FOOTBALL: BRAKES slipped to a second successive loss on Saturday away from home against Blyth Spartans.
Paul Holleran’s men lost out to promotion hopefuls Blyth after an unfortunate own goal by Junior English in the opening half put pay to any chances Brakes had of securing a point.
Blyth, who were also promoted to the National League North last season, found themselves fortuitously take the lead when English’s poke from Robert Dale’s cross found its way into the back of Tony Breeden’s net on 21 minutes.
Kaine Felix was handed his first start in Brakes colours while Jack Edwards and Kieran Dunbar were forced out due to injury and suspension respectively.
Leamington started the game in positive fashion when Liam Canavan couldn’t quite get enough on a crossed ball while Jamie Hood’s header was turned wide by Spartans’ keeper Peter Jameson.
Rob Thompson-Brown also went close when his first time volley went wide.
Brakes had little to worry about prior to the game’s only goal, which came when English’s touch hit Breeden’s top corner.
The goal put a stop on Brakes’ positive start to the game, though Dale and Gudgar saw ambitious chances blocked or sent wide.
Brakes were presented with an opportunity before half time when a corner from the right was headed over by Mace.
It was Jamie Hood’s turn to press at the start of the second half when his effort from a Joe Clarke corner was blocked.
Neither side got a grip on the second half as the minutes ticked down.
A deflected drive from Calum Gittings spun for a corner as Holleran’s team looked for a last gasp equaliser.
Goalkeeper Tony Breeden even came up for the corner, but a resultant shot from Gudgar was sent wide.
Blyth then had a goal disallowed when celebrations were cut short for offside.
The decision meant little though as the full-time whistle blew with Brakes losing out 1-0.
Blyth Spartans: Peter Jameson, David Atkinson, Michael Liddle, Sean Reid, Nathan Buddle, Ryan Hutchinson, Jarrett Rivers, Damen Mullen, Adam Wrightson (12 Greg Rutherford, 82#0, Dale Hopson ( 16 David McTiernan, 69), Robert Dale ©.
Leamington: Tony Breeden ©, James Mace ( 14 Richard Taundry, 58), Connor Gudger, Joe Clarke, Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kaine Felix, Callum Gittings, Kurtis Revan (15 Colby Bishop, 58), Liam Canavan (16 Ahmed Obeng, 75), Rob Thompson-Brown.