Leamington drew 4-4 with Chippenham Town at the New Windmill Ground this afternoon. Brakes had gone 2-0 ahead, the Bluebirds drew level, Brakes made it 3-2 by half time, but the visitors equalised and then went 3-4 ahead. Leamington missed two chances to score a winner in the closing minutes.
Brakes started brightly with an early corner, but then a searing free kick along the ground tested Kiely in the North Bank goal. Brakes were finding it difficult to penetrate the Bluebirds' defence and kept losing control of the midfield which was a problem for them throughout the game.
Then on 17 minutes the ball was played back in from a Brakes corner and the Sheepside announcer declared Bello to be the scorer, but the Harbury Lane end responded with a chant of 'own goal'.
On 23 minutes it looked as if Brakes were in the driving seat when Luke Corbett, playing his 50th game for the home side, outfoxed the Chippenham defence and put the ball in the back of the net. His enthusiastic celebrations earned him a yellow card.
Three minutes later the Wiltshire side were back in the game when slack defending allowed former Bristol Rovers academy player Lewis Powell to make it 2-1. Play leading to two successive corners produced goalmouth danger for Brakes. Then Bello burst through and was one-on-one with the keeper but unusually hesitated and a golden chance was lost.
On 34 minutes a corner allowed former Bristol City, Exeter City and Team Bath defender Shaun Lamb to make it 2-2. But a great cheer went up from the home supporters when on 44 minutes great work by Bello and James Husband, who was making his 150th appearance in the gold and black to set up former Villa youth player Michael Tuohy to put the home side ahead.
Half time: Brakes 3, Bluebirds 2
I had scarcely got back from my half-time cuppa when the ball crept past the grounded Kiely to even the score at 3-3, Powell scoring his second goal. In my view Kiely was at fault for this goal and some moaners are on his case.
Former Larkhall Athletic ace Ben Highmore was brought on as a sub for Chippenham and he put the visitors 3-4 ahead on 66 minutes as the Brakes' defence fell apart. Bello then burst through, but earned nothing more than a corner. It took a captain's goal from Guy Sanders on 68 minutes to level the scores.
Former Romania first division player Dan Pirvu then put in a pinpoint angled ball to Jacko, but instead of taking the time he had available to him put in an accurate shot a hasty effort saw the ball go over.
Brakes had two more chances in the closing minutes with the ball being cleared off the line and a close range header going just over the bar.
The crowd of 655 certainly saw a thriller and Leamington were far from disgraced against a team in 2nd position in the Zamaretto Premiership. However, they need to be more successful in the midfield battle.
We are awaiting Paul May's report on Charlton's 4-0 win over Tranmere.