A huge opportunity missed, says frustrated Ford

Banbury United's Tom Winters misses a late chance against Shildon
Banbury United's Tom Winters misses a late chance against Shildon

Banbury United boss Mike Ford said it was a huge opportunity missed after seeing his side knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Puritans lost 3-2 against Shildon in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie despite taking the lead through Tom Winters. But a brace from the impressive Adam Burnicle and a great header from player-manager Dan Moore put the Northern League side 3-1 up before substitute Ricky Johnson pulled one back late on.

We’ve thrown away a huge opportunity and that’s where the disappointment comes from

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford: “We’ve thrown away a huge opportunity and that’s where the disappointment comes from.

“I kept reminding the players at halftime that we were playing against a team from two levels lower but they looked scared. It wasn’t until we went 3-1 down, when we threw Ricky Johnson on and went more direct that we looked like getting a goal.

“They had something to hold on to so they were blocking everything on the line and we couldn’t quite get the equaliser which, over the course of the game, we probably deserved. But we didn’t get it and it’s all about fine margins in football.

“We got the opener but just didn’t keep the lead long enough and that’s my biggest issue with the group at the moment. They’re just not learning from the errors they’re making, at the moment we’re making mistakes which are costing us goals.

“The players were all very disappointed afterwards, it’s arguably the experienced ones who are more disappointed because they may not get the chance to face a Football League club again.”