Best chance went begging in first game admits Ford

Banbury United's Jaanai Gordon equalises from the penalty spot in Saturday's FA Cup tie with Gainsborough Trinity. Photo: Steve Prouse
Banbury United's Jaanai Gordon equalises from the penalty spot in Saturday's FA Cup tie with Gainsborough Trinity. Photo: Steve Prouse

Banbury United boss Mike Ford admitted his side’s best chance of making progress in this year’s Emirates FA Cup came and went on Saturday.

But the Puritans were unable to make home advantage pay, twice coming from behind to earn a replay at Gainsborough Trinity before bowing out on Tuesday.

Ford said: “It was always going to be a tough draw. Gainsborough haven’t started that well in the Northern Premier League, but they’ve played all the top sides.

“They were solid over both games and, speaking to their officials, they felt they had enough to get through. We didn’t play to the levels I know we can on Saturday and that was always going to be our best chance.

“We created a couple of really good opportunities in the first half on Tuesday but the final touch was missing. Gainsborough didn’t have a shot on target in the first half and their only spell of pressure came during a ten-minute spell at the start of the second half.

“That’s when the goal came and it was really poor to concede from a set-piece. I made the changes, went to 4-3-3 which didn’t work and then 4-4-2 and we dominated the rest of the game.

“My players were great and we nearly took it to extra-time with Jaanai [Gordon] having two very good chances. There were spells in the second half when we were very good.”

Ford started with all three strikers for the first time and added: “I didn’t want to regret anything so I went with all three strikers on the pitch at the start but we didn’t cause them enough problems. You want your best players on the pitch, so it’s something I may consider doing again, although you always need some ammunition on the bench.”