BRAKES started the new year as they ended the last by suffering a defeat after Chippenham Town ran our 4-3 winners at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday in the Evostik Southern League Premier Division reports Paul Edwards.
With the weather putting paid to their opening two fixtures of the New Year, there had been a gap of two weeks since the reverse at Bedworth United.
And as in that game Leamington almost got off to the perfect start inside the opening couple of minutes after Ben Mackey angled a pass behind the Chippenham defence for Rob Ogleby but his shot lacked the power to trouble Bluebirds keeper Kent Kauppinen.
Chippenham dangerman Andy Sandell came close to opening the scoring when he struck the outside the post.
Tony Breeden made a good block soon afterwards, but was powerless to prevent Sandell from opening the scoring when he got across Jamie Hood to head into the bottom corner on 36 minutes.
With half time approaching the home side appeared to have taken control as they added a second with Griffin taking advantage of a fortunate ricochet off Jamie Tank to poke the ball under the advancing Breeden.
Breeden kept Brakes in touch as he prevented what could have been a killer third goal right on half time parrying a shot from James Guthrie before gathering the ball at the second attempt.
Playing down the slope in the second half, Leamington came out with renewed vigour and a double substitution by Paul Holleran helped the game swing briefly in Leamington’s favour.
Substitute Lee Moore saw a shot deflected behind for a corner, from which the ball was played back in by Taundry for Jack Edwards to thump home a close range header.
And within two minutes the scores were level with the other substitute Ross Oulton darting down the right from midfield to find Ben Mackey in the centre, who swivelled to fire right footed into the bottom corner.
The turnaround was almost complete minutes later when Moore found Mackey at the far post with a great cross, but Kauppinen somehow managed to push the striker’s header onto the frame of the goal before the ball was cleared.
Sadly after all their endeavour to get back into the game Leamington were soon behind again. Alex Ferguson pounced to stab home from in front of goal after a scramble following a Chippenham corner.
Griffin then notched his second of the game, slamming in from another blocked shot to restore his side’s two goal cushion.
To their credit Brakes refused to throw in the towel. Edwards came agonisingly close to levelling things up again when his downward header from a left wing cross beat Kauppinen but struck the post.
But despite late pressure Leamington were left to contemplate a fourth straight league defeat which has seen them slip to 12th in the table.