Ford knew Puritans had the edge for final showdown

Banbury United players celebrate Andy Gunn's goal against Taunton Town at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United players celebrate Andy Gunn's goal against Taunton Town at Spencer Stadium

Boss Mike Ford knew his Banbury United side had the edge going into Monday’s Evo-Stik Southern League play-off final but he just had to convince his players.

The Puritans went into Monday’s final with Taunton Town on the back of a six-match Division One South & West winning run ahead of the big game. United won it with goals in each half from Zac McEachran and skipper Andy Gunn to seal promotion back to the premier division at the first attempt.

I’ve got a group of players who totally trust my judgement

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford said: “If you are up and around the play-offs in April you have to be winning games.

“During April, we had won every game and Taunton had lost three, and we had kept seven clean sheets. I told the players that they were the best team going into the final and they believed that.

“I’ve got a group of players who totally trust in my judgement. Even if I leave a player on the bench they accept that because they respect my decisions.”