Big weekend ahead as Puritans bid to build on ‘fantastic start’

Banbury United are gearing up for a big bank holiday double-header as they bid to maintain their superb start to the Vanarama National League North campaign.
Goalscorer Morgan Roberts celebrates with Ben Acquaye during Banbury United's 2-1 win at Darlington. Picture courtesy of Banbury United FCGoalscorer Morgan Roberts celebrates with Ben Acquaye during Banbury United's 2-1 win at Darlington. Picture courtesy of Banbury United FC
Goalscorer Morgan Roberts celebrates with Ben Acquaye during Banbury United's 2-1 win at Darlington. Picture courtesy of Banbury United FC

The Puritans have been in fine form since moving up to Step 2 and it continued last weekend as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Darlington, courtesy of two goals from Morgan Roberts.

That has left them with an unbeaten record after four games and sitting in second place in the early standings.

The start has been made even more impressive by the injury problems that have struck Andy Whing’s team.

But he has praised his players for their resiliency as they now look ahead to a weekend that sees them host Hereford on Saturday before heading to Leamington on Bank Holiday Monday.

“Obviously, it’s been a fantastic start,” manager Whing said.

“We have only had 12 or 13 players available to us, I think I have made one change in the first few games and we have got our fitness coach on the bench who we are putting on there just to make it all look a bit better!

“It’s a remarkable start, the lads have been fantastic in terms of their energy.

“They look fit, which is a credit to the staff, and the new lads have come in and seamlessly adapted to what we are all about.

“The lads who are already there have continued the momentum from last season. We have changed shape and changed system but our identity is the same.

“I didn’t think we got enough credit for our resiliency last season and we have been resilient in our last two games.

Boston had a good start against us but we held out and it was the same at Darlington because they started well and scored a really good goal but our resilience was there to stay in the game and from 30 minutes onwards we were the better team and deserved the win.

“It’s a really pleasing start and we’re looking forward to a big weekend.

“Saturday to Monday is going to be tough on the players’ legs so hopefully we will have a few more back and we will be ready to have a right go again.”

Hereford have also enjoyed a good start to the new season and sit in fourth place while Whing knows his team will also be in for a tough examination at Leamington on Monday.

“It’s two really tough games,” he added.

“Hereford are a big club in this league and Paul Holleran at Leamington has done an unbelievable job with that club for the last few years.

“They are well established in this league with some really good players so we know it’s going to be tough.”