Chance for Banbury United to build on great start with bank holiday double-header
Hitchin Town and Stratford Town games this weekend
Banbury United made it seven points from their first week of the season when they beat Barwell 3-2 with a last-minute winner on Saturday.
Manager Andy Whing admitted it was their weakest performance of the three outings so far, but they could be satisfied at still finishing on top in the end.
There are six more points at stake in the double-header over the bank holiday, hosting Hitchin Town at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium on Saturday and then visiting Stratford Town on Monday. Both games kick off at 3pm.
Both have had mixed fortunes so far. Hitchin lost to Redditch in their first outing but beat Nuneaton Borough in their latest game.
Stratford lost their opener to Coalville Town, but have beaten both Redditch United and Royston Town since.
In incessant rain against Barwell on Saturday, Henry Landers put Puritans ahead in the 19th minute when he cut in from the right and hit a low shot past the visitors’ keeper Liam Castle.
Less than ten minutes later after Chris Wreh controlled a quick long throw from Sam Brown and combined neat footwork and strength to make it 2-0.
Barwell came back to 2-1 at the break and levelled with the help of a deflection putting the ball past Jack Harding on the hour.
The game seemed to be heading for a draw until a late corner for Banbury delivered from the left by Giorgio Rasulo was headed back over the keeper and a defender on the line by Kelvin Langmead to clinch the points.
The win, which follows Banbury’s opening day draw with Stourbridge and victory over AFC Rushden & Diamonds, lifts them to third in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central behind Peterborough Sports and Hednesford Town, who have 100 per cent records.
Speaking after the game Whing said: “I thought we were pretty poor unfortunately, but we have got the win in the last minute from the set piece.
“To be fair we started off OK and could have been three or four up with the chances we had in the first 15 or 20 minutes but then we let them back in the game. We were really disappointed at half time, we were really poor and needed to step up and the last 15 minutes we were better.
“But we just didn’t get going, even on the ball we were poor for our standards, but to win the game that’s always a good sign.
“The players know we are better than that and it should bode well for the future. Games like that we probably would have got beaten last year, so the signs are pleasing.
“Seven points from three games after the start we had last Saturday, a goal down and ten men, so we are absolutely delighted - and now it’s a really big weekend coming up with two games.”
On September 4, United will play the First Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup at home to Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Ardley United who beat Hellenic League Premier Division side Royal Wootton Bassett Town 3-1 in a replay.