Brakes’ 2015 drew to a close in the most miserable fashion on a damp Boxing Day afternoon in north Warwickshire, writes Paul Edwards.
A solitary point from four December fixtures had seen Leamington drop out of the top five for the first time this season and their slide continued as Bedworth took great delight in twisting the knife still further with a deserved victory.
An uninspiring display followed the pattern of the previous two Southern League fixtures, with very little spark and drive throughout the side and Greenbacks keeper Denham Hinds only truly tested once over the course of the 90 minutes.
Things could have been very different had Lee Chilton’s low left-footer across goal found the back of the net inside the opening minute, but the ball skidded wide of the far post.
Both sides saw half-chances come and go before the home side moved ahead with a well crafted but simple goal just before the half-hour.
Former Brakes striker Aron Wint was allowed far too much time and space to advance down the left wing and his low ball into the box was easily picked up by Justin Marsden, who was also briefly a Leamington player himself.
The striker then fired high past Tony Breeden and into the net before a challenge was made on him.
Some strong running from Lee Moore early in the second half saw him wind his way into the penalty area only to see his shot blocked.
Bedworth were close to extending their lead through headed efforts from Daniel Creaney and another former Brake in Kyle Cartwright, who clattered the frame of the goal.
Joe Halsall brought the best out of Hinds as he dived to his left to keep out a powerful header from Richard Taundry’s right-wing corner.
Jamie Hood headed over from the second delivery, while Taundry’s shot was deflected behind as Leamington tried to build some momentum.
However, the game was effectively over when Jordan Archer pounced to net from close range following a ball in from the left.
The substitute could have bagged himself a glorious hat-trick, but missed two late chances to make the scoreline even more emphatic, rounding Breeden on the right edge of the area but firing across goal and inches wide before coming close again from a similar position.
While the play-off positions are still firmly within reach, Brakes sit 16 points behind leaders Poole Town as we head into 2016 and need to get back on track very quickly if they are realise their promotion ambitions this season.
Bedworth United: Denham Hinds, Jamie Ashmore, Luke Rowe, Andy Westwood, Kyle Cartwright, Richard Bryan, Daniel Creaney, Elliot Parrott, Justin Marsden, Aron Wint (Jordan Archer, 75), Craig Kelly (Daniel Dubidat 72). Subs not used: Marlon Walters, Lewis Chester.
Brakes: Tony Breeden, Ben George (Nat Kelly, 86), James Fry, Joe Halsall, Jamie Hood, James Mace, Ross Oulton (Will Green, 63), Richard Taundry (Joe Magunda, 86), Rob Ogleby, Lee Chilton, Lee Moore. Subs not used: Jamie Tank, Ben Mackey.