Performance did not merit FA Cup exit, says Leamington boss

Paul Holleran shows his frustration after Saturday's goalless draw against Gainsborough.
Paul Holleran shows his frustration after Saturday's goalless draw against Gainsborough.

Leamington boss Paul Holleran said there was not a lot wrong with his side’s display at Gainsborough Trinity in midweek.

Brakes’ dreams of a lucrative FA Cup run were ended at the third qualifying round stage, with Nathan Jarman’s stunning free-kick breaking a deadlock which encompassed Saturday’s tie and 85 minutes of the replay.

An injury-time strike from Bradley Wells gave the final scoreline an even more lop-sided look, earning Trinity a trip to Harrogate Town in the fourth qualifying round, and Holleran admitted the result was harsh on his improving side.

“The performance was as good as we’ve been all season,” said Holleran.

“For 75 minutes we were the superior side. We played on the front foot and got into some great areas.

“The final third was the only disappointment. Gainsborough play five at the back and it is a five, they don’t move.

“Their keeper made a few saves but being critical, the game should have been put to bed after an hour.

“Late on, the game got stretched and you expect them to have a spell. But in the ten, 15 minutes they didn’t really hurt us.

“The free-kick was harsh. Their wasn’t a lot in it and Jarman has done what he has been doing for years, it was a great free-kick.

“But I said to the referee as we were coming off that if you give a free-kick in those areas, really in the danger zone, you can’t guess.”

Brakes will have to pick themselves up quickly, with trips to the top two sandwiching a home clash with York City and Holleran admitted it was a mouthwatering prospect.

“It’s a tough schedule but one we are looking forward to.

“Salford, York, Harrogate. The difference in terms of the clubs and Leamington is light years.

“But it’s what we’re in the league for.

“In the last month we have been better organised and shown more quality and as long as the players keeping performing in the manner they are, that’s all I can ask for.”