Puritans need to be realistic this time

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

Mike Ford is not ruling out the play-offs but the Banbury United boss admits it’s a tougher test this time.

Despite their six-match winning start to the Evo-Stick Southern League campaign, the Puritans find themselves down in ninth place.

It’s now looking like a league of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ with Kings Lynn, Slough, Kettering, Weymoth and Hereford in the top four positions

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But should a top ten finish be sniffed at? It’s always difficult to repeat or go one better the following season and this one was always going to be a stiffer test for the Puritans.

And Ford reckons the premier division table is starting to reflect the resources of some clubs in contention for promotion.

He said: “Much like the Premier League, it’s now looking like a league of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ with Kings Lynn, Slough, Kettering, Weymouth and Hereford in the top four positions.

“We’re in that next group of clubs but we’re back in the top ten after Tuesday’s victory at Gosport Borough.”

Having ended their three-match losing run at Gosport in midweek, the Puritans now have the chance to pick up more points in two games over four days. They have the chance to complete the double at Dorchester Town on Saturday before entertaining Chesham United on Tuesday night.

Ford added:“We’ll be looking to build on Tuesday’s win at Dorchester but they have got a new manager so I’ll be delighted to come away with something.”

United will be without Leam Howards on Saturday as the striker serves the final game of his three-match ban. Club captain Ricky Johnson and Jack Self were on the bench at Gosport but both players were less than 100 per cent fit so Ford will hope they are by Saturday.