Leamington finished off their first season in the Zamaretto Premiership this afternoon with a 3-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town. Brakes thus ended the season in the top half of the table, but the Tudors will be relegated (barring the collapse of Merthyr Tydfil).
Brakes went ahead on 13 minutes with Luke Corbett making good use of a free kick near the corner flag. Bello had two great chances to put the game beyond doubt when he was one on one with the keeper, but both times the keeper managed to save. The Tudors were making full use of the offside trap. Hemel had a potentially threatening free kick on 30 minutes but it came off the wall. On 39 minutes an error by Faulds in midfield nearly let the Tudors in, but Brakes were able to clear their lines.
Half time: Brakes 1, Tudors 0
Brakes seemed to take the foot off the pedal after the break and were forced back for much of the second half. They often seemed to be defending too deep, although they held their line well with Adam Cooper making some great interventions.
On 69 minutes the home side broke away and played some fluent passing football which enabled Michael Tuohy to score. Luther Blissett in the visitors dug out adopted a posture which suggested that it was all over. Tony Breeden, who had been racing out of his area to clear the ball, made a great save for the Brakes on 78 minutes.
Bello seemed to put the match beyond doubt with a goal on 88 minutes, but Ryan Blake managed to score a consolation immediately afterwards. He came close to scoring a second, but Breeden dealt with the threat well.
It was a good conclusion to the season. Let's hope that Leamington don't get transferred to the Unibond next season as was rumoured today.