Leamington boss Paul Holleran says the performances of his fringe players in the FA Trophy win over Spennymoor was a timely reminder that none of his first XI can take their selection for granted.
With George Carline, Jordan Murphy, Callum Maycock and Dexter Walters forced to sit the game out due to an administration error and Josh March not risked despite passing a fitness test, Brakes were down to the bare bones for the third qualifying round tie.
Nevertheless, goals from Connor Taylor and Jack Edwards took them through to the first round at the expense of their high-riding National League North rivals, backing up successive wins against Bradford Park Avenue and Banbury.
“It’s been a decent week,” said Holleran. It was a decent performance on Saturday, made more difficult by the [administration] problems beforehand and we showed a lot of character.
“The lads that have come in couldn’t have done much more. That’s what you want.
“It’s important I see that, it’s important the supporters see that and most importantly it’s important that the players who are watching see there are players who can come in and take their place.”
Holleran was keen to point out that all four loan signings will be eligible for the first round trip to AFC Telford on December 14.
“FA rules call for a form to be submitted on top of the loan form and we weren’t the only team to be caught out.
“All four are registered for the next round, though.”
With plenty of mouthwatering ties in the offing ahead of the draw on Monday, it was therefore something of anti-climax when Brakes were handed a visit to the New Bucks Head.
Brakes have already won there this season and while it represents a chance to make further progress, Holleran said it is the three home league games that precede the tie, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Guiseley, that could potentially shape their season.
“You ask for a home draw but it’s a good place to go.
“They are picking up a little bit but they are all going to be good sides when it comes to the first round.
“But before that we’ve got three really important league games.
“We need to pick up from Bradford.
“We’ve had lots of away games and we picked up a good result last time in the league.
“It’s paramount that we go into the Christmas period on the back of a good spell.
“It could be the difference between being on the front foot or looking over our shoulders.”