28th Oct, 2016

Brakes win eases relegation fears

Leamington Editorial 5th Jan, 2015 Updated: 13 hours ago

BRAKES claimed a vital three points to keep them above the Conference North danger zone after getting the better of Bradford Park Avenue 4-3 in a seven goal thriller at the New Windmill Ground on Sunday.

The hosts could not have asked for a better start to the game as Lee Moore fired them into a second minute lead when he captialised on a loose ball inside the Avenue penalty area to finish from close range.

Chib Chilaka shot straight at Ross Atkins as Bradford attempted to respond but it was Leamington who were firmly on the front foot in the opening stages.

Jamie Tank, who was forced off with a hip flexor injury at half time, was unfortunate to see his header drop an inch wide of the post from a free kick, but it was not long before the lead was extended and in some style too.

Stephan Morley arrowed a powerfully struck free kick into the bottom corner from some 30 yards out to put the hosts 2-0 in front.

Jordan Goddard’s well struck shot was saved by John Danby while another free kick from Morley rippled the side netting as Leamington pushed for a third.

Richard Marshall blazed a rare chance high over the bar for Bradford and Danby then saved a strike from the hard working Newton before the goalkeeper looked to have carried the ball over his line but the goal was not given.

This proved to be a pivotal moment as play switched quickly to the other end and Chilaka was able to ride a couple of challenges before finishing well.

And four minutes later the visitors delighted the small pocket of travelling fans in the Harbury Lane End as Joe Colbeck scythed through the Leamington defence and crossed for Chilaka to slot home the equaliser.

Bradford were back in the contest by the break but having conceded goals at the worst possible time just before the interval, Brakes to their credit refused to let their heads drop and were back after the re-start.

Within just five minutes Moore tapped home his second of the game from a precise cross by Newton.

Ross Atkins saved a shot down at his near post as the visitors tried to respond again but Jordan Goddard left the Bradford crossbar rattling with a great strike from the edge of the area.

And from the resultant corner James Fry, the on loan Birmingham City, sent a blistering first time drive from just outside the area inches over the bar.

This proved to be a prelude to Brakes restoring their two goal lead. Chilton worked the ball in from the left wing where it was helped out to Goddard and the midfielder flighted a beautiful effort past Danby into the top corner.

Atkins reacted superbly to push away a shot from Danny Frost that threaded through a crowd of players towards the bottom corner but Avenue debutant Simon Ainge was credited with a scrambled 79th minute goal at the far post from a corner that brought his side right back into the contest in the closing stages.

Danby produced a flying one-handed save to prevent Newton from thumping in a fifth for Leamington from just outside the box as the home side continued to push forward despite their slender advantage.

Late on Atkins gratefully held a hooked shot from Lamin Colley following a late Bradford corner but that was as close as the visitors came to another equaliser as Paul Holleran’s side held on for a second successive home win.