Brakes spurned the chance to make up significant ground on leaders and forthcoming opponents Poole Town as they were held to a draw by ten-man St Neots at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium, writes Paul Edwards.
Sticking with the same starting XI that had performed so well against Hednesford on Saturday, Paul Holleran’s men could have taken the lead inside the opening minutes when a header from Jack Edwards struck the visitors bar. Ben Mackey was quickly on to the loose ball, with his turn and shot drawing a good save from the legs of Saints keeper Andrew Wilton.
Mackey had another shot saved before Brakes moved ahead in the 12th minute.
A foul on Richard Taundry presented Lee Moore with a dead-ball opportunity in a central position 20 yards from goal and he produced an almost carbon copy of his goal at Rushall seven days earlier, stepping up to curl the ball past Wilton.
The visitors had barely threatened until this point but the goal bought them out of their shells and they began to cause problems for the Leamington defence.
They levelled things up in the 25th minute when a long throw was headed into the centre, leaving Lee Clarke with the simplest of headers right in front of goal to give Tony Breeden no chance.
St Neots were working the ball into good positions now and with Brakes struggling to clear, a shot was blocked and Breeden then produced a timely stop with his legs to deny Ryan Hawkins.
Edwards had an early second-half shot blocked as Leamington tried to reassert themselves, but the game was a far more even affair.
A Ryan Frater shot was comfortable for Breeden before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Hawkins picked up two needless bookings. The first was for throwing himself to the ground in an attempt to win a penalty, with the second awarded after he continually tried to obstruct Breeden as he attempted to clear the ball.
James Fry’s excellent delivery from the right saw Mackey go up for a challenge with Wilton, with the keeper’s presence doing enough to forec the Leamington striker to head wide.
Brakes edged back in front with 17 minutes to play when Rob Ogleby drove in a low strike from the edge of the box after a spell of pressure on the St Neots goal.
The same player charged down the right to drive a shot just over the bar soon after, while Wilton did well to hold a stinging 20-yard strike from Moore.
Mackey was denied by the keeper again as he turned onto another good ball in from Fry, the Saints stopper diving to his right to keep the ball out.
Leamington were then left frustrated when the visitors snatched a second equaliser four minutes from time with only their second effort on goal of the half, Mat Mitchell-King poking the ball out of Breeden’s reach and into the corner.
Brakes: Tony Breeden, James Fry, Nat Kelly, Joe Magunda, Jamie Hood, Jamie Tank, Rob Ogleby, Richard Taundry, Ben Mackey (Lee Chilton, 82), Jack Edwards, Lee Moore. Subs not used: Joe Halsall, Will Green, Ross Oulton, Ben George.
St Neots Town: Andrew Wilton, Jamie Anton, Brett Longden, Mat Mitchell-King, Ryan Frater, Shane Blackett, Lee Clarke, Ben Jones, Ryan Hawkins, Drew Roberts, Isaac Galliford.
Subs not used: Adam Tawn, Guy Mailoncol, Dan Hobbs, Luis Viera, Claudio Ofusu.