LEAMINGTON made a welcome return to winning ways after beating Cirencester 2-0 on Saturday to move back to the top of the Evostik Southern League Premier Division, reports Paul Edwards.
Visitors Cirencester were a tough nut to crack but a first half debut goal for Joe Halsall and an injury-time strike from Lee Chilton sealed the deal for the Brakes.
The hosts by no means had things all their own way, with the visitors enjoying the bulk of the first half possession but they failed to test Tony Breeden at all.
Jamie Hood was required to head an early effort at goal off the line and Ellis Dunton drove a shot over the Leamington bar.
The opening half-hour or so was a scrappy affair, with both sides struggling to get the ball out of midfield and build any forward movement.
James Mace almost bought the game to life as he hooked in an acrobatic volley from a corner but Ciren keeper Glyn Garner was equal to it by diving to his left to produce a fine save.
But he, like his defensive team mates, was left flat-footed on 38 minutes as Lee Moore fed Taundry down the left to float a pinpoint ball across into the box for Halsall to control and stab in a shot that rolled into the net to give Brakes the lead.
Soon after Ben Mackey thudded a shot against the base of the post as Leamington almost doubled their advantage before half time and Ross Oulton’s follow up was deflected behind for a corner.
After the break Cirencester’s search for a leveller became more intense as the clock ticked down.
A good touch from the busy Ross Langworthy made space for a 30-yard drive that bounced just past the post, while veteran striker Charlie Griffin rippled the side netting with a well struck free kick.
Griffin then drove in a low right wing cross that substitute Connor Thompson stabbed just over the bar.
Breeden held a looping header from Griffin under his crossbar after Langworthy had whipped the ball into the far post from midfield as Cirencester continued to press for a goal.
But they were undone in injury-time as Rob Ogleby scampered clear down the right and he pushed the ball into the centre for the advancing Chilton to run on and slot past Garner to seal three points for Leamington who move above Redditch on goal difference.