Brakes’ play-off push runs into spot of bother


Brakes missed the chance to put distance between themselves and the chasing pack with defeat at Swindon on Saturday, writes Paul Edwards.

With a rutted pitch making flowing football impossible, a pitiful game hinged on two penalties, one missed and one scored.

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Leamington at least attempted to play the ball around when they were in possession. Luke Corbett exchanged passes with Neil Barnfield after a quick free-kick and drove a shot wide, while the same two players combined for Lee Downes to lash another effort off target.

James Husband’s dangerous driven cross was cleared by Jon Beeden and Alex Taylor saw a shot easily saved by Swindon keeper James Rae.

Tony Breeden was forced to claw away a header, but there was very little else worthy of note during the first 45 minutes.

The antics of Swindon captain Dave Bampton did at least raise the temperature, with the midfielder’s combination of theatrical dives and constant moaning seeing him singled out by the visiting support.

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Corbett headed a corner over the bar early in the second half before Brakes were awarded a penalty just before the hour-mark.

Michael Tuohy had his heels clipped as he was being forced away from goal, with the assistant referee signalling for a spot-kick.

Luke Corbett struck the penalty powerfully down the middle, but was denied by the trailing leg of James Rae, who diverted the ball over his crossbar.

The Swindon keeper excelled himself shortly afterwards, getting down smartly to a sharp turn and shot from Tuohy, and Breeden did equally well to rush from his line to deny Nick Stanley a shot at goal.

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A stray pass led to Leamington’s undoing in the 69th minute, setting the hosts up for a break that saw Breeden haring from his line again to challenge the attacking player, bringing him down in the process.

The Brakes number one was relieved to escape with a yellow card before being sent the wrong wrong way from the spot by Stanley.

Luke Hopper almost scored a spectacular second goal when he spotted Breeden off his line but his flighted effort from the right wing drifted over the bar.

Shortly after, Hopper went one on one with the keeper for a through ball, with Breeden narrowly winning the race.

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Paul Holleran threw on Jacob Blyth, Jamie Sheldon and Chris Knight as Brakes piled forward in search of an equaliser, but Swindon’s massed ranks held out.

Swindon Supermarine: James Rae, Gary Horgan, Matt Robinson, Harry Etheridge, Jon Beedon, Dave Bampton (Danny Allen, 75), Ben Wells, Luke Hopper, Jack Hopper (Ashan Holgate, 55), Mitchell Bryant, Nick Stanley. Sub not used: Liam Jones.

Brakes: Tony Breeden, Scott Lycett (Jacob Blyth, 76), Stephan Morley, Lee Downes, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Michael Tuohy, Alex Taylor (Jamie Sheldon, 83), Neil Barnfield, Luke Corbett, James Husband (Chris Knight, 83). Subs not used: Lee Williams, Arthur Byrne.

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