League & Cup Results 2002/03
  
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Leamington 5 Cheslyn Hay 1 - 22/03/03 - Midland Combination Premier Division
Taken from the Leamington Courier Online
 
 

Brakes got their ICIS Midland Combination Premier Division title challenge back on track with a comfortable win over basement club Cheslyn Hay before 382 sun-drenched fans at the New Windmill on Saturday.


Defender Nick McFarlane made his long-awaited debut in a much changed line-up for a match which largely consisted of one-way traffic.  Within the first five minutes, midfielder Chris Hanrahan and striker Josh Blake (twice) had good chances. Experienced captain Brian Agar showed the
way, getting the opener on nine minutes.  Top scorer Paul Nicholls then thought he had doubled the advantage, but his 'goal' was disallowed for offside.


In-form midfielder Baz Shearsby slammed a free-kick against the Cheslyn wall but sent the rebound sailing over the bar into the car park. Tom Sidwell headed a Nick Mort free-kick just wide on 33 minutes and almost immediately good work by Jonny Burgess gave Nicholls another go. With half-time approaching, Nicholls was twice denied by good saves by keeper Darren Walters. Soon after the restart Agar shot low into the corner to create some breathing space. Five minutes later he supplied a perfect cross to Blake whose shot was kicked away by Walters.
Nicholls had another effort ruled out for offside after a fine Shearsby solo run.


Cheslyn made sure Brakes would not have everything their own way, netting through Stuart Darby on the hour to make it 2-1. This seemed to spur the home side into action as two minutes later Blake took advantage of a partially cleared Mort corner to make it 3-1 . The striker got his second of the match in the 72nd minute to put matters beyond the visitors' reach.


This was by far the best of Brakes' goals, involving as it did a superb long pass by Chris Hanrahan to Shearsby out on the right, from where his cross was dummied by Agar to create space for Blake.


It was all Brakes by this point. Youth team striker James 'Shearer' Harri came on for Agar with 16 minutes to go and soon made it an afternoon to remember when he scored his first senior goal from another Hanrahan precision pass.


Further efforts by Shearsby and substitute Darren Timms could have added to Brakes' tally in the dying minutes.  As it was, the win was enough to put Leamington back in with a real chance
of the title. The future is very much in their hands with upcoming fixtures against rivals Rugby Town, Alvechurch and Bolehall Swifts (on the last day of the season). The arithmetic is simple - win the remaining ten matches and the championship is theirs.

Co-manager Barry Proctor was pleased with the performance. "We made seven changes from our last match which shows the strength in depth and quality of our squad. "We created a lot of chances and both the debut of Nick McFarlane and the first goal from young James Harri were highlights for me."