BRAKES negotiated a tricky hurdle in the shape of in form Redditch United to make further progress in the Birmingham Senior Cup thanks to a 4-2 win at the New Windmill.
With the awful weather and Champions League football on television it was perhaps not surprising that only 171 were in attendance for this game on Tuesday night, but those who chose to stay indoors missed an entertaining encounter.
With Connal Trueman unavailable Brakes manager Paul Holleran handed Liam Maher his debut but he could not have got off to a worst possible start with the youngster picking the ball out of his net with little more than three minutes played.
Jermaine Hylton charged towards the penalty area unopposed and although Maher made a fine stop to prevent the initial shot from going in, he was unable to hold on to the ball, and Hylton poked home to give the visitors the lead.
To his credit the former Walsall keeper did not let this affect him and made a fine stop to prevent former Leamington player Dior Angus from doubling the advantage.
Brakes began to put some forward movement of their own together, using the wings well, and with Lee Chilton and Matt Dodd operating on opposite sides of the pitch to normal it was the former who played the ball in low from the right to enable Danny Newton to neatly sidestep a challenge and fire past Sam Hornby to level things up on 11 minutes.
Maher made another good save down low to his left to keep Redditch out as they looked for an immediate response but instead it was Leamington who moved in front on 25 minutes
Referee Grant Taylor awarded a somewhat dubious penalty after Jordan Liburd sent Matt Dodd stumbling as the two tore after a forward pass. Dodd stayed on his feet but the spot kick was awarded, and he calmly slotted home his fifth goal of the season to put the hosts in front.
A superbly timed challenge from Stuart Pierpoint halted a dangerous run in from the left by Hylton as the game continued to flow from end to end, but Redditch were level on 38 minutes when a free kick in a central position just outside the box was fired powerfully home through a gap in the defensive wall by Ashley Sammons.
That was not the end of the first half scoring however as Leamington sneaked in front again in first half injury time thanks to skipper Stephan Morley who curled a fantastic free kick into the top corner from distance with the last kick of the half.
Newton forced Hornby into another save early in the second half, while Maher pushed a shot round the post as Redditch searched for an equaliser.
The final word was Newton’s though as he charged in from the left to thrash a shot past Hornby that the keeper could only help into the net off the underside of the bar.
With a two-goal cushion Brakes began to play with far more freedom. Dodd forced Hornby into another save at his near post and the the Reds goalkeeper made a very good save to deny Newton his hat trick goal as the striker crashed another effort in from a similar angle to his second strike.
Jack Edwards saw a late header saved but Brakes saw themselves comfortably through and will now look to make progress in the FA Trophy when they travel to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday.