ARLESEY TOWN 0 BRAKES 2
Thanks to the sterling work of volunteers at Arlesey, Brakes were able to play their first game in almost two weeks on Saturday and they continued where they left off at Weymouth by collecting another three points, writes Paul Edwards.
The game was an end to end affair throughout and both sides pushed forward in the early stages.
Brakes keeper Laurie Walker got down late to push a shot from Ben Farrell around the post and then made an even better save to deny James Hatch’s close-range header.
The league leaders’ task was made a whole lot easier in the 15th minute.
Shane Blackett was shown a straight red card for hauling down Stefan Moore in the penalty area and Matt Dodd exacted further retribution by rifling the resultant spot-kick into the top right-hand corner of Nathan Abbey’s net.
The hosts redoubled their efforts despite their numerical disadvantage and looked threatening when hoisting crosses into the Leamington box.
Farrell sliced wildly over following a free-kick and Chris Dillon did likewise after the ball fell invitingly for him just inside the area from James Hatch’s cross.
James Mace did well to shepherd the ball back to his goalkeeper as Drew Roberts threatened to burst clear and Liam Daly’s stooping header diverted another shot from Hatch behind as Arlesey continued to press for an equaliser.
It was Leamington who came closest to adding the next goal, however, Moore forcing Abbey to save with his legs after the striker had been fed by Lee Chilton.
Farrell was well off-target with further efforts either side of the interval, while Aston Goss put a low shot wide after a promising move.
Walker was then called upon to make a third important save after Mace’s slip had allowed Roberts to go through on goal, the on-loan keeper making himself big to deny the hosts’ top scorer.
Leamington responded with Ricky Johnson’s header crashing back off the crossbar from Dodd’s cross.
Seconds later, Nathan Abbey could only parry Moore’s drive to the edge of the box, where Lee Chilton was perfectly placed to drive the rebound through a sea of legs and into the net.
The goal allowed Brakes to relax a little and although Arlesey continued to battle away, Moore almost added a third after being played in by loanee Tom James, making his second debut for the club as a late substitute.
Arlesey Town: Nathan Abbey, Cameron Mawer, Josh Cook (Ricky Miller, 68), Shane Blackett, Danny Gordon, Ben Farrell (Leon Hibbert, 76), Jemal Johnson (Ryan Frater, 16), James Hatch, Chris Dillon, Drew Roberts, Aston Goss. Subs not used: Jeanmal Prosper, 17 Nick Bussey.
Brakes: Laurie Walker, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Craig Owen, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Matt Dodd (Martyn Naylor, 86), Lee Chilton, Stefan Moore, Ricky Johnson (Tom James, 77), Richard Batchelor (Joe Magunda, 73). Subs not used: Lee Moore, Dan Ward.