Ford delighted to see Puritans grind out another three points

Banbury United keeper Jack Harding gathers the ball as Ricky Johnson holds off Bishops Stortford's Afolabi Akenyemi
Banbury United keeper Jack Harding gathers the ball as Ricky Johnson holds off Bishops Stortford's Afolabi Akenyemi

Banbury United boss Mike Ford heaped praise on his side after they ground out another three points.

The Puritans came from behind to beat Bishops Stortford 2-1 to remain top of the Evo-Stik Southern League ahead of Monday’s trip to Dunstable Town.

I told him to go on, find the ball and do what’s best for him but I didn’t expect him to come up that!

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ravi Shamsi came off the bench to bag the second half winner in Saturday’s premier division clash with a super overhead-kick after Jefferson Louis had cancelled out Jason Williams’ opener.

Ford said: “We won the first three games last season and then lost the next four and, although you don’t want to labour the point, it’s still clearly on everyone’s minds.

“Generally, when you score first you usually go on to win the game but we’re a team that is used to winning.

“We got across the line and played well in general but they made it quite difficult for us. We were not at our best but we’re not going to get nine out of ten each week.

“They were well organised and let us have the ball for long periods but Jack Harding barely had a shot to save. There were few chances in the game but we created most of them.”

And Ford was delighted with the impact Shamsi made just moments after coming on.

He added: “We’ve got a strong bench, two good players didn’t even get on and that shows the difference between where we were this time last year and where we are now. If you’ve got match-winners in your squad you have to make sure you use them at the right times.

“I was able to throw Ravi on and he’s come up with the winner but he can’t do it every time he gets the ball. I told him to go on, find the ball and do what’s best for him but I didn’t expect him to come up that!”