THE Brakes will begin their Birmingham Senior Cup defence with a home tie against Midland Football League Premier Division side Highgate United, after the first round draw was made on Tuesday.
Paul Holleran’s side will bid to make it a third title in four years this season, with memories of their 4-1 success at St Andrew’s over Nuneaton Borough in May still fresh in the memory.
The result of the draw follows another positive result at the weekend, when Leamington recorded their third-successive win in National League North, beating Blyth Spartans 2-0.
Josh March’s second-half brace saw off the bottom side, ensuring the Brakes finished the opening month of the campaign inside the play-off places in sixth.
A first opportunity of the game fell the way of Callum Gittings, but the veteran midfielder flashed his strike over the bar, while goalkeeper Jake Weaver was forced into keeping out Oliver Scott down the other end.
March’s first opening of the game arrived when meeting Kieran Dunbar’s through ball, but Blyth defender Oliver Scott managed to deflect the ball away from goal.
Leamington were the side in the ascendancy, leaving the tentative Spartans defence on edge as further opportunities arrived.
The best chance of the half fell to March after meeting a drilled cross from George Carline, but the outcome failed to match the delivery, as the striker fired the ball ferociously towards Mark Foden’s midriff.
Lee Clark’s men managed to reach half time with the scores still goalless, but unfortunately for the former Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town manager, the chances continued to fall the way of the hosts.
Frustrations at the lack of end product were summed up by an effort from Kaiman Anderson, when meeting another pinpoint delivery by Carline, only to connect with his thigh and send the ball gently into the gloves of Foden.
But minutes after the hour mark, the first clear moment of quality arrived, handing the Brakes an opening goal to match their continued pressure.
A foul on March inside the penalty area led to the forward stepping up and slamming the ball into the net for his sixth of the season.
12 minutes later, he was celebrating his seventh goal since his summer move, when tapping home the rebound after Anderson’s initial effort had been saved.
With no further chances of note falling to either side, Leamington saw out the game comfortably, providing more confidence ahead of Saturday’s (3pm) trip to Altrincham.