Leamington and Brackley Town played out a hard fought goalless draw at the New Windmill Ground in front of a crowd of 612 this afternoon. Perhaps such an outcome should not be surprising in a 6th versus 7th fixture which attracted the chairman of the Evo-Stik Southern League to judge from the expensive car with magnetic plaques proclaiming the fact that was in the car park.
Although the match was a competitive one, it was the poor judgment of the ageing referee that attracted increasing attention as the match went on. Card happy and whistle happy, I pointed out to him that there is a toll free number on which you can claim your pension.
Brackley's tactic was to defend in depth and try and score on the break and they nearly succeeded more than once, Breeden being called on for a good save just before half time. On the whole, Brakes controlled the midfield but I thought that our play was disjointed at times, especially in the first half.
The referee set out his stall with a bizarre yellow card for obstruction for not moving when the keeper played the ball. On 33 minutes Brackley took off Jaszcun and brought on Chris Willmott who was signed from Luton by Wimbledon when they were in the Premiership for £350,000.
Just afterwards Brackley did put the ball in the net, but the linesman had raised his flag and the referee had to concede that it was offside after going over to consult him.
Brakes applied some good pressure in the middle part of the second half, but were unable to find the back of the net. Towards the end of the match the referee started to give a few free kicks to Leamington and one of these had to be knocked over the bar by Walker in the Brackley goal.
Brackley also continued to show a turn of speed down their left wing, but although they won some corners, Brakes defended well. New acquisition Asa Charlton impressed me.
So a dismal defeat in the cup last weekend, an impressive victory away midweek and a share of the points today. It's an unpredictable season for the Brakes.