Awadh on target as Puritans make their point at play-off boys
Banbury United extended their unbeaten Evo-Stik League South run to five games by picking up a point at promotion-chasing Alvechurch.
The Puritans drew 1-1 in Monday’s premier division central clash at Lye Meadow where the point secured Alvechurch’s place in the play-offs. Both goals came early in the contest with Amer Awadh giving United the lead only for James Roberts to cancel it out moments later.
Manager Mike Ford made several changes to the starting line-up from Saturday’s draw against Bedworth United. With Matt Richards and Greg Kaziboni unavailable, Eddie Odhiambo and Lee Henderson came into the side while Awadh began in place of Ravi Shamsi.
Giorgio Rasulo tested Charlie Price before United took a 12th minute lead when Harry Whitehead’s long throw-in was helped on by Ricky Johnson and Awadh volleyed home from 15 yards. But the lead last just 60 seconds when Henderson’s clearance fell kindly on the edge of the box to Roberts who took one touch before curling the ball into the top corner of the net.
Awadh went close to restoring United’s advantage when he fired over the bar while Kieran Cook tested Jack Harding at the other end. But those opportunities apart, chances were few and far between in the hot conditions.
After the restart Roberts saw his 20 yard shot saved by Harding at the second attempt and the United keeper then turned Mitch Botfield’s 30 yard effort around the post. From the ensuing corner, the ball again fell to Roberts who fired wide while United went close when Odhiambo’s cross was headed wide by Charlie Wise.
Alvechurch enjoyed plenty of possession in the second half but failed to seriously test United and the visitors went close again when Awadh cut inside before seeing Price save his effort. Johnson also had a late chance when he seized on a loose ball but his half-volley flew wide as United earned their third successive draw.