BRAKES manager Paul Holleran believes home advantage will be key in the next month of fixtures, as Leamington look to bounce back from a defeat at promotion favourites York City.
The 2-0 loss, courtesy of Alex Kempster and Jordan Burrow strikes either side of half time, means that the Brakes remain without a win on the road from their three away days so far this season.
Holleran said the difference in quality between the two teams was clear to see, but felt Leamington also matched their opponents in spells.
“I think York have been labelled the team to beat this season for a good reason, but I thought for long periods we did alright,” he said.
“First half was pretty even, we’ve had a couple of chances.
“I think the start of the second half showed the difference between the two teams – they really came out strongly and we were on the back foot then.
“But we tinkered with our shape a bit and got some fresh legs and I thought we did really well then.
He views the next few weeks as being crucial for his side, and says momentum can be built during the run of home games coming up.
“I was pleased with lots of individual performances and spells we had in the game,” said Holleran.
“We’ve got plenty to work with and we can get a bit of recovery this week now – three of our next four games are at home so we can kick on from this hopefully.”
In Saturday’s visit to Bootham Crescent, Holleran opted for the same starting line-up that had narrowly lost out at Boston United, with James Mace the only enforced change for the suspended Junior English.
After an open start to proceedings, David Ferguson raced past Mace before unleashing a pinpoint cross into the vicinity of Kempster – who powered the ball home at the far post with his head on 21 minutes.
The goal buoyed the hosts to prompt further chances, Kempster again troubled Weaver’s goal with a header, which this time was saved, while Burrow stabbed a shot wide of the post.
Kaiman Anderson gave the hosts a scare late in the opening half with a strike that clipped the crossbar, with Josh March almost levelling moments after the break when ghosting in behind the defence and turning Callum Gittings’ cross wide of the mark.
The missed opportunity proved crucial, as Burrows slammed home the second on 52 minutes when meeting Kallum Griffiths’ cross first time on the volley.
Leamington searched for a route back into the game, but after only being able to craft half-chances for themselves, were handed a second loss of the season.
Holleran’s men are next in action on Saturday (3pm), when hosting 19th-placed Kettering Town.