Leamington were beaten by Stratford Town
Stratford beat local neighbours Leamington
By Blast sports reporter Sam Green
Stratford Town earned bragging rights over their Warwickshire neighbours Leamington with victory in a pre-season friendly.
Stratford Town 2 Leamington 0
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Jozsef Jakab was the two-goal hero for Stratford Town after pouncing to score both goals in the first 11 minutes to end Leamington’s unbeaten run in pre-season.
The Hungarian forward probably won’t have any easier goals in his career after careless Leamington defending allowed him two tap-ins, both from barely a yard out.
This was Leamington’s first visit to Stratford’s Knights Lane ground, and they certainly looked in unfamiliar territory, appearing cautious from the offset. Their opponents from a division below registered the first attempt after just 15 seconds, Matt Gasper’s effort deflecting wide of the goal.
Matt Blair got away down the right wing on three minutes and crossed for Gasper, but he blazed his shot over as Stratford pilled on the pressure. The breakthrough came on five minutes, Gasper again finding a way through the Brakes defence; he managed to flick the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Richard Morris, which allowed Jakab to steal in front of his marker to tap the ball into an empty net.
Jozsef Jakab rounds the keeper
Leamington never recovered from their sloppy defensive error and Stratford punished them again just six minutes later. A casual backpass by Ryan Parisi forced Morris to rush his clearance, but he slipped in the process leaving the helpless goalkeeper sprawled on the floor while the poacher Jakab must have thought it was his birthday, as he ran the ball into an open goal.
Leamington needed to respond positively and they managed to consolidate for the next 10 minutes before forcing their best chance of the half. Imposing full-back Jamie Towers robbed Micky Love inside his own area, but his drilled shot forced a solid block from Town stopper Chris Jay.
Shay Morgan scuffed a shot wide and Jay was stretched to tip over from Mark Bellingham as the Brakes pushed to reduce the deficit before the interval, but Stratford held firm to take a two-goal lead into half-time.
There was no joy after the break for Leamington despite having the majority of possession. Stratford counter-attacked well; Love beating the goalkeeper with a long range left-footed effort, but his shot fizzed wide.
Me (on the left)
Persistent pressure enabled Leamington to carve out more chances. On 67 minutes substitute Marcus Jackson’s mazy run down the right wing broke for Bellingham who fired wide, Luke Corbett’s attempt grazed the crossbar and Liam Reynolds firm strike was well held by Jay.
Leamington finally had the ball in the Stratford net on 80 minutes, a low drilled right-wing cross from Glen Webb turned in by Corbett but the referee’s assistant was quick to flag for offside as Leamington began to celebrate.
Stratford defended deep in the final minutes and stayed solid to hang on to their clean sheet. A tale of two defences as Stratford’s organised back line won them a deserved victory and Leamington’s poor defending early on was responsible for them losing the game.
Stratford Town Chris Jay, Gary Moran, Micky Love, Nick Mowl (Ramone Stevens 65), Richard Munday, Michael Crawford (Dan Povey 73), Matt Blair, Jack Byrne (Mark Faulds 41), Jozsef Jakab (Rory May 61), Richard Adams (James Knott 70), Matt Gasper (Jay Tilbury 73)
Leamington Richard Morris, Jamie Towers (David Care 61), Martin Hier, Neil Stacey, Guy Sanders, Steve Palmer (Sean Brown 80), Liam Reynolds, Luke Corbett (Glenn Webb 85), Shay Morgan (Marcus Jackson 57), Mark Bellingham, Ryan Parisi (Josh Blake 55)
last updated: 30/07/2008 at 13:57