Holleran: Cup success can give us platform to climb the league

Jack Edwards put Brakes ahead against Boston, but the hosts were pegged back by a Dayle Southwell strike. Picture: Morris Troughton
Jack Edwards put Brakes ahead against Boston, but the hosts were pegged back by a Dayle Southwell strike. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington manager Paul Holleran was delighted to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night.

Without a Conference North victory since the first week of October, Brakes eased into the quarter-finals of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a 4-2 win over Southern Premier League side Redditch United.

And, despite the lower-league opposition, Holleran felt the victory, and the manner of it, would provide a timely shot of confidence after a testing few weeks.

“Redditch are a good side,” said Holleran. “And when you come to a ground like Leamington the players want to put themselves in the shop window and show they can perform at this level.

“In the first half-hour they were on the front foot and the score didn’t reflect the game.

“Sometimes when it’s a Birmingham Senior Cup game it can be less competitive, but it was a cracking match and we really stepped up after the break - we were excellent.”

Holleran was not so happy with the way Brakes let another lead slip on their way to drawing with Boston last Saturday.

Ahead thanks to a Jack Edwards strike, Brakes were pegged back by an opportunistic finish from Dayle Southwell, leaving Holleran to bemoan the fine margins which are costing his side at the moment.

“I said before the game that sooner or later it will start going for us and that teams will stop scoring goals which go through three pairs of legs in the box.

“Then in the first ten minutes we hit the inside of the woodwork twice.

“We had a great chance to go two up through Danny Newton and then they score a goal which went through Joe Magunda’s legs.”

Tomorrow, Leamington travel to Bradford Park Avenue for a FA Trophy third qualifying round tie that pits together two of the Conference North’s most out of form teams.

Avenue’s 2-1 defeat to Brackley last Saturday meant they, like Brakes, have failed to win any of their last six league games. However, Holleran believes neither side has any need to be looking anxiously over their shoulders.

“When you talk to people about Bradford, they’ll say they’re a good side with some good players.

“Saturday was another game they could have won and they’re probably the same as us in that the league table doesn’t reflect where they are.”