Banbury United looking forward to new league rivals

Banbury United have been looking ahead to their likely rivals in National League North, facing opponents young and old in what should be an exciting debut at the higher level.

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 10:40 am
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 10:40 am
Banbury United supporters will be hoping for more scenes like their league title celebrations to come  Picture by Julie Hawkins
Banbury United supporters will be hoping for more scenes like their league title celebrations to come  Picture by Julie Hawkins

Having been promoted as champions of the Southern League Premier Division Central, the Puritans are eagerly anticipating their first season of Step 2 football.

And their new division will see Andy Whing’s side facing several new teams as among the 23 teams expected to be placed in National League North with them there are 14 they have not played before.

These include former Football League club Boston United and other ex-Football League clubs like Kidderminster Harriers, Darlington, Southport and also Chester, Hereford and Scarborough Athletic, phoenix clubs of former Football League sides.

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Their northerly campaign will also see Banbury’s travel increase, with some very long round trips.

These will include games at teams such as Blyth Spartan (502 miles), Spennymoor Town (420 miles), Scarborough Athletic (392 miles) and Darlington (390 miles).

Banbury have met a previous Hereford United side in the 2014/15 season and in FA Trophy games in the 1970s as well as Southern League Cup games in the 1960s.

They have also met the previous incarnation of Kings Lynn Town various times from the 1970s to the early 2000s with them sealing Banbury’s relegation to the Hellenic League by beating them at the end of the 1989/90 season.Banbury have also met the previous Telford United when they were Wellington Town in the Midland Floodlit Cup at the end of the 1960s.

Kettering Town have been visitors since Banbury joined the Southern League in the 1960s as have Gloucester City, Kidderminster Harriers and Leamington in that league and earlier as Birmingham League opponents.

This season Brackley Town will be competitive league rivals for the first time since the 2011/12 season in what will not doubt be two exciting games.

Banbury United have added two more fixtures to their growing pre-season schedule.

Andy Whing’s side will travel to Evesham United on Tuesday July 12, to take on former manager Mike Ford's new club.

Then, in further preparation for their first season in National League North, Banbury will make the trip to Stourbridge on Tuesday, July 26.

The club had already announced three friendlies, starting on Saturday, July 2 at 3pm entertaining Easington Sports at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

Oxford United are their visitors on Saturday, July 9 for a 4pm kick-off.

And finally, supporters are looking forward to the away game at FC United of Manchester on Saturday, July 30, kicking off at 3pm.Further pre-season warm-ups will be announced as the Southern League Premier Division Central champions of 2021-22 prepare for their debut season at Step 2.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​