Cirencester Town 1-2 Leamington
Evostik Southern League Premier Division
A VITAL three points from their final away game of the season at Cirencester keeps Leamington’s promotion hopes alive ahead this weekend’s final clash against fellow play-off chasers Hungerford Town, reports Paul Edwards.
Next week’s opponents have a long mid-week journey to relegated Histon to negotiate, and with Redditch and Kettering facing each other before playing another game prior to next Saturday’s fixtures, the permutations are too varied to contemplate.
Leamington began this tricky test with a flourish by taking the game to their hosts early on and taking a nerve settling lead inside the opening 15 minutes courtesy of a composed finish from Jack Edwards.
The Leamington player drilled his 12th goal of the season through the legs of keeper Josh Langley into the net after Danny Dubidat had nudged Richard Taundry’s right wing cross into his path.
Prior to this Courtney Baker-Richardson had seen his powerful first time drive well saved by the young goalkeeper after good work by Sam Austin down the left wing.
Edwards was in the thick of the action at the other end too by getting in a good block as James Mortimer-Jones shaped to shoot for goal and Taundry did superbly to get across Ollie Knight and clear the ball as the winger threatened to go clear on goal.
Joe Halsall was inches from connecting with the ball at the far post as Baker-Richardson flicked on Connor Gudger’s cross, while the striker saw a half volley from Dubidat’s knock down saved by Langley.
Baker-Richardson almost scored a sublime goal with his next effort, picking up the ball close to the dead ball line from a corner and cutting back in field before looping a cross shot back towards goal that almost arced into the top corner, Langley however was alert to the danger, and held onto the ball well.
Cirencester began to get a foothold in the game before half time with Charlie Griffin sending a free header just wide while Adam Connolly’s first time drive from the edge of the box was straight at Tony Breeden.
Substitute Zak Kotwica spurned a glorious opportunity to fire the Centurions level early in the second half, sprinting through on goal only to shoot straight at Breeden, who saved well with his legs.
The home side were seeing a lot more of the ball without really causing Leamington any problems, and they were made to pay for their lack of penetration with 15 minutes to go.
Baker-Richardson received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box before turning sharply to crack a low drive into the bottom corner to give Leamington a two goal cushion.
It was one that they needed, as after Griffin went close again with another header, substitute Alex Dinsmore netted an injury time consolation for the home side, pouncing on a loose ball to fire low past Breeden.
And despite a generous amount of added on time, the visiting supporters were relieved to hear the final whistle sound.