Ford urges fans to back his Puritans for the final push

Banbury United manager Mike Ford is urging fans to back his side at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United manager Mike Ford is urging fans to back his side at Spencer Stadium

Banbury United boss Mike Ford is urging the town’s football supporters to see his side over the line.

The Puritans round off their Evo-Stik Southern League campaign against Taunton Town on Saturday at Spencer Stadium where, three days later, they will play their play-off semi-final against Swindon Supermarine or Winchester City.

Our pathway is now very clear, we know what we have to do to go up

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But Ford will want to ensure that should his side get through – and they will be firm favourites to do so – they will not be travelling back down the M5 for the final on Bank Holiday Monday.

If United avoid defeat on Saturday they will be at home in the final and Ford knows how influential the home support can be.

He said: “Saturday is a ‘must turn-up’ game for the fans, we don’t want any regrets if we get to the final and find ourselves going back to Taunton in just over a week’s time.

“I told the players back in the summer that if they produce the performances on the pitch they could be playing in front of 1,000 fans here.

“If we get the right result on Saturday it will mean we are the second best team. That does not mean we have a divine right to go up but we’ve got a fantastic home record.”

Any hopes United had of going up automatically were ended on Tuesday when Cinderford Town beat Taunton to clinch the Division One South & West title.

But Ford said: “We’re not disappointed, we’re excited. There are no more ‘ifs and buts’ after Cinderford’s win.

“Our pathway is now very clear, we know what we have to do to go up.

“We’ve never had the title in our hands, unlike Cinderford and Taunton, so we’ve never had that expectation because we were relying on other teams.”