BRAKES returned to the scene of their Southern League title three years ago and this time they came away from Bideford with a 1-1 after this Southern League Premier Division encounter, reports Paul Edwards.
It was slightly more low key than that memorable April afternoon at the Sports Ground in 2013, but while the four-game losing run was brought to a timely halt, Leamington may feel that they should have been making the journey home with all three points after seeing a glorious late chance go begging.
After a quiet opening from both sides, Bideford took the lead after 15 minutes when Angus Wilson took advantage as Tony Breeden failed to properly connect with Connor Gudger’s back pass on the edge of the box by nipping in to slot the ball into an empty net.
Brakes had a couple of half chances prior to the goal but hauled themselves level on 36 minutes. Lee Chilton volleyed in from the right inside the penalty area after Richard Taundry’s free kick was only half cleared.
Taundry then curled a free kick just over before Chilton was denied a second goal moments before half time.
Neat interplay saw the winger played in behind the home defence but his shot was parried by keeper Kyle Moore and Gudger’s rebound was somehow cleared off the line by the defender.
Taundry and Jack Edwards both had half chances for Leamington early in the second half before Chilton’s cross saw Lee Moore head over from 12 yards.
The goalscorer was at the heart of many of the best moves from the visiting side and drove into the box again after picking up a pass from Gudger. He found Edwards, whose close range shot was blocked, and the rebound from Moore was then cleared off the line.
Bideford saw a great chance to regain the lead pass them by when Kevin Squire latched onto a high defensive clearance to go one-on-one with Breeden, but placed his shot straight at the Brakes skipper.
Leamington had their own chance to snatch the points with three minutes remaining. With Bideford failing to clear their lines from a corner, Chilton’s volley towards goal was parried into the air by Moore, and the unmarked Edwards could only crash the loose ball over the bar from close range.
Both sides showed plenty of attacking intent but the heavy pitch affected the quality of the game as a whole, which was perhaps to be expected given the recent poor weather.
Leamington are next in league action this weekend when they host Frome Town this Saturday.