Blyth header caps unforgettable revival


There have been plenty of memorable moments for Brakes followers since the rebirth, but rarely can so many have been packed into one afternoon.

On paper, this clash between the fifth and six-placed sides, who were only separated by goal difference, promised much.

But no one could have predicted a goal from a keeper, three penalties, two of which were missed, a sending-off and a dramatic fightback which left the 667 crowd breathless.

The match kicked off in unseasonably warm sunshine, but this being the New Windmill, there was still a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch and it may have played a part in the freak opener.

Tony Breeden launched a 14th-minute free-kick from just outside his area and the first bounce just outside the Chesham box had opposite number Shane Gore backpedalling.

There still looked little danger as Gore stepped back on to his line, but he fumbled the ball over his shoulder before claiming it at the second attempt and launching a quick counter attack.

However, the fans on the North Bank were sure the ball had crossed the line and their appeals were heard by the assistant referee, who signalled the most bizarre of goals despite Gore’s protestations.

Chesham should have been level in the 33rd minute when Chris Bangura put a free header wide at the far post, but a brief altercation involving James Rowe apart, it had been a rather tepid first 45 minutes.

That was all to change after the break as the thrills and spills came thick and fast.

Rowe flashed an early shot over the bar before Chesham were awarded a penalty in the 51st minute following a foul in the box by Liam Daly on James Potton.

Breeden guessed the right way, but Leon Archer was able to put away the rebound after his initial effort came back off the post. There seemed to have been no contact from Breeden before Archer’s second touch, but there was little in the way of protest from the Brakes camp.

Six minutes later there was a second penalty award.

The impressive Steve Wales was allowed to run unchecked through the heart of the Leamington midfield before finally being brought down on the edge of the box by Jamie Hood.

Danny Talbot’s free-kick struck the elbow of Lee Downes as he jumped in the wall and referee Joe Clark had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Downes saw red for his reaction to the award, but the hosts looked to have escaped when Talbot’s penalty hit the post. However, Leamington were unable to clear the danger and as the ball was worked to the far post, Neil Barnfield dived in to give away penalty number three.

This time, Mark Lambert took responsibility and he made no mistake to put Chesham ahead.

Paul Holleran reacted by throwing on Richard Batchelor, Alex Taylor and Jacob Blyth and the triple switch saw the momentum swing Leamington’s way.

Rowe had a shot blocked inside the six-yard box, while Liam Daly’s header from a Stephan Morley free-kick was well claimed by Gore.

A second Morley free-kick then produced an equaliser, with Robert Bartley diverting Blyth’s cut-back into his own net after Hood had won the initial header.

Batchelor failed to get enough purchase on his header after Daly had flicked on another excellent delivery from Morley as Brakes roared forward in search of a winner.

Their enterprise was rewarded in the 85th minute when Morley’s cross to the far post produced a stunningly executed header from Blyth which gave Gore no chance and sparked frenzied celebrations.

Brakes were denied a more comfortable win when Clark waved away penalty appeals after Taylor was bundled over in the box.

But after what had gone before it, it was little more than an aside in a match littered with talking points.

Brakes: Tony Breeden, Scott Lycett, Stephan Morley, Lee Downes, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Jamie Sheldon (Alex Taylor, 65), Neil Barnfield, Luke Corbett (Jacob Blyth, 65), James Rowe, Nick Stanley (Richard Batchelor, 65). Subs not used: Chris Knight, Tom Cross.

Chesham United: Shane Gore, John Kyriacou, Chris Watters, Mark Lambert, Robert Bartley, Danny Talbot, James Potton (Dave Fotheringham, 69), Steve Wales, Leon Archer (Aaron Couch, 74), Chris Bangura, Steve Obeng. Subs not used: 12 Paul Robinson, Danny Gudgeon, Ryan Ashe.

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