Fans invade the pitch to back youth project
The inaugural Copa Del NWG match, hosted by the Brakes Trust, gave Leamington FC supporters the opportunity to play with and against some former Brakes heroes, writes Paul Edwards.
The trust places great emphasis in engaging the local community with their events and this one gave fans the chance to play on the hallowed New Windmill Ground turf regardless of their age, ability or talent.
The message was social inclusion and football for all and the afternoon was a great success, with players ranging in ages from 16 to over 50.
All those who took part donated funds to help the Brakes Trust support Leamington FC’s youth development project, which helped raise £330.
The match, played out in glorious sunshine, was finely engineered into a high-scoring 6-6 draw, with the players all taking part in a penalty shoot- out afterwards to further entertain the amused crowd.
The Well Oiled XI appeared to have a clear advantage from the kick-off, boasting former Brakes Richard Morris, Jonny Burgess and Barry Shearsby in their line up.
However, Rusty Brakes had ex-Leamington assistant manager Morton Titterton in their ranks and he bravely played 45 minutes despite carrying an injury.
Kicking towards the North Bank End, the Rusty Brakes made the better start and shocked their illustrious counterparts by taking an early lead, John Haynes controlling first time before firing past Richard Morris.
The lead was shortlived, however, with the Well Oiled XI levelling with a cracking first-time drive from Shearsby.
Well Oiled XI were well on top after this, Woodford United youngster Ed Kostiuk slotting four well-taken goals past overworked keeper Richard Cure before half-time to make it 5-1.
The Rusty Brakes finally got moving in the second half, thanks in part to some unscheduled player swapping, and pulled a goal back when Haynes swept home a Leigh Phillips cross via the underside of the bar.
Graham Moody blasted the ball against Burgess for a comedy own goal before a bizarre penalty was awarded against Shearsby, who had taken over in goal.
Brakes kitman Mark Davidson sent him the wrong way from the spot to reduce the deficit to a single goal.
Nick Doyle could have made the game safe for the Well Oiled XI but twice missed open goals and Paul Edwards made him pay with a precise finish into the top corner to level at 5-5.
Well Oiled XI went back in front when Kostiuk exposed a creaking defence for his fifth of the afternoon.
However, Phillips levelled the scores with the last kick of the game following a Lionel Messi-esque run through a packed defence.
Earlier in the day, the Lions’ under-14 team were beaten 4-1 by Coundon Court under-15s, while Brakes’ under-14s edged out their under-13 side 1-0.
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Weather for Leamington
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west