Puritans go nap as they make it back-to-back wins

Banbury United striker Conor McDonagh works an opening against Hayes & Yeading United
Banbury United striker Conor McDonagh works an opening against Hayes & Yeading United
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Banbury United made it back-to-back wins as they thumped Hayes & Yeading United 5-0 in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash.

The Puritans had the premier division points in the bag midway through the first half at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

Goals from Jack Westbrook, Callum White and Ricky Johnson put the Puritans in control against the shell-shocked visitors who never recovered. Second half goals from the impressive Conor McDonagh and substitute Darius Browne rounded off a good performance for Mike Ford’s side.

McDonagh returned to partner Johnson up front and United went on the offensive from the start with the twin strike-force soon posing problems for the visitors.

United finished last week’s game against Stratford Town with a fortuitous winner and got off to a flying start in similar fashion on Saturday. With only a minute on the clock, Westbrook hit a long free-kick from his own half which bounced in the box and flew over the stranded Danny Boness and into the top corner.

United doubled their advantage three minutes later through White but there was nothing lucky about this week’s effort from the wing-back. The visitors could only partially clear and White drilled a low first-time drive from the angle of the box into the far corner of the net.

Cole Brown went close to a quick reply when his brave header was diverted for a corner by Andy Gunn. But United continued to pour forward at every opportunity and looked as though they could score at will.

Johnson had a close range effort ruled out for offside before he increased United’s lead in the 25th minute with a cracker. Johnson cut inside and picked his spot before beating Boness from the edge of the box and the ball flew into the top corner.

Game over. Ryan Hope tested Jack Harding with a low drive from 30 yards and Terence Carter had a close range header deflected over as Hayes & Yeading tried valiantly to get back into the contest.

Johnson went close to converting McDonagh’s near post cross as the pair linked up well in the final third. McDonagh was denied a deserved goal just before the break when he got on the end of Zac McEachran’s pass and beat the advancing Boness but Darren Locke cleared off the line.

After the restart White was thwarted at the far post by Adam Everitt after getting on the end of Marvin Martin’s deep cross. Jack Self tested Boness from the edge of the box after McEachran’s corner was only partially cleared.

Carter flashed a volley wide and Connor Toomey was denied by Harding as Hayes & Yeading looked to get something out of the game. In between, Johnson headed over from George Nash’s free-kick.

McDonagh finally got the goal his display deserved in the 71st minute. Racing on to Nash’s searching pass, McDonagh got the better of Everitt on the bye-line and fired into the top corner from a tight angle.

Substitute Dylan Kearney tested Harding late on but the United keeper had little to do and will have been glad to have kept a clean sheet. Browne turned and saw Boness save as United continued to create chances till the end.

And Browne made it five in the 88th minute when he turned well on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner of the net after Johnson and substitute George Jeacock linked up well.