Saturday, 14 October 2017

Alex Rodman's story

Former Brakes player Alex Rodman was the subject of a full page feature in The Times on Saturday. He has been an ever present for Shewsbury this season, scoring twice and contributing five assists.

Now living in Solihull, he played for the Brakes for three years while studying for a business studies degree at Nottingham Trent university. He was paid £30 a week and then in his last year at uni went to Tamworth where he earned £60-£70 a week.

He went on play for Aldershot Town and got three England C caps. However, he was then diagnosed with blood clots all over his lungs, had to go to hospital and was on Warfarin for three months. With his career apparently at an end, he broke down in tears but went on to play more than 200 games.

Rodman's father established Warwick Sports & Leisure.

Now aged 30, he is taking a master's in sports directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University. 'I found the more I dive into books, the more I read and learn and challenge myself, the more I grow as a person and a player. I feel that not only am I in the best shape of my life, fitness-wise, but also intelligence-wise with the decisions I make on the pitch and off.'

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Outstanding result

One tweeter described it as the outstanding result of Non-League Day as Leamington beat promotion challengers Salford City 3-2 and ended their unbeaten home run in front of a crowd of 1,582.

I would not have been able to make it as I was taking part in the Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk in Leamington in memory of my wife Maggie, a former vice-president. At least it was good to see I could walk 5.5 kms without difficulty, albeit a bit slowly.

The report in the Non-League Paper is a bit grudging, describing it as 'unlikely win'. At least one of the Salford fans seems upset with the officials for not dealing with Leamington 'cheating' and is going to report them. Good luck with that (I think the standard of officiating at this level is much better than it was in the third tier). Leamington goals were:

  • 19 minutes Thompson-Brown penalty after Jack Edwards was impeded
  • 44 minutes Connor Gudger free kick from 25 yards inside the left-hand upright
  • Substitute Kurtis Revan five minutes from time from close range.

Non-League Paper Player Ratings

Star man: Tony Breeden. Mace, 6; Gudger, 7; Hood, 6; English, 6; Clarke, 6; Dunbar, 7 (Taundry 90); Magunda, 6; Moore, 6 (Revan, 68, 7); Edwards, 5; Thompson-Brown, 6 (Gittings, 80, 6).

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Interview with the non-league Beckham

Very interesting in depth interview with the non-league Beckham, Jack Edwards, by Windmill Wonderland: Jack Edwards

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Victory at home at last

Leamington beat Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium this afternoon to move to fourth from bottom in the table. They gave away an easy early goal from a corner, but then Dunbar caught the keeper out of his goal and made no mistake in getting past him for the equaliser. It was 1-1 at half time and the match could have gone either way, but two substitutes provided decisive. Clever work in the box by Kurtis Revan set up Ahmed Obeng to make it 2-1.

It was a balmy early autumn afternoon, but the early setback with the visitors given a free header by calamity defending caused gloom among Leamington supporters. However, as the Bloke Beside Me pointed out, it could be a blessing in disguise as it stopped us being defensive.

There were too many hopeless balls being punted forward to no one in particular when short passes on the ground were needed. The visitors were getting a lot of corners. Hood put in some good defensive work, his headers stopping potential danger. Bradford's No.11 was booked for kicking the ball away, but continued to protest and seemed to blame the lino who had not touched the ball. It was quite a physical encounter.

Leamington applied pressure in the second half, but could not find the back of the net. Breeden had to make more than one excellent save. On one occasion Hood and English let their centre forward through on goal. Joe Magunda, who put in a fighting performance, got booked for a bit of afters. Many of us thought that the Bradford player should have been booked as well. Rob Thompson-Brown hit the keeper's knees from distance. After we scored the goal, we managed to hang on despite one or two scares.

I would rate this as the best home performance I have seen this season and the win was well deserved. We should remember that Bradford are an in form team.

Attendance 502 and one dog.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Brakethrough

It looked as if it was going to end in a dull 0-0 draw and a replay at home, or possibly yet another early exit from the FA Cup. However, Leamington scored two late goals at Westfields this afternoon to put themselves in the draw for the 3rd qualifying round.

Breeden gave away a penalty on 15 minutes, but then redeemed himself by saving the home side's effort. After a poor first half for the visitors, things brightened up somewhat in the second half with Jamie Hood (who had earlier received a harsh booking) hitting the bar.

Bishop scored for the Brakes on 89 minutes after a Dunbar free kick initially went into the wall. Brakes then won a penalty which was scored by Robbie Thompson-Brown to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Well done Brakes!

A creditable, battling 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton last night moved Leamington out of the relegation zone, albeit we have played one more game than most teams because of Curzon's curious (and unfair) practice of playing midweek games on Monday nights. All credit to those supporters who made the long trip. I remember going up there for a cup tie when it all kicked off.

The Leamington goal was scored by our non-league Beckham, Jack Edwards.

Just need to rectify the home form now. Yes, the new stadium is a 'game changer', but we also need game changers on the pitch.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Fighting draw at Darlington

Leamington put in a fighting performance to achieve a 0-0 draw at Darlington today. They could have nicked it at the end. It was a better result than I expected. All credit to the 30 or so Brakes supporters who made the long journey up there. I see that one Darlo fan has tweeted, indignant at the draw, that we are the 'worst team in the division.'

Just a pity about our home form.

Leamington remain second from bottom, but on the same number of points as FC United of Manchester and Gainsborough Trinity. This season is going to be about beating the teams around us. If we can do that, we can survive.

The loan signing of Charley Edge from Colchester United is a positive move. It's entirely possible that the board have awakened from their Rip van Winkle 'its all about a new stadium overcoming a flawed business model' dream and realised that they have to think about what's happening on the pitch at the moment. No doubt they would say they do, but homilies about stadiums in the programme don't help to give that impression.