The race is back on but next game is toughest

Banbury United manager Mike Ford feels Cinderford game will be his side's toughest
Banbury United manager Mike Ford feels Cinderford game will be his side's toughest
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The long race for that final Evo-Stik Southern League play-off place is back on.

With four games to go, the gap is back to a single point between Merthyr Town, who occupy the final play-off spot, and Banbury United.

We’re right back in it but for me, the hardest game we’ve got left is Saturday’s game at Cinderford

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Puritans head to premier division basement boys Cinderford Town on Saturday for what manager Mike Ford reckons will be the hardest of his side’s remaining games.

Ford said: “I can’t influence what Merthyr do but we’re right back in it. For me, the hardest game we’ve got left is Saturday’s game at Cinderford.

“There will be no problem my players being up for the last two home games against Hitchin Town and Kettering Town – if we’re still in contention – in front of bumper crowds or the derby at Leamington. Cinderford is going to be a different proposition altogether.

“But I’m confident my players will be ready for it. We’ve had conversations about our mental approach and it was much better at Hayes & Yeading, so I’m expecting the same at Cinderford.”

But United will have to do without Callum White for the rest of the season.

The wing-back was injured at Hayes & Yeading and has been told by doctors he needs six weeks rest after bruising his kidneys in a challenge last weekend.

Looking back on last week’s success, Ford added: “We showed some good character and played some really good football at times.

“We’ve just got to go to Cinderford and produce that sort of performance again. We have to show the same grit and determination when we haven’t got the ball and create the opportunities when we do have it.”