BRAKES secured the point they required away at Hungerford Town to cling on to a Southern League Premier Division play-off place, reports Paul Edwards.
Hungerford needed victory to mgain home advantage in the semi final having already secured their place but both sides played out a 0-0 draw at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium which set up a trip to Redditch on Wednesday for Leamington.
The visitors went close early on when Stefan Brown’s right wing centre flashed across the face of goal but behind a team mate lurking at the far post.
Lee Moore had Leamington’s first sight of goal with a volley from Jack Edwards’ knock down being deflected behind for a corner. Richard Taundry then fired over the bar after Sam Austin’s free kick had been spilled by Hungerford keeper Paul Strudley.
Garyn Preen then went close for the visitors but his low drive curled past the post and Brown drove well over Tony Breeden’s goal.
Edwards headed wide at the other end as both teams traded half chances, but Leamington were left frustrated as the officials failed to spot what looked like a clear handball by Hungerford defender Scott Rees inside the box shortly before half-time.
The visitors would later have a couple of penalty shouts of their own that would also fall on deaf ears by retiring referee Guy Stretton.
Callum Gittings sent a well struck half volley inches wide after a spot of head tennis following Austin’s free kick into the Hungerford penalty area early in the second half, before Austin himself sent a swerving effort just wide.
Breeden was extended for the only time in the game when he was quickly down to his left to make a fine save from Hungerford skipper Matt Day’s downward header from a corner.
Austin was showing great persistence as always to win the ball on the left wing, and a great run saw him find Gittings in the centre only for his team mate to lose his footing as he shaped to shoot.
James Clark sent a first time volley wide from Preen’s right wing cross, while the hard-working Danny Dubidat sent an overhead kick into the arms of Strudley after Edwards had nodded the ball down.
He sent a similar effort wide after Gittings had seen his shot saved after being played clear on the left, but both sides were left to settle for a point.