Despite seeing Banbury United side’s nine game unbeaten Evo-Stik Southern League run ended at Merthyr Tydfil, boss Mike Ford was full of praise for his side.
Kayne McLaggon’s solitary second half goal settled the premier division contest but James Smith saw his late penalty saved by Merthyr keeper Oliver Davies.
I asked my team for a mature performance and I’ve got nothing but praise for my playersPuritans boss Mike Ford
Ford said: “I asked my team for a mature performance and I’ve got nothing but praise for my players. It was a good game between two good teams and we probably deserved something out of the game.
“There wasn’t much wrong with what we did on Saturday against, in my view, the best team in this league whether they win it or not, and we’ve run them really close.
“We weren’t going to come down here against a team above us in the table and go gun-ho. They like to play and they will hurt you.
“But we didn’t show enough endeavour in the first half to win the game and just did enough. In the second half we created some chances but so did Merthyr.
“For all the good play from both sides, the difference was a long ball from back to front. But if it wasn’t for a great penalty save by their keeper we would have come away with a point.
“The difference between the two sides was they had a lot more experience than us.”