DANNY Newton continued his return to goalscoring form with a well taken equaliser in his first game as captain as Brakes returned from their long trip to fellow Spa town Harrogate with a share of the spoils.
Brakes’ relegation fears were eased after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the CNG Stadium which lifts them up to 18th in the Vanarama Conference North.
Paul Holleran made an enforced change to his starting line up with Connor Gudger making his debut at left back and the youngster put in a solid performance, linking up well with his new team mates as they built on the previous week’s win over play-off chasing Solihull Moors.
Ross Atkins came off his line to save well with his legs as Louie Swain threatened to fire Harrogate in front early on, while Dave McGurk probably should have done better when the ball arrived with him at close range but he could only direct it straight at the Brakes keeper.
Lee Chilton was heavily involved in Leamington’s forward movement during the first half and it was his low driven ball across goal that the onrushing Newton missed by a whisker.
Brakes almost profited from some sloppy defensive play when Chilton picked up a clearance and exchanged passes with Jordan Goddard before firing across goal and forcing Peter Crook to push the ball out of play for a corner.
Play continued to switch from end-to-end despite the sticky pitch. Clayton’s glancing header from a good right wing cross flashed just wide, while Andy Gascoigne’s free kick from a central position was always rising and cleared the bar.
And it was the same player whose dangerous free kick whipped in from the right found the far corner of the net a minute before half time, with the ball appearing to take a nick off a Leamington head on its way in.
Clayton’s attempts to win his side a penalty early in the second half were waved away by the referee and Goddard responded fro Brakes with a well struck free kick that Crook pushed behind.
Brakes were level within ten minutes of the restart however with a well worked goal. Moore’s mazy run into the Harrogate box saw him provide a fine lay off for Newton, who lashed the ball first time high into the top corner of the net.
The home side inevitably did the majority of the pressing in the closing stages but Brakes tried to move the ball around well when they had chance to, and came close to snatching a late second goal when Delroy Gordon clattered the bar with a powerful header from Goddard’s left wing free kick.
However a point takes Leamington to within one of their next opponents Gainsborough Trinity, who travel to the New Windmill Ground this Saturday in a relegation encounter not to be missed.