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Wednesday 02 January 2013 Updated: 02/01 16:34
Leamington 6 Bedworth United 1
NEW signing Stefan Moore hit a stunning hat-trick on his debut as Brakes stepped up their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division title challenge by hitting neighbours Bedworth for six at the New Windmill on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old former Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers striker, who signed on Monday after leaving Premier Division rivals St Neots Town, became an instant hit with Brakes fans by producing a clinical display of finishing which ensured they bounced back from a 3-0 defeat at Banbury United on Boxing Day in fine style.
The impressive success leaves Brakes just one point behind leaders Hemel Hempstaed Town, with four games in hand, after the table-toppers suffered a 2-0 defeat at AFC Totton.
But slow-starting Brakes had to do it the hard way after falling behind in the 15th minute to a well placed 20-yard low drive from Mitchell Piggon which left keeper Niall Cooper helpless.
It stung Brakes into action and Stefan Moore, who scored ten goals at St Neots this season, added to his tally with a 22nd minute close range header after the visitors failed to deal with Martyn Naylor’s free kick.
Brakes deservedly got their noses in front five minutes before the break when Stefan Moore turned provider by delivering a defence-splitting pass into the path of strike partner Lee Moore who neatly slotted home.
Bedworth went close two minutes after the break when a fierce 25-yard shot from Loyiso Recci flew inches over the bar but Brakes increased their lead in the 59th minute when Naylor’s cross fell kindly for Lee Chilton to fire home from ten yards.
Stefan Moore increased the advantage ten minutes later by turning central defender James Henderson inside out before thumping an angled drive beyond visiting keeper Andrew Kemp.
Stefan Moore celebrated his hat-trick two minutes later with a simple close range effort following good work from Matt Dodd, while the scoring was completed deep into stoppage time when substitute James Mace powerfully headed home an inviting cross from Lee Moore.
Brakes will be looking to continue their sparkling start to 2013 when they make the trip to Stourbridge on Saturday (3pm) which is followed by a Red Insure League Cup round three tie at Barwell on Tuesday (7.45pm).
OLD Leamingtonians bowed out of the Warwickshire Cup
FORMER Brakes manager Jimmy Knox sadly passed away
SOUTHAM United’s frustrating run of postponements continued over
SOUTHAM ace Steve Beaton bowed out of the