March is the man on the spot for Brakes
A 75th-minute Josh March penalty rescued a point for Leamington to maintain their continue an encouraging run of form, writes Paul Okey.
The afternoon had got off to a stunning start for the hosts, with Kaiman Anderson putting them ahead with only 42 seconds on the clock. However, they found themselves second-best to a slick Spennymoor for the majority of the match and it was only when Jordan Murphy and Callum Gittings were introduced from the bench in the 67th minute that the home side gained a foothold in the game.
With Stephan Morley’s appeal against his red card against Guiseley having failed, George Carline slotted in at left back, with Anderson coming in on the flank.
He wasted no time justifying his selection, applying a deft touch to guide Josh March’s cross past Matt Gould in the visitors’ goal inside the first minute.
But despite the ease in which Brakes carved open The Moors’ defence it would be 75 minutes before Gould was seriously involved again as Spennymoor shrugged off their early concession and slowly took control of the game.
The visitors had already threatened on the counter with a three on three break before levelling in the 23rd minute in stunning fashion.
Glen Taylor’s crossfield pass bisected the Brakes cover to release Ryan Hall on the left and although the danger looked to have been averted when his shot was blocked, the ball looped to the edge of the box where Rob Ramshaw lashed it home with a first-time volley.
A diving header from Taylor was wide of the target before Spennymoor completed the turnaround in the 29th minute.
Again they found little resistance from a flimsy home midfield, with Hall adding the finishing touch to a slick move by whipping the ball past Weaver at his near post from the edge of the box.
The visitors looked to have been presented a chance to add a third five minutes later when Weaver spilled a high ball. However, he reacted bravely to block Taylor’s fierce volley at close range.
The pattern of the game continued after the break, with Henry sliding a good chance wide of the near post after Brakes had been cut open again by the fast-breaking visitors.
Spennymoor were then handed a gilt-edged opportunity to stretch their lead when Jack Edwards bundled Taylor over in the box after the striker had got the wrong side of him.
However, it the roof of the stand rather than the net that was rippled as Taylor’s venomous strike went way over.
There was another anxious moment for Weaver shortly after the introduction of Murphy and Gittings when he played himself into trouble on the edge of his box. His first clearance was blocked but he recovered to scramble the ball clear.
Brakes, nevertheless, looked a far more resolute prospect with the two new additions and were thrown a lifeline in the 75th minute.
Edwards’ backheel was latched on to by March in the box and he went to ground under pressure from Town captain Chris Mason.
Referee Marc Whaley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and March calmly sent Gould the wrong way from the spot to level.
A rasping Taylor shot was just off target from the visitors, while March was holding his head in his hands after catching Gould out from the 30 yards with a superbly struck half-volley which beat the keeper but crashed off the bar and away to safety.
A Joe Clarke free-kick in the last seconds led to anxiety in the visitors’ defence as Jack Lane’s downward header bounced up to hit a defender and the penalty appeals were still going on as referee Whaley brought an end to proceedings.
Brakes: Jake Weaver, Junior English, George Carline, Callum Maycock (Callum Gittings, 67), James Mace, Jack Lane, Kaiman Anderson (Connor Taylor, 89) , Joe Clarke, Josh March, Jack Edwards, Dexter Walters (Jordan Murphy 67). Substitutes not used: Kieran Dunbar, Josh Martin.
Spennymoor Town: Matt Gould, Carl Magnay, Chris Mason, Jamie Chandler, Nathan Buddle (Stephen Brogan 44), James Curtis, Ryan Hall, Shane Henry (Adam Boyes 82), Glen Taylor, Rob Ramshaw, Ben McKenna. Substitutes not used: Mark Anderson, James Roberts, Andrew Johnson.