Depleted Puritans ‘put in a shift’ to secure a spot in last 16 of the FA Trophy

Andy Whing’s Banbury United re-wrote the history books once again last night.
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Despite having a depleted squad, the Puritans followed up Saturday’s fine 3-2 victory at Hereford in the Vanarama National League North with another 3-2 win, this time against Coalville Town as the two teams finally played their Isuzu FA Trophy fourth round clash at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

Two goals from Henry Landers had the Puritans 2-1 up at half-time before goalkeeper Jack Harding saved a second-half penalty.

Craig Hewitt then made it 3-1 and a late free-kick only proved to be a consolation for Coalville as Banbury booked their place in the last 16 of the Trophy for the first time since 1974.

Henry Landers takes the congratulations after scoring one of his two goals in Banbury's win over Coalville. Picture by Julie HawkinsHenry Landers takes the congratulations after scoring one of his two goals in Banbury's win over Coalville. Picture by Julie Hawkins
Henry Landers takes the congratulations after scoring one of his two goals in Banbury's win over Coalville. Picture by Julie Hawkins

They will now take on National League side Gateshead at home a week on Saturday (February 11) where they will bid to move into the quarter-finals.

“It’s been two fantastic results for us this week but with two performances where we can still strive to be better,” boss Whing said.

“I thought we were really poor in the first half on Saturday so we changed a few things just before half-time and we were a lot better in the second half and thoroughly deserved the win.

“Last night was probably the most stressful game I have had to prepare for in my life.

“We were supposed to play it three weeks ago and we weren’t able to register new players for it because of the original date.

“We have lost players through injuries and suspensions since then.

“We had seven first-team regulars out so to get an 11 together and scramble a 3-2 win was great.

“We have relied on Jack Harding saving a penalty and making another unbelievable save at 2-1.

“But the lads put in an absolute shift and it’s a great win that keeps us in the competition, which is exciting for everyone.”

Banbury are back in league action on Saturday when they entertain Kettering Town.