Manager Mike Ford faces his first setback after Banbury United crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup tie at Hartley Wintney
The Puritans lost 5-2 in Saturday’s preliminary round tie at the Combined Counties League outfit where they twice led and had skipper Andy Gunn dismissed before three late goals ended their interest for another season.
United broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Darius Bowne set up Duran Martin who hit a fierce shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner of the net. But Hartley Witney were level just a minute later when Rossi Cook scored with a superb free-kick from the edge of the area which flew past Jack Harding into the top corner.
United had a lot of possession as the half developed but the nearest they came to regaining the lead was when Browne crossed for Zac McEachran who shot wide from 12 yards.
The game though swung Hartley Wintney’s way in the final minute when Sam Argent was brought down by Gunn in the area. Gunn was sent off but Harding saved Argent’s ensuing spot-kick.
Hartley Wintney were the better side after the restart and Argent missed a glorious chance from close range. United regained the lead in the 58th minute when a cross from Brian Bowles found Mark Bell in space at the far post and he struck the ball into the far corner of the net.
But Hartley Wintney were back on level terms in the 69th minute when Steven Duff fired home from the edge of the area. The hosts went in front for the time in the 80th minute when Cook waltzed into the area before beating Harding from eight yards.
With five minutes to go Cook completed his hat-trick before Ricky Johnson had an effort ruled out for offside. Adam Everiss put the result beyond doubt in the 87th minute to end United’s hopes of reaching the first round proper for the first time in more than 40 years.