Wednesday 24 October 2012 Updated: 24/10 19:40
Alvechurch 3 Leamington 1
BELOW-PAR Brakes crashed out of the Birmingham Senior Cup at the first hurdle following a disappointing display at Midland Alliance outfit Alvechurch on Tuesday night.
Alvechurch have recently linked-up with Birmingham City and the move has paid dividends with several youngsters from Blues development squad helping improve their fortunes.
Brakes should have taken the lead midway through the first half when Alex Taylor was fouled in the area but Tom Berwick’s penalty was saved by Liam Maher at full stretch.
Maher then did well to keep out Ricky Johnson’s header but at the other end young Brakes keeper Aaron Gayle, making his debut in place of the unavailable Niall Cooper, produced a smart save to deny Omari Sterling-James.
Sam Adkins had a well struck 25-yard effort saved at the second attempt by Maher as Brakes started the second half well but Alvechurch took control of the tie by scoring twice in as many minutes.
The home side broke the deadlock on the hour when Jazz Luckie burst clear and rounded Gayle before slotting into an empty net with Brakes appealing in vain for an offside flag.
Alvechurch quickly strengthened their grip with a top contender for goal of the season from the impressive Sterling-James whose powerful 30-yard shot left Gayle helpless as it flew into the top corner.
Brakes responded with a long range effort from Adkins which was turned over the bar by Maher but the visitors were fortunate not to fall further behind when the unmarked Ryan Edmunds headed wide when it looked easier to score.
Berwick was thwarted by another fine save from Maher but Brakes reduced the arrears from the resulting corner when Joe Magunda escaped his marker to head home.
But any hopes of a fightback ended straight from the restart as Alvechurch restored their two goal cushion with a close range finish from Luckie.
There was no way back for Brakes who were left to reflect on another early exit from a cup competition.
Brakes return to Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division action with a trip to leaders Hemel Hempstead Town this Saturday (3pm).
Brakes are eight points adrift of the table-toppers, who defeated Cambridge City 1-0 on Tuesday night, but have played four games less.
They then visit Rugby Town for the rearranged Red Insure League Cup round one tie on Tuesday (7.45pm).
The original game on Tuesday, October 16 was abandoned after 75 minutes due to floodlight failure with Brakes leading 1-0 and, following discussions between both clubs, admission prices have been slashed to adults £4 and concessions £2.
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