Brakes 0 Gloucester City 1: Wilson’s late, late show drives home the harsh realities of football in the Conference North

Leamington emerged empty-handed from the bank holiday weekend after Gloucester made them pay the ultimate price for their wasteful finishing, writes Paul Okey.

James Mace goes in for a whole-hearted challenge against Tigers Matt Groves.

Two decent penalty shouts and a couple of calls for free-kicks in the build up to Scott Wilson’s injury-time winner further fuelled Paul Holleran’s sense of injustice.

But with his side’s goalless streak now approaching four hours, the Brakes boss knows a ruthlessness in front of goal needs to be found to prevent many more smash and grab raids.

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Not that Gloucester were without chances of their own, with Tony Breeden performing heroics to claw out a close-range effort from Lewis Hogg as the visitors attacked with more conviction after the break.

However, it was always Brakes who looked the likelier winners and they should have been on their way in the ninth minute.

Matty Dodd was bundled over in the box in a carbon-copy of the incident which gave Brakes their opener against Bradford. This time, though, both referee Martin Dexter and his assistant ignored home claims for a spot-kick to the incredulity of the Leamington bench.

Dodd skewed a shot wide form distance, while James Mace was unable to crown a flowing crossfield move with the finish it deserved as Brakes pressed for an opener.

Mike Green got down well to hold on to a crisp drive from Liam Daly, while Breeden had to alert to parry Darren Mullins’ first-time volley as the Tigers briefly threatened.

Breeden received minor repairs which allowed the players to take on some fluids as the heat of the afternoon took its toll and play slowed after the resumption.

Lee Moore worked space in the box, but tried to pick out a cute pass to Stefan Moore when a shot would have been a better option, with Elliot Sandy tamely nodding the return cross into the arms of Green.

Dodd was too close to Green with the final chance of the half and it was the wide man who had the first clear-cut chance of the second period, but he was unable to divert Stefan Moore’s fiercely driven centre home from almost on the line.

Stefan Moore was unlucky to see his close-range stab flick the inside of the post and run across the face of goal following more good work from Dodd before instigating a collective holding of heads with a wild shot from the edge of the box after he had done the hard work by beating the covering defender.

Gloucester gave notice of their threat with Mullins’ bullet header rippling the side netting and Darren Edwards hitting the outside of the post following a forceful run from James Edge.

Strong home claims for a handball in the box were also met by deaf ears, while substitute Jamie Towers flicked a header wide from close range.

Breeden almost showed the misfiring outfield players how it was done with a booming clearance that bounced over Green only to clip the top of the bar, but he was quickly earning his corn at the other end to deny Hogg what seemed a certain goal.

With play into injury time, Green again denied Brakes, superbly clinging on to Daly’s free-kick after it had found its way through the defensive wall.

Then came the sting in the tail.

Substitute Wilson had twice tripped over the ball when advancing on goal, but presented with a third opportunity he found the composure that all around him had been lacking to control a flick-on and deftly slot the ball past the advancing Breeden.

brakes: Tony Breeden, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Joe Magunda, Liam Daly, Paul McCone, Matt Dodd, Craig Owen (Alex Taylor, 54), Stefan Moore (Ricky Johnson, 80), Lee Moore, Elliot Sandy (Jamie Towers, 70). Subs not used: Josh Green, Martyn Naylor.

Gloucester: Mike Green, Sam Rawlings (Mike Green 89), Tyler Weir, Matt Coupe, Ryan Batten (Jack Harris, 29), Tom Webb, Lewis Hogg, Darren Mullings, Darren Edwards, James Edge, Matt Groves (15 Scott Wilson, 55).

Subs not used: Nathan Phillips, Sam Turl.