Baker-Richardson challenged to build on his fairy-tale start

Brakes' two-goal hero Courtney Baker-Richardson. Picture: Morris Troughton
Brakes' two-goal hero Courtney Baker-Richardson. Picture: Morris Troughton

Brakes boss Paul Holleran has hailed the impact of new signing Courtney Baker-Richardson.

The former Kettering Town forward scored both goals on his full debut to clinch a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Hungerford Town on Monday night.

And Holleran said he will be handling his new acquisition with kid gloves in a bid to continue to get the best out of him.

“He’s a young lad who’s come out of the pro game and he’s not settled at a club,” said Holleran.

“He needs to make an impact, be consistent and try and settle somewhere.

“He’s a player who needs a cuddle now and again but in his time on the pitch and in training he’s been infectious.

“He’s the right age, a local lad and he ticks a lot of boxes.

“Similarly with Sam Austin. For a 19-year-old to go there on a Monday night, stand up and produce a performance that saw their right-back taken off - he did excellently.”

The last-gasp win was in stark contrast to the home loss to Hitchin two days earlier when Leamington failed to trouble visiting keeper Charlie Horlock once during the 90 minutes.

“It was a pick-me-up after Saturday,” added Holleran.

“We were strong, looked good on the counter and showed a little bit of quality.

“To come up with two late goals shows the character of the team. Hungerford had a blank Saturday and they were fresh but we were the team that finished stronger.”

For all Brakes’ lack of attacking intent, Saturday’s defeat came after an out-of-position Tony Breeden was embarrassed by Callum Donnelly’s long-range effort.

It is not the first time the Brakes skipper’s walkabouts have cost his side but Holleran is not concerned by the occasional lapse.

“I love the way Tony plays and I don’t want him to change.

“But I think as a team we’ve overused him.

“We look to pass the ball back too many times and that puts Tony under pressure. They are situations we can deal with.

“Obviously Tony is disappointed his start position was wrong (for the goal), but like all players it is how you respond to it and I was really pleased for him with the penalty save on Monday night.

“It just goes to show why he is one of the best goalies around at this level.”

Brakes travel to Slough tomorrow before entertaining Dunstable on Tuesday night.