FOOTBALL: LEAMINGTON started pre-season with a bang at the weekend, returning home from a friendly against Daventry having netted seven times.
At time, the United Counties League Division 1 Champions gave their higher level opponents from down the A425 plenty to think about.
But for most of the 90 minutes, Leamington looked sharp moving the ball around with purpose and intelligence.
Daventry made a bright start with a header from a corner just going over the bar before ten minutes had passed.
Brakes quickly turned up the heat though as Liam Canavan covered plenty of ground and drove towards the penalty area.
He played a ball in to newboy Colby Bishop, who returned it into Canavan’s path with a tidy backheel to leave Rob Thompson-Brown with the simple task of slotting home Brakes’ first goal of the campaign.
A disallowed goal for offside then followed as Leamington were denied a second goal while Calum Gittings had to take an early bath after receiving treatment on the pitch for several minutes after being hit on the leg.
It was later revealed Gittings’ injury wasn’t as bad as first feared.
Trialist Tom Rankin, who came on in Gittings’ place, made a good impression – including one fine challenge in midfield to halt a Daventry attack.
Courtney Baker-Richardson then robbed the home side’s left back inside the penalty area before crashing a shot just over the bar, before Canavan lifted another effort just over.
Leamington extended their lead on 31 minutes when Joe Magunda’s ball in from the right was struck first time by Baker-Richardson and diverted into the net by Canavan.
They quickly added a third when Baker-Richardson forced home a close range effort.
Bishop almost bagged a deserved goal of his own when he was played clean through by Rankin.
But he took one touch too many as he went past the keeper, making the angle too tight for a shot at goal.
Goal number four arrived on the half time whistle as Thompson-Brown fired in a cross-shot from the left that whistled into the net.
Half time substitute Kurtis Revan quickly picked up the baton as he found himself in space to hit a low shot across the keeper to add Leamington’s fifth.
Young keeper Charlie Hornby made some good saves down the other end while Thompson-Brown completed his hat-trick at the other end from the penalty spot.
The scoring was complete soon afterwards when Revan was brought down by the goalkeeper as he charged clear into the box.
Stefan Moore stepped up this time and saw his spot kick well saved, but the ball fell kindly for him to tap home the rebound.
The game provided a useful first workout for Leamington against a Daventry side now managed by former Brakes defender Arron Parkinson.
Pictures: Tim Nunan.