Champagne on ice as Walker hands visitors Wey back

It was probably for the best, writes Paul Okey.

As the home players trooped off at the final whistle, heads down, there would have been few in a season-high attendance of 891 who would have wanted to defy the elements any longer to witness a victory parade.

Soaked to the skin and buffeted by an icy wind, they could relax in the knowledge Brakes had four more games to clinch the title and far warmer climes in which to do so.

A balmy Saturday by the coast in Bideford would be the preferred option, with sun, sea and celebration the perfect way to round off a long, hard season.

Even Chippenham on a Tuesday night could not be any less hospitable than the New Windmill on Saturday.

Incessant rain and a swirling wind endemic to Harbury Lane greeted a Weymouth side who arrived having failed to score in more than seven-and-a-half hours of football.

It was not hard to see why as Brakes, backed by an expectant home support, dominated proceedings.

Matty Dodd headed wide from a good position while Richard Batchelor struck a fierce strike just over the bar.

Stefan Moore stabbed tamely wide after debutant keeper Chris Povall had spilled a tame James Mace effort and Moore came much closer when his fierce drive from 12 yards hit the inside of the post.

Five minutes before the break, Leamington got their reward. Moore looked to have been fouled on the edge of the area but play continued and Dodd crossed into the box where Batchelor improvised brilliantly to head the bouncing ball past Povall.

Having failed to register a shot on goal in the first half, Weymouth came out after the break looking much more purposeful. Barry McConnell shot tamely past the post before Jamie Hood’s back-pass caused hearts to flutter, with Walker’s air shot allowing the ball to trickle inches past the post.

Dodd limped off as a consequence of Jamie Richards’ bookable tackle to be replaced by Lee Moore, while Liam Daly and Matt Groves joined him in the referee’s notebook after a spot of male posturing.

With conditions worsening and the game drifting towards a 1-0 home win, a rush of blood from Walker handed Weymouth a way back.

Walker was left hopelessly exposed after racing out of his box to confront Dan Smith and could only watch as The Terras worked the ball into the box for Ben Joyce to shoot through the legs of the retreating defenders.

It provoked an angry response from Paul Holleran who felt the ball had gone out of play in the build-up and the Brakes manager’s rage was fuelled minutes later when Lee Chilton stumbled in the box under the challenge of Povall, only for the referee to signal a goal kick.

However, subsequent replays suggested no contact was made and Weymouth weathered a late rally which saw Ricky Johnson’s close range shot deflected behind and Batchelor shoot straight at Povall.

Brakes: Laurie Walker, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Craig Owen, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Matt Dodd (Lee Moore, 66), Lee Chilton, Stefan Moore, Ricky Johnson, Richard Batchelor. Subs not used: Martyn Naylor, James Husband, Sam Adkins, Niall Cooper.

Weymouth: Chris Povall, Barry McConnell, Jamie Richards, Jamie Symes, Sam Poole, Ed Palmer, Craig Duff, Danny Clay, Ben Joyce, Matt Groves, Dan Smith. Subs not used: Ashley Wells, Mark Ford, Stephen Reed, Charlie Holland.

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