Brakes rounded off the opening week of the season with a third successive victory to send league newcomers Hayes and Yeading United to defeat in the first Saturday fixture to be played at their new SkyEx Community Stadium.
Jack Edwards scored the only goal with six minutes played, stealing in unchallenged at the far post to head Rob Thompson-Brown’s lofted left wing free kick down and into the roof of the net.
The hosts attempted a quick response but Jack Mills could only fire a free kick straight into the arms of Tony Breeden. His defensive colleague Yannis Ambroisine almost passed the ball into his own net under pressure from Ryan Rowe, forcing keeper Louis Wells to scramble back and clear away from the goal line. Ahmed Obeng then saw a shot deflected over the bar from Thompson-Brown’s corner.
Courtney Baker-Richardson came close to adding a second goal for Leamington, turning onto Connor Gudger’s ball forward and rifling a low drive just past the post from distance but this was the last real effort either side had on goal during the first half, the game providing little excitement for the crowd of 265, among which there was a healthy visiting contingent, boosted by a small group of SV Eichede fans who travelled over from Germany for the game.
Hayes and Yeading came more into the game in the second half as they sought to level things up, but Leamington have retained their defensive staunchness and were proving hard to break down. Dylan Kearney latched onto a loose header from James Mace to volley well wide, while Karnal Guthmy managed to evade the attentions of Obeng to crash another effort off target. Mickey Lewis threw on two of his substitutes in an attempt to change the game and one of them was presented with a chance to equalise, the ball arriving at the feet of Ismael Ehui inside the penalty area from Kearney’s turn and shot, but from a similar movement he could only fire straight at Breeden.
Edwards tried his luck from a tight angle out on the left as Leamington tried to stem the frequency of the hosts attacks, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Wells. Rowe then held the ball up well on the right to allow Ben George to run in and see a shot blocked. Hayes and Yeading broke quickly from the resulting corner, and Lloyd Macklin found himself in a good position on the right of the Leamington area but blazed his shot over the bar.
The game was opening up more now, and the hosts threw on giant striker Melford Simpson to give Brakes a new problem to deal with. However, Leamington broke away as Kearney mis-kicked inside their penalty area, Thompson-Brown running almost the length of the pitch before setting up Rowe to fire a shot over the bar.
Macklin almost muscled his way through on goal but was held off well by Jamie Hood, who nudged the ball back to his goalkeeper. It was pretty much one way traffic now as the home side desperately searched for a way through, Yasin Moutaouakil firing a free kick high over the bar from a promising position, while skipper Adam Everitt drove just wide after Breeden had punched a cross away from the head of Simpson.
Jack Mills then stepped up to try his luck with a free kick from a similar position to the previous one, his shot deflected behind for a corner. Deep into what seemed to be an extortionate amount of time added on by the Referee the hosts were awarded another opportunity from a dead ball strike, again from a good position around 20 yards out. This time Kearney stepped up and fired a low effort on target but Breeden was right behind it, pushing the ball well out to safety. The final whistle sounded as the clearance was completed and Leamington were able to celebrate a hard earned three points from a game that certainly wasn’t pretty at times, but they did the necessary and defended well to frustrate their opponents.
The chance to add more points to the tally comes round quickly, with Merthyr Town travelling up from South Wales on Tuesday evening to provide the opposition.
Hayes and Yeading United: Louis Wells, Jim Fenton (12 Melford Simpson, 71), Yasin Moutaouakil, Jack Mills, Yannis Ambroisine, Harold Joseph, Dave Olufemi (16 Ismael Ehui, 57), Adam Everitt ©, Lloyd Macklin, Dylan Kearney, Karnal Guthmy (14 Matt Sinclair, 57).
Subs not used: 13 Mo Otuyo, 15 Colin Mugoya.
(There was a booking for the home side, the player did not have a number on his shirt though!!)
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Ben George, Connor Gudger, Darren Pond (12 Richard Taundry, 71), Jamie Hood, James Mace, Courtney Baker-Richardson (14 Lee Moore, 60), Jack Edwards, Ryan Rowe, Rob Thompson-Brown (15 Rob Elvins, 83), Ahmed Obeng.
Subs not used: 16 Joe Magunda, 17 Tom James.
Referee: Mr Jonathan Creswick
Assistant Referees: Mr John Nazari & Mr Anand Desai
Brakes Man of the Match: Jack Edwards
Report by Paul Edwards
Video – Hayes & Yeading Utd