Monday, 15 October 2012

Report: Bashley 0-2 Leamington - Southern Premier

MATT FINISH: Dodd celebrates
his opener for Leamington
HALF a season unbeaten, not a bad response to an eleven match winless run for Leamington who ground out their latest success at Bashley.

Since losing this fixture last season the Brakes have gone 21 matches without defeat. Nine draws in that time along with some disappointing cup defeats suggests they haven’t been wiping the floor with everyone, but the knack of getting points from games without playing that well is starting to make the rest of the division take note.

And so they should. Paul Holleran’s side were never in danger of wreaking the kind of havoc that Barwell did at Bashley Road, but equally the destiny of the points never looked in doubt.

Leamington’s assured control of this match always inspired confidence among the vocal away following as Bash, for all their endeavour, rarely looked threatening. Despite improving on recent home performances, they never had the quality to match their high flying visitors.

Bashley were at arm’s length for the first 20 minutes but went closest to opening the scoring in that time, Charlie Knight’s swirling effort just clearing the crossbar, but that only jolted the Brakes into gear as Matt Dodd stung Stuart Moore’s palms with a fierce drive at the other end.

It proved to be a prelude to the opener, though, as the former Sutton Coldfield Town winger eased the ball home at the far post from Tom Berwick’s low centre after Stephan Morley had played the front man down the left.

Leamington were almost caught cold as Brad Strickland fired across goal but the former AFC Bournemouth youngster, playing in a more advanced midfield role, got caught in two minds as his low effort evaded Tom Hill and crept wide of the far post.

On the rare occasion that debutant ‘keeper Niall Cooper failed to get distance on a punched clearance, he did well to recover and charge down another Hill effort, preventing Bashley from levelling before half time.

As the match approached the hour mark, Strickland wasted the chance of the day, skewing horribly wide from ten yards before Andrew Jenkinson saw his shot bravely blocked by James Mace.

That was as good as it got for Bashley who kept plugging away but couldn’t find the zest or energy to force their way through a composed Leamington defence, marshalled superbly by Liam Daly who won everything in his own penalty area before nearly doubling the lead at the other end.

With less than 20 minutes to play, the former Redditch United and Solihull Moors defender saw his downward header from Sam Adkins’ inswinging free kick hacked off the line by Ian Richardson before Ian Oliver cleared Bashley’s lines.

Morley crossed for substitute Lee Moore to head over the bar late on, but a deserved second duly arrived as Dodd slipped the ball to another substitute, Alex Taylor, to stride inside and beat Stuart Moore at his near post.

Leamington will feel they can play better while Bash will take the positives from a much improved display, but the team that was not at its best won 2-0. The league table does not lie.

*Bashley boss Frank Gray’s post match reaction along with the match report from the Bournemouth Echo can be found here.


BASHLEY: S Moore, Bell, Oliver, Strickland, Middleton, Richardson, Casey (Gradwell 63), Hill, Stokoe (Foster 80), Jenkinson, Knight.

Unused subs: Vokes, Finlay, Kearn (g/k).

LEAMINGTON: Cooper, Mace, Morley, Magunda, Hood, Daly, Dodd, Chilton (Husband 73), Berwick (L Moore 66), Johnson (Taylor 83), Adkins.

Unused subs: Naylor, Tiff.

Goals: Dodd 27, Taylor 87.

STAR MAN: Liam Daly (Leamington)

There were many strong performances from the visitors with young goalkeeper Niall Cooper proving his worth and Tom Berwick working hard up front. Matt Dodd was a constant thorn in Bashley’s side, but Daly edges it for winning everything he had to and then some. When Bash did manage to stretch the Brakes, Daly slotted into position to cover, charging down shots and heading balls away to calm everything down. His presence was felt at both ends of the field. A mature display from a player who seems to finally have settled at the New Windmill. 

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