Super-sub Kavanagh strikes to take the venom out of Adders
A second-half goal from Racing Club Warwick substitute Sean Kavanagh proved enough to overcame fellow title contenders Atherstone Town in a tight affair on an increasingly heavy pitch.
With Racing Club nine points behind the Adders going into the fixture, albeit having played three games fewer, they knew it was a game they had to win and they started brightly.
A Martin Hutchcox cross was headed on by Rich Powell for Luke Cole to produce a superb overhead which went just over before a Jack Taylor cross was just missed by a diving Cole at the far post.
Josh O’Grady then whipped in a delightful ball to the advancing Marc Passey whose low volley was superbly saved by the Adders keeper, Cole firing wide from the resultant scramble.
Pitch conditions deteriorated as the heavens opened but good feet from Powell fed Lewis Hudson who in turn supplied O’Grady. He again crossed for Passey who was this time denied by a covering defender.
In a rare Atherstone attack, Jonathan Gould cut inside from the right and his shot just slid past the far post.
The home side were disappointed not to go in ahead at the break but remained on the front foot after the restart, Slevin narrowly off target with an effort.
Atherstone then got a foothold in the match for the first time and Mark Williams fired over before their best chance of the game fell to Alan Miller whose shot was well saved by Tom Cross with the follow-up effort from substitute Ryan Quinn superbly cleared off the line by Taylor.
The Adders’ pressure was now relentless with man-of-the-match Jamie Coleman and Martin Hutchcox given a stern test at the back and Cross dealing well with anything that evaded their defences, including having to palm over Mitch Thompson’s flick-on.
Racers were still looking dangerous on the break and a superb backheel from O’Grady set Taylor away on the right. His arrowed through ball fell nicely for the advancing Kavanagh whose first-time strike was fired high into the net.
In a bid to get back on terms, Atherstone committed more and more players forward, opening up the game.
Kavanagh was just offside after latching on to an O’Grady through ball while at the other end, Ashley Gray jinked inside but shot wide.
Atherstone laid siege to the home goal in the closing stages and a superb through ball from Nathan Haines looked to have put Thompson in but a heavy touch went straight to a grateful Cross and Racers held on for a vital victory.