No happy returns for Brakes’ former Kiddy contingent

Colby Bishop battles to hold on to possession for Leamington. Picture: Sally Ellis
Colby Bishop battles to hold on to possession for Leamington. Picture: Sally Ellis
  • National League North
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2 Brakes 0

A battling display yielded nothing as Brakes went down to a third successive National League North defeat in Worcestershire writes Paul Edwards.

Brakes lined up with half a dozen players who had appeared in a Kidderminster shirt, while former Leamington skipper Liam Daly lined up in defence for the hosts who also had former loanee Sam Austin among their substitutes.

It was Daly who registered Harriers’ first effort on goal, glancing a header just over the bar from James McQuilkin’s left-wing corner. Tony Breeden was then forced to punch away a goalbound effort, Connor Gudger heading the follow-up away from goal.

Colby Bishop responded for Leamington, cutting in from the left and sending a low shot into the arms of Brandon Hall. Dan Bradley then curled the ball over the roof of the terrace for the hosts.

Harriers were looking to use the wings to get the ball into the box wherever possible and Hood and Richard Taundry were being made to work very hard by Emmanuel Sonupe and Elton Ngwatala, in particular.

Kidderminster skipper Tyrone Williams looked to have a good chance to open the scoring at the near post, but ballooned his shot into the air, while Ngwatala sent a half-volley flashing just wide after the ball had ricocheted around on the edge of the Leamington box.

Joe Ironside was denied by a firm block from Hood as Kidderminster mixed it up with a long ball out of defence but while Leamington were having to work increasingly hard as the Harriers attacks stacked up, they were also looking threatening, Bishop and Ahmed Obeng linking up well down the right for the latter to see a shot blocked.

Taundry and Obeng then worked the ball well down the same wing but there was nobody in blue to attack a good cut-back from the Brakes striker.

The home side had their best chance of the half when another slick passing move saw Ironside play in Sonupe, who attempted to clip the ball over Breeden who got something on it to concede a corner.

Ironside almost bundled the ball home in the last attacking move of the half but was denied by a fine piece of improvisation from Hood as he almost nonchalantly flicked out a heel to clear the danger.

Breeden watched an early second-half effort from Ngwatala sail past the post but there was more of the patient build-up play from the hosts, with Brakes doing their utmost to stand firm and frustrate.

Harriers continued to up the ante, however, as they tried to pass their way through, with Leamington barely able to get out of their own half in the opening ten minutes of the second period.

The pressure told with 64 minutes played when substitute Milan Butterfield was harshly penalised for sticking a boot out to challenge Sonupe, who certainly made the most of it. Ironside stepped up to send Breeden the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Liam Canavan was introduced for his debut, replacing Callum Gittings, and wasted little time getting involved, winning a crunching challenge on half-way before Obeng received a booking for a slightly late one.

Daly was furious with himself for not beating Breeden with a close-range header from McQuilkin’s corner, while Gudger’s well-struck free kick had Hall arching his back to push the ball over the bar, Hood heading well over from the resulting corner.

Daly went into the book for a lunge on substitute Kurtis Revan as Leamington pushed for a late leveller, Taundry’s free-kick from the left dropping agonisingly past the far post.

Butterfield’s first-time volley from a half-clearance was then blocked behind for a corner.

The hosts sealed the game in stoppage time with a superb goal from Sonupe. With Breeden racing back having pushed up for a corner, the diminutive midfielder picked the ball up just yards inside the Leamington half and curled a delightful effort into the far corner of the net.

Kidderminster: Brandon Hall, Tyrone Williams, Joel Taylor, Declan Weeks, Liam Daly, Kennedy Digie, Emmanuel Sonupe (Sam Austin, 90), James McQuilkin, Joe Ironside, Elton Ngwatala (Junior Joachim 60), Dan Bradley (Andre Brown, 75). Subs not used: Josh Webb, Cieron Keane.

Brakes: Tony Breeden, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Clarke, Jamie Hood, Joe Magunda, Ahmed Obeng, Junior English, (Kurtis Revan, 81) Colby Bishop, Callum Gittings (Liam Canavan, 76), Rob Thompson-Brown (Milan Butterfield, 56).Subs not used: Stefan Moore, Tom James.