League & Cup Results 2002/03
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Leamington 3 Massey Ferguson 2 - 03/09/02 -
Midland Combination Premier Division
Taken from the Leamington Courier Online
BRAKES players have been told to hit the ground running in future games after coming from two goals down in a thrilling Icis Midland Combination Premier Division late show under the New Windmill lights on Tuesday.
Trailing to a first-half penalty and a spectacular long-range shot, Leamington equalised and missed a late penalty before Paul Nicholls poked in the winner four minutes from time.
Co-managers Barry Proctor and Jason Cadden were delighted with the comeback. But they warned their players that a habit of starting games slowly will cost them dear.
"We were below par in the first half and only came to life when they scored their second goal.
"The substitutions allowed us to switch to a more attacking 4-4-3 formation," Cadden said.
"We showed good character to come back, but if we are not to be punished in this division, we need to start playing well from the off."
Playing in borrowed kit following a fire at their Banner Lane home, the young Massey side took the game to their hosts. Their persistance was finally rewarded close to the break, when Darren Timms was harshly judged to have handled in the area.
Jez Carpenter coolly sent keeper Myles Day the wrong way with his spot kick, giving his side a deserved lead. Brakes' best effort at that point was a Brian Agar shot which was tipped behind
John Woodhouse struck a further blow within ten minutes of the re-start, doubling Massey's lead with a curling shot from outside the box.
A double substitution was the catalyst for the comeback. The lively Ben Adams replaced Timms and, crucially, striker Josh Blake came on for defender Mark Rowland.
The injection of pace from the pair - particularly the rested Blake - immediately caused trouble in the Massey defence. On the hour mark defender Tom Sidwell took advantage, rising to head in a cross from skipper Steve Thompson.
It was all Brakes by now. Nicholls equalised on 74 minutes, finishing well when a Blake effort rebounded off a defender. Moments earlier Blake had a fine shot expertly tipped round the post.
Brakes looked to be saved by the award of an 83rd-minute penalty. The ensuing melee saw Massey reduced to ten men, but the visitors still fancied their chances when Nick Mort blasted his spot kick over the bar.
The increasingly vocal North Bank crowd finally got what they wanted on 86 minutes when Nicholls capped a spell of relentless pressure by converting a cross from the impressive Adams.