FOOTBALL: A CRUSHING hat-trick from Stockport forward Jason Oswell prevented Brakes from picking up their league points at home after they conceded in stoppage time.
The 24-year-old, who top scored in last year’s League of Wales with Newtown, played a huge part in Stockport’s win at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium as Leamington were left to reflect on more league points being dropped.
Oswell’s hat-trick was completed in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he bundled home Jimmy Ball’s right wing cross, just minutes after he scored an equalising goal at the near post.
The loss – which up until the 87th minute looked likely to be a win – saw Leamington drop to 19th in the Vanarama National League North table, level with fellow strugglers Nuneaton, North Ferriby Utd, and Gainsborough Trinity.
Leamington struggled to get hold of the ball in the opening minutes as Stockport had the best of early chances.
Brakes’ first chance came when Colby Bishop and Callum Gittings combined to set up Ahmed Obeng for a first time drive that flew wide moments later.
A smooth exchange of passes between Taundry and Obeng then saw the right back curve a powerful drive into the side netting with the outside of his right boot.
Stockport took the lead on 16 minutes though when Connor Hampson curled an inviting free kick into the six yard box which was stabbed home by Oswell.
The goalscorer almost bagged a second in as many minutes as he powered in a header from a right wing cross, but he was denied by Connor Gudger.
Despite struggling to hold onto possession, Brakes did have chances to take the lead as Bishop and Thompson-Brown saw chances go begging.
Momentum started to swing in favour of Brakes, and Stockport breathed a huge sigh of relief when Obeng’s strike from close range clattered the crossbar midway through the first half.
Brakes’ breakthrough came on 38 minutes though when Obeng drew a foul from Sam Minihan as he turned inside the penalty area.
Thompson-Brown slammed the penalty home for his first goal of the season to equalise.
Chances came and went for Brakes before the game was halted after Michael Clarke received an accidental blow to the head while challenging for the ball with Bishop.
As play resumed, Brakes took advantage of a corner to earn a second goal with eight minutes of normal time remaining.
Thompson-Brown’s delivery met the head of Canavan, whose header was buried into the top corner.
But Leamington’s second goal appeared to spark Stockport into life.
Oswell scored an equalising goal on 87 minutes from a corner before completing his hat-trick in the fifth minute of stoppage time to reduce Leamington to a fourth successive league defeat.
Pictures: Sally Ellis.