Clash at the bottom markers a ‘dangerous game’ for Banbury

Andy Whing knows Banbury United can take nothing for granted when they head to rock-bottom AFC Telford United on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off).
Banbury United celebrate one of their goals in last weekend's 3-0 win over Chorley. Picture by Julie HawkinsBanbury United celebrate one of their goals in last weekend's 3-0 win over Chorley. Picture by Julie Hawkins
Banbury United celebrate one of their goals in last weekend's 3-0 win over Chorley. Picture by Julie Hawkins

The Puritans will travel to Shropshire with a bit of a spring in their step having racked up four wins in a row after going on an eight-game run without a victory.

Last weekend’s 3-0 home success over Chorley sent Banbury back into the Vanarama National League North play-off places.

They will be heavily fancied to seal another three points this weekend as they take on a Telford team who have won just one game all season and are already a massive 13 points from safety.

But Whing is staying cautious, although he has been boosted by an easing up on the injury front with Jack Stevens marking his return from a spell on the sidelines with the opening goal last Saturday.

“It’s a dangerous game for us,” the Banbury manager said.

“Everyone will be expecting us to go there and win just because of their points tally so far this season.

“We haven’t been great against teams at the bottom end so we need to go there and stamp our authority on the game.

“If we take it lightly, we will get beaten so we have to be on our best form to go and win it.

“Things have eased a bit on the injury front, we have the majority back but I’m not taking anything for granted because of the luck we have had with injuries this season!

“We’ve got Jack Stevens back and he got a good 70 minutes at the weekend and Henry Landers played the last half-hour.

“We are slowly getting there and all-in-all we are probably in the best shape we have been all season as far as injuries are concerned.”

Whing, meanwhile, was delighted with a perfect return from what he had described as a “season-defining week” as Banbury made progress in the Isuzu FA Trophy before sealing league victories over Bradford (Park Avenue) and Chorley, all without conceding a goal.

“I said that it was a season-defining week and that it would tell us where we were going to be,” he added.

“We wanted to progress in the Trophy and then we had two home league games and to get maximum points from them was really positive.

“We had to grind it out against Bradford and then against Chorley, we came out on fire in the second half.

“We scored after 30 seconds or something like that and then it was relentless. It was very pleasing.”