Ford looks for United to take the initiative

Banbury United skipper Ricky Johnson returned to training this weekBanbury United skipper Ricky Johnson returned to training this week
Banbury United skipper Ricky Johnson returned to training this week
Mike Ford knows the importance of picking up three BetVictor Southern League points on Saturday.

The Puritans boss says his side simply has to beat St Ives Town to take advantage of having the extra fixture.

With several clubs still involved in the Buildbase FA Trophy, United’s clash with St Ives is one of only three fixtures taking place on Saturday. That means United will have played up to three games more than some teams around them in the Premier Central table and Ford knows his side must set a marker.

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Ford said: “For me, Saturday is a must-win game, no disrespect to whoever we are playing or their league position, we have to win. The fact that we have a spare game means we could be five points clear of some teams. If we win we’ll have points on the board and it’s not easy for teams to win games in hand.”

Following Saturday’s game at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium, United have another long trip to basement boys Leiston. It’s a run of games United need to maximise their points’ return to try and cement third place.

Club skipper Ricky Johnson has returned to training this week, Charlie Hawtin should have got over the illness which kept him sidelined for the last two outings and Jack Westbrook is back after missing the trip to Lowestoft Town.

One player leaving the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium is Denilson Silva, who has joined Didcot Town after failing to establish himself in Ford’s side.

Three days after Saturday’s game, United travel to Beaconsfied for Tuesday’s second round tie in the BetVictor Southern League Cup.