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LEAMINGTON 2 v OADBY TOWN 2
FA Cup Second Qualifying round
Sat 24 Sep 05
By David Hucker

All Square in the FA Cup as Oadby Force Replay With Late Equaliser

This was Brakes' biggest game in the FA Cup for 20 years and the stage was perfectly set with the sun beating down on the New Windmill looking at its very best. A crowd of 861 packed into the ground, but there was no fairytale ending as, having twice led in the match, Brakes succumbed to an equaliser ten minutes from time and must start again at Oadby on Tuesday.

Despite the difference in the two sides' league positions, this was never going to a soft passage into the next round. They had met in the league less than three weeks ago and Oadby showed themselves then to be a strong and uncompromising side. Every time the ball reached the penalty area, it was dispatched quickly to any part of the ground and it took only fifteen seconds in this encounter for the first clearance to sail over the hedge into the adjoining field, disturbing the sheep's afternoon tea.

In a positive opening spell for Brakes, Josh Blake stole into the penalty area to connect with a Leon Morgan free-kick, but Oadby's highly-rated young goalkeeper, Laurie Pearson, was equal to the task. Then Adam Hart came to the rescue to thwart Richard Adams, but Brakes soon got the opening they were looking for as, in the 9th minute, Ryan Howell and Josh Blake combined well, before Blake beat two defenders and rifled a short into the top left-hand corner for 1-0.

Oadby tried to hit back immediately with Ashley Warner going on a good run, but Paul Shepherd got down well to save. A well-taken free kick by David Fisher was headed across the Brakes' goal, but nobody was placed to take advantage.

At the other end, Carl Bacon cut out a dangerous cross from Richard Adams and Stuart Herlihy went on a fine solo run, but his cross cum shot was wide. Richard Adams almost doubled the lead with a curling shot just over the crossbar, but it was Oadby that struck through Kevin Ward who got the faintest of touches on an Aarron Butcher free-kick from the left to head home an equaliser in the 28th minute (1-1).

In another good spell for Brakes, Morgan was lucky to escape serious injury when clattered to the ground on 31 minutes (one of many fouls that the referee took a lenient view about), Then Pearson raced from his goal to deprive Richard Adams of the ball when the striker was clean through on goal. With virtually no added time, the half came to an end with the score still even.

It was very much a repeat pattern at the start of the second period with Brakes attacking and Richard Adams shooting into a wall of defenders when a pass night have been the better option. However, the pressure did pay off in the 52nd minute as Jon Adams fed his brother Richard down the right touchline and the cross went deep to the far post where Leon Morgan was waiting to turn the ball into the net and make it 2-1.

Paul Shepherd then pulled off a fine double save to deny Oadby and Jon Adams headed off the line. Brakes then had further chances to extend their lead through a powerful Andy Gregory header that went wide and Ryan Howell who mis-kicked when well placed. These missed opportunities then proved costly as John Chapman rose unmarked to head home a cross from the left in the 80th minute to level the scores at 2-2.

With just six minutes remaining, Blake looked like restoring the lead, but his goalbound header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Pearson and the match ended all square.

Manager Jason Cadden was disappointed with the result adding "We did not play as well as we can and they deserved a draw. There was a lot at stake and we were not relaxed enough. We conceded two goals through not cutting out balls from their left and will have to be better on Tuesday to go through."

Leamington: Paul Shepherd; Jon Adams; Darran Tank; Tom Sidwell; Andy Gregory; Stuart Herlihy; Ryan Howell; Leon Morgan [Capt]; Richard Adams; Josh Blake; Alex Rodman
Subs Not Used: Kristian Kelsall; Paul Eden; Ben Usher; Andy Stidder; Ryan Parisi

Oadby Town: Laurie Pearson; Carl Bacon; Jamie March [Capt.]; Nick Matthews; Adam Hart; Ross Blockley; Gary Moult (Aarron Butcher 19); Ashley Warner; Kevin Ward (John Chapman 69); David Fisher; Steve Frain
Subs not used: Matt Howarth; Chris McCathie; Danny Pickering

Attendance 861

Players' News: Steve Thompson had the pin removed from his foot last Thursday, but is "several weeks" away from a return. Richard Morris has still not recovered and will not be in the running for selection for two weeks at least.


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