Brakes’ upturn in form continued on Saturday with Danny Newton’s spectacular strike giving them back-to-back home wins and moving them five points clear of the bottom three, writes Paul Okey.
Just as importantly, it dragged Gainsborough right into the relegation mire, with the three points seeing Leamington leapfrog their opponents into 17th spot.
The tailbacks caused by an early-morning accident on the M40 resulted in the late arrival of Jordan Goddard and Lee Chilton, with the duo forced to settle for a place on the bench as Joe Magunda and Matt Dodd came into a side otherwise unchanged from the draw at Harrogate.
Both sides struggled to find any fluency in the opening half-hour, with miscued headers, misplaced passes and the sound of referee Simon Russell’s whistle dominating proceedings.
Nathan Hicks dragged a shot wide after linking well with Connor Gudger, while Brakes’ only moment of anxiety was self-inflicted. Delroy Grodon was robbed while trying to run the ball out for a goal-kick, but Ciaran Toner then fluffed his lines, with his tame centre easily pouched by Ross Atkins.
The quality of the entertainment was summed up by a volley from Toner, which went out for a throw-in on the left.
Play became more stretched as half-time approached and an unmarked Simon Russell got his angles all wrong after being picked out in the box by Jamie Yates’ clever clipped cross.
At the other end, a Matt Dodd shot was deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
However, it was from another of Lee Moore’s set-piece deliveries in the 37th minute that Brakes took the lead.
Defender Jake Pickton gave away the corner with a misdirected header and Trinity were made to pay when Gordon rose highest to head the ball powerfully down and into the net.
An ambitious effort from Newton on the half-volley went straight into the arms of Watson, but thankfully the Leamington captain would not be dissuaded from trying his luck from long range.
Chilton and Goddard were both put through their paces at half-time, but there were no changes from either side for the second half.
However, it took just three minutes for the score to be altered.
Paul Beesley’s theatrical reaction to an aerial challenge earned Gainsborough a free-kick in a central position and Jamie Yates curled a delicious effort into the top left-hand corner of the net, with Atkins motionless.
It seemed such a soft way to relinquish their lead, but Brakes were quickly back on the offensive.
Hicks headed a Gudger free-kick wide and then produced a powerful 50-yard run which ended with his cross being bundled behind by a defender.
Fry was then inches away from converting Hicks’ pull-back after Brakes had cut open the visitors’ defence.
It was then Gainsborough’s turn to enjoy a spell of pressure, with substitute Liam Davies almost making an instant impact after good work from Russell. However, the new arrival skied his shot from the edge of the box.
Russell then sashayed his way through the Brakes midfield, but his shot failed to match his build-up play and flashed over.
Goddard was introduced for Hicks in the 75th minute and two minutes later Brakes were back in front.
A promising Leamington counter looked to have broken down and despite them regaining possession there seemed little on when Newton had the ball at his feet 30 yards out.
However, the striker unleashed an exocet of a shot which seemed to pick up speed as it whistled past the despairing right-hand of Watson and into the top corner of the net.
Trinity looked to respond by bringing on former Scunthorpe United striker Darryn Stamp and the veteran was at the heart of their two best chances, seeing a shot deflected on to the top of the net and heading another effort wide.
But, despite the four minutes of injury time edging past five, there was never any doubt Newton had produced a goal fit to win any match.
Brakes: Ross Atkins, James Mace, Connor Gudger, James Fry, Delroy Gordon, Jamie Tank, Lee Moore, Joe Magunda (Jack Edwards, 88), Matt Dodd (Lee Chilton, 78), Nathan Hicks (Jordan Goddard, 73), Danny Newton . Subs not used: Aron Wint, Lewis Fenney.
Gainsborough: Rory Watson, Dominic Roma, Tom Davie (Josh Lacey, 67), Charlie Binns (Darryn Stamp, 73), Adam Quinn, Jake Pickton, Simon Russell, Ciaron Toner, Paul Beesley, Jamie Yates, Dan Clayton (Liam Davies, 63). Subs not used: Lynton Karkach, Chris Salt.