LEAMINGTON twice let slip the lead at Dorchester Town as Ben Wood scored four minutes from time to deny Paul Holleran’s side all three points at the Greene King Stadium on Saturday, reports Paul Edwards.
It was a hard-earned point for the Brakes in a fractious Southern League Premier Division encounter but Holleran was left sweating over the injury of Callum Gittings who was stretchered off in the second half after coming out on the wrong end of a painful challenge with Lewis Morgan.
The hosts were looking for a positive result after suffering a ten-goal beating at Salisbury City in the League Cup and they almost made a dream start when Mario Mateus skipped past Tony Breeden and fired towards goal but Jamie Hood cleared the ball off the line.
Almost immediately Morgan crashed a shot towards goal from outside the box only to see it strike the inside of the post and land in the arms of a grateful Breeden.
It took Leamington a while to feel their way into the game but they certainly perked up once Rob Thompson-Brown fired them in front on 13 minutes with a low drive from 25 yards out.
A free kick routine narrowly failed to come off and Ryan Rowe was denied by Dorchester goalkeeper Shane Murphy as the visitors found themselves on top.
Holleran was forced to shuffle his pack when recent signing Gittings received a nasty cut just above his ankle following a full bloodied challenge with Morgan, Joe Magunda replacing him.
Hood should really have given Brakes a two-goal cushion when he connected first time with a dangerous ball in from the right by Richard Taundry, but he could only direct his close range effort just over the bar.
Thompson-Brown’s shot lacked the power to trouble Murphy before the hosts were handed a route back into the match on 69 minutes.
Leamington failed to properly clear a free kick into their penalty area and a follow up shot struck Hood’s hand. Magpies skipper Jake Smeeton stepped up and just beat Breeden at his left hand post with the spot kick.
The Brakes skipper had to be alert to shovel away a powerful curling effort from the home side’s new signing Tom Blair as they began to rally, but they were rocked back on their heels when Edwards was fouled in a central position some 20 yards from goal.
Taundry stepped up and curled the dead ball with his right boot towards the bottom corner, the ball striking the post and rolling into the net off the back of the unfortunate Murphy.
The Brakes were unable to sit back on their restored advantage however and Dorchester pressed for an equaliser which came when the ball was crossed into a congested penalty area and player-manager Mark Jermyn headed down for Wood to lash the ball into the net to earn the hosts a share of the points.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Darren Pond, Jamie Hood, James Mace, Courtney Baker-Richardson, Jack Edwards, Ryan Rowe (17 Ahmed Obeng, 83), Rob Thompson-Brown, Callum Gittings (14 Joe Magunda, 52).
Subs not used: 12 Ben George, 15 Tom James, 16 Ryan Quinn.