Cup tie is just what the doctor ordered

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

Banbury United boss Mike Ford will be hoping the Emirates FA Cup can give his side a timely pick-me-up as they look to end their losing run.

The Puritans travel to Dorchester Town for Saturday’s first qualifying round tie with Ford looking for a change of fortune and feels there will be less pressure on his players.

I feel it’s a great opportunity for my players to go there with no expectations put on them and just play

Puritans boss Mike Ford

United go into the tie on the back of four straight Evo-Stik Southern League defeats, the latest coming against Redditch United on Monday. But Ford felt his side were getting back to their old form despite that defeat.

Ford said: “This club has not enjoyed a decent FA Cup run for some time so the expectations on Saturday, at a team who beat us recently, will be much lower.

“I feel it’s a great opportunity for my players to go there with no expectations put on them and just play. It’s a tie against a side at our level and comes at the right time for us.

“I’m sure Dorchester will be more positive than when they came here. They are at home and the onus is on them to come out and attack us, that could well suit us.”

Captain Andy Gunn will return as will full-back David Lynn, after both missed Monday’s defeat. But Zac McEachran is still sidelined and United are missing his spark in midfield.

Looking back on Monday’s defeat, Ford added: “Although we lost the game, the players got some of their belief back. They were applauded off by the supporters at the end because they could see my team had given their all.”