BRAKES will now solely focus on their Conference North survival after suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City’s Under-21s in the Birmingham Senior Cup.
Having snatched the early initiative Leamington were pegged back within ten minutes at the New Windmill on Friday.
And Richard Beale’s youngsters bagged the winner in a second half low on scoring opportunities for either side at the Blues progressed to the semi-final stage of the competition.
There was a familiar face in the Blues starting line up as our current loan player James Fry was handed a starting place by his parent club, which made for strange viewing given that Brakes support have been used to seeing him in the Gold and Black.
Paul Holleran’s men opened the scoring on six minutes when a Simon Forsdick cross from the right that was carried by the strong and the ball looped over the head of startled keeper Nick Townsend into the top corner.
The wind, which had been very strong throughout the day, made life difficult for both teams as it whipped round the open spaces of the ground, but to their credit both teams recognised this and tried to keep the ball down as much as possible.
Winning corner kicks did not prove to be much of an advantage for Leamington in the first half unfortunately, as the ball curved out of play almost as soon as it was airborne due to the wind direction.
The young Birmingham professionals levelled the scoreline after 15 minutes with Olly Lee giving Ross Atkins no chance as he finished off a low cross from the right.
Danny Newton drove a good effort into the side netting as he chased a ball up the left wing and only a superb tackle from Jack Edwards inside the penalty area prevented Lee from possibly adding to his tally.
Newton then forced a good save from Townsend from a header as the first half drew to a close with the hosts on top.
The visitors got their noses in front ten minutes after the break when Fry provided the pass for George McGee to head home from close range.
Jordan Goddard’s well struck free kick was pushed out by Townsend, and the the in form midfield man saw another effort deflected over the bar as Leamington tried to find a way back into the game.
Brakes were convinced they had a strong shout for a penalty when James Husband had his legs taken from under him as he turned sharply inside the area, but the referee chose to award a goal kick to the visitors as a shot whistled past the upright.
There was another brief shout late on as Wes Harding appeared to handle the ball just inside the box as he blocked an attempted shot, but again there was nothing forthcoming and Brakes bowed out of the competition for another season.