Ford feels the elation after Puritans clinch promotion

Banbury United celebrate promotion after their victory over Taunton Town at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United celebrate promotion after their victory over Taunton Town at Spencer Stadium

Banbury United manager Mike Ford admitted to feeling emotional at the final whistle after his side sealed promotion at the first attempt.

The Puritans beat Taunton Town 2-0 in Monday’s Evo-Stik Southern League play-off final to reclaim their premier division status at the first attempt.

It was quite emotional when I knew we would be going up, it’s not an easy thing to achieve

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Goals in each half from Zac McEachran and skipper Andy Gunn sealed United’s victory in front of more than 1,200 fans at Spencer Stadium.

Ford said: “It was quite emotional when I knew we would be going up. It’s not an easy thing to achieve, you have to have good players to get into the play-offs to start with, plus a steely character and courage to get through.

“Taunton are a good side, they just missed out last season and finished third this time. They had a threat but we showed huge character which the players have done all season, everyone has played their part in getting this club back up.

“Getting the second goal was a huge weight off my shoulders. We controlled the game and Andy Gunn has been nothing but outstanding since he came back from suspension.

“We will enjoy tonight but I’ve already started to think about next season. We need to keep all these players here, they are the future of this club.

“We’ve had a fantastic year, winning lost of games, and we should go up looking to make an impression in the premier division. It’s a tough division and I’m not suggesting we’re going to win it but it shouldn’t hold any fears for us.

“We’ve got some fantastic players here and without them we wouldn’t have done it. We need to have the finances in place to make sure these players don’t go anywhere.”