Ford knows Westbrook’s true value to his squad

Jack Westbrook has been a reliable defender for Banbury United
Jack Westbrook has been a reliable defender for Banbury United

As is the case with the majority of versatile players, Jack Westbrook’s ability to play in several positions can sometimes work against him.

As is the case with the majority of versatile players, Jack Westbrook’s ability to play in several positions can sometimes work against him.

We had the best defensive record last season and Jack Westbrook was a key part of that, he’s been part of my central defence since I came here

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Westbrook has been a key part of Mike Ford’s defensive line-up since he took over at Banbury United, mainly in central defence. But this season he’s been used in a holding midfield role with club captain Ricky Johnson forming the central defensive partnership with Luke Carnell.

That looked to be working well until Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie with Tiverton Town, United’s first real test. Johnson and Carnell failed to get to grips with Levi Landricombe throughout the 90 minutes and Westbrook was sacrificed at halftime in a bid by Ford to get his back into the tie.

They did and four second half goals secured United’s passage but not before Landricombe grabbed his second late on. Johnson was at fault with both goals and it will be no surprise if Westbrook finds himself back in central defence on at the expense of Johnson or Carnell as United now face two Evo-Stik Southern League games in four days.

Ford said: “We had the best defensive record last season and Jack Westbrook was a key part of that, he’s been part of my central defence since I came here.

“Jack was disappointed to come off on Saturday but he accepted my decision which paid off in the second half but sometimes they don’t.”