WORCESTER City missed the chance to leapfrog Leamington after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their Skrill Conference North rivals on Saturday (April 5).
Lee Chilton’s early strike was enough to seal the three points in a tight encounter at the New Windmill Ground where Brakes keeper Tony Breedon performed the necessary heroics to deny Aaron Brown twice at the death.
The defeat means City remain in 15th place, but have an 11 point gap over the drop zone, with a game in hand, and only five games left to play.
Chilton had a great chance to open the scoring with less than a minute on the clock when Nathan Hicks burst down the right and pulled the ball back to him, but the midfielder skied his effort from just inside the box.
The miss wouldn’t prove costly, however, as after eight minutes Hicks again caused problems down the right and found Chilton yet again, who this time took a touch before driving his shot across goal and into the bottom corner.
In a first half where Worcester lacked their recent standards of performance, top scorer Daniel Nti came closest when he curled his effort wide from outside the area.
Breedon almost doubled the hosts’ lead in the opening 20 minutes when his first time clearance travelled the length of the pitch and bounced awkwardly towards Leigh Bedwell’s top corner, with the young keeper having to tip the ball to safety.
Minutes later Danny Newton’s swivelling half-volley flew narrowly wide before Reece Flanagan sliced his effort past the post when bearing down on goal.
Leamington started the second half in much the same vein as Bedwell had to dive to his left to turn away Nathan Hicks’ effort and Newton’s attempted lob went just wide.
With 20 minutes remaining the Blue and Whites started to turn up the heat as substitute Aaron Farrell drove an effort straight at Breedon before Ellis Deeney’s fierce free-kick was beaten away by the keeper.
Chances continued to fall in the dying minutes when Wayne Thomas launched a long throw into the hosts’ box and Brown’s flick-on just missed Ethan Moore and was eventually scrambled clear.
Breedon earned his stripes deep into stoppage time when Brown’s free-kick was palmed away and then somehow denied the midfielder from point blank range to ensure the three points stayed in Leamington.
Manager Carl Heeley said: “Over the 90 minutes we were off it today and that’s disappointing.
“Second half we were more on it and it’s taken two good saves by their keeper to deny us a point. But, that said, today overall I was disappointed in us.”