Gainsborough 1 Brakes 0

Adam Quinn gets the better of Danny Newton to win a high ball. Picture: Sally Ellis
Adam Quinn gets the better of Danny Newton to win a high ball. Picture: Sally Ellis
  • Newton sent off for second successive week
  • Brakes sucked back into relegation battle
  • Davis stunner seals clash

For the second successive Saturday the after-match chatter sadly centred on a controversial refereeing decision as Brakes slipped to a defeat that leaves them anxiously looking over their shoulders again, writes Paul Edwards.

For over an hour in an inevitably scrappy game between two teams desperate for points to pull away from the danger zone, Leamington had been comfortably holding their own.

However, any game-plan Paul Holleran and Liam O’Neill might have had was left in tatters when skipper Danny Newton received a second yellow card for handball having earlier been booked for a late challenge in midfield.

Having walked from the pitch without protesting the previous weekend against Fylde, Newton was furious at the decision, and would have felt even worse when Trinity took the lead minutes later.

In his last match before serving a suspension, the fired-up striker looked determined to make an impact in the opening stages of the game, turning well to drive in a low shot that whistled past the upright early on, though keeper Rory Watson looked to have it covered.

Jamie Tank directed a header towards goal from a free-kick played in to the left edge of the Gainsborough penalty area but Watson was able to claim with the minimum of fuss.

The loanee goalkeeper then nipped off his line to claim Newton’s header with Lee Chilton waiting to pounce on any potential slip.

There had been little threat from the hosts until that point but they were inches from opening the scoring when Charlie Binns put his laces through the ball from 25 yards out and past the dive of debutant keeper Jonny Maddison, who may have got something on the ball to send it crashing off the inside of the post and away from goal.

It was certainly a let-off for the visitors and Gainsborough were unable to capitalise as the ball was played back in, veteran striker Darryn Stamp heading well wide.

Newton fired just over the bar after another smart turn outside the box, while Stamp appeared to almost pass the ball back to Maddison from a good position inside the box.

Lee Moore’s cross clipped the top of the bar early in the second half as Brakes searched for an early advantage, while Nathan Hicks shot wide either side of Newton’s yellow cards as a game free from bad tackles suddenly side got a little heated.

Trinity had bought on Liam Davis just prior to Newton’s dismissal and it was the substitute who crashed home a stunning volley into the top corner to ultimately win the game - a goal out of almost nothing, similar to Newton’s winner in the reverse fixture four weeks earlier.

Gainsborough were clearly galvanised by both the goal and the man advantage but they were unable to fully test Maddison until late in the game.

The young keeper held a rising drive from Simon Russell before Josh Hawker, making his second debut for Leamington after stepping off the bench, forced a good save from Watson with a powerful low drive.

Substitute Hamish Watson missed two chances to put the seal on the home side’s win late on, firing wide from close range and then coming off second best in a one on one with Maddison, but Gainsborough had done enough to secure the three points that take them just ahead of Brakes in the table with eight games remaining.

Gainsborough Trinity: Rory Watson, Dominic Roma , Josh Lacey, Charlie Binns, Adam Quinn, Cliff Byrne, Simon Russell, Dan Clayton (Liam Davis, 62), Danny Forrest, Darryn Stamp (Hamish Watson, 75), Jamie Yates (Stephen Brogan, 82). Subs not used: Jake Picton, Chris Hamilton.

BRAKEs: Jonny Maddison, James Mace, Connor Gudger (Josh Hawker, 87), Joe Magunda (Jack Edwards, 80), Jamie Tank, Delroy Gordon, Lee Moore, Jordan Goddard, Lee Chilton, Nathan Hicks (Bilal Yafai, 67), Danny Newton. Subs not used: Martyn Naylor, Matt Hill.