Leamington put to the sword by clinical Harriers

Paul Holleran and Martyn Naylor watch on as Brakes find themselves outclassed by Kidderminster.
Paul Holleran and Martyn Naylor watch on as Brakes find themselves outclassed by Kidderminster.
  • National League North
  • Brakes 0 Kidderminster Harriers 4

Brakes were unable to recreate the heroics of Saturday this evening, going down to a defeat that was every bit as emphatic as the scoreline suggests, writes Paul Okey.

Tony Breeden was beaten four times in the home goal and could do little about any of them as the second-placed Harriers displayed the ruthlessness which comes from a large budget and full-time squad.

Connor Taylor for Kieran Dunbar was the only change for Brakes from the side which fought back with ten men to draw with Darlington at the weekend, while the visitors featured former Brake Sam Austin on their bench.

There was little between the two sides in the opening exchanges, with Breeden dealing comfortably with a tame header from Ryan Johnson and Brandon Hall having rather more difficulty with a snap-shot from Anthony Dwyer which bounced awkwardly in front of him.

Eighteen minutes in, however, the visitors were in front.

Ashley Chambers sprung the offside trap and although his shot was kept out by Breeden, Daniel Bradley was in the right place to sweep home the rebound.

Brakes barely had time to draw breath before finding themselves 2-0 down, Declan Weeks firing in a beauty from distance which crashed in off the underside of the bar.

Joe Clarke’s shot from distance drew a sprawling save from Hall as the home side tried to respond, while Dwyer got his connection to a Ahmed Obeng cross all wrong when well positioned.

At the other end, Jack Edwards was called on to clear off the line following a Harriers corner with Breeden parrying away a fierce follow-up from Weeks.

Brakes were struggling to cope with the tempo being set by Kidderminster and slipped further behind in the 35th minute when a clever through ball released Chambers who produced a confident finish into the far corner.

James O’Connor was in the right place to block a Dwyer shot after neat build-up play from Brakes on the right and the hosts were denied a lifeline a minute before the interval when the Kidderminster captain diverted an Obeng cross up on to his own bar, with Taylor dragging the loose ball across the face of goal.

After being put to the sword in the first half, Brakes enjoyed a period of relative calm after the restart as Kidderminster knocked the ball around confidently but without the penetration of the opening 45.

Dunbar and Reece Flanagan were brought on for Taylor and Edwards on the hour-mark and two minutes later Kidderminster woke from their slumber to add a fourth.

Again there was much to be admired in the goal with a sweeping crossfield move finished off by a thunderous strike by the impressive Lee Vaughan which again went in off the bar.

Further chances went begging for Chambers and substitute Kane Rogers but Leamington deserve some credit for sticking to their task when the game was long since lost.

A tame Colby Bishop header apart, there was little to worry Hall in the home goal as the game petered out but on the strength of this performance, Brakes will not be the only team who find Harriers far too good for them this campaign.