Leamington won an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stratford Town at the New Windmill Ground last night. It was deja vu time at Harbury Lane with eleven of the Bardsmen formerly featuring for Leamington. It was also a return for former management duo Jason Cadden and Morton Titterton, Cadden being greeted with warm applause as a tribute to what he had achieved for the Brakes.
Brakes were wearing their smart new away kit (also do check out some of the excellent new merchandise in the club shop). The Bardsmen turned out in a tangerine away strip which led me to comment that someone at the Anne Hathaway must be a Blackpool fan, a remark which drew an objection from a rude mechanical seated in front of me.
On a cool evening the first half was played at a fast pace. Stratford are a neat passing side and were not easy to break down even though Brakes were playing down the slope. They did create a couple of potential scoring opportunities, one of which was tipped over by keeper Tom Cross.
Half time: Brakes 0, Bardsmen 0
The second half started much like the first. Brakes had plenty of possession but were unable to break down a resolute Stratford defence which included the son a former Shakesperean actor.
Former Brakes keeper Richard Morris was now between the sticks for the visitors and a forceful free kick by Downes left him with no chance. The 1-0 scoreline cued substitutions and new signing Tom Berwick from Daventry Town did not need the prompter to remember his lines. He put in a sweet cross for Jacob Blyth who found the back of the net with ease.
Daly then completed the scoring with a bullet header that for me was the goal of the match and would not have disgraced a higher level. Our doubts are our traitors, but some of the Stratford support started abusing their team in language not penned by Shakespeare. Harbury Lane legend Josh Blake came on a substitute for the visitors but wasn't a game changer.
Ben Mackey made his return in this match and was certainly full of enthusiasm and effort. He still looked to me as if he was carrying a bit of weight, but Sir Mick assured me that he had been training hard and it was all muscle.
Kiddy on Saturday will be a tougher test, but so far, so good.