Bedford Town 1 Leamington 2
NEW-LOOK Brakes got their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division play-off push back on track by clinching their first victory of the year on Tuesday night.
Manager Paul Holleran rang the changes and it had the desired effect with new signings Matt Dodd and Neil Barnfield influential as Brakes celebrated their first win in 12 league games which lifted them up to seventh in the table, six points adrift of the play-off places.
Dodd made a dream start on his full debut by setting up Jacob Blyth who fired Brakes into a sixth minute lead.
Lee Chilton also had an effort well saved by home keeper Ian Brown but Bedford equalised after 16 minutes when Gareth Price was fouled in the box and Drew Roberts converted the resulting penalty.
The hosts joy proved short-lived as Brakes restored their lead within 60 seconds through the lively David Kolodynski who cleverly lobbed an effort over Brown from the edge of the area.
Brakes continued to dominate with Kolodynski and Dodd both having well struck shots saved by Brown, while Chilton struck the outside of the post from a corner.
The visitors went close early in the second half with Dodd unleashing a powerful shot which produced a smart save from Brown.
Bedford responded through Callum Lewis but his effort was turned away by keeper Nathan Vaughan who received excellent protection from the viitors defence which meant he enjoyed a relatively quiet evening.
Any hopes Bedofrd harboured of grabbing another equaliser ended when skipper Gavin Hoyte was sent off ten minutes from time for a second bookable offence.
Indeed, Brakes went close to increasing their advantage through Alex Taylor and Morley whose late free kick was superbly saved by Brown.
Meanwhile, substitute Alex Taylor grabbed a late equaliser as Brakes battled out a 2-2 draw at fourth placed Cambridge City on Saturday.
Jacob Blyth had a 15th minute penalty saved by keeper Zak Barrett but Brakes were awarded a second spot-kick on the half hour which Stephan Morley duly converted.
Cambridge took just nine minutes to get back on level terms when keeper Nathan Vaughan allowed a shot from Lee Clift to slip through his hands.
The home side then got their noses in front on the stroke of half time when Mitchell Bryant punished a defensive mistake from Jamie Hood.
Brakes, who has used all three substitutes, suffered a blow when Richard Batchelor was stretchered off following a challenge from Bryant who was red-carded.
Brakes piled on the pressure in the closing stages and James Mace hit the bar before Taylor levelled from close range six minutes from time .
Brakes entertain rock-bottom Cirencester Town this Saturday (3pm) before playing host to Banbury United on Tuesday (7.45pm).
452 - 8-Lee Chilton, Richard Batchelor, (David Prada?), Craig Owen, Lee Downes
496 - (David Prada), Jacob Blyth, (?), (Adrian Cambridge), Stephan Morley, Craig Owen
513 - Liam Daly, (Craig Hammond), (Dave Theobald), James Mace
Photo’s supplied by Sally Ellis. (s)
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