Leamington cruised to a 4-1 victory over Nuneaton Borough to win the Birmingham Senior Challenge Cup Final at St. Andrew’s.
A brace from Colby Bishop, an individual effort from Ahmed Obeng and an own goal secured victory for The Brakes. Nuneaton had responded to Leamington’s first goal through Taylor Allen.
A nervy opening to the game saw both sides lose possession a number of times. The first effort at goal came after 15 minutes. Callum Gittings turned his marker and curled an effort just over the crossbar.
Leamington carved another opening midway through the first half. Gittings worked his way into the box but his low drive was saved comfortably by Cam Belford.
The second half started a lot brighter; Nuneaton fashioned a chance within 30 seconds of the restart when Josh Lundstram whipped a cross into Taylor Allen, whose header flashed wide of the post.
Shortly after, Leamington took the lead. Junior English curled a delightful cross onto the foot of top scorer Colby Bishop, who guided his effort beyond the reach of Belford.
Nuneaton responded well to going behind but could not finish off a quick counter attack. Devon Kelly-Evans burst away with the ball before rolling it to Allen. The forward gathered his composure and drove an effort towards goal that was comfortably saved by Tony Breeden.
Boro had a big chance to grab an equaliser after 60 minutes. Luke Barlone nodded the ball into the path of Ryan Edmunds, but the winger could not put his effort beyond Breeden who was racing out.
Jimmy Ginnelly’s side then bagged an equaliser, when Edmunds darted down the right and played a pacey ball to the back post. Allen got ahead of his marker and tapped in at the back post.
Leamington regained the lead almost a minute later. A floated ball in was headed towards the goal by Obeng, where his effort was saved before the rebound appeared to go in off a Nuneaton defender.
Paul Holleran’s side added a third, again through Bishop. Neat build-up play on the edge of the area between Reece Flanagan and Bishop, ended with latter curling an exquisite effort in off the crossbar.
The Warwickshire-based side all but secured the trophy when Obeng guided his effort home. The attacking midfielder broke down the left and planted his effort beyond Belford for Leamington’s fourth of the game.
Boro almost pulled a goal back through Lundstram. The midfielder danced his way through the Brakes’ defence, but his effort was blocked by a recovering defender.
Leamington Manager Paul Holleran spoke of his delight after his side won 4-1 when he said: “There were some really good goals tonight. It was a good game for the supporters of both teams to watch.
“We have had a good season and hit the targets we wanted to hit, and we have got a trophy as well, you can’t underestimate how important winning trophies is.
"It is a reward for our season. It is a great Cup and, realistically, it is the Cup that we have got the best chance of winning.”
Leamington FC: 1. Breeden ©, 2. English (Dwyer 82’), 3. Lane, 4. Clarke, 5. Hood, 6. Mace, 7. Taylor (Bowen 78’), 8. Flanagan, 9. Bishop, 10. Gittings, 11. Obeng (Carson 85’).
Subs: 12. Magunda, 14. Bowen, 15. Dwyer, 16. Carson, 17. Newey.
Nuneaton Borough: 1. Belford ©, 2. Obeng, 3. Sharpe, 4. Morrison, 6. Hildreth, 7. Allen, 8. Lundstram, 9. Barlone, 10. Kelly-Evans, 11. Edmunds, 14. Caton (Baxendale 62’).
Subs: 12. Baxendale