Rowe brace keeps Brakes firmly in play-off picture


With the chasing pack all winning, Brakes could ill afford to slip up on the south coast, and duly headed back north with the three points, writes Paul Edwards.

However, after James Rowe’s first-half double had put them in the ascendancy, they had to endure a nervy wait for the final whistle, with missed chances almost coming back to haunt them.

A frenetic opening saw Leamington tear into their managerless opponents and they were rewarded with a fourth-minute opener. Luke Corbett nodded a cross into the penalty area, leaving Rowe with a simple side-foot finish from six yards out.

Corbett headed home from a free-kick seven minutes later, but was denied by an offside flag.

Weymouth, who had sacked boss Ian Huchinson on the Tuesday before the game, then broke down the left through Rob Wolleaston, but his shot was deflected into Tony Breeden’s hands by strike partner Warren Byerley.

Leamington continued to make inroads, particularly down the left through Alex Taylor, and his cross was headed towards his own goal by Terras defender Ben Gerring, who was relieved to see keeper Tom Manley push the ball over the crossbar.

Stephan Morley sent a free-kick over the bar before Rowe doubled Leamington’s advantage a minute before half-time, latching on to a huge clearance from Breeden and taking his time before coolly lifting a shot past Manley and into the net.

Corbett did well to make space for himself early in the second half, shooting low at the Weymouth keeper, who was then beaten when Rowe skipped into the penalty area and curled a low effort inches past the far post, with Marcus Jackson a fraction away from adding a final touch.

Sam Clarke saw a header drop on to the roof of the net from a corner as Weymouth began to exert a little pressure.

Breeden saved well after a defensive slip let the hosts in again, and another headed effort from a free-kick sailed high over the Leamington bar.

With four minutes to play, Weymouth halved the deficit through a close-range effort from Warren Byerley following a corner to give the home faithful hope.

With new boss Martyn Rogers watching from the stands, the Terras continued to push forward but did not unduly trouble the Brakes defence in the time remaining.

For the visitors, the focus now turns to tomorrow’s home clash with third-placed Cambridge City, who are sure to be smarting after a 3-0 defeat at Stourbridge last time out.

Weymouth: Tom Manley, Lewis Whyton (Oliver Tribes, 46), Matthew Oldring, Sam Clarke, Ben Gerring (Jamie Beasley, 56), Ben Reiffer (Sam Charles, 65), Richard Groves, Bradley Magookin, Rob Wolleaston, Waren Byerley, Alex Halloran. Subs not used: John Litherland, Ashley Weeks.

Leamington: Tony Breeden, Scott Lycett, Stephan Morley, Lee Downes, Jamie Hood, Liam Daly, Marcus Jackson (Michael Tuohy, 85), James Rowe, Alex Taylor (Jamie Sheldon, 81), Luke Corbett, Richard Batchelor. Subs not used: Guy Sanders, Jacob Blyth, Lee Williams.