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Pride in our past
The history of Leamington Football Club 1891-2009
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FA Cup First round
Sat 5 Nov 05
By David Hucker

Brakes Cup hopes laid to rest by clinical Colchester

It was fun while it lasted, but Brakes' FA Cup run came to an end at Layer Road Colchester, where the Coca Cola League Division One side proved too fast and too strong on the day.

For over half an hour, Brakes held their opponents, apparently bridging the huge gap that exists between the part-timers of the Midland Football Alliance and the Football League. In the second minute, Martin Thompson rose to meet a long throw from Josh Blake, but Aidan Davison in the home goal comfortably held his header. Despite some forays into the opposition half, Brakes were increasingly put under pressure with a long-range effort by Kem Izzet signalling Colchester's intentions. Brakes did start to play with a little more confidence and had a good chance on 20 minutes when Jon Adams put in a good cross from the right, but Davison plucked the ball out of the air with three forwards in close attention.

Richard Morris slipped on the lush turf injuring his leg, but continued after treatment. Ryan Paris also went down when making a hasty clearance and it was beginning to look as if Colchester's advances would eventually pay off. So it proved in the 39th minute when with play switching from deep in the Colchester half to the Brakes' penalty area, Andy Gregory gave away a free-kick and up stepped Greg Halford to bend the ball around the wall past a static Morris.

With half-time approaching, Morris made a good reflex save to beat out a low cross from the left but, from the resultant corner, Wayne Brown whipped the ball into the net to double the lead on 44 minutes.

Any hopes of a Brakes revival were dashed soon after the break. In the 48th minute, Morris came from his goal, but failed to gather and Jamie Cureton crossed to give Chris Iwelumo a simple header into an empty net which he gratefully accepted. Iwelumo was unlucky not to get his second with another header which hit the post. However, right on the hour, a through ball found Jamie Cureton who calmly stretched the lead to 4-0.

Colchester went further ahead in the 63rd minute when Kevin Watson evaded a tackle from Alex Rodman to strike home and then five minutes later, a poor Morris throw fell to Mark Yeates who made no mistake from outside the penalty area. It was all Colchester now and, on 70 minutes, Jamie Cureton made it seven after Morris had parried his initial header.

The best goal of the match came from Brakes with a stunning strike by Richard Adams in the 72nd minute to bring the score back to 7-1. However, life can be cruel and, although Brakes didn't deserve to concede more, two goals from substitute Neil Danns on 89 minutes and then in injury time put the seal on an emphatic home victory.

There are some who will see the result as a humiliation, but they would be mean spirited. Certainly, it is no fun seeing your team on the wrong end of such a scoreline and, despite the occasion, this was not a report that I looked forward to writing on the way home. However, Alex Rodman apart, the starting line-up was the same as played at Step 7 of the Non-League pyramid last season and to get this far in the first year back in the competition is no mean feat. Sitting behind the goal with supporters who embraced the magic of the FA Cup with such enthusiasm (and with more singing at the top of their voices at the other end) was an uplifting experience which reinforced just what Leamington FC means to so many people. They deserved the applause of the players who went to both ends to greet them before and after the match.

After the crowd had departed, manager Jason Cadden faced the media with pride in his side's performance saying "we were still level after 35 minutes, but then gave a way a free-kick that led to Colchester opening the scoring. The second followed not long after and, over the 90 minutes, they were a different class. This was our eighth game in the Cup, having started back in August and, despite the result, is a day for the players and fans to remember.

We will learn from the experience and go into next Tuesday's game (against Solihull Borough) the stronger. We don't want the result to knock the confidence of the players as we have the league to focus on as well as the FA Vase."

Colchester United Aidan Davison; Greg Halford; Wayne Brown; Kevin Watson; Karl Duguid; Jamie Cureton; Kem Izzet (Neil Danns 61); Chris Iwelumo (Gareth Williams 74); Pat Baldwin; Mark Yeates; Sam Stockley (Richard Garcia 61)
Subs Not Used: Liam Chilvers; Dean Gerken

Leamington Richard Morris; Darran Tank; Alex Rodman (Kristian Kelsall 62); Ryan Parisi (Steve Smith 70); Andy Gregory; Josh Blake; Jon Adams; Leon Morgan [Capt.]; Ryan Howell; Richard Adams; Martin Thompson (Paul Eden 59)
Subs Not Used: Paul Shepherd; Tom Sidwell

Attendance: 3,513
Match receipts 43,547

Player news Ryan Howell went off following a clash having sustained a cut lip and loosened some teeth. He returned after treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Match photos»

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