JACK Lane scored a last-minute goal as Leamington staged a dramatic late comeback to beat Darlington 2-1 and secure their first win in 16 league matches.
Lane’s flicked header from a long throw completed a sensational late turnaround after Kelsey Mooney scored his first goal following a long injury lay-off to help the Brakes earn their first win in 119 days.
That came after Jacob Hazel’s acrobatic finish had opened the scoring whilst Brakes goalkeeper Ted Cann saved a first-half penalty at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium.
The result means Leamington sit above the National League North relegation zone on goal difference.
And the Brakes looked set for another tough afternoon when Darlington’s Kaine Felix was fouled by Leamington’s on-loan goalkeeper Cann in the box as the pair raced towards a loose ball.
However, Cann made amends with a superb save to his left to keep out Hazel’s spot kick just before half time.
The visitors took the lead on 72 minutes when Hazel produced a fine acrobatic finish that found the top right corner after a deep cross was kept alive at the back post.
Leamington refused to be beaten and drew level on 84 minutes when Mooney’s diving header went in off the post from Devon Kelly-Evans’s free-kick.
And there was still time for the Brakes to snatch the points when Lane produced a brilliant flicked header at the near post from Ben Usher-Shipway’s long throw from the right.
Brakes boss Paul Holleran said: “It’s a starting point, sometimes you need a moment that lifts everybody, this league is challenging and we want to keep competing at this level.
“When you’re in a position that we’re in, it’s tough to be in it and manage it, we showed plenty of character and our mindset was good, we were brave.
“We’ve been working hard on set-plays, we’ve not utilised that long throw enough, it’s a weapon, we’ve got to try and make sure we keep doing the things that we can control well.
“We haven’t been bad at home this season, if we manage the situation then I think we’ll be okay, our mindset had to change and it has.”
Leamington are next in action away at AFC Telford United TONIGHT (Tuesday, February 21) with kick-off at 7.45pm at New Bucks Head.