Vanarama National League North
Saturday 25th January
The Brewery Field
3pm
National League North

Spennymoor Town 2-0 Leamington

McKenna and Taylor goals earn vital three points

match report

Ben McKenna scored one and set up Glen Taylor as Spennymoor won for the first time since New Year’s Day after a professional performance against Leamington.

Jason Ainsley made two changes to the side who drew 1-1 at Kidderminster Harriers a week previous, with Jamie Chandler, previously an ever-present this season, missing out due to illness.

Carl Magnay, deployed as either a right-back or central defender this campaign, was given the nod in midfield alongside Shane Henry, while Ben McKenna returned from injury and replaced Andrew Johnson.

After a scrappy opening few minutes it was Moors who created the first chance of the afternoon when James Roberts tested Jake Weaver with a shot from the edge of the box.

The pressure continued as Henry, with more license to get forward due to Magnay’s inclusion, burst into the box before seeing his goal bound effort blocked behind for a corner. McKenna was the next to try his luck for an increasingly dominant Moors, but his shot was once again held by the Brakes keeper.

A subdued Brewery Field witnessed Moors come forward once more minutes later, but another weak shot wasn’t enough to call Weaver into any serious action.

Leamington, coming into the game on the back of two goalless draws against Chester and Gateshead, carved out their first opening when Kieran Dunbar found space on the right flank, but his low cross missed a cluster of blue shirted bodies waiting for a shot at goal.

As the half progressed a clear theme was beginning to emerge with Moors shooting on site without conviction, however, that all changed just past the half hour mark when Weaver was finally beaten.

The move began with a pinpoint pass down the line from Tyler Forbes which found Roberts with space to drive into. His delivery was punched away by Weaver but only to the feet of McKenna who found the gap to place the ball beyond a sea of bodies on the line.

Moors almost doubled their lead instantly with another move which developed down the right wing, with Roberts finding the head of Glen Taylor, but an intervention from a defender denied him his 99thgoal for club.

The second half’s opening stages mirrored its predecessor in terms of action, with little to shout about in a scrappy and disjointed contest.

Ainsley was forced to shuffle his pack 20 minutes into the half after Forbes picked up an injury which saw him replaced by Mark Anderson. That alteration saw Magnay move to right back, Rob Ramshaw drop in alongside Henry and Anderson take his place in the number 10 role.

There was always a glimmer of hope for the visitors with a single goal separating the two side, but, that hope was extinguished in emphatic style when Moors doubled their lead with ten minutes remaining.

Goal scorer McKenna was the architect, driving to the bye-line before delivery a perfect cross onto the head of Taylor, who powered a header beyond Weaver with power and precision.

Henry almost added a third for Moors a minute later when McKenna, the game’s standout performer, found the head of Henry who floated an effort onto the roof of the net.

With the game heading towards its conclusion, Ramshaw spurned a golden chance to add to his tally of eight goals this season and apply the icing to the cake, but he failed to make a solid connection after a superb run and cross from Roberts.

JASON AINSLEY
JASON AINSLEYMANAGER
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"It was flat around the stadium and we had to give them a bit of a lift today. Their manager said we battered them but it doesn't feel like that, so it's a strange one. It was a solid and professional performance."

LINE-UPS

SPENNYMOOR TOWN

  1. Matt Gould
  2. Tyler Forbes (Anderson 64)
  3. Lewis Butroid
  4. Carl Magnay
  5. Nathan Buddle
  6. James Curtis
  7. James Roberts (Boyes 90)
  8. Shane Henry
  9. Glen Taylor
  10. Rob Ramshaw
  11. Ben McKenna

Subs

12. Mason, 14. Cogdon, 15. Anderson, 16. Boyes, 17 Johnson.

LEAMINGTON

  1. Jake Weaver
  2. Junior English
  3. Stephan Morley
  4. Callum Maycock
  5. James Mace
  6. Jack Lane
  7. Kieran Dunbar (Anderson 69)
  8. Callum Gittings (McFarlane 81)
  9. David Bremang (Taylor 69)
  10. Jack Edwards (C)
  11. Joe Parker

Subs

12. Anderson, 13. McFarlane, 14. Taylor, 15. Martin, 16. James

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ben McKenna

After missing last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Kidderminster, the winger returned to the starting line-up and scored the first, before setting up the second for Taylor.

WHAT'S NEXT?

The result moves Spennymoor Town into seventh and back into the play-off places. Next up is a trip to Gloucester City next Saturday.

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