Northwich Victoria 0 Brakes 1: Stefan Moore breaks the deadlock to send Leamington into last 32 of Trophy
The hosts felt they were on the wrong end of some of the decisions made over the course of the game, and although Leamington struggled to get to grips with them at times during the first half, they gained more control in the second and it was Stefan Moore who bagged the all-important goal with around 25 minutes left to play.
Josh Hawker could have given his side the perfect start, driving a low shot inches wide from the edge of the box after the ball fell to him off a grounded defender.
James Mace was a hair’s breadth from connecting with a free-kick played in to the far post from the right and Tim Deasy held a looping header from Liam Daly from a corner as Brakes opened the game in a far brighter fashion than they had done on Saturday.
Northwich gradually began to get on top but for all their good approach play they came up short against a Leamington defence determined to continue their run of shutouts.
They required some timely challenges from the likes of Liam Daly and Josh Green to preserve this, however.
Joe Magunda’s low ball towards goal almost caused problems for Deasy early in the second half as he gathered at the second attempt.
Brian Summerskill tried his luck for the Vics with a first-time strike from distance that curled away from goal and lashed another high over the bar as the home side started to become frustrated in their attempts to snatch a goal.
Leamington were having similar problems themselves having not come close since the early stages of the game, but one move that scythed into the home defence put that right.
Lee Moore had been inches from beating Deasy to a ball into the Northwich penalty area but Matt Dodd got the better of his marker down the right and cut inside to fire a cross into the centre. Stefan Moore brought a splendid save from the keeper with a powerful header but the grounded custodian was only able to watch in despair as the striker reacted quickest to the rebound and acrobatically hooked the ball back past him and into the net.
The goal acted as a spur for Brakes and they set about trying to add a second.
Hawker almost had a clear run on goal but was thwarted by a good challenge. However the ball was picked up by goalscorer Moore, who darted into the box and saw his powerful shot deflected behind.
From the resultant corner, Daly’s header was pushed around the base of the post by Deasy, who took a knock in the process.
Lee Ashcroft threw on three substitutes at once in a bid to revive his side, but the closest they got to Breeden’s goal all evening was from a well-struck free-kick out on the left, the Brakes keeper punching the ball clear under heavy pressure.
The fresh legs of Ricky Johnson and Will Green up front helped invigorate Leamington and they kept their composure to see out five minutes of injury time and book a trip to Dover Athletic on Saturday week.
NORTHWICH VICTORIA: Tim Deasy, Mickey Thomas, Chris Smalley, Sam Hibbert, Paul O’Neill, Danny Wisdom, Brian Summerskill (Danny Boyle, 76), Kyle Armstrong, Gary Burnett (Michael Clarke, 76), Josh Amiss, Ashley Parillion (Jamie Phoenix, 76). Subs not used: Jordan Rugg, Alex Taylor.
Brakes: Tony Breeden, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Joe Magunda, Liam Daly, Josh Green, Matt Dodd, Josh Hawker, Stefan Moore (Will Green, 87), Lee Moore, Craig Owen (Ricky Johnson, 81).
Subs not used: Luke Bottomer, David McNamee, Lewis Fenney.