Leamington 2 (Gudger 63, Mackey 80) Frome Town 0
Leamington secured a comfortable victory over struggling Frome Town, thanks to two second half goals from Connor Gudger and Ben Mackey. The home side maintained control of the contest throughout, but were susceptible to some dangerous moments from the visitors.
The hosts threatened right from the off when Jamie Tank headed just wide from a free-kick from inside the halfway line, before Jack Edwards then produced a great save from Frome keeper, Darren Chitty. He curled an effort superbly towards the far corner, but the away keeper was equal to it. In a dominant opening five minutes for the Brakes, Richard Taundry also powered an effort from outside the box just wide of the bottom corner.
Ben Mackey is Leamington’s top scorer this season, and he almost added to his tally in the first ten minutes, as Chitty was put to the test again. The Frome shotstopper did superbly to tip the forward’s powerful twenty yard shot over the crossbar to keep his side on level terms.
The nearest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half came in the 18th minute, when Frome’s Darren Jefferies hit the foot of the near post after he was allowed to dribble inside the Leamington area. Frome also nearly took advantage of a moment of misfortune from the hosts, but Leamington keeper, Tony Breeden, managed to save the blushes of Tank, who had produced an awful backpass.
Leamington continued to press on with their chances with Edwards seeing a header saved, then James Fry came close when Chitty tipped his header over the crossbar, after the defender stayed up in the box from a previous corner. Gudger also saw an effort go wide at the near post before the interval, but the left back could not give the hosts a half-time lead.
Frome produced the first chance of note in the second half thanks to a powerful driven effort from George Miller from outside the box, but Breeden looked untroubled by the strike. However, Leamington took a deserved lead in the 63rd minute. Gudger looped a superb shot from 25 yards over the head of Chitty, before the effort nestled into the far corner. The keeper found himself off his line and defenceless to save this particular effort.
Both sides had a decent opportunity apiece before Leamington added a second goal later on in the half. Edwards did well to turn inside the box for The Brakes, but his effort drifted over the top of the crossbar. Then it was Frome’s turn to fail to score after an incisive breakaway did not come to fruition. George Miller ran with the ball into the Leamington half to set up Jefferies, but he was to be denied by Breeden, who did well to rush out and block the shot.
Leamington proved they had the extra cutting edge as Mackey added a crucial second to kill off the tie with ten minutes to go. A long ball upfield from Jamie Hood fell into his path, but only after he used his strength to hold off his man, which then allowed the forward to slot the ball into the far corner with only Chitty to beat. It was a fine reward for Mackey who had been a constant menace to Frome all game with his ability to hold the ball up and drift wide when required, as well as his goalscoring duties.
Leamington: 1 Breeden, 2 George, 3 Gudger, 4 Fry (Magunda 90), 5 Hood, 6 Tank, 7 Moore, 8 Taundry, 9 Mackey (Green 89), 10 Edwards, 11 Chilton (Ogleby 57)
Frome Town: 1 Chitty, 2 K. Miller, 3 Teale, 4 G. Miller, 5 Roberts (Walker 79), 6 Mapstone, 7 Davies, 8 Jefferies, 9 Jackson (Hulbert 70), 10 Cleverley, 11 Fitzgibbon
Report by James Hunt
Youtube highlights courtesy of Leamington FC
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