Powerful Brakes stop Terras
LEAMINGTON proved their title credentials by overpowering the Terras at the Bob Lucas Stadium last night.
Weymouth fought hard for just over an hour but the visitors looked solid throughout and flexed their muscles with an emphatic four-goal blitz in the second half.
The Terras were forced into one change from the side that drew 0-0 with Chippenham Town last time out with Kyle Critchell replacing skipper Scott Walker, who missed out through a knee injury.
Reserve-team ace Charlie Holland also came in on the bench while the Leamington line-up boasted ex-Aston Villa forward and recent signing Stefan Moore.
The high-flying Brakes turned up having lost just four league games all season but with three of them coming in their last three away trips, in-form Weymouth clearly fancied their chances.
Unbeaten in their previous four home outings, the Terras set a high tempo from the outset and on nine minutes they nearly got a clear sight of goal when Mark Ford latched on to a mistake, only to be snuffed out by a fine covering tackle from Jamie Hood.
The hosts were knocking the ball around well but Leamington’s defence remained resolute as the game reached the half-hour mark with neither side registering a single attempt on goal.
Matt Dodd then lofted an effort over the top from 20 yards for the visitors before Ben Joyce attempted a cheeky lob at the other end, which saw Laurie Walker make a simple catch.
Up to now Stefan Moore had been extremely quiet but in the 40th minute he showed his quality by latching on to a misplaced pass by Ed Palmer and forcing Simon Evans to turn a shot over the crossbar.
It was an opportunistic effort and a warning for the Terras that they could not afford any slip-ups with such a predatory striker waiting to pounce.
The 29 year-old went on to have another sight of goal just before the break but could only lift the ball over the top under pressure from the onrushing Evans.
The tight nature of the contest continued into the second half but this time the roles were reversed in terms of possession with Leamington eventually breaking the deadlock on 62 minutes.
Lee Moore got to the by-line and found Richard Batchelor, who fired the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
The Brakes were now in their element and just three minutes later they put the game to bed when Stefan Moore flummoxed both Ashley Wells and Sam Poole to present an easy tap-in for Lee Moore, who was left in acres of space by Palmer.
It was poor defending all round but to their credit the Terras immediately went in search of a response with Joyce firing wide following some good work from Dan Smith down the left.
It was a chance missed and the gulf in class was soon all too evident when Stefan Moore made it 3-0 with 15 minutes remaining.
The former Premiership striker turned Poole inside out before lashing a thunderbolt past Evans from an acute angle – his fifth league goal in four games for his new employers.
With the game gone the Terras took the opportunity to give Jamie Skinner his debut but the Brakes’ dominance continued with Lee Moore firing a superb free-kick into the top corner from 20 yards to complete the scoring.