Brakes foiled in bid to go top

Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 14:56

TITLE-chasing Leamington were denied the chance to climb on top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division table after their scheduled clash at Barwell was postponed on Tuesday night.

Floodlight failure led to the game being called off just three hours before kick-off to leave Brakes kicking their heels yet again in what is proving a frustrating campaign.

A combination of factors beyond their control has left Paul Holleran’s side facing a fixture backlog as they have played just 14 league games which, remarkably, is one less than crisis-hit Kettering Town who did not play for a month while they battled for survival.

But Brakes still remain firm favourites to clinch the championship following a fine 2-1 victory over AFC Totton at the New Windmill on Saturday.

The success leaves Brakes just three points behind leaders Hemel Hempstead Town but with no fewer than five games in hand.

Brakes survived a scare in the tenth minute when Niall Cooper produced a fine save to deny Richard Gillespie and they swept straight upfield with Ricky Johnson releasing Lee Chilton who neatly slotted home.

Brakes were looking dangeroius every time they went forward and James Husband saw a shot strike the post before delivering an inviting cross which Liam Daly headed narrowly wide.

Totton wasted a glorious opportunity midway through the first half when Cooper was harshly adjudged to have fouled Gillespie in the area but the Brakes keeper atoned by diving full length to superbly save Michael Gosney’s well struck spot-kick.

Johnson and Daly both went close before the break and the visitors were fortunate not to fall further behind following an amazing goalmouth scramble at the start of the second half during which a succession of shots from Johnson, Chilton, Joe Magunda and Husband were blocked by some desperate defending.

Totton made the most of their good fortune and equalised in the 54th minute when a 25-yard strike from Gosney deceived Cooper.

Brakes recovered from the setback and Dodd rattled the bar with a header before volleying home what proved a vital 67th minute winner after good work by Chilton and Johnson.

Totton’s hopes of grabbing another equaliser disappeared three minutes later when Jonathan Davies was sent off for a late challenge on Chilton who had a late effort cleared off the line by full back Luke Whitely.

Brakes visit ninth placed St Albans City this Saturday (3pm) before travelling to mid-table Chesham United on Tuesday (7.45pm)

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