Breeden is keeping his feet on the ground

Tony Breeden
Tony Breeden

Goalkeeper Tony Breeden says it is still too early to get excited about Leamington’s impressive start to the Southern Premier League campaign.

A third of the way into the season, Brakes sit two points behind leaders Poole and four clear of third-placed Chippenham ahead of tomorrow’s trip to rock-bottom Paulton Rovers.

Nine cleans sheets have provided the platform for Leamington’s title push, with Breeden putting in another man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s dogged 1-0 win at King’s Lynn.

However, despite picking up the accolades, Breeden was quick to deflect the spotlight on to his defensive partners.

“For the standard that we are at, you can’t get much better,” said Breeden, who is now in his third spell at the New Windmill.

“Jamie Hood is the best defender in the division and James Mace is solid as well.

“When Paul spoke to me in the summer he said he wanted to base the team around a solid defence and score some goals and Ben Mackey has come in and been unbelievable.

“But we’re not getting too excited, it’s early days yet.

“In the last few weeks Poole Town have been beating everyone in sight.”

When pressed about his own form, Breeden simply says he is “doing alright”, pointing to his experience in the Conference Premier as a major factor in his improved reliability.

“Once you’ve played at a higher level you stop taking so many risks.

“Hopefully I’ve ironed out the mistakes.”

Breeden added another string to his bow in midweek by scoring a penalty in the Birmingham Senior Cup clash against Bedworth.

It was his second goal for the club after a memorable dead-ball strike in a 3-2 win over Chesham in 2011.

Ben Mackey remains Brakes’ designated penalty taker but Breeden said he was keen to throw his hat in the ring following Richard Taundry’s penalty miss in the FA Cup replay defeat at Stamford.

“Nine times out of ten Taunds would score,” said Breeden. “He’s technically one of the best players I’ve played with.

“But after he missed the last one I spoke to the gaffer after the match and put my hand up.

“And because Ben Mackey wasn’t on the pitch I ran down.”

The 27-year-old’s confident strike was not enough to earn Brakes victory, with Bedworth going on to win 2-1.

However, Breeden said that with a busy schedule ahead, the defeat may turn out to be a blessing.

“You look to win. You want to win every game. But we’ll look back in a couple of months and it might not be a bad thing.”