Davis the hero for Gainsborough Trinity in crucial basement battle with Leamington

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Liam Davis was the hero for Gainsborough Trinity, as they squeezed a 1-0 win out of their vital relegation clash with fellow strugglers Leamington.

David smashed home a 25-yard rocket having come off the bench, in the only piece of real quality in 90 minutes of play.

The goal came five minutes after the visitors were reduced to 10men, as captain Danny Newton had an early bath thanks to two bookings.

Blues boss Steve Housham made three changes to the side which slumped to defeat by Worcester, as Josh Lacey, Dan Clayton and Darryn Stamp returned to the side, with the latter two replacing the injured Ciaran Toner and Paul Beesley.

It all started brightly as within the opening minute, Trinity had their first shot, as Stamp dragged a volley wide.

The visitors similarly looked quick to settle, Newton going wide and over.

Not before long Gainsborough hit the woodwork.

A bobbling ball fell perfectly into the path of Charlie Binns and the midfielder rattled the post from 25 yards.

That was all the sides could muster for the opening period, as the crowd got restless.

The second half provided little more.

Leamington hit the bar early on but that was down to a mishit cross.

Trinity suddenly had the initiative 20 minutes into the half when Newton saw red.

The Brakes captain was booked minutes earlier for a late challenge on Dominic Roma and trudged off thanks to a deliberate handball.

The decision was harsh but nobody in the Blue corner was bothered by this.

Least of all Davis who decided the best medicine was to smash the ball in from the edge of the box.

It was the sweetest of strikes, as the ball sat up lovingly for his right boot.

There was still plenty of time for nerves both on and off the pitch as Leamington still seemed a threat.

Gainsborough missed chances to seal the game late on, as Hamish Watson scuffed a shot when he should have scored and then when through on goal, the visiting goalkeeper stopped his effort.

Overall, the final whistle could not come soon enough.

Steve Housham knew the importance of the win.

He said: “I said at the start of the game we’ve got to be patient. “We are in a relegation dogfight and your not going to play pretty football week in, week out.”

“You’ve got to get your confidence back and we have to grind out results.”

“I think you saw at the end there, what it means to us, myself, players and the fans.”

“We needed the win and we’ve got that.”

“We needed a spark and what an answer Liam gave and I’m over the moon for him.”

“He’s had a tough week Liam and he probably feels down that he’s not been in the side.”

“I’m delighted for him because he gets on with it.”

Gainsborough Trinity: R Watson, Roma (c), Lacey, Binns, Quinn, Byrne, Russell, Clayton (Davis 62), Forrest, Stamp (H Watson 75), Yates (Brogan 82). Subs (not used): Picton, Brogan, Hamilton.

Goalscorer: Davis 68.

Leamington: Maddison, Male, Gudger (Hawker 87), Magunda (Edwards 80), Tank, Gordon, Moore, Goddard, Chilton, Hicks, Newton (c). Subs (not used): Yafai, Naylor, Hill.

Yellow: Newton, Gudger, Magunda. Red: Newton 64.

Attendance: 379.

Referee: Mr T Bramall. Assistants: Mr C Whittaker, Mr J Price.