BARWELL 0 BRAKES 1
A hard-working display saw Brakes through to the last eight of the Southern League Cup courtesy of Lee Chilton’s 88th-minute strike, one of the few chances in a game low on incident, writes Paul Edwards.
These two sides will face each other twice in 11 days in forthcoming league fixtures and neither manager was giving much away on Tuesday night with the much-changed line-ups.
Paul Holleran drafted in Laurie Walker, Michael Corcoran, Tom Sharpe and Elliot Sandy on dual registration forms from Brackley Town in order to cover for injuries and niggles in the squad, while Jimmy Ginnelly made four changes to the Barwell side that had started their previous match at Banbury.
Corcoran had the first shot of the game when he shielded the ball well on the edge of the area before turning and firing just wide.
Elliot Sandy was next to try his luck, driving an effort just wide and then seeing a shot deflected into the hands of Barwell keeper Liam Castle.
Neither side were finding it easy to supply their strikers, but the home side came close when Jack Edwards nudged the ball just wide from a right-wing free-kick.
Tom Berwick got a clear sight of goal early in the second half when a huge kick from Walker caught the Barwell defence napping, but after getting the better of a defender he dragged his shot wide.
The Canaries enjoyed a spell of pressure but failed to create a clear-cut chance as Leamington continued to defend stoutly, while Chilton was denied by the legs of Castle as he raced clear on goal.
The Barwell keeper was smartly off his line to deny Berwick before excellent footwork from James Husband on the edge of his own penalty area averted a threatening Barwell attack.
Walker was called into his first serious action of the game, beating away a powerful drive from Kevin Charley before, in the same attack, Matt West fired wide from a good position.
Tom Bates also lashed a first-time drive from 25 yards high on to the roof of the Bowls Club.
An inadvertant Jack Edwards back-heel almost gifted Brakes a goal after Castle was left all at sea from a corner and Sharpe produced a fine block to deny Charley at the other end before a lapse in concentration presented Leamington with the match-winner.
Substitute Stefan Moore chased down a backpass and Castle’s hurried clearance struck the striker. Moore collected the loose ball and picked out Chilton, who advanced on goal and drove the ball into the net past the despairing challenges of a couple of defenders.
Barwell had a late chance to send the tie into extra-time when they struck the inside of the post from a free-kick, but they were unable to force the ball home and Brakes’ passage to the quarter-finals was assured.
Barwell: Liam Castle, Tom Weale, Jack Edwards, Guy Hadland, Jamie McAteer, Richard Lavery, David Barnett (Matt West, 66), Scott Hadland (Nigel Julien, 54), Luke Barlone, Kevin Charley, Tom Bates. Subs not used: Charlie Cook, Scott Lower.
Brakes: Laurie Walker, James Mace, James Husband (Stephan Morley, 77), Michael Corcoran, Tom Sharpe, Liam Daly, Craig Owen, Elliot Sandy, Tom Berwick (Stefan Moore, 78), Lee Moore, Lee Chilton. Subs not used: Matt Dodd, Jamie Hood, Niall Cooper.