final Score Leamington youth 4 Coventry Sphinx 1