'It's just like watching Brazil' chanted the Harbury Lane end, presumably with some irony, as Leamington struggled to beat bottom club Rugby Town 2-1 at a wet New Windmill Ground last night in front of a crowd of 530. In fact it was more like watching Charlton with the hoofed balls, misplaced passes and inability to keep possession.
The Charlton effect was intensified by Chris Kiely wearing a tangerine Addicks keeper's outfit supplied by the Leamington-based kit supplier of the two clubs, Joma. Kiely looked nervous in the first half as the egg chasers swept downhill, but he kept his nerve and made some good saves, including one outstanding one in the second half.
On 28 minutes it was inevitably Mark Bellingham who pounced on a chance to put Brakes ahead against the run of play. It is Bello's ability to make something out of very little that we lack at Charlton. Unfortunately he must have picked up a knock as he had to go off six minutes later.
Nevertheless, Luke Corbett put Brakes 2-0 ahead in the second half. They then gave away an unnecessary free kick in a dangerous position and Rugby scored through Brown.
The Sheepside started to cheer ironically every time Brakes managed to put three or four passes together.
The needle derby then became increasingly fractious. The referee was one of those who believe the best way to control a match is by explaining every decision in detail, but eventually he had to resort to a blizzard of yellow cards. Finally, after he charged down the Rugby keeper, Tuohy was shown red. But it was three points in the bag.