Leamington are familiar Step 2 opponents (which unkind soul said “tiresome?”) This is our tenth meeting so I’ll try to add something new.

The Sunday Times recently declared Leamington Spa as the best place to live in the Midlands though somehow forgot to mention the local football club.

Their ground is located very close to the famous Grand Union canal.

Maybe a bit too niche?

Ok then, their accounts show a positive balance of £345,000 (though this is underpinned by their £310,000 of assets, I’m presuming they own the two stands). The directors are providing financial support and seem to be buying shares almost monthly.  The club only employ 6 people and possibly only 3 of those are contracted players. Despite their small budget, Leamington have a U23 side, who complete in the MFL reserve League as do Redditch, Worcester, Tamworth etc.   To their credit, they also maintain two U18 academy sides, in partnership with two local colleges.

The Gaffer Paul Holleran believes in signing local talent. So much so that all bar one of his squad are English-born and the exception is Scottish.   He also likes mature players, six of the squad are over 30.

Dull?  Leamington no no no certainly not. What gave you that idea? They have taken points off all the top nine clubs.  Just the six goalless draws this season including – surprisingly – one at Hereford.  That’s progress, isn’t it?  Only half a dozen.  Come on, you thought there was more.  They’re not Kettering with six goalless games since mid-February or Brackley with 7 no score games. Cynics, the lot of you!

They have a goal scorer in double figures. Oh, the luxury!   24-year-old Dan Turner has 11 goals, his best haul in his career. He was injured just days before their visit to Edgar Street.  The striker went on to miss 8 games, only one of which the Brakes won.  He was obviously the missing link. Turner returned to first team action but his club didn’t win any of the first ten matches he played in after his return. Maybe he wasn’t missed quite that much.

All round big bloke Jack Edwards is becoming more entertaining with two red and 7 yellow cards this season – that’s a very reasonable 6 games suspended.  But he is very kind to his mother – as she told me personally when she visited B Block two seasons ago.  I do hope that he gets up close and personal with Amari-Holloway.   You wouldn’t need anybody else on the pitch, just the two of them and a ball. I’d pay to watch that.  By the way, Edwards has a degree in Exercise, nutrition and health. That is really handy for his day job selling IT software packages.

Kelsey Mooney has only seen about 150 minutes action so far as he was injured until February and is being nursed back. He’s only found the net once but that’s pretty normal anyway. Simeon Maye is much the same playing only 3 times since December.  Ollie Hulbert is on loan from Yeovil and has made 16 appearances with just one goal.

Hereford are popular visitors, drawing Leam’s third biggest crowd last season, and we can anticipate a decent supply of real ale in their excellent bar.  Match tickets are cheaper on the day than in advance as online fees are charged.  On the day is £14 adults and a very reasonable tenner for anyone over 60, to sit or stand.  Car parking is free.

They are a loyal bunch the Brakes followers. Their average has risen from than last season.  That’s partly because they made an effort to attract big club fans on Non-League Day .. and got 400 people extra through the turnstiles.  They’re currently pulling in over 1% of Leamington’s population.  Possibly literally having to pull but nevertheless their fans are a patient bunch. They’ve stuck with the same manager since 2009.  In that time, Edgar Street clubs have had 11 people in charge.

Three Leamington directors joined their board in 2008 and are still there including Chair Jim Scott. Admittedly, one of the others is Moody (as in Graham John) but that’s understandable.  You’d be moody too in the circumstances.

Their home record is slightly better than that of the Bulls, currently 7-6-7.  They are heavily reliant on picking up 3 points on their own patch as they’ve only won one away game all season.     With Leam struggling badly for goals and points, an away win might mean a big shove towards the relegation trapdoor. This will be a tense afternoon.  Don’t expect a goalfest.  Leamington have scored once in 540 minutes and Hereford twice.

See you there or listen in.

Match Tickets | Leamington FC Web (ktckts.com)

Simon Wright

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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