Brakes set for Curzon trip after stunning fightback

Leamington produced an incredible second-half fightback in midweek as they beat Alfreton Town

Friday, 20th November 2020, 9:00 am
Brakes boss Paul Holleran

Leamington will head to Curzon Ashton tomorrow (Saturday) with more than a spring in their step after they picked up their first win of the Vanarama National League North season in the most dramatic of circumstances.

It proved to be a famous night at the Community Stadium on Tuesday as Paul Holleran’s team produced a remarkable second-half fightback to beat Alfreton Town 4-3 after they had trailed 3-0 at half-time.

Brakes looked to be heading for a third loss of the campaign as they fell behind after just 20 seconds when Jake Day headed home and the visitors went 2-0 up on five minutes with Day converting from the penalty spot after he’d been fouled by Jack Lane.

And when Elliott Reeves’ fine finish made it 3-0 inside 20 minutes the writing appeared to be on the wall.

But whatever Holleran said at the break had a devastating effect as Brakes pulled one back just before the hour mark thanks to Sam Osborne’s deflected free-kick.

And, from there, it unravelled for Alfreton as Brakes produced the most dramatic of finishes.

Osborne lobbed home his second on 69 minutes and then, with just five minutes to go, Lance Smith levelled things up when he bundled the ball home at the far post following a corner.

Sensing victory, Brakes went on the hunt and they were duly rewarded when Osborne’s right-wing cross was met by a diving header from captain Jack Edwards to spark wild celebrations.

“They started at a really good tempo and we couldn’t deal with it,” Holleran said.

“They put the ball in good areas and we weren’t physically strong enough to deal with it.

“We were a goal down after 20 seconds and 2-0 down after five minutes and it was carnage.

“We lost control of our performance and our emotions and you could yourself ending up 5-0 or 6-0 down and with only nine or 10 players left on the pitch.

“My sole aim at half-time was to get some stability in the performance and to make sure it didn’t go that way and to maybe find a way to chip away at the scoreline because I still felt we had enough to cause a problem.

“But what I got was everything I asked for and more.

“We turned the whole performance around. We started winning the individual drills and the little combinations and once we got the first goal the momentum was with us.

“I have stood on the sidelines as a manager or assistant-manager for what must be 1,400 or 1,500 matches and I have never quite seen anything like that second 45 minutes.

“It’s such a shame that people couldn’t be there to watch it.

“We have had a tough start, our performances have been better than our results but then we found ourselves 3-0 down at half-time.

“So to put in that 45 minutes for a team that is still finding its way says a lot about what is there.

“I am buzzing but it was a draining night.”

Leamington’s clash at seventh-placed Curzon tomorrow is quickly followed by a home game with high-flying AFC Fylde next Tuesday evening.