Banbury United manager praises 'phenomenal achievement' of six points from New Year games

Banbury United now lead league by 13 points ahead of Stourbridge trip

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 8:16 am
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 8:19 am
Lewis Johnson scored the second goal for Banbury United against Redditch United (Pictures by Julie Hawkins)
Lewis Johnson scored the second goal for Banbury United against Redditch United (Pictures by Julie Hawkins)

Two 2-0 away wins over New Year have stretched incredible Banbury United’s lead at the top of the league to 13 points.

And before second-placed Coalville’s 1-1 draw with Alvechurch on Tuesday evening the gap had even been up to 14 points in a fantastic start to 2022 for the Puritans fans.

With just 12 fit players at Redditch on Monday, manager Andy Whing was extremely happy with their result.

Goalmouth action between Banbury United and Alvechurch

“It’s a phenomenal achievement to get six points out of two really tough games,” he said afterwards.

“We had three glorious chances in the first half and again have missed too many of them. Our goal record should be astronomical with all the chances we have had.

“But it’s a mix and match team and I though they were absolutely outstanding, they kept going and kept believing.

“We knew it might take until the last ten minutes and to be patient. You think it’s not going to be our day but the lads have stood up again and won another football game, which is tremendous.

Morgan Roberts celebrates scoring against Alvechurch

“We are lucky we have really good footballers who, even in a tight game, can produce moments of magic.

“The lads dug in and that little bit of quality in the end showed.”

On Saturday at fifth-placed Alvechurch it wasn’t until the 66th minute that Banbury took a deserved lead when Chris Wreh set up Morgan Roberts and it took another 20 minutes before Henry Landers made sure of the points from a corner.

Captain Giorgio Rasulo was missing through illness, giving Jack Finch his first start of the season and goalkeeper Jack Harding, was named on the subs’ bench for the first time since his injury back in October.

Depleted Banbury were made to wait even longer to break the deadlock at fourth-from-bottom Redditch United. Recent signing Victor Sodeinde netted his first goal since joining from Hereford FC with just six minutes to go.

And in the 88th Lewis Johnson headed in to settle matters, bringing Banbury’s tally to 31 points from a possible 36 away from home and a fantastic 63 points overall from 24 games in the Southern League Premier Central Division.

It was worth the trip for the Banbury fans, who made up more than half of the 598-strong crowd at the Trico Stadium.

“When you are on top and have an opportunity like we have got, you have to keep going, you have to be ruthless and relentless and keep winning matches,” Whing added.

“The boys have been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough for how they keep going and going.”

Now attentions turn to this weekend’s visit to improving tenth-placed Stourbridge, with those fit and available training tonight (Thursday). Kick-off will be at the earlier time of 1pm due to floodlight issues at Amblecote.