Leamington clip Linnets’ wings but are unable to administer the killer blow

Leamington claimed a creditable point at home to title-chasing King’s Lynn this evening which so nearly could have been three at the death, writes Paul Okey.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 11:33 pm
Jack Edwards’ towering header hit the inside of the post early on. Pictures: Dean Williams

Josh Martin was almost the Brakes hero but with keeper Alex Street out of position, was unable to force Connor Taylor’s shot past defender Chris Smith on the line. Kaiman Anderson’s follow-up was then straight at the retreating Street.

An injury-time winner would not have been unduly harsh on the visitors who for all their possession and shots, failed to properly test keeper Lewis Gwilliams, in for the suspended Jake Weaver.

Ian Culverhouse’s side made a lively start but could only muster a long-range effort from Sam Kelly before Brakes went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock, Jack Edwards header from a corner beating the defender on the line only to bounce back off the inside of the post.

Josh Martin was unable to force home a late winner after good work from Connor Taylor

A 25-yarder from Stephan Morley then appeared to wrong-foot Street whose awkward parry pushed the ball back into danger. However, there was no Brakes player able to take advantage.

Adam Marriott wriggled free of a challenge before sliding a shot across the face of goal as the visitors wrested the momentum back in what was an entertaining opening quarter of an hour and Gwilliams then had to be alert to head clear the danger as Linnets’ top-scorer looked to latch on to a ball over the top.

Morley was well positioned to head clear a dangerous ball into the box and as the game approached the half-hour mark, Linnets centre-back Tom Ward wasted their best chance, sidefooting just wide of the far post after a neat lay-off from Dayle Southwell.

Brakes were keeping their defensive shape well, however, and scored a victory of sorts when, with nothing on, Rory McCauley opted to shoot from 30 yards out, hitting the roof of the Harbury Lane End with his wayward effort.

James Mace picked up a booking for a crude challenge on Marriott as the visitors looked to counter at speed and the half drew to a close with King’s Lynn again in the ascendancy but failing to test Gwilliams. First, through Ross Barrows whose shot bounced just past the far post and then Jordan Richards whose effort bounced just past a parked car.

Brakes enjoyed their best period in the opening ten minutes of the second period, with Joe Clarke’s goalbound shot blocked by a defender before Walters miscontrolled with the goal at his mercy after Edwards had flicked on a Jack Storer cross.

Culverhouse had seen enough and made a triple substitution with almost half an hour left to play, introducing Alfie Payne, Ryan Hawkins and Michael Gash.

The burly Gash was quick to make use of his barrel chest, bringing the ball down after a diagonal had cut out Jack Lane but his shot lacked the power to trouble Gwilliams.

He again used his chest to good effect after a ball was stood up from the byline but this time, closer to goal, a much better connection sent the ball soaring over the bar.

Aaron Jones saw a free-kick flick of the wall for a corner and Chris Henderson joined the long list of King’s Lynn players who sent the ball skywards rather than working Gwilliams as the visitors stepped up their attacking efforts.

Lane and then Clarke produced excellent blocks to deny Marriott after he had isolated the last defender but it was to be Brakes who nearly had the final say.

And despite his side being unable to force a winner, boss Paul Holleran was delighted with the way his side backed up their victory over Southport.

‘You’d probably have to say that the best chance was ours, when we hit the inside of the post,”he said.

“Both sides had two or three really good half-chances and neither of us have taken them but it’s a really good performance and clean sheet for us,and backs up the result we got last time out here.

brakes: Lewis Gwilliams, Josh Martin, Stephan Morley, Joe Clarke, James Mace, Jack Lane, Joe Parker (Connor Taylor, 84), Callum Maycock, Jack Storer (Callum Gittings, 90), Jack Edwards, Dexter Walters (Kaiman Anderson, 77).Subs not used: Dan Meredith, Kieran Dunbar.

King’s Lynn: Alex Street, Aaron Jones, Ross Barrows, Tom Ward (Ryan Hawkins,64), Chris Smith, Rory McCauley, Sam Kelly (Alfie Payne, 64), Jordan Richards, Dayle Southwell (Michael Gash, 64), Adam Marriott, Chris Henderson. Subs not used: Nathan Fox, Ryan Jarvis