Brooker looks for Banbury to use cup victory as a boost

Banbury's Richard Foreman closes down London Edwardians Phil Du ToyBanbury's Richard Foreman closes down London Edwardians Phil Du Toy
Banbury's Richard Foreman closes down London Edwardians Phil Du Toy
Manager Steve Brooker will be looking for Banbury to get back on track at Old Cranleighans in Saturday's South Premier Hockey League fixture.

Banbury’s indifferent start to the campaign saw them lose 3-3 against newly-promoted London Edwardians in Saturday’s division one fixture before bouncing back to beat Northern Premier League side Chester in the HA Cup 24 hours later.

The visitors caught Banbury off-guard with a whirlwind start on Saturday and could have taken the lead in the first minute and could have been three goals to the food inside the opening ten minutes. But the shaken home defence hung on and survived the initial onslaught.

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As Banbury regained their composure they won a penalty corner which they failed to convert. The visitors broke straight away, stormed into the Banbury half and opened their account through Tim Blackburn.

Ill-discipline again plagued the home side for the second week running and with a player in the sin-bin, a penalty corner was conceded and Banbury found themselves 2-0 only ten minutes later as Blackburn converted.

With Chris James adding another goal before halftime, the home side threatened to implode.

But the current Banbury side is more resilient than in recent seasons and, despite more home players spending time in the sin-bin, they clawed a goal back as Simon Boardman finished from close range to complete a right-sided move and continue his goal scoring run.

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With Banbury getting closer to their usual form, Kieran Symons finished a hard won penalty corner to give the home side hope with 14 minutes to go but the they were unable to grab the equaliser.

Manager Steve Brooker said “The visitors arrived with a plan of how to approach the match and negate our attacking style which they executed with admirable effectiveness.

“The defeat has plunged us from fourth to ninth in these early stages of a tightly fought league but we have the chance to bounce back this week.

“We are on yet another promising cup run as we progress to the last 16 of a national competition. It will be a tough assignment at Old Cranleighans but we can go into it with confidence from the cup success aiming to claw back the lost league places.”

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