United put on alert as boss warns of reaction

Banbury United manager Mike Ford warns of backlash from next two opponents
Banbury United manager Mike Ford warns of backlash from next two opponents

This time last season, Banbury United had made the perfect start to life back in the top tier of the Evo-Stik Southern League.

The Puritans boasted three straight premier division wins but then it all went wrong as they lost the next four.

We were at this point last season and then lost the next four games but I’m sure we’ll be mentally right this time

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Twelve months on there seems little chance of a repeat as Mike Ford’s boys look to build on another excellent start. Three wins have seen United go top of the table and two games in three days gives them ideal opportunity to extend their 100 per cent record against two clubs who have yet to register a single point.

United entertain recently relegated Bishops Stortford on Saturday and two days later make the trip to basement boys Dunstable Town.

This time, Ford feels his players have what it takes to deal with the expectations but warned: “Bishops Stortford will be expecting to go straight back up and won’t want to lose a fourth game on the trot. They will not come here and roll over for us on Saturday.

“It will be the same at Dunstable Town, both teams have had their pride dented and will be desperate to get off the mark.

“We’ve got to make sure that if the game is tight and ends up 1-0, it goes in our favour because too many didn’t last season. If we can’t play to our usual style, then we must keep a clean sheet, even if it means only getting a point.

“We were at this point last season and then lost the next four games but I’m sure we’ll be mentally right this time.”

Darren Pond returns to the squad for Saturday and Jack Self should be fit to resume a week later but Marvin Martin is not ready to return yet.