Banbury United taking on St Ives Town and Biggleswade Town
Midweek cup win for Andy Whing's side over Bedford Town
PICTURES BY JULIE HAWKINS
Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Royston Town stretched Banbury United’s amazing unbeaten league run since the start of the season to 16 matches.
And the victories kept coming on Tuesday evening, when the Puritans beat Division One Central high-flyers Bedford Town 2-0 in the third round of the Southern League Challenge Cup in an entertaining game at the Eyrie to reach the quarter-finals.
Manager Andy Whing felt with a lot of changes for the cup game, his team lacked the cutting edge in the first half and told them they needed to be better and more clinical.
“We were getting a lot of the ball and were expected to win and with the run we have been on, I think they were getting a bit carried away with themselves,” he told Puritans Radio after the game.
“But as soon as we got the first goal we would always go on and the game would open up and we got the second.”
After having a first-half penalty saved by Bedford goalkeeper Elliot Duffy, Jack Stevens put Banbury head in the 65th minute with a stunning shot from long-range into the top corner.
Lewis Johnson then quickly made it two with a great low strike past Duffy.
Bedford had been reduced to ten men just before half time when Charley Sanders received a straight red.
“We take each game at a time and will see who’s left in and it could be a tough draw for the quarter-finals,” said Whing.
“The league is our main focus and we’re coming into a really busy period with some tough games for us.
“I rested a few lads against Bedford. They need all the rest they can get as it’s Saturday – Tuesday every week now for us and we will need to use the whole squad.”
Youngsters Ashley Thompson, Jack Marshall and Brandon Patterson came on in Tuesday’s cup win.
“But we are in a great place and are really looking forward to it,” he added.
This weekend Banbury are back in league action, heading to St Ives Town, before hosting Biggleswade Town on Tuesday.
The Puritans are third in the Southern League Premier Central table, just a point behind leaders Coalville, with two games in hand.
Peterborough Sports, in between, are ahead of Banbury on goal difference but have played an extra game.
St Ives will be looking to improve on their fifth-from-bottom placing, adding to their four wins from 20 outings. The Waders have just five wins under their belt to sit 13th after 16 games.
Against seventh-placed Royston on Saturday Morgan Roberts put Banbury ahead from a penalty after just 12 minutes and Giorgio Rasulo made it 2-0 on the hour.