​Banbury set for crucial fixtures as Darlington visit first

​Banbury United will face the first of two games against sides around them in the National League North table on Saturday when Darlington make the long trip south.
Banbury were last in action against Curzon Ashton on November 25.Banbury were last in action against Curzon Ashton on November 25.
Banbury were last in action against Curzon Ashton on November 25.

​With Mark Jones’ men keen to climb away from danger in the National League North and end a run of four games without a win, they’ll then have another key game a week later when Farsley Celtic, just one point and two places above them, will be the visitors.

And with top six side Chorley making it three home games in a row on Tuesday, December 19, it presents a good chance for the Puritans to climb the table.

The 1-1 draw against Curzon Ashton on November 25 was the last outing for the Puritans, with Saturday’s trip to King’s Lynn Town called off on the morning of the match due to a frozen pitch.

Speaking before that game, Banbury boss Mark Jones highlighted the importance of upcoming games.

He said: “After King’s Lynn we’ve got Darlington and Farsley and we don’t want to find ourselves in and around that bottom four or five around Christmas, so we have to try and get some points on the board quickly.

"We’re still a bit thin in terms of squad strength and are looking to bring one or two more players in if we can.”

Meanwhile, Banbury have been drawn away to North Leigh in theOxfordshire FA Senior Cup quarter-final, the match taking place on January 23.

Jones added: "It’s a competition we don’t want to disrespect. It might give an opportunity to get some minutes into people to try and work on some things.

"When I was manager at Oxford City I won it on a couple of occasions, so while it’s not a major priority it’s a competition where you may as well try and get as far as you can and it’s always good to get to some sort of final and try and win it.

"We’ll look at that game when it comes but there are a lot of important league games before that.”