Mile Oak Rovers 2 Leamington 1 - 12/01/02 - Midland
Combination Division One
Taken from the Leamington Courier online
TWO defensive mistakes condemned Brakes to their
first league defeat of the season on Saturday, bringing a 14-match run to
Determined Mile Oak pounced on slip-ups either side of half time to take
the points on a muddy, sloping pitch at Price Avenue. Substitute Darren
Timms' late effort was little more than a consolation for his
uncharacteristically toothless side.
With title rivals Rugby Town coming from behind to snatch a 4-3 win over
Brownhills to go 21 points clear, it looked like an expensive slip up by
Jason Cadden and Barry Proctor's men. But Cadden insists the race is
anything but over.
"It's still open. We've got to play Rugby twice and they will drop
points somewhere, someone will make them come unstuck," he said.
"We still fancy our chances of winning this league. It's never over
until it's over."
Brakes looked like anything but potential champions against a side they
beat 3-1 at the New Windmill in September. Playing in borrowed green after
a kit mix-up, they came off second best in a scrappy opening spell and
relied on long balls, many of them wayward.
Wide man Steve Thompson and top scorer Josh Blake both missed
half-chances, but real openings were at a premium. Mile Oak had one after
34 minutes when Kevin Ariss was dispossessed and the Brakes defence
hesitated . Exploiting the pause, the centre forward slotted past Richard
Thompson and fellow winger Dave Care worked hard on the flanks in another
4-4-2 formation and Tom Sidwell and Harj Dhesi - the latter sporting red
hair - combined well in the centre of defence.
The ingredients for a second-half comeback seemed to be in place, until a
second defensive slip tore up the script. Keeper Morris kicked a clearance
straight at a grateful Mile Oak striker, who doubled his side's advantage
Darren Timms, Glen Webb and Neale Perry were all thrown on in the latter
stages as defeat loomed. Blake fired over the bar from captain Brian
Agar's cross, but Brakes were lacking in all departments and never looked
like clawing much back.
Timms gave his side hope 12 minutes from time, heading home when Dhesi
crossed well from a Thompson throw. Care's shot over the bar after a
powerful run was his side's last meaningful effort.
Cadden said: "We made a mistake and let them in for a goal and after
half time we made another mistake. We didn't test their keeper at all.
"The players were all very disappointed, but there was a lack of
concentration at times."
Liam McGovern missed the game with an ankle injury. Erstwhile defensive
partner Will Payne is unlikely to play for the forseeable future following
differences with the management team. Influential midfielder and surgery
patient Simon Wickson is now only a few weeks away from fitness.