Banbury United take unbeaten run into busy cup week as excitement builds for Barrow's FA Cup visit
First there's FA Trophy and Southern League Challenge Cup games for Andy Whing's side
With excitement building ahead of next weekend’s Emirates FA Cup game - which will be televised live - Banbury United extended their unbeaten start to the season to 17 matches with a 3-1 win at Royston Town on Tuesday evening.
Chris Wreh put Banbury ahead after 15 minutes but it was 1-1 before half an hour.
Andy Whing’s side came good in the second half, man of the match Morgan Roberts regaining the lead with a shot into the top corner and Jack Stevens sealed it at 3-1 after 75 minutes.
Puritans are third in Southern League Premier Cental Division on 29 points, with two games in hand over Peterborough Sports (33) and Coalville Town (30) above them.
And now fans can enjoy a run of three cup games, starting at Corby in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday, ahead of Tuesday’s visit by Thame United in the Southern League Challenge Cup.
Then it’s the eagerly awaited first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup hosting Sky Bet League Two Barrow at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
The game will be televised live on ITV4 on Saturday, November 6 with a 5.15pm kick-off.
But Banbury will be without goalkeeper Jack Harding, who is recovering in a cast after dislocating his left elbow in Banbury’s win over Leiston last week.
He will be in a cast for a couple of weeks to allow the tendons to heal and will then need physio before he is fit to play again.
So, Puritans have completed the loan signing of goalkeeper Mackenzie Chapman from Oxford United, who he joined in August.
Mackenzie, 18, started out at Accrington Stanley from under 8s to under 11s before moving to Burnley.
He joined Manchester United for the first year of his scholarship then joined Oldham Athletic where he was back-up keeper for the first team for much of last season as well as making his senior debut.
And it’s going to be a busy couple of months as Banbury now have midweek fixtures in eight weeks of nine until Christmas, with Biggleswade Town visiting on Tuesday, December 7 and Peterborough Sports away on Tuesday, December 21.
Speaking to Puritans Radio after the Royston game, manager Andy Whing was full of praise for his side: “I thought we were outstanding tonight.
“It could and should have been more,” he said.
“It’s probably our best away performance of the season and they weren’t in the game at all.
“It’s still a tough place to come, the kind of team they are, strong and physical.
“We had chance after chance in the first half and were unbelievable in the second half when I don’t think they had a chance at all. It’s been a really good evening for us.”
And looking ahead to their string of cup games, Whing knows what it means to keep the winning run going and add three more league points.
“It was really important to get a result here tonight, as we haven’t got a league game now for a couple of weeks” said the Banbury manager.
“It was important to get some more points on the board from this game.
“With the level of performance we were the better team by a mile and that’s put a proper marker down to show we are no mugs and we keep going. We were brilliant tonight.”