FOOTBALL: BRAKES came from behind to book a spot in the first round of the FA Trophy after Curzon Ashton lost out 3-1 at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium.
Likely to be a closely fought contest – with Curzon Ashton sat just three points ahead of Brakes in the National League North table – Brakes were without Jack Edwards and Colby Bishop (both injured) as Kurtis Revan and Liam Canavan came in.
The changes did little to inspire Brakes initially though as Curzon Ashton took the lead on six minutes when a free kick from outside the box allowed Niall Cummins to score after his effort went in off the post.
A ruthless challenge on Liam Canavan saw Chris Rowney and Joe Clarke pick up yellow cards following an altercation in the centre circle.
The visitors enjoyed the game’s next chance after some poor defensive work from Brakes allowed Ben Wharton to strike just outside the box, but his effort was well off target.
Kaine Felix drove at the Curzon defence and hit wildly over the bar after Canavan was allowed to turn and feed him from midfield.
Revan then came close for Leamington when he raced onto Dunbar’s touch in the box, but Mason shepherded behind for a corner.
Curzon came close to a second when Guest burst into the box and exchanged passes with Wharton before driving in a shot that Breeden claimed at the second attempt.
Brakes eventually pulled level when Joe Magunda’s glancing header settled into the far corner – the goal was Magunda’s first in over four years.
Boosted by the equaliser, Brakes started the second half much the better.
Magunda saw his ambitious strike deflected over the bar before James Ballie stabbed Revan’s dangerous right wing cross into his own net on 52 minutes.
Tony Breeden was forced into making a strong save after Wright connected with a powerful header at the back post.
The introduction of Ahmed Obeng put the game beyond doubt though.
He burst between two defenders before earning a penalty following a foul by Guest. Canavan successfully converted to double Brakes’ lead.
Obeng could’ve created another goal for Brakes moments before the final whistle was blown when his pass found Clarke before Thompson-Brown’s effort dropped just wide.
Leamington will face either Bradford (Park Avenue) or Stourbridge in the First Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday, December 16.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda, Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kieran Dunbar (14 Ahmed Obeng, 71), Joe Clarke, Kurtis Revan, Liam Canavan (16 Callum Gittings, 82), Kaine Felix (15 Rob Thompson-Brown, 86).
Curzon Ashton: Cameron Mason, James Ballie, Jamie Stott, Jonathan Hunt ©, Daniel Shaw, Jordan Wright, Joe Guest, Chris Rowney (14 Ryan Brooke, 72), Niall Cummins, Ben Wharton (15 Sam Madeley, 55), Matthew Crothers (16 Luke Clark, 63).