Today’s match was played at Leamington’s Co-op stadium. This was a friendly that had originally been scheduled with the Coventry City Fc first team, but earlier this week was changed to an under 23 fixture. I was visiting my parents with my children and as a result was accompanied to this game by my father and two sons.
Leamington are a National League North side and have ambitious plans for an impressive new 5000 capacity stadium, scheduled for the nearby Warwick business park.
Leamington FC played in yellow and black striped shirts and black shorts. Coventry City in their famous sky blue shirts and shorts. The team sheet reflected a balance of youth players and triallists for Coventry. Leamington used this as a practice for the new season and had a team which much of their usual squad. There was a big crowd of around 1000 people, with fans packed behind both goals and in the seated stands along both sides of the pitch.
The game started slowly with both teams building carefully through the midfield. Leamington created early chances but looked a little rusty in their finishing. Coventry had opportunities but lacked the final pass.
The game lacked any real thrust in the first half and at the interval the teams went in at 0-0, with no one side able to feel disappointed at their failure to go in front. The highlight of the first half was a stadium announcement, requesting for someone to return to their car in the car park, because they had managed to leave their engine running!
On 57 minutes Coventry went ahead against the play when a move from the left side of the area was neatly tucked away by Bradley Stretton.
On 72 minutes it was 0-2 when the a Coventry triallist, wearing number 47, lifted a shot beautifully over the keeper into the far corner. At this point you could see the Leamington FC players’ heads fall.
Seven minutes later another of the Coventry triallists, wearing 48, scored a goal for 0-3, to put the game securely beyond Leamington.
There was just time, in the final minute, for Leamington to score an unlikely consolation goal when number 16 Lance Smith finished to round off the match and leave the final score as Leamington FC 1 Coventry City FC U23 3.