A closely fought 1-0 win over St. Albans City saw Leamington go top of the Evostik Southern Premier League tonight. Admittedly, they are only one point ahead of their nearest rivals and the teams below them have one, two or even three (Oxford City) games in hand. But it is still a good place to be and keeps the Brakes in contention.
A swirling wind at the exposed New Windmill Ground did not make for quality football, although it did die down a bit in the second half and Brakes were able to play the ball on the ground more.
The captain for St.Albans was the highly experienced Paul Furlong, still plying his trade. Quite what he made of the Warwick University cheerleaders who welcomed him and the other players on to the pitch is a matter for speculation.
It was a tight battle in the first half. Brakes showed some real quality in midfield, particularly through Tuohy, but their performance in the final third was often more disappointing.
City had a penalty shout, while St. Albans keeper Nick Jupp made an excellent save from a Stephan Morley free kick.
Half time: Brakes 0, City 0
Brakes keepeer Lee Evans made a brilliant save to keep Brakes in the game as the ball came at him at an angle.
The Bloke Behind Me was insisting that there was a goal in the game, while others were forecasting a dour draw. In the event Leamington were awarded a penalty and Jacob Blyth struck it home.
The St.Albans players were going to ground with increasing frequent, but the healing Spa waters soon revived them. The referee had issued just one yellow card and began to lose control of the game, not helped by a rather poor lino.
Inevitably it all kicked off after City were given a free kick and Jacob Blyth and City charm merchant Ryan Moran were sent off. The absence of Blyth will be a blow to Brakes.
Brakes controlled the final phase well and most of those in the crowd of 511 went home happy.