Austin powers Brakes to victory
Brakes survived an unexpectedly fractious second half to record a vital win at The Greene King Stadium courtesy of another well-taken strike from Sam Austin, writes Paul Edwards.
Well aware of the threat posed by the Burton Albion youngster after he ripped them to shreds four days previously, the home side attempted to keep him quiet by roughing him up early on.
However, Austin still came up with the goods to secure an eighth win from the last nine games for Paul Holleran’s men which keeps them firmly in the promotion hunt.
There had barely been a bad challenge all afternoon until the game exploded into life just prior to the hour-mark when both sides were reduced to ten men after a two-footed tackle sparked an unsightly melee involving all 22 players and both benches.
Dorchester were able to make a couple of changes to their line-up having been decimated by illness during the week, manager Mark Jermyn recalling himself in central defence.
The game got off to a scrappy start with neither side threatening until Austin’s curling drive drifted just past the upright with around 20 minutes played.
Leamington were struggling to move the ball around as freely as they had been able to on Tuesday evening, with the hosts closing them down quickly, but Austin did well to come through two challenges with the ball on the left, sending in a cross for Courtney Baker-Richardson, who was stretching as he headed over the bar.
The only goal arrived six minutes before half-time, Lee Moore doing well to bring the ball down on the right and lift it into the centre where it was headed clear only as far as Austin on the edge of the box, and he recycled it with venom, drilling a powerful low strike first time into the bottom corner of the Dorchester goal.
The home side had seen a hopeful shout for a penalty ignored by the officials and Ben Watson crashed a shot well over the Leamington goal with the final kick of the first half.
James Mace had made a timely interception to deny Toby Holmes the chance to run through on goal early on in the second half before he reacted badly to a poor challenge from Gary Bowles, the two sparking the unsightly scenes which saw both players shown a red card, raising the temperature a notch for the time that remained.
Leamington suffered a further blow when Jamie Hood was unable to continue after a strong challenge from Jake Smeeton, leaving the pitch on a stretcher to the sound of booing from the home support behind the goal.
While the Dorchester player took some of the ball, he also caught Hood’s standing leg, leaving the central defender to hobble on to the team coach with a very swollen knee after the game.
Brakes were forced to reshuffle, calling on Jamie Tank and Ben George from the bench as they soaked up the expected pressure from the home side.
However, Dorchester were unable to fully extend Tony Breeden, with the Leamington skipper claiming a header that was directed straight at him and getting down well to smother a low free-kick that evaded the defensive wall.
Jason Brookes crashed another shot well wide of goal but Leamington almost snatched a second during the ten minutes of injury time added on for the stoppages.
Moore did well to keep the ball in play on the right and slipped it on for George, who found Austin in space on the far side of the box, only for his shot to be deflected behind for a corner.
Brakes remained content to hold on to what they had by working the ball into the corners at every opportunity, only adding to the frustrations of the home players and fans as they saw out the ten minutes of added time.
Dorchester Town: Shane Murphy, Gary Bowles, Neil Martin, Mark Jermyn, Nathan Walker, Henry Lander, Charlie Davis, Jake Smeeton, Jason Brookes, Ben Watson, Toby Holmes (Bradley Tarbuck, 70). Subs not used: Simon Proffitt, Nick Crittenden, Solomon Ayunga, Alan Walker-Harris.
Brakes: Tony Breeden, Richard Taundry, Connor Gudger, James Fry, Jamie Hood (Ben George, 70), James Mace, Jack Edwards, Ben Mackey (Jamie Tank, 60), Courtney Baker-Richardson (Ross Oulton, 87), Sam Austin. Subs not used: Rob Ogleby, Eddie Caviezel-Cox.