AFC Telford hangover lasts four days for lacklustre Leamington
Leamington boss Paul Holleran admitted his side were suffering a New Year's Day hangover in the first half of their 0-0 draw at home to Brackley.
The hosts were completely outplayed with Saints missing a host of chances, including a penalty.
There was some improvement in the second half as Brakes held on for a second point in seven days against their near-neighbours but Holleran was in no doubt as to what had caused their lacklustre showing.
“Telford physically and emotionally zapped us,” said Holleran of Saturday’s 4-1 defeat.
“Physically and emotionally the last 20 minutes have killed us.
“It was a tough day at the office and you could see it against Brackley.
“We are well aware what a good side Brackley are and I told the players as we walked off at half-time that sometimes you have not got to think about it too much.
“You just have to find a way to get through it.
“A combination of good goalkeeping, poor execution with the penalty and poor finishing have saved us and we were much better second half without really testing Danny Lewis.
“But we’re delighted with the point and showed a lot of character after Saturday.”
Leamington will go into tomorrow’s trip to Guiseley without the services of Connor Gudger and Jamie Hood after both saw red in the defeat at the New Bucks Head.
However, Holleran is backing James Bowen to make the step up, pointing to the performance of Jack Lane against Brackley as an example.
“Jack was one of a few players who struggled at Telford. However, he understands football and is technically good. He needs more of a defensive presence but he is the sort of player you want to do well.
“James Bowen is the same in that he is technically good enough. He is a good pro and just needs to improve in a few defensive areas but this is his opportunity to come in and take his chance.”